5 Reasons DJs Should Produce Their Own Music

DJ at Festival

Think of a few household name DJs. Big names, in any genre you like. Now sort those DJs into two categories; those who release their own music, and those who don’t.

I’m willing to bet the column marked DJ/Producer is considerably longer than the DJs column.

Of course, there are DJs in every field who have become hugely successful simply by mastering the art of DJing, but for every Carl Cox there are ten Aviciis, David Guettas, Afrojacks and Diplos.

Success can come in many guises, and there’s no single route to it.

And, before the pitchfork wielding mob descend… not producing your own music is totally fine!

DJing is a noble art that takes years to perfect. There’s a strong argument for not distracting yourself from one craft for another.

The intention of this article is not to chastise DJs who don’t want to produce, but to encourage those who do.

It can be spectacularly rewarding, both artistically and industrially.

So without further ado, here are 5 reasons you should consider entering the world of music production if you want to make it big in 2019.

Woman and Man DJing

A hit song will fast-track you to the big time

Today’s musical landscape is awash with DJs. The charts have as many DJs as bands and solo artists, while the stigma that electronic music production isn’t ‘real’ music is long extinct.

It’s never been a better time for an electronic music producer to make it big.

What’s more, one of the staple income streams for producers is the DJ circuit. Producers are learning to DJ to take advantage of the opportunities their music has created – so why shouldn’t DJs do the same in reverse?

Music is more than ‘just’ about the music these days. To become established in any genre or scene, you need a strong brand, a style and an image that people can connect with.

Tracks, videos and releases are fundamental to creating the buzz your talent deserves.

MCing DJ

2. The industry is geared towards pushing tracks over mixes

As a DJ, your calling card is your DJ mix. Sites like Mixcloud can see DJs getting tens of thousands of plays for an hour long mix. But try getting a DJ mix played on the radio, play-listed by Spotify or blogged by Pitchfork. Not so easy, is it?

Fans want to hear tracks – one big tune will elevate your standing no end.

It’s certainly not a given that producing your own music and edits will launch your career, but the likes of Martin Garrix, Avicii and Steve Aoki show that getting songs played in mainstream outlets quickly leads to the kind of bookings most DJs can only dream of!

Tracks can be ubiquitous – everywhere at once, all over the radio, on TV, at festivals, adverts and major events. This kind of exposure simply can’t be achieved with a DJ mix.

Live on campus

3. Writing your own music helps your fans understand your style

When you write a track, there is only one person in control of the sound, style and aesthetic. You.

Plus, it’s delivered in radio-friendly, bite-size pieces that fans can instantly connect to.

The art of DJing involves carefully constructing an hour or more of quality music that takes your audience on a journey. Your own compositions act like a business card for your creative vision.

Pyrotechnic DJ Show

4. Your own music helps you stand out, control your own brand and create buzz

It can be hard to stand out from the crowd as a DJ.

What’s stopping the DJ before or after you from playing the same songs as you? How can you ensure your performance stands out?

A set full of your own edits and compositions stamps your performance with individuality. That’s powerful.

There are many ways to create buzz, from smart use of social media to outrageous stage-wear, cake-throwing antics and celebrity endorsements. And, demonstrably, a catalog of quality productions unique to the artist.

DJ and light show

5. Having hits persuades promoters to book you

Promoters need to be convinced that you can draw a crowd. A million-stream single or radio-embraced track will give you the edge over your competition.

It’s not easy to create hit tracks, but learning the ropes and manifesting your own musical voice will not only improve your DJ sets, it will introduce you to new audiences.

Plus, as a DJ already, you’re in pole position to take advantage of the hype that a hit track can bring.

People tend to assume that a good producer is also a good DJ. Having them assume that about you is a pretty neat way of marketing your DJ skills!

Turntablist

Whether you’re gunning to be the next Big Thing, or prefer to plough your own niche in your chosen sub-genre, producing music will improve your DJ career.

There are some DJs who’s craft is so technical, skilful and innovative that it sets them apart already. Many such DJs end up producing anyway, as their sets contain so many heavily edited tracks that they’re pretty much producing!

Other DJs might be strictly old-school vinyl-heads, or simply unwilling to spend the time required to become a great producer. There’s nothing wrong with that (most of us have day-jobs, after all).

But, if you’re serious about DJing and want to be succesful, whatever that means to you, consider getting into music production.

Naturally, in Captain Plugins we have the perfect tool to help you write those hit songs.

DJ on faders

Write your own tracks using Captain Plugins

It’s super easy to create your own ideas from scratch. Visit the official Captain Plugins homepage and see how it will help you explore music and write your own original productions.