Every DJ Needs Music… But where do we find it?
Whether you’re just starting out as a DJ with a brand new controller or have been playing for years in clubs something you will always need to do is buy and download music to play with.
Building a music library is an essential part of being a DJ, however finding what music to download and where to download it is a minefield!
This post is full of tips on where to look and get inspiration for music, new, old, remixed and everything in between. You will need to try stand out as a DJ by finding interesting remixes or edits of songs. You will also need a varied music library full of surprises!
Where do DJs get their music from?
- Crossfader Music Pack (FREE DJ MUSIC)
- DJ Record Pools
- DJ Mailing Lists
- Track lists
- Music Blogs
- Music Streaming Services
Please note: Not all in the list will allow you to physically download the music but are great places for inspiration.
Free DJ Music – Crossfader Music Pack Download
Do you need to give your music library a kick start? If so then download our Crossfader Music Pack full of exclusive tracks you won’t find anywhere else. There are songs from multiple genres in there that have been hand picked to help you learn to mix.
Record pools are a great way of keeping up to date with a wide variety of new music. Most pools cater toward the resident club DJ and give direct access to brand new music as well as access to an older library. By subscribing to the record pool and paying a monthly subscription DJs have access to loads of new music including edits made specifically for DJs. Most pools now offer intro edits of radio songs to help DJ’s mix and blend them easier which is very helpful. Most DJ record pools will require the DJ to submit feedback or rate each song before downloading. This data can then be sent back to the artists and labels for constructive feedback.
The main record pools dedicated to DJs are:
DJ mailing lists are specifically aimed at the working club DJs out there who have regular club gigs. Most services will need thorough proof of your residencies to make sure that their brand new music makes it to the right ears. A lot of these services also watermark their releases so they can keep track of any illegal sharing of music files, so if you find yourself signed up to one, it goes without saying, don’t start sharing your brand new releases with the world. They are also very hard to get on and most labels would rather invite a DJ over having a link to sign up. Saying that, a great service you can message is listed below. You may find once you’re on one list, you get signed up to multiple labels. It’s also important to remember to stay active on your lists as inactive members are often removed from mailing lists!
Jigsaw Artist Management
To get you started on mailing lists Jigsaw Artist Management have been kind enough to share their mailing list sign up page with Crossfader, click the link below to apply!
Why not look at what your favourite DJs are already playing? Believe it or not most DJs sets get track listed online. For inspiration on what artists to search for when downloading music, first search for what current DJs are already playing. This goes for the big timers and radio DJs alike.
Websites to check out:
Very similar to track lists, however instead of looking at what DJs are playing why not look at what radio stations are playing. Each station usually has an A, B and C list to browse through. This is a good way of gauging what is current to the radio stations listeners. In the UK the more commercial radio stations are BBC Radio 1 & Capital FM, they will be full of brand new popular student friendly music. If you’re an urban DJ then BBC 1XTRA or Capital Xtra in the UK would be ideal. If you live outside the UK make sure to check the websites of your favorite radio’s website to see if they also list their track lists, most will!
BBC Radio 1 Playlist:
Capital FM Playlist:
BBC 1Xtra Playlist:
Capital Xtra Playlist:
Kiss FM Playlist:
You’re already probably very aware of what Soundcloud is… the greatest thing about it though is that its a gold mine for remixes and original music, from new and undiscovered artists. There are always so many FREE DOWNLOADS given away by up and coming producers. Some of the biggest chart tracks from electronic producers started as a free downloads on Soundcloud until a label picked it up.
Here is a great process to start getting lost in the world of Soundcloud.
2. Find an unofficial remix with lots of plays and comments to have a listen. At this stage look out for free downloads too!
3. If you like that remix click through to the track.
Then look at the following:
– Related Tracks
– Playlists the track is in for other tracks that are similar
– The Soundcloud account itself
4. If you end up on that Soundcloud account look at what they ‘Like’ and who they ‘Follow’
Often you will find yourself getting deeper and deeper into Soundcloud coming across lots of new, undiscovered, and interesting music. Look out for Soundcloud music channels sharing lots of music from a similar genre all in one place! Follow accounts, comment on your favourites and support new artists.
Whilst we do recommend Soundcloud for finding new music and using the free download options we definitely do NOT recommend using external software or websites to illegally rip music from the site. Not only is this illegal but it downloads in a poor quality which will sound terrible when DJ’d in venues. If you find a remix and can not download it legally from soundcloud, try looking for the artist and track on some of the other sources we have listed!
This works in a very similar way to Soundcloud. Start your journey by typing the name of a song you already have and like. Then use youtube’s fantastic related videos feature to get lost in similar music and releases. See how deep you can go, then when you have exhausted all options and end up on funny cat videos just start again with a new track in the search field.
Also look out for music channels on youtube dedicated to new artists and producers.
Youtube channels to check out:
Once again, please refrain from illegally downloading music from YouTube using third party converters. It sounds terrible and is illegal!
A must have app on most DJ’s phone, Shazam allows you to identify almost any track that you are currently listening to. Whether you are in a club, hear it on the radio or just out and about. Make sure you have Shazam installed, once identified Shazam keeps a list of your identified songs so you can go download them once back home! Please note not all remixes and tracks are identifiable, some exclusives aren’t publicly listed so won’t be picked up.
If you are in a rush and can’t open the shazam app, use the assistant on your phone (google assistant or siri) as a quick alternative. Ask the assistant “what is this song” to begin the analysis. Once it’s identified screenshot the result as these methods don’t save your identified tracks for a later time like Shazam.
Blogs are a fantastic source of new music. The only tricky part about blogs is deciding which ones to follow and keep checking on, so to make this easier why not use Hype Machine to search them all for you!
Again all you need to do is choose a starting point. Type the name of an artist or track in its search engine, then follow through to the blogs that track is listed on to discover similar music.
Music Streaming Services
Streaming has become the new standard for music consumption with average of 46.4 million people having a paid music subscription in first half of 2018 alone. With this in mind DJ software has recently started to shift towards this market with Algoriddim supporting Spotify and Serato bringing SoundCloud Go and Tidal onboard. By the end of 2019 we are hoping to have a dedicated streaming plan from online music giants BeatPort too. However, streaming tracks into your DJ software isn’t the only way to make use of these platforms. The automatic playlists generated within Spotify and Apple Music are been a fantastic way of discovering new music for DJ’s based on their current listening habits.
Apple music for example has A-List playlists for nearly every genre allowing you to keep up to date with the latest tunes from each. Spotify’s for you daily playlists are genre based and a fantastic blend of previously listened to music and new tracks to compliment!
Most streaming services are a fantastic place to hunt for music, just remember you will need to download the files from another service if you aren’t using a compatible DJ programme.
If you’re not signed up to either service why not use Playlists.net, a website which allows you to search through Spotify playlists without being a member, this means you can still get inspired without even having to sign up!
Again just start searching for artists, labels, genres that take your fancy and see what Spotify has already come up with!