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  • Drew Gavin Bixel

    Excellent article mate, good speculation

  • Ibzzzz

    Hi i am looking for a music production name for myself i came up with flashback it kind of relates to me because i get them sometimes but i am not sure if this name is taken if it is i can add a extra word but what could that extra word be

  • bob

    DJ Matterhorn

  • capone

    how about “two balls” ?

  • Anonymous

    Up until a few months ago, I thought Skrillex was actually “Skill Rex”, which IMHO is much better.

  • Austen Smart

    Thanks Zach, you’re article came to us at a perfect time. We DJ/Produce under the name of Brodanse which we picked at the time because it was: two syllables and was connected to us and what we do (brothers who make house music)…

    However as we have grown bigger and hear our name mentioned more and more, there seems to be a lot of mispronunciation… it should be Brodance (said as one, O is almost silent, not like Row, Tow’… “Brdance”

    We considered changing our name, we considered recently to put a space in between the words, but if we do that we think we could lose a lot of traction e.g. all the music we have released under that name, all of our Facebook likes, Soundcloud etc etc…

    Soooo I think your article affirms that we stick to it. BUT I would like your opinion!!!

    Thanks for the article, really good!

  • david

    some kids in the neighboring locales know me from rumor as ‘the legendary Dishwasher Dave”.

    is Dishwasher Dave too humble?

    ABRAZADERAS is my other option. too saffron?

    DJ 4play. DJ hatfoot. Dj Tunebag. DJ loofah. DJ Ketchup. DJ Kcuf Nips (Spin Fu__) Dj Hairtomb. Papa Hop. Dj Flypod. Phlyphoan. Bamborgeeny. The Roants Of Elyppides.

    Texsoy. might use that. DJ Sex Toy is too up front and guys couldn’t justify coming to see me. plus texas. threat of litigitation from soy protein processors such as Tex Soy.

    sex market. what lets women know they can confidently imagine that some ridiculous caricature of a male is engaging with them in a way that satisfies the desires that they have been conditioned towards seeking? “oh he’s the DJ, hormone, i’m just like the girls on TV!”

  • Airrik

    Well my dj name came about from a play on spelling. My name is Erik and I go by Airrik which was a combination of air from being an on air radio personality with my name. Names can be a bit important. I always run into the problem that mine is hard to spell and to talk about so when I’m performing I go by Airrik Live. But in the end the music is most important. But from an advertising perspective the name does matter.

  • Krish

    i go by KRISHENDO , short version : Krish
    im a Producer/Dj
    what u think peeps ?

  • Luke

    Hrrr, Will my name “Lukas Kasper” be okay as a DJ / Producer? :<
    I've been thinking ages of a name now…

  • Anonymous

    I actually have been thinking a lot about my DJ title, “Spontaneous Mixx,” which I have been using for 10 years. Descriptively, it does exactly what it supposed to do, adjective verb combo that perfectly describes my style, but it’s a lot of damn syllables… and a lot of people misspell it. This makes me feel like it has a side effect of making people feel stupid, and I’m not sure WHAT kind of “memorable” score it gets being that long.

  • Colton

    I REALLY love this logo. One of my buddies who’s been producing for a while, but recently got into producing electronic. http://www.mrbootsauce.com

  • Synthagmatics

    Rob Swire (Pendulum/ Knife Party) said we should change our name “Synthagmatics”to something else. Do you agree? if so, why should we change it?

    • kaboozleheimer

      i agree, that name is a mouthful and a half. it’s counterintuitive to read and the “ag” part is a bit unattractive. also, before you ask, kaboozleheimer is not my production moniker.

  • Will Divide

    I always appreciate an insightful take on things. Tutorials are great, but sometimes its just nice to take a good look around.

