Building your brand is essential for any aspiring electronic music artist (DJ/producer) who wants to turn their passion into a sustainable living. The 2019 International Music Summit Business Report estimates that the electronic dance music industry is worth $7.2 billion dollars. Some artists are earning as much as $200,000 per gig making the dance music industry a pie that everyone wants a slice (or two) of, so naturally, it’s becoming a very saturated market. With so much noise, how do you establish yourself as an artist? This four-part series highlights key pillars to create a strong foundation for your musical career as well as advice from respected industry members.
Taken since the inception of 6AM in 2008, we have been able to develop and follow key principles that have helped us knock down barriers, break through troubled times and reach our goals in the electronic music industry while continuing to hit key milestones every step of the way.
The information contained herein has helped shape who we are today and represents what we stand for in the global electronic music industry. We are far from perfect, we are constantly learning and always working to improve. More importantly, we need a constant reminder of these guidelines ourselves, which is also part of the reason we are publishing this article. We want to hold ourselves accountable while sharing something we hope can help others, or at least can spark a conversation on subjects we feel are important.
We not only hope you find this useful but more importantly we hope you find the strength to apply the guidelines within this article into your own journey and discover the things you didn’t think would be possible by peeling away the layers of negativity and self-sabotaging behavior that are stopping the progress you wish to attain. We are all in this together, you are never alone.
Thank you in advance for hearing us out and we’ll see you on the dancefloor soon.
Much Love & Respect,
With today’s technology advancements, it’s easy for almost anyone to translate their passion for electronic music into a career.
The myth of the bedroom producer is no longer a myth, and we often hear stories of discovered artists who broke through in the industry after putting in countless hours in the studio, honing their craft and grinding until their hard work paid off. We recently gave some tips on how to increase productivity in your home studio, tackling important subjects such as ergonomic studio set-ups, removing distractions, labeling samples, learning shortcuts and more.
But what makes someone a successful music artist? What traits must one possess to really get the most out of one’s passion for music production and/or DJing? While there are a lot of factors that come into play to make it in the music world, in order to turn passion into a career you must truly want it.
Here are some qualities most successful music artists possess, compiled after tens of hours of interviews with successful international DJs and electronic music producers.
For any artist, branding is an important element that makes them stand out from the rest. It is for this reason that some go to great lengths in creating that unique brand for themselves and the music they play, from their logo to the way they communicate on social media, and even the graphics they choose to use during their shows.
But an artist’s branding efforts would be in vain if they were not to extend to their personal look. After all, it is the one thing most visible to the artist’s audience and ultimately anything the artist projects will not only be noticed but at times can also lead to emulation if admired.
If you’ve ever had a layover or a cancelled or delayed flight, you know how tiring and stressful traveling can be. Imagine how this must be for a traveling artist, for whom experiences like these are quite common. Traveling the world for gigs and festivals seems awesome to most, but it is not always so. Some artists have seen their career trajectory shoot straight up vertically, going from producing music in their bedroom to major superstars seemingly overnight. Recently we have seen our industry tackle the important issues of mental health and well-being, especially with the passing of Avicii and artists such as Benga speaking up about the strains of touring and battles with depression.
So, how can you ensure you take care of your mental and physical health while on the road?
Although we sadly hear about officials trying to crack down on nightlife rather than understanding its economic and artistic importance on their community, we all know that they will never stop us from raving. Festivals are getting longer and cities across America are now starting to extend the hours that alcohol can be sold and bars can be open. Whether you live in a city with 24-hour clubs and venues, or somewhere where after-hours are rampant, we all know that there’s plenty opportunities to keep the party going, if you want it to!
Recently festivals such as Coachella and Electric Forest extended to 2 weekends, with Electric Forest already running for up to 5 days. Burning Man is a marathon of physical and mental strength as it is, while the recent rendition of Oregon Eclipse also lasted 7 days. Local LA and San Diego favorite crewDesert Hearts throws a 72-hour non-stop music and partying festival every year and promoters are throwing more and more marathon parties than ever. Then you get monster events such as Amsterdam Dance Event, Miami Music Week and the like which allow party-goers to keep partying for days, hopping from one party to the other. It isn’t always easy to get an adequate amount of sleep during these festivals and events, especially if you’ve been drinking copious amounts of alcohol and partaking in the use of illicit substances.
The availability of digital downloads and online media services like Spotify have permanently changed the landscape of modern music. Not only are musicians making less money nowadays, but music has become infinitely more accessible.
These seismic changes in technology have left music formats like CDs and vinyl behind. Fifteen years ago, for example, after the arrival of Apple’s massively popular iPod, many could have been forgiven for thinking that LPs were done for.
In the past, stadiums and giant arenas were mainly reserved for rock bands, rappers, orchestras, and popular singers. Yet, as the years have passed by and electronic music’s popularity has soared, DJs have found a way to be a part of these arenas, gaining the following, respect and attention that other major bands and artist have been receiving for decades.
As the electronic music scene has grown, millions of music fans around the world have taken to local nightclubs, festivals and arenas to listen to their favorite DJs. If you are a newcomer to the electronic music dance scene, however, it is possible that there are some terms used around which may be confusing to you, such as when flyers have the words “Live Set” or “DJ Set” next to an artist’s name. What do they mean exactly and what is the difference between the two?
Vinyl has made a come back and it’s not leaving any time soon! Naturally, the welcome phenomenon has made its way into the DJ industry, with a number of DJs returning to using vinyl in their live set or picking up their collecting of records once more.
We talked with Ellen Allien about her love for vinyl, we looked at whether vinyl is actually more expensive than digital and looked at how and why the vinyl industry has been surpassing the $1 billion revenue mark again for the first time since the ’80s.
Inevitably, this has given rise to a sometimes contentious debate with regards to the merits of vinyl for DJs. There is no right or wrong answer, which is why this debate will continue forever with both sides sharing valid points in advocating their respective beliefs regarding vinyl. As such, we will not be advocating one side over another over this vinyl “issue,” although we have covered in the past why CDJ shaming should stop.
Rather, we will devote space here to objectively examine the pros and cons of vinyl for DJs as a way to help you better gauge whether vinyl is the right fir for you.