Modern Technology + Old School Mentality = Fans & Gigs!
Who are the so called “Big Name DJs”? They are most often DJs that produce the most popular tracks. But let’s face it, there are a lot of very talented DJs out there that either do not produce music, or just haven’t produced a big hit. So how do these DJs obtain fans and get big gigs?
Back in the day people often became fond of a dj because they either heard them play live or a friend shared one of their mix tapes…usually a Tone Master or Maxell…gotta love those. Since mass production and materials were costly, this wasn’t really a great system for DJs to promote themselves. You put a few out there and hope people share them. If it’s hot, then your friends would beg you to let them copy it on a high-speed duel tape deck which took a good 20-30 minutes to complete. And man were we happy to have a copy too. If you somehow lost that tape you were really pissed off!
Today, with the use of modern technology, we can record sets at home or even live sets right to our laptops, save them as an MP3, and either burn it to CD or upload to the web for all to hear. The ability to share your mixes is enormous!
There are a ton of sites were you can post your mixes online or you can start your own podcast. Internet radio is growing and many stations are dying for more programming. Send them your mixes as well. When posting mixes online you should go a step furthar and include a play list and don’t forget your contact information (e-mail, website(s), affiliations, etc). Most importantly, once you’ve posted your mix be sure to tell everyone its out and where to download it.
While mix downloads are great, a lot of people still like the mix in their hand and a cassette tape just won’t do. The answer is burning CDs….LOTS OF THEM! A spool of 100 CDs runs as low as $14.99 and sleeves as low as $2.99/per 100. So for less then $20 you can have 100 mix CDs.
Burning CDs one at a time can be time consuming as well, but it only takes 3-4 minutes per CD. A large duplicator is a great investment. For less than $800 you can pick up a tower that will burn 9-10 CDs at a time and crank out well over 100 CDs an hour. Now I know $800 is nothing to sneeze at. But when you think about the cost of DJ equipment, it’s cheaper than one Pioneer CDJ1000 CD player and the amount of CDs you can generate is endless. Always label your CDs with your name, name of the mix, and contact information. You don’t need to use full size labels. A mailing address label does the trick. Remember this is a promo CD and not being sold in stores.
I have sold mix CDs but I give them away most of the time. When you give them away you generate fans of your music and your personality as well. People remember you when you give them something for free. I give away nearly 3,000 CDs a year and this costs me about $600. But spread out throughout the year is only $50 a month, which is a reasonable investment in gaining fans and of course more gigs.
One final note is that while mass producing CDs to give away is great, it really helps if the CD is of good quality. Meaning, it has a great selection of music, it’s mixed well, and tracked (track 1, track 2, etc). I have made CDs that I thought were mediocre and tossed them. If there is a bad mix, toss it. The CD is a professional representation of you and your DJing ability. If it is mediocre, then that is how you will be viewed by those who listened to it. If it’s hot, then trust me you’re going to gain from it.
Let’s try this out. Here is my latest mix
Rated H for HOUSE! (April 2009)
by David Sabat
1. Love is…Afraid of the Dark (Tammy) – Lil Louis
2. Breakers Theme (Beats) – Mr.V
3. Desire (MAW Remix) – Nu Colours
4. Any Love (DJ Meme Original Club Mix) – DJ Meme Orchestra Ft. Rachel Claudio
5. Church (Original Version) – Peven Everett
6. Those Days Are Gone (Greg Gauthier Dance Culture Mix) – Alex Finkin & Reverend P feat. Jocelyn Mathieu
7. Circles – Nathan Adams And Zepharin Saint
8. Omi Tutu [Main Mix] – Louie ‘Lou’ Gorbea
9. Selene (The Goddess of The Moon) (Damon’s Abstractic Mix) – Steal Vybe feat. Alexis Simmons
10. Always (Thommy and Spens Rock the House Mix) – DJ Spen and the Muthafunkaz Feat Sheila Ford
11. Spirit (Guy Robin Classic Vocal Mix) – Gabriel Rene feat. J. Soul
12. Just as Long (Gorbea Extended Vocal Mix) – Duce Martinez Ft K.T. Brooks
13. Boriken Soul (Yonurican Club Mix) – Yonurican
14. Mahuwelele (Tommy Bones Remix) – Mzee Feat. Candy Nurse
15. 84 King Street (Original Main Mix) – Christian Hornbostel & Alfred Azzetto
16. Black Sience Orchestra – New Jersey Deep
17. George Kranz – Din Daa Daa (Louie Vega Dub)