11 Dec How to Approach the DJ at a Club
One of the most irritating parts of being a DJ for me is artist approaching the booth telling me I NEED 2 play their music. Although I fully realize the need for an artist to get his music on the hands of a DJ factors such as time, place and proper etiquette must be considered in any presentation.The problem with most artist is the only interaction they have with DJs is while we’re working trying to keep 500 on the dance floor. Imagine this: Its 1AM and the club is packed, women everywhere dancing on each other. Bartenders are working super hard to satisfy the thirsty customers yelling for long island teas and apple martinis. The DJ is in a zone playing everything from Gucci to Beyonce and the crowd absolutely loves it. It seems to be a perfect night then up walks YOU! DRUNK AS HELL!! You hand me a CD that was written on with a sharpie and yell in my ear,”Ay mane you NEED 2 put this on! Me and my homeboy just finished mixing this junt tonight! This’ll really get this thang jumping!” Now, just to get you to leave me the hell alone I’ll probably tell you I’m going to check it out which is a blatant lie. Your unprofessional looking, un-cased CD will be sitting in the exact same spot when your drunk ass come back up here 15 minutes later to ask me what I think about it. Sorry but it’s the truth.
I didn’t go through the previous rant to discourage new artist but to do the exact opposite. There is a proper way to give music to a DJ while working. First you need to consider the presentation. If you bring me a CD with your name written on it in marker, I’m going to treat it like what it looks like, trash. With so many printing options available there’s no excuse for this. I know companies that will duplicate and print on your CDs for .50each with minimums and low as 100 pieces. If you live in most major cities there’s a good chance if you add up what you paid to get in the club and what you spent on drinks it would equal well over $50. If you don’t have $50 to invest in yourself, keep your day job. You aren’t built for the music industry.
Alright you got your CDs pressed up and you’re at the club. Now what? When I’m spinning I always get rappers that want to hold conversations with me and tell my how they’re the next Jeezy or the new Hov all while I’m at work controlling the dance floor. Please!! As a DJ, after I start playing any given song I have approx 1 and a half minutes to find another song and get it ready to play. As I stated before, I AM AT Work! Just because you’re off the clock from you job doesn’t mean I am. Keep in mind that the DJs job is to keep party goers at the club, on the floor dancing or at least nodding their heads all night long. We can generally pull this off without outside help especially from you. Bottom line, this club is going to jump without your song and it’s an insult to my craft to suggest otherwise. But it’s still alright to bring me your music. Jus make sure all your contact information is on the CD or stick a card inside of the case, ask me for a business card and keep it moving. With most DJ’s using computer software based setups, its not realistic to think that we will play your song tonight so drop of the CD and back off. Some DJs (especially in strip clubs) have a pay to play system where if you give him $20 or $50 he will play the song. This works differently with EVERY DJ so if you’re going to try the ‘bribe’ approach don’t be insulted or get mad if the DJ shoots you down. Not all DJs are in the position to do this and it’s not worth loosing their steady paying club gig for your $20.
After the club, follow up is key. Give the DJ a few days then email or text him(No, don’t call) to see if he’s had a chance to check out the music you submitted. By the way don’t feel insulted if he hasn’t listened to it yet. We’re very busy people and chances are a bunch of other people have given him CDs to listen to so don’t get mad if he doesn’t instantly remember who you are. Let him know you want his honest opinion on the songs potential. Remember we do this for a living so we know what people want to hear. And don’t get discouraged if he doesn’t like the music. We are also human and have our own individual taste. Good or bad, its just an opinion, not the end of the world. It’s important to keep improving and working the streets in your market. Most hit records, especially in the South, are built up from a strong street buzz throughout the artists’ city, so don’t get stuck going to 1 particular club or DJ every weekend just because they play your song. Every club is a potential avenue for greatness. The DJ is the artist best ally in the music industry since we are the ones that deliver your vision to the consumer, so respect our position and build bridges with us and you will have an upper hand on the competition in your quest for musical success.