• http://www.facebook.com/djawon Deejay Awon

    Word my Bio !

  • http://www.viatourista.com DEEPDOWNINSIDE

    Has there ever been a feature on How to get your first DJ club gig? If so I must have missed it. If not how about on of those?

    For instance there maybe others who have yet taken their skills outside of their own home. Some rookies may want to know how to get your FIRST gig without previous dj/remix/producing work.

    I have been in several local alt/punk bands and I am known for that and NOT my djaying skills. I spin house music. I have not produced anything however, I have assisted in a few major label pop recordings.

    Thats my situation so I imagine some others may be in the same boat. Having little or NO experience and wanting to get the FIRST gig.

    • http://www.facebook.com/yaxxozee Bo Yackley

      just go out to clubs nights on weekdays. the other djs and promoters will be much more open to talking to you! make friends kiss a little ass and bam you get your first gig!! oh and record a mix and pass it out to ANYONE that will take it even just random party people. make a “fan page” on facebook get all your friends and family to like it more often then not a promoter will book you if he thinks you can draw a few people in so make him think that!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/djruhl RUHL

    Ean and TT,

    Thanks for the continued hard work you put in for us!! This is great information in the life of Djing and in general. My phrase of advice for the inflated talking heads; keep it Real and don’t flatter yourself. My hardwork will pay off soon enough ;)

    A thought I had from this article/comments is that maybe instead of just using the EPK for the typical bar/club gig is to direct it towards the more creative and open market of festival organizers. That is where I would like to bet that this would be worth it’s gold.

    - Peace N’ RUHL

  • http://www.housebloggen.no HawZee

    Great article Ean. I have never even thought of this!

  • http://www.lanceblaise.com Lance Blaise

    [quote comment="40716"]
    That might be somewhat true but you have to start somewhere, and u’ll never get anywhere without having some type of reputation to build on. No one is saying “lie,” but the fact that you have enough pull for local promoters to want is a pretty big deal (at least in a big city like Chicago, where I’m from)

    So I have to disagree with your opinion, if you have opened for anyone notable, whether they requested or not, I think is a big feat and worth putting in a bio…[/quote]

    So then word it properly if you must add fluff like that to your bio.For instance “… has played on some of the same bills as …” I will tell you right now that the big name DJs don’t like seeing local guys just adding them into their bios when its not really justified. If you were on th same bill then say that, you did NOT play “with” that dj. It is a lie saying you played with him. You guys didn’t go back to back in a set or anything even close to that, so why make it sound like you did. Like I said before, the big name dj most certainly never heard of you or anything like that, you were booked as local support. There is nothing wrong with being booked as the local support, so talk about that. You were on the same flyer, thats it…

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/dj-first-touch First Touch

    Best advice of the entire article: “Don’t talk shit”

  • http://mrdj-entertainment.com Mr. DJ

    I Love This F-ing Website… I have found this series of articles about how to get booked and build a following to be really helpful and also it’s a nice escape when I’m board at work. A bit of light reading, if you will. Although I love reading about all the new equipment I would own if I won the lotto (rather when I win the lotto, hahaha) Some times its nice to relax the brain and just get some helpful advice.

    I think that while this site was originally geared toward DJ Tech Junkies, it’s nice to see the evolution toward other aspects of being a DJ from people that are actually out there working the 9 pm t0 5 am grind. I know as having been out there in the past, ten to twelve years ago (ah-hem), the whole dynamic has changed. I was lucky to get picked up by a radio show. Nothing big but it gave me mounds of work. And now that I am older and make my money in other ways I’d love to, just for the fun of it or to get out of the house every now and then, get out there and DJ a few spots. This has help me to begin to get there and actually got me some fill in work.

    I love this site guys. You take me out of the monotony of my day, you’ve brought me back to life and you even sold me an S4 cheaper and sooner than the rip off DJ shop in my town (I had it a week before them, hahaha…) Thank you.

    “Don’t stop… Can’t Stop… “ Ditty Dirty Money or what ever his name is now…

  • http://www.djpc3.com/ Dj PC3

    [quote comment="40692"]Hipnotikk,

    Lol. I’m not a hater at all. I just think people should talk about real accomplishments in their bio. I didn’t get all angry or anything, so you really don’t need to tell me to chill. I am entitled to my opinion just as you are entitled to yours.

