My advice to all fellow DJ’s is to join at least 2 record pools. These are websites that usually offer a monthly subscription and upload not only the most current music available, but music that dates to WAY BACK. A lot of times you will even come across songs that have not become popular yet on the radio and be so far ahead of the curve you have to wait before you play it in order for people to know it. It is so important to reinvent yourself at every one of your shows. Currently right now anywhere you go you, you will hear for the most part the same exact music just mixed differently. Just like when I teach in the classroom, differentiation is extremely important because you have students with different abilities, The same thing applies in the Dj booth. Stop focusing on playing the same songs that are on every radio station. Have different folders for different genres in different eras! Include all people that are at your shows. If the center of the dance floor is rocking, take a look at the outskirts and try to grab their attention as well. This will transition me into my next blog which speaks about reading the crowd!
In my opinion there are many different tiers of working djs… in this blog I will review them all with you. I am going to follow the outline from the top down so we can all at least agree on the starting point. At the top we have the big boys…Hardwell, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Alesso, Aoki, etc… this cannot be argued. All of the names listed are producers as well that have tracks on their own record labels. They can provide you with an entire set of music that was strictly produced by themselves. Often times they will remix each other’s music as well. Underneath these DJs is anyone that has a tremendous following and gets gigs CONSISTENTLY! They may hold residencies at some of the biggest clubs in the world. I am located in NYC so the names of these clubs would be Marquee, Lavo, TAO, Webster Hall, etc… when I say a large following I mean hundreds of thousands of views, plays, likes or follows. All gained generically of course! (This means NOT purchased) The next tier would consist of the radio DJs. The name speaks for itself but generally these are the disc jockeys whose names and voices we are all familiar with because they are on our favorite FM stations. You can usually hear them promoting where they will be that weekend and because of the reach of the major stations, they are on a platform that is much larger than any word of mouth or Facebook ad can compete with. Moving onto the next tier you will find the Dj that rolls with a crew or group of promoters. This is the unlikeable crowd :)… The reason being you are only good to them if you show up to their events. These people have burned many bridges over the years and more or less do not value friendships unless you are out consistently supporting them. Many times they think their 💩 don’t stink! Often times a promoter or even a Dj Will try and cut a deal with you giving you an opening or closing time slot and a guest list at the door where you have to achieve a certain number of people. And let’s face it, if that’s your thing, cool…I understand in order to get what you want you must bring value, but I’m not the type of guy to ask people come out to hear me play so it’s just not my thing. Underneath this level of DJ is where I would classify myself. Many of my listeners understand that I am a full-time teacher and djing will always take a backseat to that. However, people in my tier often times have more talent than the guy who can open from 10-11PM and bring 20 of their 25 year old friends that still live at home with their parents with no bills. I honestly love the tier that I’m at right now. I hold a residency at a great bar and at the same time I am creating mashups and bootlegs for my own sets. Other djs on this tier may Dj other types of events including but not limited to weddings, communions, sweet 16s, engagement parties, etc… there is a ton of money to be made on this tier and it’s all about word of mouth and marketing. The second tier from the bottom is what I referred to as the hustler tier. These are DJs that are looking for work and believe they have the ability to perform but cannot get booked. This tier can be extremely frustrating and I speak from experience. Most DJs spend a certain period of time in this tier. From here I will go to the lowest tier of all which is the bedroom Dj. This Dj has no gigs, doesn’t play in front of anyone but has some equipment that they love to mess around on. Very important to note that every single DJ no matter what level you are on starts here. All of the different levels or tiers as I have referred to them as are achieveable. This entire profession is a game and you just have to know how to play it. To achieve the top-tier you can actually go to a ghost producer for a track (Someone that will produce a song for you in exchange for $) and if your parents have enough money in the bank, purchase your track over and over again until you get on the top 10 on beatport.com – this will get you noticed and you can skip over all the other tiers and than become famous for throwing cakes into people’s faces (Aoki) No matter how far it is you aspire to go, the passion of music should always drive you. The one thing I warn you of is that this profession is addicting! It’s just something about moving the crowds and hearing the roars over either a transition or a remix that cannot be explained…If you are a Dj, you know what I’m talking about…If you’re not, don’t say I didn’t warn you! Until next time! -Dj Canale
A lot of people ask me whether it is a listener or fellow Dj or producer where I get my new music and information on upcoming tracks from. The truth is that there are many places on the Internet in today’s day and age where you can find this information out but for me I have a few select websites that I visit on a daily basis. At the top of that list is www.dancingastronaut.com – this website has information on new music, news, photos and even upcoming DJ lineups. They have a specialized Area dedicated to features and it is here that you can find whatever is trending in the music world. If interested you can also follow them on the major social media platforms!
Many of the podcasts I have created, if not all, have included the most current music. I am going to be changing it up a bit with the next few. This is an effort to reach out to a different audience, while educating my current listeners about my music roots. Enjoy!
The schedule for the next six months is going to be very busy. Hard work is paying off! Weekends will be filled with a Thursday night residency at the Beach House located in Long Beach, NY which will begin Memorial Day Weekend. A Friday night residency will be at the other Beach House location in Rockville Center, NY and that has already started. I will be at both venues until the last weekend of August. I will also have random dates mixed in on Saturdays throughout the summer at the Long Beach location. I am extremely happy for this opportunity and very grateful towards the owner Sean. He has given me many opportunities and I will continue to provide a quality service to him, his staff and most importantly his patrons! Summer 2017 is going to be a fun one! Make sure you come down and check out the atmosphere! Hope to see you on the dance floor! -Dj Canale