Just a Friendly Neighbourhood DJ Reminder…

STOP playing for jerk promoters that don’t give two $*#!s about you.

Hi, it’s me again.
Yeah I know, my articles have been almost non-existence this year. My head was focused so much in recording and editing videos for Disc Jockey News T.V. that it wasn’t until today, when I was about to go on a facebook rant that I decided this was far better as an article.

Why?

adult-audio-close-up-1447957

Because I am SICK AND TIRED of seeing good people get used, that’s why! I want to scream if from the mountains, “CHARGE YOUR WORTH!”

The other day I was chatting with this super rad, hard working human in the rave music. They were asking for advice on a situation they had found themselves in. A promoter they’d previously played for was doing some more than shady iiiish with an upcoming event. They didn’t know whether or to take on the event or avoid the headache. Was it really worth the drama? One of the questions I asked right off the hop was, “Is this a paid gig?” In which they told me they hadn’t even paid for the LAST event.

This is what BLOWS MY MIND…

background-bills-cash-929288

There are hard working promoters, busting their butts, competing against people like this. The ones that aren’t paying their DJs, they are causing a mess of a situation meanwhile the promoter that ACTUALLY CARES is paying out of pocket; REGARDLESS OF ATTENDANCE.

Yes, that’s right.
You heard me.
Giving you cash, no matter what.

If we want to be the change that we want to see in our industry, it’s important to work with people on the same wavelength. Why? Because when we continue to support people that continue to USE artists, we ALL suffer. We are not only teaching them ‘this is okay…’ but we screw over the good people. The promoter, the artists, the club owner, go-go dancers, visual artists, designers etc. The only people that end up thriving are those that are literally screwing others out of their hard earned cash.

And yeah, I get it. Some people are sooo green, they just don’t ‘get it.’ And that’s okay. We can teach through what we allow. We can educate in kind ways. BUT… we need to STOP being desperate for ANY and all DJ GIGS. Start searching for the RIGHT events and people to work with. 

This article is clearly MY opinion. But the more artists I interview, industry people I work with, the MORE I see and hear about this standard and it’s importants. And while there are exceptions to the rules (Yeah, I know you’re already heading to the comments section to tell me…) definitely don’t be bending those rules for people who are making money off the backs of hard working artists. Don’t fall for the sob stories.

Playing a few gigs in the beginning of your career, great. Wanting to guarantee the quality of your work and offering a full refund and or  ‘try it out’ kind of thing, might work for you. Sometimes. In specific cases. I hear you!

It just hurts my heart to see exceptional artists get straight up USED. Spend their hard earned cash on new music, equipment, design work, and hours into practicing and branding, to walk away feeling exploited. This is NOT okay.

If you walk away with anything today, I encourage you to LEARN the difference between ‘means well’ and someone manipulating kind hearted humans. When you make the mistakes, learn the lesson. ALWAYS!

audio-audio-mixer-cables-744320

And guess what? Been there, done that myself, too!  You’re not stupid. You’re still learning and we will CONTINUE to learn a lot of hard lessons in this industry. It’s just easier when we aren’t making the same mistakes all the time.

Work for quality promoters, EXPERIENCE the difference and then go tell your friends!

Here are some awesome articles to help you on your journey of educating yourself:

5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN

BEING OFFERED “EXPOSURE” PAYMENTS

7 REASONS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO A DJ GIG FOR FREE

DON’T GET SCREWED! – A DJS GUIDE IN DEALING WITH BAD PROMOTERS

HOW TO NEGOTIATE A WAGE – YOUR DJ FEE

3 REASONS ARTISTS NEED TO INVEST IN THEMSELVES FIRST

Here is all that video stuff I have been business with:

Have a question for the series? Tweet me @KilmaMusic

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Planning for the New Year

Before planning for the new year, I like to reevaluate the previous year. I do this because it gets me to question just how efficient I am being with my time, money and energy. It’s not an easy task mind you, because it’s one where we must be TRULY honest with ourselves and it’s easy to make excuses. If however you can be direct in finding those answers, the benefits will far outweigh the slight discomfort. Moving forward you can really start to change the behaviours that are not working. I find it best to write these answers down starting with the question:

1. What did you set out to accomplish this year?

2. Why or why didn’t you achieve these goals?

3. How can you do differently moving forward?

 

More awesome ADVICE 4 DJS

5 Habits of The Happiest DJs

Have you ever wondered what the happiest of DJs are doing differently from the rest? You see some artists successful however… miserable. Meanwhile others really seem to have it together. In my personal search for happiness, while also trying to find that work-life balance that fits a family, I really had to dig deep on a personal level. So I sought out the research while checking out what some of the happiest artists are doing. What I found across the board was that:

1. They are optimist about their future

 5 habits of the happiest djs

What holds you back from sharing that new DJ mix or pursuing the music production world? It seems the common theme here is, ourselves. When you feel the possibilities are almost limitless there is nothing stoping you. Self-doubt however ( a learned habit) really seems to the the #1 thing people allow to stop them from taking action, even when they seem to be pointing the finger at everyone else.

2. Can and do savour the present moment

 5 habits of the happiest djs

When we become present, something really amazing happens. We aren’t dwelling on the mistake we made in our last track transition nor are we worried about whether or not we’ll have a great review on our mobile DJ facebook page. We are able to appreciate the fact that right here and now we are getting to make money doing the thing we love, that we are present with our  crowd experiencing the music we love and enjoy.

3. are deeply COMMITTED to their life ambitions and goals

 5 habits of the happiest djs

It means that even when you’re not rolling in the money and are spending countless hours working on a new track, you are fully invested in the bigger picture. You work hard at the things that you find tedious so that you can continue on with your passion in the long run.

4. show STRENGTH & cope well while face challenges

 5 habits of the happiest djs

Understanding that one bad situation with a promoter is a learning experience and doing differently moving forward, is huge. It’s adjusting to a situation where maybe things weren’t probably set up in advance but you’re making the best of a situation and keeping a professional manner about yourself. It’s being a supportive DJ and producer when those around you need that strength.

5. devote time to family & friends

 5 habits of the happiest djs

Last but definitely not least, making time for those we care about. I know both for my family and myself, being able to be present and spend quality time together not only builds stronger bonds and intimacy but it keeps us grounded. Even when we absolutely LOVE the work we do, we thrive on connections outside of business, too.

Did we miss anything on this list? Share your thoughts on facebook. What habit really stood out to you?

More great Articles and vlogs here:

 

3 Red-flags For DJs That Means It Is Time To Lean Into Change

Do you feel like you’re making headway however something is off? You’re not quite sure if it’s time to make some changes in your career? Well let’s jump into the #3 things that tell you it’s time!

1. If you’re waiting to be happy

“As soon as I get that first big break, I’ll feel successful.”
“The moment I get my track released on that label, I’m be rolling in it.”
“When I finally get that world tour book, I’l be happy.”

2. When you feel like this is all you’ve got coming to you

What’s worse than waiting to be happy? Thinking this is as good as it gets. YUCK!

By the ways here is an article on the mindset that is holding you back. 

3. When you start feeling jealous about what other artists are doing

Hello! I know I’ve been guilty of this myself. It’s hard not getting you’re ego in the way. The first thing a lot of us want to do (especially when we are getting jealous) is to blame them, “They are kissing up!” or “They probably paid for plays, likes, reactions.”

STOP! time to REASsESS 

When I find yourself doing this, it’s a great time to investigate. That hard part is not letting your ego get in the way. It’s easy to want to shift the blame and think someone had it easier. But this is the time to REALLY dig deep. What is it that someone else is doing that is working for them? Why are other people happy, healthy, successful? What does that look like for me?