    You clearly didn’t read anything I wrote. You even reiterated the point i was trying to make about locals with followings being booked to open for that specific reason, not based on the headliner requesting them, etc… Its really based on how one wants to look at their career, do you want to take credit for”playing with” someone when the headliner has no clue who you even are or something like that? Or do you want to focus on real accomplishments? Maybe one day you really will get asked to tour with a headliner or be requested to open for him/her… then you can really make that stand out in your bio.

    Again this is all just how you want to look at your career as a DJ, and what you want to fake and what you want to be real. I was simply giving a word of advice, you don’t need to listen to what I am saying. I believe in building ones career off of facts, and embracing thos real facts rather than trying to snowball people into believing I’m something that I’m not.

    :)[/quote]

    That might be somewhat true but you have to start somewhere, and u’ll never get anywhere without having some type of reputation to build on. No one is saying “lie,” but the fact that you have enough pull for local promoters to want is a pretty big deal (at least in a big city like Chicago, where I’m from)

    So I have to disagree with your opinion, if you have opened for anyone notable, whether they requested or not, I think is a big feat and worth putting in a bio…

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/DJ-B-Naut/139341926113278?v=app_178091127385 DJ B-Naut

    I’ve tried using an EPK before, but I never found an EPK service / generator that was slanted toward DJs. Most of the ones I notice are designed for full bands. Nor have I found one that I’m happy with using that easily encompassed all of the essential components listed in the article here.

    Does anybody have recommendations for a good EPK building website that has all of the above (including easy .PDF downloading, social network integration and media uploading) at a reasonable price? If so, please include links to those sites in your reply.

    • DJ Sparkxzz

      Id say reverbnation bro honestly

  • Sarasin

    @Lance,

    Yeah dude….but you must remember that you produce too.
    Once you have a release and you have build a lil name as a DJ, its MUCH easier to get bookings, specially abroad from where you are.

    If you are purely a DJ (part time DJ …and have a full time career), the highlight is the party\performance.
    So if I played after Mustard Pimp for instance or was with the line up with him, that will definitely be a feather in my cap. You made it onto a solid line-up. Like you say, it could only be due to you having residency or being a promoter but that’s their luck I suppose.

    If you have a consistant list of gigs you have played that also feature big names, it will definitely put you in a better light.

    I have this argument with my producer mate all the time.

    He sees it from his angle as a producer….I see it from a DJ only perspective.

    You being a released artist and DJ, do not have to rely on your DJ skills to get you gigs.

    Normal DJ’s do!

    :)

  • Rumblejazz

    “AN EPK”

    PLEASE!

  • RunningManDJ

    Great read! I had a conversation with a club owner on this exact topic not 2 hours ago. Keep this stuff coming. You’re definitely connecting with those that are trying to DJ to pay the bills (the life of a starving artist). @Lance-there are 2 local DJs; one has played early (not on the ‘bill’ by any means) and the other played WITH the headliner. Guess who had the biggest list?

  • Lo.Definition

    BTW, I am referring to large events with over 8 DJs on the roster and all of a sudden you “played” with that DJ. If there’s three names on the poster and you are one of them add away.

  • Lo.Definition

    We just booked our New Years party with the help of a hastily assembled press kit. It wasn’t anything I would send to the bigger promoters but to the bar manager (a self-admitted “seen it all” type) it was what put us over the top. He had enough confidence in us that we didn’t need to dicker about who we were and that we were qualified. We went straight into negotiating and with this helpful tool we got much more out of the BM than we had intended to, and much faster. If it looks professional, smells professional, people will think professional. This is part of the maturation of the DJ and proof that there are too many posers out there when you can displace them with a simple binder of your accomplishments.

    @Blaise, I love it. I used to write about music in our local rags and nothing pissed me off more than the people with dozens of big names on their “played with” list. Really, less is more and if a simple google search of those highlights in your career turns up your name at the absolute bottom of the flyer maybe rethink that. Trim the fat, keep those highlights relevant and don’t overhype, you’ll be signing yourself up for too much, too soon and could disappoint.

