Being an electronic music producer and DJ is a dream career for many aspiring artists. It offers creative freedom, purpose in work, opportunities to travel and perform, and the potential to make a living out of this. But, if you have a full-time job, it can be difficult to dedicate the necessary time and resources to pursue an electronic music career since it requires extra work which you will need to make time for.
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Fortunately, with some strategic planning and time management, you can still make it happen. In this article, we will discuss how to pursue a career in the electronic music industry when you have a full-time job using the tips and tactics I have used to eventually get myself out of the 9-5 grind and start living my purpose; to be working full-time in the electronic music industry!
Before you can start pursuing a career in the electronic music industry, you need to understand your goals. Are you looking to make a living from music, or just have some fun on the side? Do you want to produce and sell your own music, or just DJ at clubs and parties? Knowing your goals will help you plan and prioritize your time, so you can make the most of your efforts. For me, while I brushed it off as a hobby to my peers and friends in the beginning I knew deep down that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and that was to be entrenched into the music industry as a DJ/Promoter and everything else I can be to serve this community. It was a commitment I made to myself in 2007 when I decided to go all-in with this and through that mindset I was determined to pursue this path no matter what obstacles came my way. I can almost guarantee that not too many people who walked this path made the same type of commitment; for those of you who are down to commit to your goals, you have already out beat 90% of the herd because most of them do not fully commit. Make sure you do though!
Once you know your goals, you can create a schedule that fits around your full-time job. It’s important that you set aside specific times to focus on music (aka daily time-block), so you stay consistent and make progress. Even if you can only dedicate an hour or two a day, that’s still time you can use to develop your skills, create music, build your contacts list (labels/promoters), and connect with other industry professionals online!
This is actually a crucial aspect in committing to your goal and that is to intentionally set a schedule EVERYDAY (yes, everyday!) to work on something that will propel you even if it’s only for an hour. Let me remind you again that this component of self-discipline by creating a schedule and sticking to it is the core foundation towards massive progress in anything you do not just your pursuit in the electronic music industry.
Good Time management is absolutely critical when you have a full-time job and want to pursue a career in the electronic music industry. You need to make sure you’re using your time efficiently, effectively, and that you’re not procrastinating or wasting time on activities that don’t help you reach your goals or worse stand idle and do nothing!
Create a list of tasks that need to be done each day and each week, then prioritize them in order of importance to remain focused because you don’t have time to lose track which is what happens a lot. If there are activities that can be automated or delegated it may be worth outsourcing these tasks to free up more time for you to focus on music production and DJing. After all, you are making money in your full-time job to help support your passion which you are aiming to turn into a career. Because I understand how crucial time management is, I have created an online course via ArtistMap to help ALL creatives and artists understand what it takes to have good time management and how applying it to their journey will be the key to their success and reaching their goals faster because the work they do will be more focused and consistent!
It’s important to stay connected with the music scene if you’re serious about a career in the electronic music industry. This means attending events, meeting other DJ/Producers, and networking with music industry professionals such as promoters and label managers. Having a presence in the scene will help you build relationships, which can lead to gigs and other opportunities.
I know this is not the easiest for people with social anxiety to just go out and meet people but I always say to start small; perhaps reaching out via DMs on social media or SoundCloud to break the ice. As much as this is a struggle for some, I’m here to say that no one will be able to make the connection and network for you only you can make those connections and that’s why human interaction is so critical to help you propel because at the end of the day, it’s people who are making this industry happen and if you are unable to connect properly; many opportunities will never present itself so be sure to always work on your networking skills. There are many books, videos, and resources that will be able to help you combat this area if you feel very anxious about putting yourself out there to network with the community.
Technology has made it easier than ever to produce and distribute music, even when you have a full-time job. You can use software such as Ableton Live and Logic Pro (along with many other DAWs) to create music, and streaming services such as SoundCloud and Spotify to share your music with the world. Bandcamp even allows independent artists who are unsigned to a label to self-release along with Distrokid.
You can also use social media to promote yourself and your music, and connect with other producers, DJs, and industry professionals. This can be a great way to get your music heard, build an audience, and continue to grow your profile! This is all assuming you have put in the necessary WORK in the studio
Investing in yourself is essential if you want to pursue a career in the electronic music industry. This could mean taking classes or attending workshops to learn production and DJing skills, investing in better equipment, or hiring a mentor or coach to help you reach your goals by aligning your focus and priority.
It’s also important to invest in yourself mentally and physically every day because this industry will f*ck you up! And I mean it in the most serious way. Make sure you’re taking care of your health, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. This will ensure you’re in the right mindset to create music and take advantage of opportunities.
The great thing about having a full-time job while pursuing your passion-career is that you can self-invest easier than those who are doing it without the financial backing of a FT job; this was absolutely critical for me to continue my journey building 6AM over the years. Had I not had that financial income, it would have been even harder pushing through these years and on my lowest days, I was at least somewhat grateful for my job because it allowed me to continue to investing in my journey and 6AM. This is something not to be taken lightly; this industry is EXPENSIVE… being able to self-invest in your passion-career is a blessing so be sure to make the most of it!
Pursuing a career in the electronic music industry while balancing a full-time job can be a challenge, trust me I know this firsthand from 2008-2017. But, with some strategic planning, time management, and lots of patience it’s possible to make it happen. Remember to understand your goals, create a consistent work schedule, stay connected with the music scene, make the most of technology, and invest in yourself. With full commitment, dedication, and hard work, you can make your dreams of being an electronic music industry artist or professional come true. I did it and so have many others and I know you can do it too!