Being a DJ/producer has often been perceived as a one-person act. People are easy to think the artists do a lot by themselves, not just playing tracks but also handling equipment, getting gigs, marketing, etc.
What many do not realize is that DJs cannot do all these alone. That is why most successful artistse mploy a team who handle the different aspects of the industry. In essence, they help take away some of the more strenuous and time consuming aspects DJs and producers have to deal with so they can concentrate more on their music. At the end of the day why not leave the experts of their own individual fields take care of things so that the artist can focus on their music?
Depending on the artist, the team may include one person, a few key people or a whole team, each handling specific matters. Regardless of the number, the artist’s team should have the following key people in place, or at best their functions taken care of professionally whether by one person or multiple people:
Perhaps the most important member of the team and the key person every artist should have. The manager’s main role is to handle the day-to-day business for an artist, especially if the artist can no longer handle matters by themselves anymore. Managers oversee various functions such as negotiating with record labels, setting up shows/tours, and handling merchandising, among many others. To put it simply, the manager helps the DJ and producer earn as an artist.
It is not required for a manager to have a business degree or any prior business experience. What is important is that the manager shows he has the artist’s welfare in mind first and foremost, though that itself can be a challenge. This is a position that is not needed until the artist’s profile gets big enough to warrant the delegating of functions that a manager will handle. For this reason it is also important for the DJ/producer to show talent and dedication so as to attract highly-capable managers that can give them an edge in what is undoubtedly a competitive market.
The agent represents the DJ’s booking interests, ensuring the DJ’s touring schedule is filled up accordingly. But beyond that, the agent ensures the artist is being booked at the right venue, at the right time and for the right price. The agent’s role is crucial in understanding the DJ’s potential, the market, having the right connection with the right venues and securing the right bookings to elevate the DJ’s career in ways that the DJ cannot do himself.
Finding the right agency and having the right agent is crucial. Depending on the DJ team setup, the manager may fulfill the role of the agent, there could be an independent agent representing the artist or he could be represented by an agency with a dedicated agent assigned.
One of the most underrated members of the artist team, the publicist helps market and promote the artist, his music, his accomplishments and more. Through writing and sending press releases, forming relationships with press, securing interviews and features, the publicist keeps everyone updated of the latest releases and gigs while helping build a good image for the artist. They also help widen the artist’s fanbase, not to mention help them network with fellow artists and record executives who have come to take interest.
There are many freelance publicists for hire, as well as PR agencies you can contact. Or if you’re not quite ready yet, try getting in touch with a recent graduate who’d be willing to work with you.
Social media is key in today’s world and the truth of the matter is that not everyone understands it and how to use it to their advantage. While some bigger DJs have full control of their social media, or at least one or two channels, having a clear strategy to execute on socials is important and often overlooked. Having a social media manager or enlisting the services of an agency can truly make the difference in taking a DJ’s and/or producer’s career to the next level.
Some artists fail to realize that they could be using interns for work. Think about it, an intern can help you with merchandise, social media, sending out press releases or demos, carrying live audio equipment, etc. In the United States you can devise the right internship program for students who are looking for internships to fulfill college credit requirements. This can be ideal for up-and-coming DJs, producers, those in audio school, marketing/business students or others with similar fields of interest.
A crate digger is someone whose job is to sort through all the new music that complements the DJ’s music style. From finding new artists to new tracks or samples, the crate digger provides the DJ all these music that can be worked into their music style. For this role it’s important that the person know music very well, which is why it’s oftentimes filled by the manager or someone working for the label an artist may have started.
This is a more of a behind the scenes role, or one of simple collaboration. We have interviewed many artists who have told us that having a fellow producer to work on tracks with helped launch or boost their career, regardless of whether it was the track they worked together that was the key to their success. The reason for this is that being able to collaborate with someone in the studio can be the perfect exchanging of ideas that helps an up-and-coming producer learn new skills in the studio, come up with new artistic visions for tracks and more.
As with any industry associated with entertainment, the DJ industry involves legal matters like contracts. As such, it is best for the artist to get the services of a lawyer who is knowledgeable in crafting such documents in a legal and proper way that benefits the artist’s welfare.[brew_cta id=”5″]