    • Tarerus Moore

      Great epk at 773-698-9330

  • http://www.lanceblaise.com Lance Blaise

    Hipnotikk,

    Lol. I’m not a hater at all. I just think people should talk about real accomplishments in their bio. I didn’t get all angry or anything, so you really don’t need to tell me to chill. I am entitled to my opinion just as you are entitled to yours.

    You clearly didn’t read anything I wrote. You even reiterated the point i was trying to make about locals with followings being booked to open for that specific reason, not based on the headliner requesting them, etc… Its really based on how one wants to look at their career, do you want to take credit for”playing with” someone when the headliner has no clue who you even are or something like that? Or do you want to focus on real accomplishments? Maybe one day you really will get asked to tour with a headliner or be requested to open for him/her… then you can really make that stand out in your bio.

    Again this is all just how you want to look at your career as a DJ, and what you want to fake and what you want to be real. I was simply giving a word of advice, you don’t need to listen to what I am saying. I believe in building ones career off of facts, and embracing thos real facts rather than trying to snowball people into believing I’m something that I’m not.

    :)

  • http://www.hoodlummusic.com DJ Hipnotikk

    @lance

    chill. being on the bill with a big name is more than a lot of people can say. usually locals that have the biggest draw are put on these shows, so it’s a testament to your position in your scene. to say it’s nothing is just being a hater.

  • Dj 3Mo

    love this site~ Re-edit my EPK to a better one and prevent the “BIO Don’ts”

  • malzfreund

    Ean, Nisus, and all:

    I appreciate your thoughts on my concern. :) Looking forward to upcoming tech articles :)

  • http://www.lanceblaise.com Lance Blaise

    Anytime I see a bio with some local kid putting who he has performed with I kind of laugh. So what if you are the local resident at a nightclub or if the promoter booked you cause your a local dj that will help promote and get the word out. Its not like you were requested by the headliner or on tour with him/her… The local opener was not performing “with” the headliner or even requested half the time… It’s sort of a false representation, unless you were really requested by the headliner or toured with the headliner as an opening act, etc…

    Rather than falsify things, I think it is important to state real accomplishments, not embellish things to make them something they are not. Focus on things that are real, and and make sure the things you really did look good and are presented well. Trust me other people look at bios and aren’t fooled by things.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

    • Anonymous

      Lance,

      While I understand why you may laugh at the local dj/producer when we put down whom we’ve performed with, but we all had to start somewhere. Making light of someone else’s achievements is ironically, no laughing matter.

      Getting a gig is not an easy task, especially when starting out. While you sit laughing at us about whatever you seem to think is funny about out achievements, keep in mind this little tidbit:

      The people who give us our breaks, we remember them. If we become known, or even famous, we remember those who gave us that first break. If you were the one who gave us that break, and the afore mentioned notoriety or fame happened, you’d have more people wanting to get their start at your spot too. Which, no matter how you slice it, means you’d make some money (notice I didn’t say “get rich”), right? Now, let’s say we present ourselves to you, and you laugh at us.

      Guess what Lance, we remember THAT too. You would gain a reputation as someone whom only books people who fall in line with what you feel is the best game plan. Guess how many clubs became well known from their obscurity?

      All of them.

      Why? Because they took risks. They took chances. They gave someone a shot. Someone gave you a shot once, right? When was the last time you talked to them? I have met quite a few people whom have the same mentality that you do. Most of them are no longer in business now too.

      There are producers and DJs in your area who want their shot. Be fair, be nice, and listen to them. Even if they don’t fit the bill. We’ll remember that you at LEAST listened to us, and weren’t condescending to us.

      ‘Nuff said.

      Sincerely,
      Brian.

    • kelsey

      I tend to only get annoyed with this if the newbie DJ is saying that he “shared the stage” with Avicii when in reality, they played at the same 10-stage festival, and Avicii was on the main stage while said DJ played on some dinky art car or something. Even if the opening DJ is not touring with the headliner, I still think that opening for someone notable is worth mentioning. We all gotta start somewhere, right?

  • Max C. Robbins

    Ean Golden, you’re my heeero

    <33333333

  • Midnightgem

    Can you recommend a company that can be hired to help produce a media kit?