  • Anonymous

    Calgar C :D i wonder how memorable that name is lol, agian great article

  • Bob

    God I hate to be a negative commenter but sorry, the name just does not matter. Your name could be “Wackoff” or “Shlong” or “Eye Suck” and you could make it to the top. MUSIC is the ONLY thing that matters. This article is just silly. You could have an AMAZING name and still have bad production. Then you will go nowhere.

  • DJ Daddy Ball

    So is Daddy Ball the best theoretical DJ name for infants into house music? I’ve been trying to pull a few from that demographic for a while now. But seriously, really educating article Mad Zach! Mad Ups!

  • ryvm dillaz

    Ryvm dillaz!

    look us up on soundcloud

  • dion mavath

    Awesome analysis, never thought of it

  • Anonymous

    One thing is for certain – If you want to be a trance dj park a ‘van’ in between your first and last names. If you like techno make sure it sounds German whatever you do.

  • InPhamousOne

    very interesting, i have fallen into this without trying i had changed my performance name about 5-6 years ago, dropped the “dj” and ended up a 2 syllable word, it was taken better by the public/promotion companies

  • asdf

    Diplo’s childhood favorite dinosaur was the diplodocus

  • Raphael

    I came up with the name Reyification, since my username was always something with Rey, and my name starts with an ‘R’.
    So far I’ve gotten good feedback and I’m also the only one in the world with that name. I googled it

  • Cosmos

    Totally needed this to boost my confidence about the recording name I use. Thanks man!

  • Gregg Ashley

    No offence mate, but personally I think this article is talking utter shit. There are a few fair generalisations, i.e. having a easily memorable name (top priority), or self contradictory double barrel names that work (but these are really more of current a fashion/trend than a “successful” naming formula).

    Different styles of music/genres have different naming conventions that are quite blatant when you look at them, whilst at the same time there are the odd exceptions that break these patterns. For instance, a lot of indie bands would be called “The” Something, e.g. The Killers, The Kooks, etc etc, the majority of House/Trance DJs would just have a normal regular name i.e Pete Tong, Armin van Buuren, Jamie Jones, David Squillace. But again theres numerous exceptions. It used to be cool to have the prefix “DJ” in front of your name, but now if you do that most people just think you’re a douche

    Using your theory, personally I think the names that roll of the tongue quite nicely are two part consisting of 3 syllables in total (one word with one syllable, the other with two… doesnt matter which way round). E.g. Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Gregg Ashley (haha). But then again thats bollocks, think of Luciano, Richie Hawtin, Marco Carola. Or how about Magda, even?!

    The truth is, there really is no formula to a name other than being unique and original, perhaps hold some relevance to you in some way or another, and not be cheesey. (Plus you can either follow naming trends or break them, both work)

    But what REALLY makes a name cool, catchy and memorable, is the Musician / DJ / Producer behind it. They need to be extremely talented at what they do, and if they are, they can have the shittest name in the world, and it would still be cool and memorable. Whereas if your a shit dj/producer or whatever, having the “best” name in the world is… well, frankly a complete waste of a good name.

    Its all part of marketing and branding (and building a reputation), and that is done by simply being seriously fucking good at what you do, and creating a strong positive image of yourself in peoples minds.(When I think of Deadmau5 I dont think of a dead mouse, I think of a bald recluse musical genius, which is exactly what he is) And the only way to achieve THAT, is through constant hard work and effort day in day out. In this cut throat industry there are no shortcuts, and the (all too common) expectation of “instant gratification” will get you nowhere. Nothing comes easy. (also remember you are never as good as you think/claim you are).

    The only way you’ll even have a remote chance of making it is by constantly striving to be the best at your trade (in this case, music). How good you are, defines how good your name is, not the other way round

    So keep your eye on the ball and get back to work! ;)

    PS Zach, A-Trak simply named himself after the old digital tape format called A-Trak, nothing to do with playing the “A” tracks ;)

  • Alexandre De Joncaire Narten

    Finally and article to help me with my struggle for finding a cool and catchy name. Cheers Buddy!

