Yes, Gang! Lawrence here!
So, people are beginning to call me Joe Rogan of the DJ industry… the Steven Bartlett of the DJ world.. and whilst that is 100% inaccurate, non-factual and a complete lie.
I have been reflecting on talking to some world-famous DJs in the last few years, both on our podcast, in person or through social media.
It’s fascinating how many ways there are to “make it”; however, a common theme makes successful DJs go beyond the norm and reach the top.
One single factor is why these iconic DJs have gone beyond the local clubs and are now world-famous in their own right.
Before I explain what that is, I’ve put together 4 lessons I’ve learned from these incredible DJs…
Lesson 1- Taking the Opportunity
I had a real pinch-me moment when I got to interview arguably the most influential DJ of a generation.
The legend that is A-trak, and I learned he was also just like every DJ out there; he had to start somewhere.
A moment of opportunity presented itself when Kanye West turned up at a record store where A-Trak was djing, and the rest, you could say, is history.
He went on to become Kanye’s DJ for many years and is now known as 1/2 of Duck Sauce, as well as being the GOAT of the DJ industry.
After that encounter with Kanye, A-Trak said this in our interview…
” You know, I think there’s something about the performance that I did at that store that spoke to Kanye, and then yeah, I had to realize that this was something worth chasing for me, and I ended up tracking Kanye down before going to the airport to go back to Canada, so I chased it for sure, and I hustled it with his manager for months after but it’s not as simple as just contacting someone out of the blue and saying give me give me a shot you gotta also show and prove and be ready for it when that opportunity arises.”
|Listen to A-Trak Interview Here|
Lesson 2- Ridiculous Output
My interview with Chapter & Verse is our most listened-to podcast ever, and for good reason.
He has an incredible story about becoming a world-famous tech house DJ/Producer in his 40s when everyone said he was crazy.
But the main thing that stood out for me was his output. Nobody I have seen in the industry produces the volume of work he does.
That goes for how many songs he produces, how many Instagram posts he puts out a week, how many comments he writes, and the stories he uploads…you can’t not be impressed with that.
Chapter & Verse on getting his first track signed…
” No one knew who I was, I had no shows behind me, I couldn’t get any footage, I had nothing. I literally went onto my computer and thought, where can I get email addresses from? I didn’t even know what a genre was… I thought if this track weren’t for them, they just wouldn’t reply “
|Listen to Chapter & Verse Interview Here|
Lesson 3- Be Different
They don’t make em’ like SUAT. He is well and truly a one-off. That is exactly why he has managed to carve his own path in this competitive industry.
Everyone knows him for being the guy who turns up to weird and wonderful places with a controller strapped to his body, giving people a reason to smile or giving security the run-around .
His constant drive to be different has opened doors for him to play his own sold-out club shows.
Suat really took off during and post-COVID.. here’s what he said about his idea and what drives him…
“We could only get 1 hour of exercise per day, so I thought, how can I combine that with DJing… I was at uni, cut the top off my Uni desk, and was away. When you have a lightbulb moment, you don’t know how well it will go, but you know you are onto something… I was getting comments like, ” This made my week “, ” you got me out of depression”, and “You have just broken the internet”, and that was the real driving force to continue to do it.”
|Listen to Suat Interview Here|
Lesson 4- Having a Game Plan
In this week’s episode of Off The Record, I’ve been talking to Joe Lobel. If you’ve been following Joe, you will know he has BLOWN UP in the last 18 months.
He has performed on stages with French Montana, Central Cee and Aitch. He has been booked worldwide, from Thailand to Bali, Ibiza to the Caribbean, and I’m excited for you guys to listen to this episode.
Joe’s most significant factor for success is having a plan and sticking to it. I’ve known Joe for many years; we had a conversation where he told me he was switching from open-format club DJ to straight Hip Hop.
Then, post-COVID, he went all-in with social media content, paying for videographers to film the highest quality content possible, even if he made no money from the gig.
This commitment paid off; he now has 280k followers on TikTok and 90k on Instagram. More importantly, his club bookings are constantly coming in and are getting bigger and better.
Here’s what Joe said about having a plan…
“I just came out of COVID-19, and I was like, I’m just going to get loads of content, good clean, high-quality content, with good audio, good mixes, and then I just started posting and posting and posting. It starts so disheartening; you spend hours planning the mix, you’ve spent money on the thing, and it gets like 30 views. But then I just kept going, and the good thing was I had invested loads of time, money and energy into loads of content, and when one finally did go viral, I had loads for people to indulge in.’
|Listen to Joe Lobel Here|
The BIG Takeaway
I said at the beginning of the email there was one single factor that links the success of these DJs, and it’s this…
The relentless pursuit of achieving their goal.
The sole focus being on what they needed to do to get where they wanted to be. It’s so easy to take the easy option: stop at the first hurdle and complain to the world for not handing you your dreams on a plate.
These DJs got past the point of it being ‘easy’, and I hope that they inspire you to do the same.
FREE DJ COURSE!!!
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Here, we cover basic DJ skills, as well as how to promote yourself, find gigs and move over to professional gear.
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|Visit Our FREE COURSE Here!!|
Tune of the Week:
Do you use the ‘DJ’ option on Spotify? I initially thought it was a bit gimmicky, but I have grown to love it. It suggested these two tracks: 1 Hip-Hop and 1 super chill R&B vibe.
Have a listen, and let me know if you’re feeling them!
We’re here to support you!
We hope these tips have pointed you in the right direction. Even with this knowledge, be prepared to make plenty of mistakes and fail a few times.
It’s all part of the journey and will give you valuable experience that will make you a better DJ. Ultimately though, success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about putting in the time and dedication to achieve your goals.
But there are ways to speed things along! As well as our Complete DJ Package, designed to help you achieve your DJ dreams fast, we offer a range of comprehensive beginner courses to take your skills to the next level!