Djs that want to "make it" and advice givers (dj coaches)
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  1. #1

    Default Djs that want to "make it" and advice givers (dj coaches)

    BREAKING THROUGH IS A STRUGGLE




    I would like to provoke your brains for a bit- not necessarily pick a fight. But you must first understand that djing has never really been researched on the same level as some of the other cultural arts.

    I understand the perception that up and coming djs have based on what success they see their idols have achieved and all the dj hype as of recent. I read plenty of forums, blogs, and sites on the daily as research and see the same questions asked and advice given sometimes even by the inexperienced. I have read many posts where a poster states "even though I have no experience whatsoever, but based on what I have observed...” and proceed to give advice.

    I also understand that many djs feel that producing is the way to "making it". But now, the dj has become a brand in that you need several people working for that individual. Even the social media and marketing game has changed but new producers are not privy of that and go about doing things the same routes. Producing alone isn’t enough as we know but most don’t have the experience to detail what else will get you there. It is also about mostly producing the sound that is trendy and what is being marketed by industry blogs, online magazines like dj mag, mixmag, RA, and radio. If you don’t have that sound, you will not have as good of a shot- rarely is that stated but a mere blanket "you must produce" statement is made by mostly the inexperienced. Many don’t delve into the fact that Calvin Harris doesn’t want to be known as the best dj but best song writer producer- was part of a band before djing, and has a different mentality towards the art because he wants to perform as a band member but can’t. This is opposite than that of a Roger Sanchez that grew up breakdancing, djing hip hop in Bronx, NYC, has a Latin background, and progressed in the culture. These two icons have different mentalities and must be understood on different levels.

    But why are many djs so focused on the "making it" beyond the pursuit? Where is cultivating the value in the actual grind- the happenings in between that promotes stability? Why is the advice (not necessarily this forum) limited to "you have to produce"? But at the same time, the same djs cry over djing being so easy while giving the quickest solution of "producing" to making it- that in itself comes from inexperience and worse if it is by a "veteran poster". It is not a war against producing but against the quick success mentality that underlies. The notion that music can be accessed and available to anyone and that djs should be producing in order to sound different and "not play other people's music" is becoming more prevalent- this directly relates to my lecture of why djs shouldn’t be so quick to share playlists and music. But as everyone is being prompted to produce, of course you have to share music in order to “support the artists” aka you the producer… But that concept is way too deep for many to capture- not for its immediate effect but for the trickle-down effect I speak about regarding a cycle resulting in a mental conditioning. Believe it or not, I have changed my ways of thinking in many areas and have become more opened minded to understanding why and how the industry functions.

    The "be a dj overnight" mentality takes on various levels that pass over many heads that don't think to realize this. The quick weight loss, get rich commercials on late tv drive doesn't stop at 5: am. It carries on to all areas of life and society because it is a known fact that many people want quick success without the hard work. Many have made it by producing a hit, and as humans, we try to attain that quick success without even knowing who was behind, what and how that hit was created and marketed to the right listeners. It's life. Rather than simply state to produce, veterans should be aiding in educating what comes along with the changes within the industry, how radio programming works and what actually creates a hit in 2013/14 compared to 2004.

    Djing has been my number 1 passion, not as a career for stability choices, but I have held a weekly residency since 2007 after my overseas travels while still having a career. Through my experiences in leading and instructing a unit of 300 US Marines all over the world, understanding human behavior as a police officer, countless of personal fitness training clients, running my own sports nutrition business for a short period, living, djing, and clubbing in 7 different countries as a Marine to all formats of club music, watching djs go from local hero to globe trotter, promoters becoming music managers for mega clubs, and studying the game, I have been better able to understand the world of human behavior in nightclub djing on a more deeper level than most people. Just as a coach would do. I have the experience of understanding human interaction and the curiosity to ask questions, and wonder why things are the way they are- point being made by this in-depth and lengthy post. Unfortunately, many are threatened by those that seem to have more experience than they. It is how society works. There are books and YouTube videos on this subject of critics and haters.

    I have seen countless of djs that have productions, hold big residencies at major venues, and open for big international artists but aren’t known outside their beltway or tri-state, or even European country. Yet, to them- they made it. Because week in and out they attract and play to 2500 + (capacity) on weekend nights. But to the dj that hasn't "made it" (whatever that may be), many bypass that level and want to shoot for what they have seen on tv or festivals. In most cases this is true because many djs are from smaller towns and either have not witnessed the above type residency that are seen in major cities or refuse to go to their local clubs because the “djs suck” (hater mentality) and want to leave town to a bigger city or prefer posters to send them links of sites to learn the physical and theoretical art of djing. I see this all the time. Well, why aren’t you going to the clubs to see how you can improve? Why must you rely soley “youtube videos” or other links provided by friends of your ranking as primary sources of education? Practical application when dealing with hands on should always follow visual aided lectures- just like school. There is theory and there is practical application that fits only your abilities and surrounding factors to learn.

    Look at the last few threads over the years- how many threads are actually providing specific details about developing the night, working with lights, reading the crowd based on age, culture, race, giving breaks- compared to the amount of technology, traktor/control/console configuration, production, and other equipment threads? You don’t have to believe me, just see it for yourself. Where are the actual dj coaches and blogs mentoring our djs and showing them how to grind on different levels from local hero to preparing in how to deal with culture shock while traveling both domestic or internationally, how to deal with navigating in foreign lands such as taking a bus rather than a plane to offset the cost and keep money in your pocket, passport and credential issues, and how to deal with language barriers to those that want to “make it”?

