Becoming a DJ is not easy, much of the reason for that is because everyone thinks that they can be one, which is why the industry ends up having a hard time digging through the average DJs to find the best. With this being said there are many who have blazed a trail and DJ Rama most certainly falls into that category. DJ Rama has been one of India’s most successful DJs for many years now and for someone who started off in his bedroom sinning tracks, it has been quite a ride as he made it to the higher levels of the music industry.
We caught up with Rama at a local music festival recently to talk about his career and also to ask him for some tips for any young Des out there who are looking to make it. Advice and tips from people like DJ Rama can go a long way when it comes to inspiring people to work harder and smarter, which is why his advice was so valuable. If you do have dreams of one day becoming a professional DJ, at any level, then here are some tips which Rama wants you to hear.
Picking a Genre
There is nothing wrong with learning how to spin a number of different genres but you should have a particular style of music which you know better than any other and which you very much own. Being a wedding DJ is about playing the songs that people want to hear, being a real DJ is about people listening to what you won’t play, and this is why you are the one who should be showing people the style of music that you enjoy, and if they don’t like it they don’t have to listen. So many fall into the tram of playing stuff that they think people like, and there are always going to be occasions where you’ll have to do that, in the main though, it is going to come down to you playing your songs.
Behind the Scenes
Almost every DJ will tell you that before you even attempt to go out on the club circuit or being paying your own gigs, you are going to need to have put in an enormous amount of hours in your bedroom spinning music. Being a DJ is not about playing song after song, it is about matching beats and mixing music together, it is about understanding themes and rhythms in songs and it is about creating a larger piece of art using a wide variety of songs and musical styles. This is why practicing in your bedroom is so essential and before you actually play a gig, you have to have worked hard on the craft.
Something which you should certainly try to get into the habit of doing is making sets rather than just spinning music. This is what you will be doing in your career so it makes a great deal of sense to get started now and get used to building a set. Remember that a set is not a collection of songs, far from it, what you are doing is taking those people who are listening on a journey with the music. When you design a set you have to focus on how it flows and how the moods within it change. This is really an art and if you don’t get it right now, it will cause you problems in the future. In creating multiple sets you are also going to discover so much more music than you ever thought possible, as you look for the perfect track to fit each moment.
Get Out There
Once you feel that you have put in the work it is time to take your show on the road and try to start playing some real gigs. Take a look at the local community and see which kind of clubs or events you may be able to play, also look at festivals that are happening in your area which may have DJ slots. The key here is to take any opportunity that you can to play your music in front of people. When you do play shows, be sure that people know who you are, add your DJ moniker to your equipment or have someone hand out cards whilst you play. If you do well then you may find that this is a route to other gigs. It is important that you also record your set so that you can review it later, especially if you don’t have a good time because this way you can go back and review what didn’t work.
The key to this is practice and knowledge, and never bending to whatever is popular in the world of music right now.