  • http://twitter.com/awesomerdotcom Awesomer

    Surprised that this article doesn’t mention availability of the .com domain for whatever you decide to call yourself…

    !!! AWESOMER !!!
    (who owns awesomer.com … :D)

  • Angelo Atreyu

    I used to be Dj Swagga… changed after because it wasn’t very open to other styles of music (when I played Dubstep or DnB worked perfectly but for a house set? no sir) then I started with “Loserkid” but with almost 25 keep calling myself Kid wasn’t a good idea… so I finally changed to FuckZilla… I’m happy with it, people do remember and it’s working great with what I’m playing.

  • DJ CLeaR

    Mine totally fails on the two word or even two syllable level. I made it from my full name. Christopher Lee Riley = C.L.R. = DJ CLeaR. Unfortunately there are a few other DJ Clears but one is a huge award winning scratch DJ, and the other more on the Hip Hop level in New York, and i spin nothing but Techno (what EDM used to be called before corporate America rebranded it EDM, remember the Electronica fad in the 90s, so silly). I spin many genres, Electro House, Minimal, Industrial, 80s, new wave, punk, basically whatever will get the crowd moving. So my name needed to be able to cover many genres. Anyways. Not sure I want to change my name because of all the branding changes that would come with it, website, business cards etc.
    Great article ZACH. You bring solid content to this site. Plan to share this with our Verbal and Branding team at the design agency I work at.

    http://www.dj-clear.com
    Soundcloud link to free sets.
    https://soundcloud.com/djclear-1

  • Frank Lemon

    Sorry guys, but now I have to ask:

    What do you associate with FRANK LEMON?

    • Anonymous

      House Music.

    • http://twitter.com/awesomerdotcom Awesomer

      Having a Frank Lemon party?

    • DJ Ball Touch

      A lesbian who tells it like it is?

    • DJ Scrotus Operandi

      Annoying Orange’s sensible sister?

  • Metaphysica

    I used to go by MissRed but got tired of being misunderstood so changed it to Metaphysica. I play funky / dark / progressive / psy breaks usually with some sort of message relating to cosmic consciousness and that sort of thing.
    Any thoughts?

  • MashMuzik

    i think i did pretty good

  • http://www.szfresh.org/ Jesse Warren

    I’ve been ‘DJ Quest’ for years. Generic? Maybe. So I’ve mixed it up with ‘A DJ Called Quest’ on and off for the past year. Thoughts, anyone?

    • Maebyn La Fey

      “DJ Quest ” is used by at least 2 other famous DJ’s . Might want to abandon that one. Copy right issues. You can be sued. “Plastician” used to be Plastic Man. But had to got to court over copy rights from Richie Hawton.(Although I thought that was unfair – because they both stold it from a comic book.)

      • http://www.szfresh.org/ Jesse Warren

        At least 2 famous DJ Quests? What world are you living in?? Questlove doesn’t count. Hows my rename?

  • jnsy

    Pretty sure A Trak is a play on the 1970′s tape machine called the “8 track” isn’t it?

    • sandor

      yes, it is also a play on the fact that A-Trak started djing by scratching vinyls and still typically playes vinyls which come with an A and B side, back when vinyls were the most common medium for listening to music, the A side generally contained the “hits” or singles on a record, while the B side usually contained experimental tracks or lesser known tracks, the name A-Track conveys the sense that he plays bangers, which is ironic due do a-track’s unique and often experiental style

  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.c.ybarra Jay CrippNipp Ybarra

    boys noize so good they put it twice

  • J

    i love the article, but hasn’t this been posted allready like a year ago?

  • nayami
  • Phil Bass

    My real name is Phil Bass….
    Do you think i could keep it as my dj name?

    • Bletch

      With such a great name, you don’t even have to be a DJ.