    These boards and YouTube are the immediate source of education- not the success of the djs that are actually spinning 5 times a week and have no time to improve and educate other djs. A great coach wasn’t necessarily the best player but understands the game inside and out because he had to work harder than the gifted in order to prove himself. Most djs don’t know who to break apart a night as well as a sound or light guy does who has studio time and walks around the room and eqs the sound according to the room size, time of night, capacity on that given night, what the dj is playing- hip hop vs house or latin being eq’d differently all while protecting the venue’s investment. I just learned this by a nightclub dj technician 2 weeks ago that also does sound and light for world stars like beyond in New York city. I will be putting that interview up on my YouTube channel.

    But on the back end, many of the advice givers promote producing as much as the major djs and producers stating that the only way to set yourself apart is to produce. But in reality, you have djs that even open record labels on beatport and make great music but are still stuck in Spain and Germany because their label has no backing but they have over 200 tracks in the bucket and are willing to tour the US for 4grand total- I know them personally and was shocked to learn the back-end tales of the industry. Label owners having 3 labels open but doing it as a hobby in Russia... Yes, this is happening but being culturally diverse, and my wife being part Russian from Latvia (former soviet republic); it is easy for me to learn these things.

  2. #2

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    Continued...

    My question is where is more analysis than the 1 or 2 dj sites? Where do we as a culture of seasoned djs break the dj game apart and realize that there are many levels of grinding? Where is the dancing and understanding that djing and breakdancing/ battle circles go hand in hand? But dancers in battle circles are considered wankers.

    Not everyone is suited for dj travel, living out of suitcases, being apart from their families and children, eating foods from different countries because their digestive systems don't agree to foreign products. Why has the dj hype blinded so many of our djs which mentally conditions not only the other djs but the audiences, the promoters, and the club managers to take on the same mentality? This has even now caused even newbie posters to become automatic experts of something they are not even a part of? Where are the leaders to guide them and challenge them of their thinking? Why are some of our veterans themselves becoming sour towards “regular” guys like me because they themselves have limited insight or passion for daily research and would much rather talk about the “greatest hits of 2013” but can only dj old school and aren’t that involved in the new stuff? Why do open format and dance djs not understand what the other is doing- where is there this terrible divide?

    Where aren't the dj coaches moderating our dj culture and actually spending days and hours analyzing, going places, and touching on subjects that most people consider “screaming I hate the world”? Where are the talks on youtube regarding Tiesto stating at ADE 2013 that most famous djs can only dj for 90 minutes and who is helping to change that? There is nothing wrong with EDM, underground, hip hop, or open format. It’s the player's that need a bit more guidance to let them know that it is ok to dj for 2500 on a good night and go home knowing they will come back again and know your name rather than having diarrhea in a foreign land where you are just a number. Learn the art of networking with other influential/international artists and giving a chance to a record label owner in Italy to swap gigs with you. It is ok to grind to reach the status of a local radio dj to break records and touch the millions of listeners- look at all Pete Tong or Funkmasterflex. Not all of can be great djs and not all of us can be great dj coaches/advice givers. There are various levels of success just like and business and each level must be understood and respected. But all levels of success require the personal and same in-depth dedication to understanding the game inside out just like any other business and or sport- not just one route.

    So it is not only a challenge to the djs to learn and cultivate the value of the dj grind but more so to the dj coaches/advice givers. Be the Bill O'Reilly that everyone calls full of themselves, be the ones that start and tackle dj related issues that others frown upon and say "there other topics of discussion to be had" than that of yours. Be the ones to start those "other thought provoking" topics that aren't perceived as soft balls or give a lecture of how you hate the way things are and leave your troops hanging by not posting as often. Be the ones to start conversations rather than only respond or answer, be the ones to pick apart a controversial topic and engage and prime the youth. Go out into the field, observe the djs and crowd interaction, and come back with analysis. Challenge the blogs that continue on their satirical raid against the dj culture as a whole. But don't be the one that hasn't even made it to the bottom of this post because you are feeling threatened and want to undermine my call to action post by saying I am full of myself. Be a leader and come up with your own call to action..... At the end of the day, just as I was held responsible for my troops as a Sgt of US Marines is the same way we as dj coaches are responsible for cultivating our youth. I'm 36, been in the game since 1993 and still on my grind. By the age 55, I will have two retirements...

    Regarding my future endeavors, please look out for boothridertv.com and halfamazingtv YouTube channel where I will be bringing all of this together to include raw behind the scenes nightclub dj development tutorials for Latin, open-format, and house djs, though provoking analysis vlogs, promoting unreleased music, given exposure to nightclub photographers and graphic designers interviews, dj mixes, and most of all- illustrating that there are different ways to contribute and get known in the dj culture.

    All done on my own to include my own filming, editing, promoting, web design. I will be starting from scratch learning metadata, tagging, and demonstrating that it doesn't take a lot but an iPhone and a free blog to get your videos, interviews, and thoughts together and not have to be some big production. No big productions or financial backing. No money being spend but on my gas to and from the venues. I am not expecting a huge overnight success. Just like any business or venture, it will take time, persistence, and commitment. This is what I want to teach to the youth.

    I very much want you to be a part of it. Coming January 2014.

    Good day, what a wonderful day to have been able to share my thoughts today...

    Dj coaches, stand up!

  3. #3

  4. #4
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    PM'd you!

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