Starting out on the road to becoming a DJ/Producer these days can be a little daunting. Where do you start? What's worth doing and what's a waste of time?
One of the fastest ways artists get known these days is via SoundCloud simply because it has a ravenous user base that is always scouring for new music. This is not rocket science, if you make music you probably already know this.
However, the big two mistakes that a lot of young producers make are:
1. Making copy cat music aka shit that sounds the same as everyone else
2. Not branding yourself well
Let's start off with number one, why would you make music that sounds like everyone else? This strategy is a sure-fire way to get lumped in with a ton of mediocrity and also lessen your chance of success. If what you make sounds exactly like everything else, the real tastemakers and influencers are going to pass you up. These few SoundCloud addicts, bloggers, and DJs are the ones that constantly dig and are looking for fresh sounds. If you appeal to them, then you just upped your chances of generating some buzz.
It's ok to jump into a new trendy genre, just do it differently and don't copy exact chord progressions, drum patterns, etc. Bring a fresh take to it and you might get noticed. However if a genre is sinking, or oversaturated then, it's best to stay away from it altogether for obvious reasons.
Next, comes your branding. I'm not just talking about your logo (which is important) but how your music sounds and how you use it to brand yourself.
DJ mixes and podcasts are a huge part of getting noticed for your DJ and live performance abilities. If you can't string together a good set, then promoters and booking agents might not find you so attractive. Dance music is about creating a vibe isn't it?
Another inexpensive and impactful branding tactic is using professional drops and IDs for your mix or podcast. Companies like BANG! productions' Audio Protocol creates top notch intros/outros/IDs etc. and offers entry level packages for guys that are just starting out and don't have a ton of cash. They also work with heavy hitters like David Guetta, Robin Schulz, Will Sparks and more and can scale up with you as you grow. When you integrate drops and IDs into your set, it just sounds more professional and presents your brand in a much more impactful way.
Check out Magnetic's drops for our podcast below for an example.
When you are starting to get spins on SoundCloud, and your mix sounds top notch with great IDs and branding, you are going to simply appear more professional and more established.
It's your brand, so you should present it in the best way possible, and chances are it will help you stand out from the massive DJ herd jockeying for attention. Good luck!
Check out our other DJ Marketing 101 Articles