It’s NOT all about the music.

I usually write advice pieces but something has been on my mind lately and it’s time I get it out there. I want to invite people to truly think about what it is they are saying vs. what it is they are actually doing and how those things are polar opposites.

Kilma opening for J.Phlip

If it was truly “all about the music” people wouldn’t get upset about ghost writers or artists singing tunes they didn’t write. They would simply be extremely happy that the music was out there in the first place. Right? It seems the humble attitude that, “I’m not in it for the money, it’s all about the music” is more about an image than an authentic belief. The idea being that if a person seems to be genuine about their art form people find them easier to like. But as success grows a quick judgement of character.

What happens when their is no profitable reward?

Does the quality of the music goes down when we don’t require artists be paid?

Is stating,”It’s all about the music” actually bringing down the value of our scene as a whole?

Right now we have an over saturated market of under qualified artists. Not only has the equipment to perform become more highly advertised and “trendy” but the ability to advertise one selves has become limitless with the internet. With the “instant gratification” age we live in, there seems to be less patience and a “need for fame .”While shortcuts being taken to gain gigs.  “Doing it for the music” seems to have justified working  for free to “gain exposure.” And it’s not just the artists taking those short cuts.

Many eager individuals are not taking the time to fully understand their craft, whether it be graphic design, music production, promoting or even photography. They are buying the equipment and going off the next day offering their services for FREE because they don’t see the real value in what they do. Why? Because they haven’t spend the time, energy and money into learning all they can. What happens when someone does something for free and they want to ad “value” to their “free” work.

“It’s all about the music, the people, the experience.” But, if it was TRULY all about the art form, would one not spend that additional time learning all that they can?

I ask these questions not to deter someone from their passion but to truly ask your, “What is the purpose in what I am doing and how do I add VALUE to what I am offering?” Anytime you hear a “back in the day story” what you are really hearing is that people spent MORE time adding value to their brand. That doesn’t mean there are not hard working people doing the very same thing TODAY. But it takes a community of people to add value to their scene and that’s how we change the dynamic. By setting an example and being that change not just talking about it.

How can you be a part of that change?

1. Learn all you can about your craft & industry!
2. Be curiosity, professional & add value to your brand so people pay for your services.
3. Find creative ways to help your local community that adds value.

Other helpful articles you might dig!

5 Reasons Djs Need Bigger Goals
Are You The Weakest Dj?
Djs Stuck and Going No Where Fast
The Difference Between a Good DJ and a Great DJ
Why You Should Never Do a DJ Gig For Free


4 thoughts on “It’s NOT all about the music.

  1. DontKilmaVibe says:

    First of all I want to say I am terribly sorry to hear about your previous experience. That is awful. I think it’s good to note that not all business owners are like that. It sounds like the type of person I would NOT like to work with.

    I try to remind myself that my experience with some djs will be different with others and same goes for promoters. If they are making rash decisions instead of carefully calculated, or steppin’ on toes and tell me it’s “just business” I know they are not the right fit for me.

    In the “right business partnerships” both parties want to ensure that everyone is happy. This is why it’s incredibly important to under your brand, what you offer and how other businesses may or may not reflect you ethics. This is where negotiating and the use of contracts to “keep things friendly” can come into hand. Business professionals that want to keep their integrity intact often use them. A lot of artists tell me they are worried about going “that professional” because they feel it’s a be presumptuous, but it shows your understanding of the business and protecting yourself and others involved.

  2. Oana Maria Puciu says:

    Hey there,

    For sure I totally agree with you, but what if you are in a freaking land of fast food , where gourmet food is not liked or is liked if it’s rich and it’s a model or known by your friends .. i put it this way as you seem to relate to food . In many places your value is not much showed by the work you show for the past 5 years and believe me ,I am talking quality and a lot of hard work . My question is why a certain dj gets to be payed 5000 euros and the other ones get nothing, because I am sorry but we payed this guys so much money that u don’t freaking matter . U know what my next step was right, get my stuff and get the hell out of the whole I was digging for my self before was to late and I will punish myself for lack of respect I show for my work. About the model thing don’t get me wrong I have nothing against beautiful girls , but for the club to cancel on you because they owe a favor to this and the other model is not nice at all.. Not to talk about the agreements the dj programer does with all kinds of people outside their country , without giving anything in return … I mean I am for great music , but for this individual is not the case, let’s say some ppl build their careers on lies and on who owes them stuff. Well I just feel is not right and everybody should be rewarded for their talent . Anyway what I am saying can look a bit hyperbolic but it’s certainly doable only people need to be made aware of the truth .

  3. DontKilmaVibe says:

    Hey Oana,
    You bring up a really interesting point. We really must show our value as a brand in order to get people interested in booking us for our services. So artists and entrepreneurs alike must figure out how to set themselves apart. There are a million and one places to go for food, but what are you craving? Cheap and fast? Good quality and a full dinning experience. If you want to be the fast food or djs, that’s the type of clientele you will attract. We must have requirements based on what we offer.

  4. Oana Maria Puciu says:

    The thing with asking money is getting so tricky because of the laptop dj’s that play for for or any other dj’s that play for free. Everybody gets them now a days . and I saw something else in my travels , a sort of debt situations between DJ’s and so on… so when a talented Dj’ comes( a person that spent their money, and time on learning something beautiful ) and it’s not in their system or doesn’t perform for free , won’t stand a chance i can assure you of that ..

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