When trying to establish your name, should you take requests?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default When trying to establish your name, should you take requests?

    Hey all,
    Having an argument with a friend about marketing yourself to try to get a bigger fanbase. We both started out as doing requests in small town bars in western New York (no edm scene all), and he has pretty much now dissed me because I've been doing live shows on mixify and haven't pushed any productions out because I am not happy with the quality of the tracks. He on the other hand feels like the only way to "make it big" is playing any type of show possible, taking and playing everyone's request (no matter what genre, rock, hip hop, pop edm), pump out as much music with your name on it to flood the market. Keeping the debate away from quality or quantity, I was just trying to make a point that if you continue to take any possible show and you get your name out by playing all the requests, that is what you will be known for. I was just wondering how everyone feels about this, am I in the wrong, is he or both or neither. Let me know what you all think.

    Thanks,
    PHader

  2. #2
    DJTT #1 setup pimp 2012
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    Quantify "making it big"... if you mean "make a living at DJ'ing", then yes, you'll probably need to play gigs you don't like, and music that you don't like.

    To become a "famous" DJ and producer, I think is so much more. You have to have quality work, a specific unique sound, a specific look and brand (like that or not, you have to be marketable), be in the exact right place and the right time, know the right people, and have a lot of luck and be willing to put in a lot of work.

    If you are looking to become more well known in the area, I say just keep doing what you love, put yourself out there, and be nice about it. It takes years and years.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Well, you have to start somewhere. If it means playing out locally, then do it. Unless you got some killer productions in the bag, sitting around and turning down bars won't really do you any good. Maybe get in touch with the promoter/manager at the bar and see if he's interested in promoting an EDM style event so that you'll actually have a legit reason to turn down requests after a while. But ask the managers first, don't start turning down requests and being snobby because it will reflect on the bar itself and they might not ask you back.

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard
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    I totally understand that, I mean overall it boils down to being an entertainer for the people, is people want to hear hootie and the blowfish then so be it. What I was just meaning is, if your goal is to become "famous", whether locally, nationally, internationally, mainstream, underground, whatever; if you are playing such tracks as that, aren't you going to be labeled as a "mobile dj" or "request dj" not "insert genre" style dj?

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Yeah.. Honestly.. I was in the same boat for a while at one of the local bars I do on Friday nights.. I eventually got with the manager and told him flat out that I primarily spin house... I can do requests and all of that shit from like 10-12.. But from 12-2am I will be playing house. I was able to separate my night into two halves and he was down with it. Eventually the clientele adapted to what I was doing.... The older crowd started to hang out up front, and the new little "edm scene" I had created spread out a bit... Bringing in some younger people from the area who don't want to drive an hour to the city.

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    That is a really good idea actually, I didn't think of that, I'll see what he thinks.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    No.

    Sometimes if it's a genre I am playing and I was thinking about playing the track, I might play something of the sort, or a remix. I've gone out of my way to dig up remix's when people say they really like a song off-hand hanging out, just to surprise them at the right moment with it.

    But if I ever have to play a set where I have to cater to requests, I'm packing up my gear and going home. It's not that I abhor people who do it, but it's not what I'm there for. I am there to share my musical selection with people, not cater their musical selection on a platter.

    But then again I am a breaks, dnb, and house DJ first and foremost, so it goes with the territory I suppose.
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  8. #8
    Tech Mentor
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHader View Post
    I was just trying to make a point that if you continue to take any possible show and you get your name out by playing all the requests, that is what you will be known for.
    I agree with you on this 100%.

    His approach is still good, if what 'making it big' for him means becoming your areas number one open format or mobile DJ. If he wants to play in either cool underground clubs or big EDM festivals, he's probably on the wrong track...

    There actually was an article about this topic in the DJTT blog not too long ago, including a longer comment by me on how playing all over the place could be disadvantagous if you're trying to make it in a specific genre.

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    TCMuc, I like what you said in that article; overall I think the argument was dumb to begin with but to each their own. He also tried attacking me with having a "deadmau5" persona, I was riding his coat tails when we did gigs together, and that people would "always" come up to him because I wouldn't play their tracks. All of which is wasn't true, I would play requests if I had them, if I didn't I would tell them to ask him, but usually I was the one ending up playing more requests because getting into djing that was the genre of music i would listen to. I might have rode his coat tails for like the first couple of months playing out, being his "opening" act, but he soon had me play along side him because the crowd was hard enough to get as it is and they would clear the dancefloor after I was done. This pretty much started because I was talking to him about how I don't care for Aviicii, and that I find the song levels annoying, and then it went down hill from there. Thanks for the incite though.

    -PHader

  10. #10
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Your "friend" is a tool.

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