How the DJ lost his way.

Why do DJs become jaded and can you avoid it happening to you? Kilma shares insight to a well known issue in the musical industry with key points to help you on your way to success.

Why DJs become jaded and how you can get out of that rut:

Young Wonder

Special thanks to Blog for supplying the hilarious pictures.

Whether you’ve been around long enough to see the music you love regurgitated into a form unrecognizable or you’ve just been burned by a promoter, chances are you’ve experienced or soon will the type of situations that can slowly lead to a DJ, artist or producer getting lost on his/her way to success.

Some red flags are obviously while others go unnoticed. As you may not be able to control them all, you can definitely plan ahead and protect yourself. Here are some of the situations that can kick you off track. Don’t worry we provide you with some solutions that can get you back on it.


If you’re failing to plan, you are planning to fail:
Wide eyed and full of excitement. The possibilities are endless but often there is no real planning. Does this sound like you? Sometimes artists tend to put focus on trivial details and little to nothing on the most essential ingredients to success.

When starting a business and applying for a loan, typically you would create a business plan to propose to a bank. In the planning it includes everything from who your customer base is, your marketing plan to how you will be making your money with a step by step process. The bank will not give you a loan if they do not think you will be able to sustain a living on your business idea.

Many of us know or may even be an artist that has dropped thousands of their own dollars without a plan, or goal in mind. “I’d like to play a festival.” or ” I just want to be a well known DJ in my city.” Even those small scale goals need basic planning.

One of the misconception is that if you are talented enough someone will discover you. A thought common in the community simply because it’s what they are told by others before them. Who can blame them, right?

Plan ahead, have a visual of your goals and break them down into smaller and smaller tasks that you can do each day. Set dead lines for yourself and do your research about others in your line of work. Reach out to the success people in your field, either on a face to face level, phone calls or email if out of town. Keep that daily grind but be specific about what that looks like.

Para One

Losing motivation by distraction:
So you work hard every day, but you are losing your motivation. With the age of the internet it’s very easy to get distracted by online drama, music forums, and trending topics. If you can’t turn it around in a positive way, you may end up with a negative stance overall. Maybe you’re either fighting to be heard and acknowledge or dealing with the drama that can come with working in an industry that is fuel by the nightlife and yes… drugs.

In order to keep on task, you must make a constant effort to stay on message. Ask yourself “What is the goal?” If you are pushing out a new mix or tune and getting negative feed back ask yourself “Does my work need more time to progress or am I being distracted by this person to question my efforts?”

Feed back is gold and an important part to your ever growing success. Businesses give free cookies (Subway) and offer cash prizes (Pizza Hut) for people to give feed back on their service. If someone says you come off “too spammy” be curious and ask about it. Don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to say something.

Side note:

If you feel like someone may be trying to start a war with you and you feel compelled to respond, try asking yourself;

– is it worth saying something now or do I just feel like this in the moment?
– how will this help my career or cause issues?
– will what I say today matter in 1 year, 5 years?
– when will I stop replying/responding after this?

If you make carefully, thought out and constructed actions, are better aware of the situations that are only meant to distract you from your prize, you may be on the right track!


Con-Artist and Scams
People that are most vulnerable to being scammed are usually new to the scene, easy-going, kind, giving, non-judgemental folk. A good type of person to be, however an easy target. Maybe they want to believe people are good and that we all want the best for one another. Often the approach the con-artist will have is the same, to gain your confidence in them. This approach can sound something like, “Doing it for the music.” Maybe it’s a promoter booking you without pay changing the details last minute. They can be followed by sob stories to cruel words when you stand up for yourself. Sometimes producers find themselves struggling because of their label owners or agencies taking more than their cut out of their fee, tune or other hidden costs after the fact.

I’m not recommending you turn into a jerk. It can be a cruel world and when the people you trust go against their word and even make us feel sorry for them during a friendship, it can rock us on our ass. It’s totally not right. Some of the most talented people are so paranoid and furious from past unfortunate dealings that it’s difficult to find trust in people again. This stance can effect how the artists view the scene as a whole and can contribute a DJ losing their way.

DJ Monki

Do you research about people that have had previous relations with an artists, label, promoter or agency. Get details hammered out in advance and don’t be afraid to ask for contracts to “keep the peace” or even just keep existing friendships. Only give as much as you are willing to lose.

Example: If you are unsure if a promoter will pay you for playing an event, only do the event if you are okay with leaving with nothing if the “person in question” doesn’t follow their end. Usually meaning you’ve hammer details in advance and it’s a quick local gig. Don’t use your hard earned money to go across the globe to “possibly” be paid.

My main word of advice, PLAN. Take you time, be specific and plan ahead. From your goals to a picture in your head of what that success will look like. It will help keep you on point, focused and motivated. It’s easy to fall into a jaded mind sense, difficult to keep the focus but we know you’re up for the challenge.

Note: It takes a village to raise a child, it takes a small town to raise a DJ.


Understand that there will be times where you fee like you are losing your way or feeling jaded. That does not mean that all hope is lost, it just means that’s how you are feeling in that moment. It’s great to have a support system of people that can remind you of all the great things you’ve done and have faith you will continue to do more. People that you can vent to and say, “Yea, that’s shitty.” but also say, “Use that as motivation to rock it.”

Like any career, relationship, or adventure your patience will be tested. So put your seat belt on and hold on for the ride, because sometimes it’s going to be bumpy, but you’re going to see a lot of great things along the way because of it.

Need help with branding and marketing? Brand Me Silly is now offering one on one sessions in Winnipeg.


Thoughts? Join the discussion on facebook & twitter #DontKilmaVibe

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