DJs who are not as busy as they would like to be may have painted themselves into a corner. If you only play in one market, or on one side of the town, or even one style of music, then it’s going to be hard to keep a regular schedule.
This is mainly directed at those in a niche market such as deep house. Main stream DJs who play hip-hop and pop etc. may not experience this problem as much. One thing to know about House, is that there are different styles of house and several different markets in a big city like Chicago. There is the North side where you are more likely to hear more of “today’s” house and many different genres of it. The South side is known more for classic disco and tracks. There is also a Latino market for House in Chicago. This crowd is spread out…North, South, and West. They like Latin house, old school, freestyle and a touch of the new joints. Of course I don’t mean to generalize here. It’s about knowing your market.
The real trick is being able to play on every side of town without changing your style and your identity. I love playing for a crowd that expects old school all night and I give them new music. Now I don’t bombard them with it, I mix it up or play new tracks with old school samples to keep it familiar and meanwhile feed them the new joints in between. Giving them what they expect builds trust. Once they trust that you know your stuff and you know what they like, you have the crowd in the palm of your hands and they are yours to play with. Then when you come back, they “expect” you to play new music…or YOUR style of music, and you have now separated yourself from other DJs and created, or maintained, your identity. When you have a specific style or identity that people want, you create demand. It is then easier to reach new and different markets. Of course this doesn’t happen over night or in one gig…just something to think about.