Updated: Jul 6
Breaking into the music scene can seem daunting & DJ NYK gets asked this question a lot from the young, aspiring & upcoming DJs. Here are DJ NYK's 5 Tips to jumpstart your career as a DJ in India.
First things first. Learn the Art of DJing. Formal training isn’t mandatory but you’ll learn quicker (with a sense of direction) if you have someone to mentor and guide you in learning the skills & technicalities involved in Djing. We have seen a lot of people who’ve learnt as bystanders looking at someone else Dj’ing & learning just by watching. But if you can afford to take a course then go ahead and learn Dj’ing from a professional.
Once you’ve learnt DJ’ing i suggest you get a residency at a small club or pub to get some first hand experience of how to judge a live audience and mould your sets according to the energy on the dance floor before you go on to perform at bigger venues in the future. I see a lot of restless young DJs who dream of playing festivals immediately after they finish learning the basics of DJ’ing. Residency is the natural progression & shapes your craft as a DJ you’ll be in the future.
Be Versatile. Be open to all sounds. Don’t restrict yourself to one particular genre of music or style of DJing. Exposing yourself to multiple genres of music as a DJ will also help & influence your creativity as a Music Producer.
We see a lot of young djs in India sticking to only one particular sound at a very early stage in their career specially EDM. It's inspiring to look at Martin Garrix or Hardwell performing for thousands in the crowd. But such stature isn’t achieved overnight. Indian market is a tad bit different from what we see abroad. When you’re starting out you need to be patient and specially in India if you need to earn a living out of DJ’ing you better be versatile. Because when you’re versatile and can play multiple genres of music it will open multiple avenues for you to play at. Weddings, Corporate shows, College Festivals, Clubs Shows & so many other parties. But if you say ‘oh I only play EDM’ then your chances of getting booked would be a lot less in India. So be versatile & have the ability to spin multiple genres of Music like Bollywood, Punjabi, English Retro, Hip Hop, etc. Once you’ve established a good foothold & experience in the industry you can then choose & narrow down to a genre that you want to pursue & focus on.
Practice Makes Perfect - Practice, Practice, Practice. Don’t expect to be Spinderella right out the gate. It took me a good 2 years of solid practicing before I even thought about seeking a club gig. These days a lot of DJs will jump straight onto the stage without any skills to pay the bills, so one sure way to stand out is to hone your craft as much as possible before you debut your killer set. Like they say First Impression is the last Impression.
Learn Music Production & create content for your listeners consistently. You will be successful only if you bring value to someone else’s life. In case of DJs its the music you compile or put together for listeners. Make Remixes, Podcasts, Record Live sets and upload to Youtube. If you are consistent with your music, you will start seeing results and a growth.