In addition to being well versed in music and having a vast knowledge of sound, a DJ also has to be a performer. You can probably pick out some rock stars in your head which you have seen in concert. Some of them are born performers who excite the crowd. Others are not comfortable performing in front of others and would instead be recording and making music. Most successful musicians today have to have some magnetic performing magic to them to get heard. Even older groups that have been around for a long time are still touring to promote their music and get their fans jumping.
Also for your zest for music, you also have to have a zest for people. When you are playing music for people, whether you are at a club or an event, you have to like the people. This is not a career for a shrinking violet. It is a career for someone who is gregarious and who truly enjoys entertaining the crowd.
Part of being a DJ is being a personality. Someone who is an artist with the music but who also knows how to get people in the mood to have fun. Again, the DJ is the emcee of any event, so you have not to be afraid to get your voice out there.
How do you get to the point where you are ready to have your voice heard and did not feel shy about speaking in front of people? You practice. The first biggest fear of most people is speaking in front of a crowd. Second is death. Yes, death is second to talking in front of a group of people. However, once you can get used to speaking in front of people and entertaining them, it is easy. The first time you perform as a DJ, you may feel a little nervous. But as you continue with this career, it will get easier and more comfortable for you.
Years ago, a radio DJ was the only DJ around. They all had gimmicks. As competition grew, so did the need for an audience. So they started to come up with various ways that they could get listeners to their stations. One of the most popular of all of the big time radio DJ personalities was Wolfman Jack. People listened in to his broadcast not so much to hear his songs that he played, but also to listen to him. In addition to playing music, he would take calls from listeners. He was a legend in the industry until his death. He had a very gruff voice and would often howl, like a wolfman, thus giving him the name.
Today, radio personalities often talk show personalities. Few who play music have a cult-like following like Wolfman Jack. But if you want to be a DJ in a club or even play at events, then you need to develop a personality that is both your own, as well as interesting to others.
While the gimmick might have worked wonders years ago, a trick today seems corny. Unless, of course, it does not look like a gimmick. Wearing a particular type of clothing can make you stand apart. Having a specific accent can make you stand apart. Speaking in a particular manner may make you stand apart. Of course, your music is the most critical part of your DJ career because, without that, no gimmick in the world will continue to hold you up, but if you can combine a gregarious personality that has a unique quality to it as well as play great music, you can really have it made in the DJ world.
The most important part of developing your DJ personality is to build your personality. Not the character of someone else. You are going to want to be yourself, but also make the most of what sets you apart from others. There is something that sets everyone apart from everyone else. No two people are exactly alike. Use the thing that is different about you, that makes you unique, and capitalise on it to give yourself your DJ personality.
A fake persona is usually seen right through by people. You do not have to be outrageous, either, if you want to be a successful DJ. Consider all of the outrageous celebrities who are out there today – do we need another one? Perhaps you can create a personality that is a bit understated instead of overstated but still makes you stand out to get your music heard.
Go into any club where there is a DJ and check them out. Instead of just checking out the people in the club or the music, check out the behaviour of the DJ. See what about them makes the crowd like them. In most cases, you will see that they all pretty much behave in the same way. They all have their list of songs that they play, all use the same phrases, the same slang and are all very much alike.
Individuality achieves greatness. Think of what you could do differently that would make the crowd not only stand up and take notice of your music but also to you. Look at how the different DJ s in the club dress. The type of jewellery and hats that they wear. Can you think of anything that would make you stand out that you can do differently?
Sure, you can always get to be more outrageous. But this is just another gimmick and will only last until someone else gets even more outrageous than you. Perhaps you can do something that is unique, that is all your own, and get others to take notice. Maybe a different style of dress. A different way of speaking that will make you stand out above the others. Standing out above the others is the name of the game when you want to be successful in any show business, and make no mistake about it, being a DJ is part of being in show business. Any time you entertain others, you are part of show business.
One way that you can work on your personality is to practice with your friends. Once you get used to performing your spinning in front of people who you know, you will feel more comfortable with people who you do not know. Some of those who get into the DJ business end up bringing someone with them to help them out.
Earlier, we spoke about being a DJ at a wedding or other type of social event. Most of the time, a DJ will have to get started earning money in this way. You may not be able to spin the type of music that you are looking to play, but this is an excellent way to earn money as well as get used to entertaining people. It also can help you develop your DJ personality.
It is essential that you have an outgoing personality when you are a DJ and that you like to get along with other people. You should want to entertain. But do not allow your personality to take over your music. Remember that the music is the number one reason that people are going to clubs or dancing at weddings. They are not there to see you; you are part of the entertainment but not the entertainment itself.
The more you practice your personality skills in front of others, the better you will become at this business. The more gigs you get, the more your confidence will grow. Sure, there will be times when you are off your mark a bit, but this happens to the best of performers. Do not let it get you down. And never let any discouragement, such as a turn down for a job, deter you from what you want to do. The most successful people in the entertainment industry have faced rejection repeatedly. Always remember that “Rolling Stone” said that “Led Zeppelin” would never cut a decent record.
It may take you a little while before you become comfortable with your DJ personality. It may change over a period. This is fine. Again, performers are always changing with the times. Even more important, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of what is popular with the crowd when it comes to music. This is forever changing as well. A good DJ has a sparkling personality, knows how to get the group to stand up and get dancing and is always aware of the ever-changing trends in the music industry.