    • InPhamousOne

      Honestly, Bass Phil works better for me, Cheers

    • Fishy Biz

      Fill Bass

  • Dimo P

    Why my belief is that if you make good music…the rest is b@$#? :) no offense…but if u listen to something good, the name comes second…

    • https://soundcloud.com/stream Brain distortion

      surely it does… However there are plenty of good music producers out there et zach is just sayin that to get known by msses (and not just a few folks), pickin a good name is always a good start

  • DJ_ForcedHand

    I’ve been using (and liking) “Forced Hand” as a moniker for a while as it describes the darker, electronic, heavy-hitting, dance music I like to play. It has both the iconic image of the phrase “to be left no choice (by other peoples’ decisions) but to take this (often very strong) response” and the second one being one of the most powerful psychological symbols, the human hand. I use the hand print (which looks like it’s wet with some fluid) as my symbol (which also has it’s own symbolism). I’m interested in having my DJ name critiqued (if people are open to it).

    I get a little chided from my DJ friends with “Forced Hand Job” because the name seems to sound a little strong (I know it’s all in fun) but if that’s the best they can come up with, I think I chose well. What do you think?

    • David De Garie-Lamanque

      that’s a cool moniker! quite heavy hitting

      • DJ_ForcedHand

        One bonus item about the “Open Hand” logo I use, is that it works well as an animated symbol (when used as a visualizer on a video screen… I’ll do my best to describe this). The hand “drums to the beat” of the music when I synch the visualizer to the music, it quickly scales up (for the downbeat) and returns to its normal size when off the beat.

        I’d suggest a simple logo you can use on a visualizer that looks good when throbbing to a beat. (Yes, I learned this from playing the old Harmonix game “Frequency” on the PS2… I was a Beta Tester for this game, BTW).

        • David De Garie-Lamanque

          cool tip!

    • DR. Abra James Kadabra

      Forced Hand is an Amazing name. Very mature with a hint of double entendre of the actual meaning of that term, mixed with your hands spinning as a DJ. Wish I’d thought of it. Only suggestion I’d lend to you (only cus you asked) was to think about dropping the DJ and just going with Forced Hand. The DJ kinda cheapens it or robs it its mystery (despite the fact thats what you do). I’d say if not now then when or if you can get your brand to where you want it to be, definitely think about going with just Forced Hand. Minus the DJ in it, it sounds like a movement, like you’ve got an entire army behind you…… Just my opinion. Cheers!

      • DR. Abra James Kadabra

        *Of its mystery

    • DJ Dick Turnip

      Good name. It does sound a bit like the excuse of a pervert tho

  • Gino Jocko

    my DJ name is SocksNFlops, i like it cus it promotes a trend, is fun, and kind of encaptures the way i play my sets which is with high energy…..honestly would like some feedback from u guys on how u like it tho, figurin this is a good opportunity for it haha

  • Jfox

    Check out Acid Smoker

    It’s not what the name suggests.

    This guy should think about a name change

    http://m.soundcloud.com/acid-smoker

  • David De Garie-Lamanque

    My artist name is Apoplexia…does that sound too cerebral? The initial intent when choosing the name is the effect i want my music to have on people’s brain….like a brutal stroke. I think it works considering the pretty hard strain of DnB i like to make, but what do you folks think?

    • DJ_ForcedHand

      I think it just might be a little cerebral. Just try saying the name when you’re (really) drunk… or listen to someone trying to pronounce it when they’re (really) drunk. I’m convinced words like this were designed to be impossible to say correctly when drunk. I think you’ll find people will shorten the name and that means it’s awkward. I think my moniker is borderline “too complicated” (people might call me “for sand”) but drunk women will use a hand gesture to push at someone to make the point and it’s the involvement of a body gesture that brings me back from being “too obtuse”… barely. Most people don’t know what Apoplexia means (Sudden impairment of neurological function, especially that resulting from a cerebral hemorrhage)… and it’s kinda’ hard to say while drunk… and the word doesn’t have a natural play to it. This is one of those times where what you say has to be tempered with how you say it.

