DJ’S NEED TO BE PRODUCERS AND VICE-VERSA?

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 🙂

THE FUTURE OF DANCE MUSIC

Building the Facts…

The year 2018 came to an end with a standard dance music calendar. Between the music week in Miami and the ADE, the IMS and another season in Ibiza and festivals like EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland and Creamfields, passed a series of artists (DJs), considered crown jewels in the industry. But this particular year closed off with uncertainties, with dance music balancing on the most delicate wobbly strings for the first time in the last decade.

Art in general has a habit of working groups of trends dictated by innovative artists in the industry. In the ’80s we had the trip from the Chicago House to New York (Studio 54), and no one would have imagined the impact it would have on the next half century. The Techno scene continued to grow in Detroit due to the minimalist elements of the song; and in the 1990s illegal warehouses and raves becoming common practice in London. At the end of the century, artists like Paul Van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Paul Okenfold and Tiesto paved the way for trance blast, giving a commercial flavor to lasers and ice cannons at famous clubs like Amnesia Ibiza. At the end of the first decade dance music reached the mainstream, exploding with the codename “EDM”. Dance and pop lines are merged, dominating the top charts worldwide, with lyrics being sung on dance floors.

With the change in dynamics for the industry we saw artists who had already enjoyed somewhat underground flavors like David Guetta, scoring three consecutive UK Top 1 singles in just two months. Guetta suffered a lot of criticism when doing collaborations with R & B artists, but it was from there that he proved to be an innovator (that guy who dictates the trends I mentioned above), and so shaped the dance music course forever. Artistic diversity and irreverence, when successful, are widely praised and often criticized.

Between 2010-2013 we had the famous “golden era” of “EDM”, and from that point on it did not show signs of overflow, becoming a big “bubble”. However, Avicii was at the height of her career, producing a melodic sound never before seen in dance music and decided to debut a gender change at the world’s most important electronic music festival, the Ultra. Playing tracks from an unreleased country & western-infused album has brought electronic music to the forefront of media coverage. The prodigy boy was labeled by some sites as being “too advanced for dance music,” but in a few months, with the hit “Wake Me Up”, he won platinum album, accumulating more than a billion plays in Spotify. And another pioneer was born. At the same time, the “retirement” of the Swedish HouseMafia trio boosted a number of new sub-genres, such as “Dirty Dutch” that brought Hardwell to the top spot in DJ Mag’s Top100. In the following years Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Martin Garrix took the prize still with the style “Big Room”, that ended up becoming more and more melodic, showing a great change of direction in the industry.

The scenario changed several times, with the arrival of the “Future House” and the rise of Trap, and it oscillated very much by diverse subgenera, in an infinite search of identity.

The expectation for this year is huge, as finally the Swedish House Mafia returned to the tracks at Ultra last year, rekindling the flame in the heart of the Big Room lovers. The trio that arguably was one of the greatest exponents of dance music of all time is back to shape the future of the industry, since the trends are influenced by pioneers. The Swedish House Mafia achieved achievements never before seen in dance music and its absence only increased its reputation. They meet as global super stars on the Beyonce, Drake, Justin Bieber scale. The fans created a great hope for the “golden age” of “EDM” as well, but we could see the tone change of the trio by presenting a much more “heavy” sound in Miami in the last edition of Ultra. 2019 will surely be a year of new moves, new sonorities, with striking bass lines and all the unpredictable passionate of old and new trend dictators. Anyway the art, the music always with its exciting nature leaving us in a great state of expectation!

We are waiting for the scenes from the next chapters…

My Latest Release

Did you guys have a chance to listen to my last single yet? How do you like it? Check it out on SoundCloud (link below) 📷🎧💀 #mixset #dj #djset #djlife #deephouse #techhouse #housemusic #partytime #nightlife #pioneer #ableton #music 
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