This is not new but, about four years ago a big name of the House Music scene already raised this question publicly:
“Why do non-producer DJs force themselves to make albums? What for? That’s the reason why there are so many mediocre crap out there! It’s funny how a new DJ is called a remixer / producer without even making an album. But unfortunately, DJs are “forced” to have a history of albums to be recognized and get gigs. What a farce! There are many non-DJs getting paid just because they made an album, not because they’re good DJs. Most of them suck! You can not play beyond your programmed set. Duh! And the real DJs who do not care or need to make albums are the ones who are suffering. What happened to “art”? Does anyone care? Obviously not! Shame. “- David Morales
Well, the years have passed by and this ‘reckoning‘ has only increased. Some say that the industry dictates this rule: “you will only succeed as a DJ if you also sell music!”
At the same time, with the popularity of electronic music and much faster and easier access to music through so many digital platforms, the general public has come to know who are the producers of their favorite tracks. So, the electronic music clubs / festivals were in a certain “skirt fair” because, to attract audiences, they would need a line up filled with successful producers.
People today know who the artists of the electronic scene they would like to see playing. And no matter what the mixing technique is, they do not know exactly what that means! That said, we clarify a fundamental point of these two careers, DJ and Producer: for each of these artistic categories totally different skills are needed, and being good at one does not mean being good at the other. They are two different art forms.
The professional DJ needs a specific talent to pick the right tracks and play them at the perfect time. He has to be able to mix two or more songs at the same time, without the audience noticing this transition, keeping the track in a state of continuous excitement. It should create an atmosphere where each of the chosen songs shine, explode in the hearts of those who dance tirelessly! Many producers are not good DJs, just as the opposite is also true. And there are those who are good at both.
But with this “new” industry requirement, DJs took different paths: some were frustrated because they wanted to just play their favorite tracks, some decided to take a step forward and seek the knowledge that would allow them to produce their own music, and others simply hired the famous “Ghost producers”. Each one with its different beliefs, limitations and ambitions. I confess that I have already “suffered” this collection from some of my agents: “Van, there are already many DJs on the market, if you want to stand out, you need to take a step forward and produce your songs.”
Learning to produce requires a lot of time and dedication, and choosing this path is no guarantee of anything. People need to love the music you produce, you need money to invest in personal marketing and what you are producing. You need the right contacts and some open doors.
The truth is that technology forces everyone to reinvent themselves, because access to the tools has warmed the market, and anyone with a computer and the right software can be a DJ. Previously DJ’s played for 6-12 hours and it was not uncommon guys like TINI and Marco Carola to make sets of 30 hours without session.
The big balcony was the arsenal that each DJ prepared for their gigs, always with hundreds of tracks never heard before and, most of the times, inaccessible to the general public. They were practically gods, always with the best and most obscure songs on the market. That long before “Shazam,” DJs from the ’70s to the’ 90s were the ones who dictated the rules.
With this warmth in the market and so many DJs coming up, we had a drop in the quality of the technique presented, more and more extensive line ups and ever shorter sets. And every day more DJs becoming obsolete. It was then that demand for DJs / Producers arose, it would be a way to separate the “wheat tares”.
And then again technological advances knock at our doorstep, there are more and more softwares to produce music and this new generation of DJs / Producers usually starts producing their own, without ever having presented itself as a DJ.
In my opinion, the responsibility for preserving the “DJ culture” lies with the artists themselves, who have not developed new skills to stay in a more technological market.
They use the new tools created by the software industry and “teams”, without creating new challenges for themselves during the presentation. Those who are accustomed to the easy playlist, the one that is sure will always work, and the so-called “beat matching”.
I do believe that there is room for all (the good ones)!
The DJ has become a star and today needs to know a lot more than mixing well, has to be very present in social networks, needs a certain talent as a blogger, has to create a style / opinion identity, build a strong network.
Times have changed, my friends! To be a part of this game, you need to be complete and produce now part.
If you’re not a DJ who plays “upside down,” who does things that neither does, then you need to produce yes. Your music has to be good and take you as far as possible, until people want to see you in the booths … But if you started producing, do not worry, if you do not know how to play, okay, most will not notice! (laughs) The demand today is this, whether DJs get frustrated or not, it’s up to each one to follow his way, decide what makes his heart vibrate and fight for it.
“Never give up on your dreams.” #DJLIFE 🙂