How To Be a Successful Uni DJ: Part 2
In the last part I showed you how to start off as a DJ in uni, but in this section I will show you how to survive as a DJ in uni!
No more rubbish slots!
Stop Playing For Free
Now you have made a name for yourself, it’s time to start making paper. You’ve spent enough nights playing for free, but have gained a lot of experience. Don’t price yourself too high, but make sure your hard work is recognized. Turn down any jobs that aren’t paying, unless they are for charity, for fun or will lead to more contacts or work.
Find/Start a Crew
Strength in numbers. If you take a look at the legends of hip hop, most of them started off in a group. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy E in N.W.A., Biggie in Junior M.A.F.I.A., Eminem and D12, and the Wu-Tang Clan. Having a good crew of mates behind you can help you get more opportunities, as they will let you know about anything that comes up. It helps you organise events with less stress as there are more people to help out. You have time to enjoy yourself at parties since you won’t be behind the decks the whole night. Make sure you choose the right friends though, people who you work well with. You don’t want to ruin a friendship after an argument over who has to play the first slot of the night.
A Halloween party my crew 4D Presents organised
Keep A Good Relationship With The SU
The Students Union can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. If you are on good terms with them, they will help you out however they can. They will ask you to DJ at their parties, promote any events that you put on, and may also help cover the deposit if you book a club for your events. If you don’t get along with the SU, there will be none of this and you will have to do it all by yourself. Even if you get along with the SU make sure every deal you make with the SU is written and signed by them. This is important if you don’t want to lose money. If your night is a flop and the SU have already paid the deposit they might suddenly pretend that they didn’t make a deal with you. There will be no evidence to back you up unless you have it in writing.
Watch Out For Snakes!
It’s a dog eat dog world out there! Everyone wants the limelight and money for themselves. I’ve seen it all, from people who we’ve asked to help us with an event take all the credit and tell everyone that they organized the whole thing to the Students Union trying to take over an event we organized so they can keep all the money we made on the night. While you can’t always spot a snake, beware of people who talk a lot and act like they are the shit. Usually they have no experience and have to make up for it with a lot of chat. Make sure you trust someone 100% before any money is involved. It’s not all doom and gloom though as karma does strike back. The guy who hijacked one of our events was run out of town by yardies after he oversold tickets to an event he was organizing with a dub/reggae crew in Brixton, and the money made on the night disappeared from the club’s safe. The head of the SU who tried to take the money we made at one of our parties ended his SU President career in tears as the end of year party he organized at a club was shut down when the power in the whole neighbourhood went off while everyone was queuing outside!
On the main stage for this year’s Fresher’s Party!
Be Nice to Fresher DJ’s
You started at the bottom, now you’re here! Don’t forget where you came from and give the new fish a helping hand. If older DJ’s were dicks to you when you first came to Uni, turn the other cheek and be the better man. Help make the scene a better place by nurturing new talent coming in. They will appreciate it and help you out with what you are doing as well. Make sure you leave a lasting legacy so student life will still be wicked when you finally get out of uni.
Follow these Ten Commandments and I guarantee that you will be a successful uni DJ. That is if you have any talent at all. Remember DJing is not for everyone. You have to be able to read a crowd and see if they are enjoying your music. You might also have to strong arm your way into events to make yourself heard but you also have to know when to show restraint and not get involved in events that are sure to flop, or to avoid making the wrong enemies. Most of all you must remember that it’s not about you. It is all about the crowd and the music.