According to CareerExplorer, the United States DJ job market was anticipated to expand by 2.6% between 2016 & 2026. More enthusiastic DJs are joining the industry every day. This could be because we don’t have to stick to a particular dress code when working, and we get paid for doing something we love. We are also our own bosses. Besides, being a DJ allows us to travel and meet countless exciting people.
While most music lovers know what we do for a living, they still don’t grasp much about DJing. Therefore, let me shed some light on a few things everyone needs to understand about DJs.
This is something that most people don’t know. As DJs, we are supposed to play our fans’ song requests, but we don’t have to. When we say “no” to playing a specific track, it might be because:
- We played the song earlier and do not want to bore the crowd or our listeners
- The song does not fit into our current playlist, and playing it would ruin the event’s vibe
Some people believe that DJs should be ready to work for free. After all, it provides us with exposure and helps us build our careers in the long run. Yes, we want to enjoy all the benefits of DJing as many parties as possible, but we also have bills to pay. Ours is a profession like any other, and we want to earn a living through it because we’ve spent years perfecting our skills.
This, however, doesn’t mean that we don’t provide freebies. When my best friend invites me to their birthday party, I will enthusiastically volunteer to be the event’s DJ without being paid.
As I’ve pointed out earlier, it takes time for us to hone our skills and become remarkable DJs. Apart from having an immeasurable love for music, we also need to understand rhythm and keep up with DJs’ recent technological advancements. Although there are no degree programs that aspiring DJs can take today, classes and schools where we are taught DJing skills exist. We attend them and spend hours on end practicing.
To become excellent DJs, we also have to set goals and work on attaining them. Publishing unique mixes and sharing them is critical. Moreover, we must build a support base or following and improve our DJing skills each day because the competition in the industry keeps increasing.
As DJs, technology is one of our most treasured buddies. It has redefined how we play at live events. Creating the best mixes for our fans or being the DJs at various parties would be impossible without it. This could explain why most of us suffer from meltdowns when our laptops freeze or our MIDI controllers have issues a few hours before an event.
Some of the technologies that have improved the current era of DJing are:
- DJ controllers
- Monitor speakers
Finding gigs is one of the most challenging parts of being a DJ, especially at the beginning of our careers. Most clubs or event organizers prefer experienced DJs to us. It’s disheartening, but we don’t quit. When we land gigs, no matter how low-paying they are, we treasure them and offer the best DJing services ever.
More often than not, we get our gigs through the following ways.
- Approaching club managers and event planners
- Joining reputable record labels near us
- Using social media platforms such as Vimeo, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc
- Creating blogs or websites about DJing
- Joining DJ competitions
Most DJs will agree that doing what we do is fantastic. Making people happy and enabling them to let off some steam is fulfilling. Hopefully, the points I’ve mentioned above will help the world understand us and our profession’s nature.