How to Overcome Anxiety Before Gigs

It is inevitable to feel anxious before your gigs, especially if you’re a newbie. Anxiety can be a good thing if properly managed. It is just a reminder that you are about to perform in front of a passionate crowd who can’t wait to enjoy your beautiful performance. Even the biggest and best DJs have to deal with anxiety, so it is essential always to remember you are not alone in this. Use it as a reminder that you are living your dream. Nonetheless, let’s look at how to deal with anxiety as a DJ.

Reframe it.

A lot of anxiety has to do with your mindset at the time. Your heart is pounding, sweat dripping down your face. And your throat seems very dry. You can barely speak. It’s normal to feel this way. If you can, try to laugh about it, tell yourself it is not the end of the world and the moment will soon pass. Try as much as possible to enjoy your performance. While performing, imagine you are a kid in your bedroom having fun. Just go with the flow. Don’t try too hard to impress.

Scared of messing it up.

Trust me. Your fans are tolerant. They won’t even know if you made a mistake or not. Just don’t stop playing. Keep the party going and adjust along the way. Always prepare for the best but expect anything. Be Flexible and open-minded when you play. Every famous DJ you can think of as made mistakes, and they continue to make mistakes. They never stop because no one notices or cares as long as they have fun.

Even if they notice, no one cares as long as they get a chance to jump around and have fun. So never stop the party, keep it going no matter what. It is not the end of the world, and it is not the end of your career. Just have fun with it.

Prepare well, but expect anything.

There’s no such thing as perfect preparation. No matter how much you prepare, some things are just out of your control. This is the industry you find yourself so deal with it. It is not always your fault. Just be ready to perform and have fun.

Remember your best performance.

This is a quick way to change your mood and get you feeling excited again. The thought of past great performances can elevate your mood. The same feeling you had during that performance will be activated. This is how you turn a moody vibe into an upbeat and excited one. If it is your first gig, think of a fond memory when playing.

Pick a target.

Another trick is to pick a target — usually someone upbeat and enjoying your performance. Feed off their energy by continually checking with them, keeping eye contact. You will be amazed at how this takes off the edge and keeps you relaxed. Imagine you are playing for them and do everything to impress them. Lockout everyone else and focus on your target. If you lose your target, pick the next one and continue with the process.

Take a deep breath.

If you feel like you are not connecting with the audience or your songs are not hitting the right spots, then take a deep breath. It might be because you feel like you are losing control or you feel like you are messing things up. Just pause, take deep breaths and continue. Anxiety causes shallow breathing leading to racing heartbeats. So slow things down and breathe slowly.

Anxiety will never disappear, unfortunately. Whether you are a pro or just a beginner dealing with anxiety is something that never goes away. Just learn to deal with it and use it to your benefit. That is what the greatest DJs have done over the years. They enjoy anxiety. It is their superpower. They can use it to take their game to the next level. Learn to do the same.

 

 

How can I get a promoter to listen to my mix?

There are so many things you may be tempted to do to get a promoter to listen to your mixed tapes. But the reality is some promoters are just too busy to listen to your mixed tapes. Plus they already have a network of DJs they book for their events. But you can still get their attention, and I will share some tips.

Attend their events

You must understand promoters want success just like you. The one thing they live and breathe is the number of event attendees. Hence, nothing will please them more to know you’ve invested your time and money to attend their event. It means you are promoting their business. They will reciprocate the gesture. 

Find a good time when they are not too stressed or busy. Introduce yourself; make sure you create an impression. Then you can follow up on this the next day and so on. Once there’s been a genuine connection, you can send your mixed tapes for the promoter to listen. 

This is very normal. As humans, we are interested in people who are interested in us. So if you want a promoter to be interested in your mixtapes and potentially book you, then you must show a genuine interest in them. This will also give you an idea of the event style and sound, the crowd enjoys.

Pick your set wisely.

If you are starting, you will likely be a warm-up DJ for the event. It would be hard to be the main event when you are just beginning. So bear this in mind. Every big DJ started from somewhere, so there’s nothing wrong with it. Hence, produce your mix to warm up the crowd.

Pick your name accordingly.

Ideally, you want to organise your mixes according to different events. For instance, if someone loved one of your mashups from a particular event and wanted to have a copy of your mix, it will be easy to go to the archives and grab it if it was labelled correctly. An example can be “warm-up mix – fanatics party”. This could be the name of your mix for the fanatic party. 

Do your research

This should be the first thing you do. It is that important. Know the club or event you are to play for. What is their sound? What does the audience like? Is there a particular theme to master? These are all things to know before even preparing your mixtapes. 

Imagine a scenario you spent your time preparing hardcore mixtapes only to find out later that it is an EDM club. This would be a disaster. It is essential to do your homework well beforehand. If you do your homework well, the promoter will quickly give you the gig. 

Attend their events, follow them on social media, keep up to date with their latest activities, and get feedback from them. A sure way to secure a gig is by asking for honest feedback. Don’t come off needy. Nobody likes neediness. 

Instead, ask for an honest opinion regardless of whether they give you a gig or not. Unless they are swamped, most will spend time to listen to your mixtapes and may even book you. 

Most of this is common sense. It all boils down to doing your research and creating banging mixtapes. Then, taking your opportunity when it presents itself.

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How to Make Money as a DJ Outside the Decks

It is fun to make money doing what you love. For most DJs, DJing is their passion, and they cannot imagine life without doing it. Therefore, being able to make money DJing is just icing on the cake. Most people don’t do it for the money. They do it for love. But they have managed to make a full time living doing it and even gain fame and influence.

