Things Every DJ Must Understand

armin flames bw li Things Every DJ Must Understand
Image via Armin van Buuren on Facebook

Being a successful DJ in today's EDM climate isn't easy. Your mixes have to be tighter, your selection has to be wider, and your performance has to be spot on. And while you may think we're going to start harping on the right songs to be playing, the best mixer to use, that's not this kind of discussion. We're trying to help you guys out; there are a number of things you need to understand in order to prolong your career as a DJ - assuming you're trying to make it. The business of EDM has less to do with the actual music that brings people together, and if your plan is to make it on the business side, there are some points you'll need to understand while on your journey.

Click to start the list
  • DJ Matrox

    Good little article. Clear & precise.

  • Brandon Hamilton

    DAD continues to publish amazing articles. Thank you Nappy, Khal and all the other authors putting out great material like this. You guys are the best!

  • Trölle

    1. Not all djs are nerds…. producer-djs are nerds.
    2. Knowing the right people will make you famous.
    3. Some of the legends of 2010 and 2011 who didn’t put out any more hit are playing Vegas.
    4. “If you do get to the point where you get successful and you have a team”, you let them fly in economy class while you fly in a private jet.

    5. “If you aren’t getting numbers on your music”, “You can either work on your craft until it’s too good to be denied, pay a PR firm to push your work”, so expect to be surpassed by people who are not as good as you, just because they have bigger promo.
    6. “If you’re planning on being here for 10 years”, if you’re lucky, you will become millionaire before that.

    • Trölle

      And yes. Backups are essential.

    • khal

      You don’t think “pure DJs” are nerds? you’re bugging.


    always on time my dudes!

  • Yo Donny

    I give #8 an excuse if you plan on ending your set with a banger from the next guy if playing a small venue where stages and set pieces are consistent through the show.

  • Yo Donny

    Also #13 is a freakin must… I remember years ago when a CV Remix of “Running” by audio got lost in a data wipe. Probably would have biggest release that year. Thank god it was recreated last year.

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  • matthewxie

    So wrong about adding Baauer in no.2. Harlem shake won’t even be considered his best 5 tracks.

    • khal

      Isn’t that the point, though? We all know “Harlem Shake” isn’t even one of his best songs, yet it will without a doubt be his biggest hit. He’ll probably never see as much buzz about him as he did when that song went viral and hit #1 on Billboard.

      Hence, one “big tune” does not a superstar make.