We are a company based in Ibiza, and is probably useless to say that here everyone is a dj. Djs of every age and every style comes here from all around the world, everyone hoping to become the number one, but most of them finish to do any kind of other work to survive: there are djs working as employees, bakers, construction workers, waiters and anything else. Many of them gave up on their career, and for many it will never take off.
Being in contact with many important djs, and many new talents that really had something to say with their music, we found out that both newcomers or well established artists have one element in common: all of them have their own unique style.
But what does this mean?
No, you don’t need some new shoes, neither a jacket or a t-shirt: what you really need is some hard work to distinguish yourself in a world of wannabe djs, multiplying themselves like gremlins in the water day by day.
So there is actually no choice: be unique or stay home.
In this article we are going to list 10 ideas which you can start from to create your unique dj style.
1. Be a real dj
Ok, most of the people nowadays plays with Traktor, but have you ever thought that this is already something that makes the difference?. ALl the big djs, with the advent of Pioneer 2000 with USB and WiFi, are leaving home their MacBook to go around only with some USB key.
Is not a matter of gear, is a matter of focusing on what’s really important: the music itself. Playing with some cdjs for the crowd is a totally different experience, in fact whoever you may notice playing with a laptop, even our beloved Richie, seems always like a boring nerd focusing on reading his last emails about the electricity bill.
Start spending more time picking your tracks, and start mastering the art of beat matching: you’ll already be a gem in a desert of Traktor users.
Beatmatching and discovering all the basic techniques of djing will open the doors to more complex performance, and set you free from any technological boundary when you can’t rely on your mac.
2. Break your set
Every good dj sometimes breaks the set with some unexpected tracks, like Carl Cox playing a track from Linkin Park at Tomorrowland in 2013, because is the unexpected that makes you appear alive!
Use some vocal samples, prepare a bunch of original audio samples to launch during the break of the tracks, or mix together different styles like reggae and techno. There are djs throwing cakes on the faces of the people to do something original, but you don’t need to be such a clown to be a good djs.
Just find a special card to play when you need to give it an extra gear to the party.
3. Mix the techniques, the gear and the instruments
When talking about djing, most of the people think only about cdjs or Tractor, but for a professional this would be totally limiting.
If you are passionated about music and djing, probably you should spend your love for the rhythm byt practicing some other instruments which you can bring to your sets.
There are djs playing live or electronic drums, other have keyboards, harps, effect devices like the Kaosspad or use tracks in conjunction with loops or live producing in Ableton, Machine or other DAW.
After that you are skilled as dj, putting tracks may not be enough, so remember to find out something cool that may complete your session.
Nowadays there are plenty of electronic instruments which are totally analogic and can be your perfect wingman for your show.
4. Don’t be “Dj FX”
The more the technology evolves, the more effects becomes standard and boring. If a couple of big names uses the same effect twice in a week, the week later it will be already the “must use” effect for all the noobs around.
You will never be cool and original by doing the same things other people do, so just don’t.
Until you are not ready to understand the real “effect” of your chosen “effects”, focus on basic techniques, equalizing, and making a cool playlist. Don’t be simply another “Dj Fx”.
Every effect is simply a button on a product everybody can buy, but the way you blend the sounds, the wisdom of driving the energy of the crowd, the ability to keep the party going and impressing people who already saw anything, this is the real impressing skill, not setting a beat repeat or delay on a S4 or X1.
5. Be consistent
This advise is not relative to the djing act, but instead is about your entire artistic activity: if you want to make music, you need to be heard by people who likes your sound, and these are people hungry of new stuff every month, every week and every hour.
Being consistent is the only way to build a solid base where you really reach the people who loves what you do, and offers to your fans a constant entertainment channel where they find what they want.
How to be consistent?
- Make podcasts every week
- Cultivate a good Soundcloud archive, post often your stuff
- Don’t deviate too much from a style: find which music you like and stay there
- Send often updates about new things coming out
- Be consistent with your logo and style so your crowd can recognize you
- Support artists similar to you and repost their music
- Keep your crowd engaged
- Create a cool music website where you can push all your new music:
people will love it much more than a simple Beatport or Soundcloud page, as they have all your new sound in a single place
- Make lot of collaborations and make music often
- Instead of making 1 set a day for a week, gather your contents and release them on a scheduled basis
- Cover creativity downs by reposting old contents
You may asw: “In which way this makes me unique”?
It does, because is full of “Sunday” deejays who takes this profession like a hobby, and even if they may have followers, these fans are very unsatisfied because they don’t get enough contents, they go in the soundcloud and Mixcloud of these djs and there is the same podcast out since months.
Is full of “amateurs” out there, but only professional djs posts contents on regular basis, because they know that is what brings them the fame! Be unique, and even if you don’t get 150K a gig, act like a pro and please your listeners with fresh stuff every day!
Making the difference here means making it in the real life!
Be unique, show everybody that you are serious about your intention, and focus on true skills instead of buying new gear.
Remember that your fans are your most precious value, and try to give them new content and understand what they like.
Work on building a 360 degrees unicity, and focus on professionalism and technique instead of the modern clown-circus trend of djs wearing masks and throwing cakes.
Build something that will never pass unnoticed, build a performance that last in the memory of the dancefloor!