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DJ Scott Mad Flip

DJ Scott Mad Flip
April 26, 2011

The DJ Life And Timeslots: Creating Your DJ Write-Up

I have been lucky enough through the years to see some incredible DJs and Live PAs perform at numerous events and parties all over the U.S.  Some have been superstars worldwide and others have been local up and comers on their way to national and international acclaim.  Like many of you, I’ve discovered these artists through various forms of media like online forums, blogs, social media, youtube channels, music websites, and even in print via club flyer.

Well established acts need little introduction really, just a cool photo, their name in their own unique font, and a brief write up describing their latest single or label affiliation.  Other artists or acts that are in support usually require a little more information in their write-up in order to educate what style of music they play and what type of record label or DJ collective affiliations they are associated with. Basically, a “these guys are really cool too, and you’re going to go bonkers when you hear them if you haven’t already” kind of write-up.

These write-ups are necessary to educate and inform music fans on what to expect from the event so they can hopefully decide to get there earlier to check them out.  Ultimately, a DJ’s write-up just sets the table.  The live performance is the delicious meal that keeps you coming back for more.  Here are some points to consider if you are just starting out and you are creating your DJ write up for the first time.  This also might help you if you’re trying to revamp you’re existing write-up.

THE BASICS

Depending on where you will be publishing your write-up will determine how in depth you need to make it.  You don’t have to include your vital signs or marital status but you want it be thorough enough to represent you as a DJ, Remixer or Live Act.  The basic info should start with the style of music you play.  Try not to get too obscure or inventive when categorizing yourself.  I know some of you may not want to put a label on what you play but for the sake of communication you probably should.  This gives the audience and your future fans an idea of what to expect.  You can always change it for different types of events where you might play a different style, but for the sake of your permanent bio try and decide on one or two styles.

You can also add an adjective to your genre to further describe your style. Well known styles like Tech, Deep, or Disco House, or Indie and French Electro are commonly used to further define you as a DJ or Remixer. Getting too obscure with your classification will only confuse your audience and you might come off as being wishy-washy.  I have actually seen a DJ’s classification as POST-ELECTRO FIDGET DRUMSTEP. Really?  No offense to PEFD connoisseurs, but it’s just too long.  Anyway, keep it simple and relevant.

YOUR AFFILIATIONS

Try and keep this listing to a minimum as well.  Those of you who are just starting out don’t even need to list any thing after your style of music but if you have a crew or production company that you are affiliated with you’ll want to list it.  It could be a DJ collective, promotion or production company, record label, or night club residency.  List the most relevant and current.  It’s very easy to go overboard with these embellishments but the rule of thumb is to list no more than 3.

When I started seriously DJing during the 90′s I had hoped to become part of my favorite promoter’s DJ collective and become a resident at their best events.  That typically doesn’t happen overnight, so my great friend DJ Ich-E and I formed our own collective and Quiet Storm was born.  We played house and breaks through some really fun parties.  The word eventually got out, and when we played abroad our crew was associated with Hampton Roads, VA and funky breaks.  We eventually earned residencies and were able to build our brand.

The point is that if you’re just starting out, it’s not uncommon to start your own affiliation to help define you as a DJ.

BACKGROUND AND PHOTOGRAPH

Sometimes these may not even be needed for a flyer or e-flyer write-up, but it is important to have them written, on file, and ready to go.  Your background info often times is an abridged version of your DJ bio that should give a very brief description of what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you’re going to do.  Sometimes you can let the promoter write this for you but you’re better off always having something prepared that you can submit after you’ve been booked.  It also shows that you’re professionalism, which should bode well for future bookings.

Your press photo should always be in a resolution, size, and format that is simple to upload or send via email.  A 600×800 pixel, 2 Mb .jpeg or .png is pretty standard and should offer good enough resolution for print or website display.  Now, what your photo looks like is entirely up to you.  We can obviously discuss the current state of “douchiness” when it comes to stereotypical DJ photos, but that’s a completely different blog altogether.  Anyway, you’re a DJ who creates brilliant music and I’m sure you can create a brilliant photo.  Just do it and have it ready to go.

To be clear, there is a difference between a DJ write-up and a DJ bio, although they share many of the same elements.  I am writing “how to create your bio,” that I will post next week.  An effective DJ write-up is necessary to keep and maintain particularly if you are playing gigs regularly and you want to keep everyone up to date on your DJ career.  Hopefully this helps and please feel free to comment if you have any thing to add or post your own write-up as well.  Until then, have a happy gig!


Comments

  1. Zarif R says:

    My name is Zarif R. I am a humble individual, who at first glance you may think is shy and reserved, but when I engage myself with my headphones and my music I transform into the energetic and skillful Mr. Z channeling a musical earthquake. A professional network engineer in the day and a musical genius at the night.
    I was born in Trinidad and Tobago, a land filled with rhythms and tempo, known for its musical versatility. We celebrate historic events with dance and a pomp musical affair. Apart from my country’s influences, I grew up in a home filled with musical talent. My dad pioneered a musical industry into its full bloom, the popular 103FM radio station…the first of its kind. Attending its events, I was exposed to the musical enterprise at an early age. My brother and I were professionally trained in instruments such as drums, keyboards and guitar. We heard of our dad’s times in guitar rock and were adamant on following in his footsteps. I always admired the renowned artistes and musicians we interacted with through him. My heart was then set on being a DJ.
    I tend to experiment with different genres of music ranging from house, techno, pop, R&B and Soca. SOCA is the music developed in my country and forms the base for Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago which is dubbed as the “greatest show on earth”. Soca music is a combination of very fast upbeat rhythms as well as the fusion of steel pan to give an exhilarating tempo that is unique to the Caribbean. Popular Soca artistes include the ever popular Machel Montano who has performed with international superstars for soca music such as Pit-Bull, Sean Paul, Shaggy and Aaron Fresh.
    I decided to pursue my musical career in Djing with the help of a few counterparts. I have been a DJ for the past 4 years and acquaint myself with the latest technology ,as it seems to always assist in perfecting mixes and live gigs. I work, I study, yet I make time for this venture.
    I am currently working on a few eclectic mixes, as well as the formation of a Mr. Z’s TRM -Event Management Company with the cooperation of my colleague, DJ Tremor. My first exposure to live massive audiences was at a few weddings, popular events promoted by my dad, and hopefully by me in the near future…a live DJ in his station. My mixing have stunned audiences and resulted in memorable life experiences, of which leave a lasting impression in my listeners and my heart.
    My future goals are to become a popular DJ in nightclubs locally and internationally. Additionally playing on music trucks for carnival is another one of my future objectives. Ultimately becoming a professional event management consultant and DJ will be the future career path for me.