  • Discotrick

    I love this site. Not only do you guys cover the tech stuff, but the other things that help make people well rounded DJs. Keep ‘em coming!!

  • http://jonebravo.com Jon E Bravo

    Awsome read!! There is a great wealth of knowledge written here and it is clearly outlined for anyone that never considered these kind of details.

    I think this is an awsome part of a personal djing how-to guide.

  • http://www.mbugmusic.net/ Rene

    I think an epk dose serve a valuable purpose. While I don’t think it will get you booked in itself having it available is removing an obstacle to getting booked.

    I think you need to be on the bookers radar in the first place through social media/playing regular gigs/facetime with promoters.

    If you have all your info in one place and they are deciding between you and another DJ(s) it making the bookers job easier for them. They can evaluate what you can bring to the gig, discuss it with other people and know there not going to have to chase you for information for their marketing materials. Basically your making it easier for them to do their job.

    Also its a considerable amount of time/effort to get it right and shows you take DJing seriously and sets you apart from the 1000′s of bedroom DJ’s.

    If anyone’s interested in a sample one you can download mine here: http://www.mbugmusic.net/files/Mbug_media_kit_may_2010.zip

    It’s a work in progress been adding for about 12 months but I think like a cv or resume for any highly competitive job its something that you can’t just create and forget but need to be continuously updating, improving and refining.

  • http://www.ROCKSTARRDJz.com RSDJ KayPlaya

    Jason Paul:
    “..these days unless you are good friends with the promotion team or someone who can bring in a lot of people nobody cares what you did in the past..”

    I would have to say I agree with that. Seems as if its a majority who you know as far as obtaining residencies and the likes. Though E.P.K. can show that you are serious about your craft,I sometimes wonder if promoters / Bar Managers even pay attention to them. Nonetheless its a good tool to have and any little bit helps. As I said earlier, I’m going to try to piece mine together real soon

  • Jason Paul

    I had a good EPK and many didn’t even bother with it. Kinda just said send a mix over, if we like it maybe you get a shot. I am going to try the EPK route again and see if it works out. I’ve been a DJ since 1995 and these days unless you are good friends with the promotion team or someone who can bring in a lot of people nobody cares what you did in the past..

  • Nisus

    I think the “tech” and the “tools” are each only one third of what we do on this site, and the “Djing” part has a lot of different faces. I think Djing as an action is community based. You can have all the techtools in the world and if no one is there to hear you then you’ve missed the point of Djing. I want to play good music, meet amazing people and travel for a living. Djing lets me do that as well as pay rent and have to time to produce music. Overall it’s a win. If this article helps anyone stop doing jobs they don’t love and gives them a tool to invest in and really work hard for themselves, then it’s a success. Equipment doesn’t get you gigs, people do. Learning how to work with people is a techtool.

    @Sarasin great question, thats why its important to have your own web site. You can copy those interviews to your server and link to them indefinitely. A PDF is important to have but I choose to link because its immediate and people are reluctant to download anything. Instead, use a well labeled link.

  • LaQuenepa

    This is why I love this website so much and visit it everyday. I was recently let go by the company and trying to get something to earn a few $. I think DJing is a way to know people and tell them which other things Im good at. I used to be a Server admin so the tech part of the business is covered. Maybe telling the club owner or some other guest what I do for a dayjob may help me land another job elsewhere.

    You wont sell what you dont advertise.

    • Shivacult

      I like that line, “You wont sell what you dont advertise”.
      Things stay underground that way!

  • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

    its important to mention that I am one of the djs that has totally ignored EPK’s and business development for years- instead focusing on doing artistically interesting things and playing great music. Well, to be totally honest, they didn’t get me nearly as far as I would have liked. The reality is that you have to do both to achieve notable success. Personally, I will be using some advice from this column and building my own EPK really soon since I plan on hitting the road again this next year.

    • Tarerus Moore

      Great epk at 773-698-9339

  • http://www.djtechtools.com Ean Golden

    [quote comment="40644"]I perceive a shift in the focus of DJTT towards entries that discuss “what do you need to do so that DJing pays the bills?”
    [/quote]

    I agree that we have been writing less “tech” articles lately. There is a simple reason why- I have been busy building Dj TechTools and wearing a lot of hats and had less time to write those types of articles. We are having a hard time finding other writers that can fill those shoes, but I am doing my best to get us back on track with a nice blend of tech, reviews, performance and business.