A good example is Calvin Harris, whose real name is Adam Wiles. They started as a grocery worker but kept putting in the work, and today he is amongst the highest-paid DJs. Okay, I’m not saying you will become the next Calvin Harris, although nothing is impossible, you could end up making a full-time income from your DJing gigs. So to help you get there, here are a few ways you can make money as a DJ outside the decks.

Teach people how to become a DJ.

Many people would love to DJ, whether professionally or just for fun. If you can identify people interested, you could make some cool cash teaching people how to become a DJ. Who better to teach this than a DJ. You can promote yourself on social media as well as using word of mouth to get the word out.

Find work in the music industry

It is a route that can help you gain experience while also providing a steady income and job stability. If you’re still starting, you could apply to clubs and local radio stations as a DJ or in the office. It would be an excellent learning curve, plus you could grow and own a slot as a mixing DJ, which could land you bigger and better gigs down the line.

Get a sponsor.

If you’re able to build a brand, you can leverage this by finding a sponsor. Find a local DJ-store and ask them for sponsorship. It could be an excellent way of gaining publicity. They could also provide financial sponsorship, and in return, you could help them market their brand as well by including their name in your mixes and marketing materials.

Monetize your blog.

It can be quite a fulfilling thing running a blog — both personally and financially. Sharing your experience and tips as a DJ on your blog can attract a lot of followers as well as make you some real money if you know how to monetize your following.

There’s a lot written on how to monetize a blog or social media following. Just Google it. You will find strategies such as running Adsense, selling merchandise, getting endorsement deals, and so much more.

Be a mobile DJ.

Not everyone is cut out to be a bar or club DJ. Some people enjoy the idea of exploring and going where the action is. Mobile DJs don’t have a particular spot where they play. They play everywhere such as in weddings, birthdays, clubs and more. It is an excellent way to make some extra income.

Sell merchandise to your followers.

Okay, following from the point about monetizing your blog. You can create branded merchandise and sell it to your fans. Yes, it could be anything from t-shirts to branded headsets. You could create an e-commerce site for selling your merchandise.

There are a few ways to earn money outside the deck as a DJ. Did we miss anything? Well, go ahead and tell us what you think. Are you a DJ? How are you making extra money? Please share.

How Much Does a DJ Event Cost?

 

How Much Does A DJ Event Cost?

Unless you are a fully operational nightclub, the question of how much a DJ costs will probably leave you scratching your head. Even if you are a club owner, you might be confused by the drastic changes in quotes between DJs. That £25 DJ might have had you dancing around your office, even if your dancefloor was empty, but that £25,000 quote might have had you going from scratching your head to scratching your own records.

There must be a reason why DJ fees can vary so much?

Let us help iron out some of the details so you understand the noise behind the costs of a DJ, and even help aspiring DJs know how to market and conduct themselves in the future. Here are 6 of the most influential factors behind a DJ’s pricing:

Travel

A Dj might be able to spin records, but they certainly can’t spin the laws of physics. Traveling takes time and money. While a lot of DJs expect to go a little out their way to get booked on some occasions, if you are requesting a DJ to travel to your venue and therefore spend money on fuel, public transport, parking and even accommodation, you should be prepared to pay these additional costs. On some occasions, travel costs may come under expenses in the client’s final invoice and for that reason, these details should be negotiated beforehand to avoid shock bills.

Minimum Fees

Sme DJs and their management may have minimum fees in place which usually does not reflect their skill level, but rather their personal narcissism or greed. You know something does not add up if your entry level DJ has a £1000 ‘’call out charge”. Unfortunately, this also occurs in the celebrity world where famous people who have never DJ’ed since their drunken 30th birthday cocktail party then go on to charge venues colossal fees to simply stand behind some decks and ‘’DJ’’ for 30 minutes.

Equipment Hire

A shock to many of you, but a DJ does not come complete with a full sound system and lighting. These are additional costs that the DJ or their management may add to the overall costs. Hiring such equipment is not cheap but the costs may vary as much a as the costs of a DJ do.

Set Length

Just like you get paid in time at most other jobs i.e. hourly rates, the same applies to DJing. The length of time behind the decks will determine the overall cost of the DJ. Most sets will last anywhere in the region from 1 to 3 hours, and any time after that will be charged at an increased rate – a sort of overtime if you wish. It is essential that you iron out the DJ’s set length before you make a payment.

DJ Popularity

This may appear to be the most glaringly obvious reasons, but sometimes it can be overlooked when booking DJs without celebrity status.

Naturally, booking one of the most prestigious and popular DJs in the world is going to set you back quite a bit, and I’m sure the organisers of Tomorrowland and other world-renowned festivals have banks sweating over moving large sums of money. Yet, the popularity of a DJ without some type of online fame often goes unconsidered by those seeking a good DJ for their events.

Aspiring DJs take note! It is not uncommon for companies to stump up extra cash for a DJ with a big social media following and hype around them, while rejecting negotiations with a very good DJ with plenty of experience but no “popularity points”.  In fact, companies have been known to pay popular DJs double what their more experienced, but lesser popular, counterparts are paid.

Communication

When looking for a DJ, it is not unexpected that you want to be in contact with them to discuss your preferences and any special requests and information you would like to share with them. A full service on the DJ’s part is not just about performing a great set. It is about conducting yourself professionally and liaising with clients – or getting your agent to. We recommend avoiding DJs who are reluctant to listen to your wishes or gives the impression that they only care about the pay cheque at the end of the evening. DJs who do offer a full service usually cost more because they offer a better service; this is something that should not be sniffed at.

 

Whatever your budget, we are sure there is the right DJ out there for your event. Please remember to consider the above points when breaking down your DJ’s quote, to make sure you pick wisely!