    1. ZarifR says:

      http://www.mediafire.com/?w7xy5nlvav55wbl

      that is a sample of SOCA music ..this is what keeps parties pumping here in Trinidad & tobago especially.

    2. Great comments Zarif! Best of luck pursuing your DJ career!

  2. Christian Griffin says:

    I am not a DJ but I love using Ableton Live to create. I do admire any DJ who can lead a mass of people to experience the power of rhythm, tempo and bass. If you have the creative talent and passion I say go for it. Score as many gigs as possible. DJ’s Rule!

  3. Amanda W. says:

    You may or may not agree that hipsters are taking the world by a psychedelic storm but it’s everywhere and it looks like it’s here to stay—well, for the next five years at least. Bringing this almost teenybopper phenomenon to the DJ console for the first time in North Philadelphia, is 26-year old DJ Amanda W. or DJ Cloud as she’s better known.

    A self-confessed Boa fan, DJ Cloud will kick off the night at Dbl O on May 5th, 2011 with creative mashups derived from K-pop’s greatest hits by the likes of DBSK, SNSD, Big Bang, 2NE1, Super Junior and of course Boa, to a crowd that was running on some kind of potent adrenaline we’d really like to get our hands on.

    For two full hours, the club will be perpetually pumped with kids free-styling and screaming themselves hoarse in response to bits of their favorite songs coming on but what set this night apart from any other in Philly are the handfuls of enthusiastic and seemingly talented dancers mimicking music video choreography on the podiums provided.

    Stay tuned for more awesomeness from this talented and creative DJ, and don’t forget to let your hair down and come out to play!

    1. Thanks Amanda! Nice bio for DJ Cloud. I wish we could make it to your gig. Cheers!

  4. Matt Moore says:

    I started as a DJ when I was 13 with my Dad at a singles club in San Jose called Trellis. We performed every weekend for three years or so. Then we did weddings and parties, spinning records, playing a wide variety of music, old rock, country, disco, etc. It was a lot of fun as a young adult, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
    I currently “DJ” for my church and Celebrate Recovery. It is not the typical type of DJ that people understand. I play music, however, I also play videos, run slides on the overhead screen with MediaShout. Occasionally I run the sound and lights, as well, but we usually have someone for each station.
    I have toyed around with the idea of starting a DJ service in my city, as there are few to choose from, and none of them are Christian. I know I would have fun.

  5. Jay Marcus says:

    Adapted is the new kid on the block, specialising in mixing the best of the Trip-Hop world. This is a genre synonymous with the 90′s, but maintains a firm following into the 2000′s as veteran artists such as Massive Attack and Portishead continue their output, with a new school of producers bustling for top dog position. Born in Bristol, Trip Hop’s home, Adapted meticulously composes his mixes to create a fluid, unique amalgamation of songs; something smooth and dark for the audience to respond to, to move to. Occasionally playing with genre cousins such as Breakbeat and Dubstep, often spinning tracks from Ninja Tune, Warp and Tru Thoughts, he uses only the finest ingredients in the blend. He is also talented at turntablism, scratching samples old and new to enhance the performance, often using his home-brewed productions as the vinyl glue keeping the mix together. In an age when it’s all too easy for the DJ to be lazy, Adapted has adopted the technical prowess of the DJs of old to start the party and keep it going.

    1. Congratulations on your winning bio! Please reply to Ariff on our Facebook page to claim your prize. Cheers!

  6. Shiv J says:

    Hello folkz… Dj Tremor here!… Form ever since I knew myself i had a love and talent for mixing music. In 2003 my family had a huge party with all of our relatives a friends. I was asked to ‘play music’ for the event. It was not a formal event, just a biig get-together. So of course I was excited but I had no mixing equipment and wanted to MIX MUSIC, So i improvised… I used two normal stereos (that can play cds)… bridged both auxiliary connections into one and hooked that up to a homemade cross fader (Used a variable resistor to get the fade). Then I hooked that up to an amplifier that powered two 15″ Peavey speakers and a subwoofer…. Believe it or not… it worked without error and the party was slamming!!!!… So this triggered by Dj Business… Soon I bought some equipment and from there… the sky was the limit. Born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago I was influenced by our various cultures and this helped tremendously because I was able to play any type or style of music… from Pop, R&B, Rock, Soca, Reggae, etc.
    Now together with a fellow Dj, we have stared our own sound company and do several event throughout the year.

    So there you have it… a little insight into the making of yours truly… DJ TREMOR!

    All the best to all of the Dj’s and Unique Squared!

    Peace,
    Dj Tremor

    1. Great job DJ Tremor!

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