How to Get DJ Gigs: 5 Tips from the Pros

We’ve partnered with free music platform GigPig to bring you the top advice on how to get DJ gigs from five DJs killing it in the club scene. 

Vanessa Maria: “Network.”

“When I first started DJing I would go to as many shows as possible and meet as many people as I could. The more you go out, the more connections you make and you’ll better your chances of getting booked for better gigs.” 

Named one of the most important young people in music by Sludge Magazine, Vanessa Maria’s diverse career spans a variety of sectors across DJing, hosting and advocating for mental health in the music industry. Her self-produced DJ mix series in collaboration with Notion magazine combines her love for DJing with a championing of underrepresented regional talent. Vanessa’s gig history includes a number of large-scale festivals and venues, including Wireless, All Points East, Warehouse Project and HÖR Berlin, as well as a monthly residency on Foundation FM

DJ Fricktion: “Stand out from the crowd”

“Separate yourself from what other DJs your age are doing. Some may focus too much on impressing others and get stuck in the comfort zone of playing the same mixes and songs they know will do well. Think outside the box and expand your music knowledge to cover as many different styles as possible. That way you’ll be able to incorporate music outside of what’s simply trending and it will also make you a much better DJ compared to those of a similar age.”

Born and raised in Dudley, West Midlands, DJ Fricktion knows how difficult it can be to break into London’s club scene. As one of the most sought-after DJs for coveted venues across London and abroad, Fricktion has performed at venues such as 1 Oak (New York), Liv (Miami), Hakkasan (Las Vegas), Bootsy Bellows (LA) and currently holds residencies at Mayfair hotspots Luxx and Tape London. He is also a go-to DJ for a number of A-List clientele including Lewis Hamilton, Neymar Junior, Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonardo Di Caprio.

Ohmydais: “Practice, practice, practice.” 

“There’s always time to improve your skill as a DJ and when you put in the work people will notice. Make plenty of time for solo mixing and figure out how to include your favourite blends and crowd favourites into your set. If you’re starting out, create a playlist for your first or upcoming set. For the first 3-4 tracks of the playlist, create an order of what sounds good together. Think about what melodies/vocals/beats complement each other – having this will take the edge off when you’re performing and you can improvise from there. Ultimately, having confidence in your mixing and track selection will boost your confidence when networking and building your presence as a DJ.” 

East London-based Ohmydais has quickly made a name for herself in London’s underground music scene through her multi-genre talent for DJing. With regular radio appearances on Rinse FM, Reprezent Radio and Balamii, she has performed at some of the UK’s most legendary venues, such as fabric and Corsica Studios, as well as owning the crowd at festivals including Westival, Field Day and Waterworks.

Jimmy Fader: “Get heard on radio.”

If you’re serious about starting to DJ in clubs, securing a regular radio show is a good way to immerse yourself in a local scene and show people what you’re all about. Radio also has the benefit of forcing you to expand your music collection – which in my opinion is what sets DJs apart these days. There’s an array of amazing radio stations on the perpetual lookout for new talent. Think up a concept, get a demo recorded and start hitting them up.”

Jimmy Fader has been a DJ, promoter and radio host for ten years in both his hometown of Seoul and his current London base of operations. Having cut his teeth as a resident at East Asian clubbing institution Cakeshop, Jimmy is now a veteran of the London scene with venues like The Cause, XOYO and Phonox under his belt. Jimmy hosts a monthly show on Voices Radio, and runs some of London’s most forward-thinking parties with his COURSE club nights – co-founded by UK underground legend Plastician.

Joe Roche: “Sign up to GigPig”

“GigPig is a revolutionary and much-needed platform that has made my life so much easier! It’s offering quality, high-paid work whilst easing my week-to-week admin workload. Payments are secure and on time, and it’s allowed me more time and headspace to concentrate on my studio output.”

Manchester-based Joe Roche has performed at a broad array of the city’s iconic venues, including Victoria Warehouse, Gorilla, South and the Antwerp Mansion, as well as appearances at V Festival and Singapore’s 2018 Grand Prix. With experience performing alongside, Camelphat, Kydus, David Glass and Le Fleur, Joe recommends using platform GigPig if you’re looking to know how to get DJs gigs. 

GigPig actively works with live music venues to make the process of booking live musicians and DJs a whole lot easier. Entirely free to use, GigPig helps artists to get gigs, get paid and spend more time doing what they love without the hassle of doing it alone. Sign up to GigPig here.

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