      I think you’re looking for something more like “Drain Brain” which plays off both the fact that they rhyme, they mean the same thing when their order is reversed and it has a natural melody to it. When someone gets drunk and tries to say it (wrong) it becomes “Brain Drain” and that’s exactly what you want people to recognize.

      • David De Garie-Lamanque

        well a few years ago (i think it was in 2009 or 2010) when i started listening to dubstep (back when Skream and Benga were on top) i noticed a lot of producers indeed had short snappy names. I then thought it might be a good idea to shorten the name to Plexia, which fitting within this 2 syllable paradigm..

        • DJ_ForcedHand

          I like Plexia better. Some of the awesome things about coming up with your own moniker is that it doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to follow the rules of grammar and it certainly doesn’t have to do anything that catch someone’s fancy and make them remember you… OK, there are probably some things you can’t do, but those might fall under “Decency Laws.”

          • David De Garie-Lamanque

            yeah….i wouldn’t really listen to an artist named “snot nazi” for instance…:P but once you eliminate decency the options range far and wide… take Excision for example. That’s probably the stupidest and most offensive artist moniker i’ve ever seen

  • DJ Master Baitor

    Awesome read! Perfectly suited for the target audience here – unemployed wanna be DJs! Let’s pick a good name, let’s make this happen, you and 1M others here… WTF seriously. Get a life.

    • http://www.facebook.com/burnsrs Rob Burns

      and I’m guessing you’re one of the “real” DJs haha funny I’ve never heard of You.

      • http://www.facebook.com/burnsrs Rob Burns

        I for one believe people have the right to try to be whatever they want to be. If they want to make up a cool name and try to learn to be DJs or producers or whatever and it makes them happy go for it. I will never understand bitter people who hate people just for pursuing what makes them happy.

        • Aqualad James

          Right On…. Right On….

    • David De Garie-Lamanque

      and i’m guessing you’re just a troll wth way too much time on your hands playing games all day long? then stick to mastering your Joystick like a fisherman masters bait :P

    • InPhamousOne

      ^ wow what insight, glad u shared, now ill just walk my ass into oncoming traffic and end it all, and to think most of us just do it for the love of it, not the fame and possible other things that come along, not one person i have ever met said; Hey how bout i be a dj and i can be rich and famous but i suck so much ass ill never make it, and then Paris Hilton and Pauly D got gigs…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/craig.dollars Craig F. Dollars

    Future Dollar$, pleased to meet you

  • Double Dash

    Diplo was named after his favorite dinosaur

  • Marcus Lampley

    My name is Marcus but as a child i always had a lisp so it would aslways sound like Marcush which those around me whether they be my friends or followers on social media has always known me as marcush. “DJ Marcush”
    Thumbs up or down?

    • NinoSamurai

      It doesn’t sound really appealing.

    • Pill Collins

      Your original name is cool

  • DistortionBass

    What visual does the Name Distortion Bass give off? I’m trying to figure out a dubstep/trap name and this is what ive been going by for a lil while

    • Pill Collins

      lil while is better

  • VL

    Purple Monkey Dishwasher

  • Pierre de la Mer

    Totally against the theory presented I just us a nickname friends use for me for ages. And it rhymes too: Pierre de la Mer (my Dutch name Frenched-up).

    • Mad Zach

      thats a great name for other reasons, as I said, this is only one angle, there are loads of other great names that do not fit this pattern

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.mojstrovich Eric Alan Mojstrovich

    Love your articles, they are relevant and constructed exceptionally well. What do you think about the name “Mannequin & Cydonia”? > We’re in the midst of producing our artist page but we capture a specific theme. Here are some photos, however more photos will on the way once our costumes and a photographer is in place. http://www.facebook.com/mannequinmuzic

    • DJ Sack Grasper

      Nah man it’s too gay/complicated

  • http://twitter.com/djanski Anski

    I wonder how many DJs are considering changing their name after this.