  • Trump

    [quote comment="40656"] I need all the advice I can get to displace those sloppy music mushers from their cushy booths. [/quote]

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!

  • DJ BrainRush

    Aside from gear reviews, controllerism techniques, and performance tips, I think that the pragmatic advice on this website is about as important as the various remixes of Aerodynamic and arcade buttons. I’m probably not like most DJ’s.

    Malzfreund, my malty friend, I am bedroom and college radio DJ, I got into DJ-ing more because I was sick of the sonic messes I was hearing at most of the bars and radio stations I was going to or tuning into. I felt that I was doing cleaner mixes with an old demo of deck-a-dance than a lot of what I heard. I could beat match, phase match, and phrase match (even though I didn’t know what the latter two were called) long before I first visited this site. It’s articles like this that pushed me to try and pursue this whole thing as a profession, and while learning about how to build a proper EPK may be considered juvenile to you, I need all the advice I can get to displace those sloppy music mushers from their cushy booths.

    Articles like this create competition between the lazy and the hungry. Hunger can be satiated, laziness cannot. To contributors such as Nisus and the like, I say keep it up, good work, and look for my EPK sometime soon!! :P

  • http://www.alectrodesign.com DaRippa

    @malzfreund,

    Although I agree that DJTechTools articles may sometimes stray away from specifically covering DJ relavent technology, this article does expound upon “modern technologies (and how to master them) in order to become a better, more creative DJ.” In its explanation and commentary on the use of technology in an effort to promote DJ talent, this article is completely in line with DJTT’s theme of merging technology and DJing.

    The article is relevant to DJs because, as the article states, creating and utilizing a good Electronic Press Kit “may be as important as mixing tracks together.” The article is also relevant to technology in that the topic is ELECTRONIC Press Kits: although not a piece of hardware or software, EPKs are technology nonetheless.

    “How to Get Booked- Build A EPK” is an informative article which looks beyond the obvious usage of new technology to further a DJ performance. Marketing is key in progressing one’s DJing career, therefore advancing one’s performance as expectations grow.

  • http://www.RSDJz.com RSDJ KayPlaya

    Definitely a good read. I have been hesitant myself in having an E.P.K. created but have realized the importance of having one. Will be spending some time in the very near future on making sure I have one to send out when necessary. Bio and the visual presentation of it is what has prevented me from completing it thus far

    • Tarerus Moore

      Great epks at 773-698-9330

  • Morpse

    This is good advice for most any field that requires PR, not just DJing. Good Work.

  • http://www.djedubbs.com Edubbs

    Great article. I have been reticent in creating mind and Im sure Ive missed opportunities because of that. I will get this done right away.

    Thank you so much for this article. I think serious dj’s will understand the importance of this article. Its important to keep in mind, whenever you think that nobody is paying attention or checking you out, they are.

  • Chris Jennings

    Great bit of advise.

    @Sarasin You never know when that interview will be archived and not available any longer. A readable screen capture and a link to the original would probably be the best bet, but you would need to keep up to date on the original to make sure it’s still active.

  • Sarasin

    Question….

    Your interviews etc. Can they just be links to these things on the net? Or should it be all included, like a PDF of it….or ?

    In your experience that is….which shoudl you rather go for?

    Personally, I think it should all be there, with the person looking at it, to have to go out on the net to find further info.

  • malzfreund

    I perceive a shift in the focus of DJTT towards entries that discuss “what do you need to do so that DJing pays the bills?”

    I don’t take offense specifically with Nisus’ article. It’s just that, imo, DJTT used to be about the adoption of modern technologies (and how to master them) in order to become a better, more creative DJ. Of course, there are still good entries on things such as technology and digital DJing techniques. My only concern is that they are receiving less attention than they used to. Also, I think you guys have less expertise when it comes to issues unrelated to tech tools and, generally speaking, entries on such issues are of lower quality. /rant

  • sine143

    DJTT is my life coach