    • Aqualad James

      I’ve Changed My Name 5 Times, Boom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/muzaffarmusa Muzaffar Musa

    well… I don’t know why names are all that important. Can’t you just let the music do the talking instead? Honestly though, I think my first DJ name was quite crappy. (its “DJ Muzaffar” if anyone wants to know) But after changing it to “Madoka?” (or MadokaHime) it seems more fun that way. =)

  • B.Boot’

    Good article ! Really enjoyed it ! I already have a DJ name but it’s interesting !

    My friends have found B.Boot’
    Because i made bootleg and i wrote “(Thibault B. Bootleg) So i kept B.Boot’ haha For me it sounds good :)

    • B.Boot’

      Great Name or not ? What do you think ? :)

      Thanks !

    • Bob

      It’s a great name but it DOESNT MATTER. STOP wasting your time thinking about ur name. Open up your DAW and produce. This article is retarded.

  • Guest

    Pretty sure Diplo is based on his favourite dinosaur the Diplodocus. It’s in an interview somewhere… not dip-low. But no matter.

  • crowDSource

    Thanks Mad Zach for the article! feeling better about my recent two syllable two word name choice now :)

  • DJ Osok

    Dont forget acronyms

    O.S.O.K.

    One Short Overweight Kid

    • Anonymous

      F.K.O.A.D.

      Fat Kid On A Donut

      • DJ Osok

        F.K.W.M.E.

        Fat Kids With Massive Egos

  • Woody Aki

    Dunno about you lot, but Skrillex to me is redolent of some ointment used to heal rashes or STD’s…

    • LoFi

      ^ 100% ace reply !

  • Von Royale

    this was great!!

    -Von Royale.. out…

  • Joseph Crenshaw

    I have an idea.. how about you write ANOTHER Article about names. Way to supply the site with original material… Good lord.

    • Dennis Parrott

      sigh. this sort of comment is so predictable on DJTT.

      how did we get negative like this? and why do we stay negative?

      somebody once said “be the change you want to see”. instead of criticize Zach for what he wrote how about writing something for us? seriously, Zach has done amazing stuff — giving away remix sets and loops, writing tutorials — and it pains me to see him getting slagged for this.

      Zach – great article. i have seen the two-name/syllable thing but never really understood its significance. Thank you. (now if only somebody could help me figure out how to spend more time with my music and practicing… oy!)

  • David Schroeter

    Attributive-Agent: ‘Mad Zach’

  • MarkQuest

    i think he was deconstructing the impact it would have on our sub-conscience by hearing the name & how you would think of the artist, not stating that this is the origination of how the artist picked his name

  • http://www.facebook.com/brikha Emil Beatsnatcher Brikha

    I’m pretty sure “beat off” means to masturbate :D

    • Dennis Parrott

      hmmm. good thing i didn’t let that wanker use my gear!!!! DOH!!

    • Marquee Mark

      proving that it works – you got all the way to the end of the article and you remembered that name ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/brikha Emil Beatsnatcher Brikha

        Yes, for all the wrong reasons :D

  • Kieran

    ‘Diplo’ is actually a shortened word for Diplo’s favourite dinosaur when he was a kid, which was a Diplodocus. Other than that, decent article.

    • Mike

      Glad someone else picked up on that, I always figured that was pretty well known

    • Mad Zach

      I am aware of that, there are

      • Mad Zach

        I am aware that there are back stories for a lot of names (for example: deadmau5 and the dead mouse in the computer). However, my analysis is based not on the source of the name, but the psychological effect the end result has on people who are unfamiliar with the back story.

  • Last Resort

    Are you serious?

    • Mad Zach

      no not really :)

  • Steve

    Good article, but Zach I wish you’d do more tutorials! youre a funny writer, but i think that its best in your videos when you’re teaching as well

    • Mad Zach

      thanks Steve!

      • Anonymous

        i second the videos comment :D