Here are 3 articles and videos that dive deeper on each topic:

How To Be A Happier DJ
Why You Need to Dream Bigger
What to do When You’re Not Getting What You Deserve

3 Common Mistakes To Avoid at DJ Gigs for both Beginners and Advance Artists

The absolutely worst time to have you vibe killed is during your own DJ set. These are situations both  beginner and experienced DJs can find themselves in. Below each example I’m going to touch on how this can effect BOTH seasoned vets and those still trying to hit that learning curve. Starting with one of the more obvious issues we note first.

1. Your Levels Are All Over The Place

If you haven’t been educated on the distortion followed by redlining your mixer, listen up now. If the sound on your mixer’s master output or even the channel in which you are mixing is hitting the red, the sound of your music is being compromised. We find this happens in few situations. The artist can’t hear their monitor and turn up their master output instead of their booth or maybe they simply do not know what is going on.

Solution: Find the loudest part of your track and see where the levels are on your mixer BEFORE you mix it in. This way you know that when at full volume your mix will not clip because you’ve change the level to match below 0.

2. Messy or lack of Eqing

 

This can go one of two ways. You’re not allowing for your tracks to breath or you are over EQing causing some uncomfortable sounds like harsh highs. Sometimes you’ve got both tracks match up perfectly and as you’re bringing in your next track the bass drops. Even though everything is in the same key you’re noticing your mix sounds muddy. In very active music like drum and bass and dubstep (the robots and dinosaurs fighting kind) the bass or multiple sounds can compete which is how you can end up with a unappealing sound. On the other side over eqing can also create some sharp even painful (for some of us) noise.

Solution:
This video is a simplified explanation on eqing.

3. Being under prepared

 

Whether you have a 5 hours gig at in a lounge where you’ve got to keep the atmosphere swanky or you’re at the club and have an opening slot for the headlining act. Being prepared is something most DJs aim for, but we don’t always think of the ‘what ifs’ and make assumptions about how the night may go down smoothly. In those situations when things go the wrong way, we are thrown off and suddenly our vibe is seriously killed. From technical issues with the software to a hardware cord snapping in two. Being prepared can start with the music, having the right vibe to ensure that if things to go awry there is a back up but it doesn’t end there.

Solution:
Make a list of things that could go wrong and then plan for it. From cords to ensure your programs are updated but also tested in advance. Double checking on the gear being supplied, even speaking with sound personal if your set ups are more extensive.

At the end of the day we’re human, we make mistakes and all the preparing in the world doesn’t mean you won’t run into issues from time to time. In our opinion and experience these are the common ones, so if you find this helpful please share with your DJ friends so we can all enjoy more smoothly run shows!

Awesome helpful articles:

How To Be A Happier DJ

Are you waiting for success to bring you happiness? Well it should bring you some excitement to know that happiness actually brings on more success. So you don’t have to wait any longer. Nope. Actually the more you believe that you are in control of your life, the happier and more successful you can be. If this sounds like unicorns and magic potions read on. If it is not, then you probably know someone that could use this article, but feel free to read it anyways.

“You Validate Your Ideas By Pursuing Them” – Mel Robbins

1. Listen to music from the happiest time in your life

I took this straight from Eric Barker’s blog and for good reason. One, you’re a freaking DJ. Two, imagine how this effects others, too?! Some of my most popular mixes have had those ‘throwback’ tunes people loved from the 90’s or 2000s. It totally makes sense why people go wild at weddings and socials listening to the Spice Girls and other timeless music that reminds takes them back to a emotion in time. Cool thing is that neuroscience backs this idea.

2. Make Your Dreams Bigger Than Your Fears

It’s probably been quoted by more than a few celebrities at this point, but it really does work. I know for me, sometimes I find myself obsessing or stressing out one particular task, but when I shift my focus and think about the bigger goal I feel less fear about the hurdle ahead.

I grabbed this one from Eric Barkers blog about the happiest people having goals. He quoted this book.

Via Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life:

“In his studies, the psychologist Jonathan Freedman claimed that people with the ability to set objectives for themselves—both short-term and long-term—are happier. The University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has found that working hard toward a goal and making progress to the point of expecting a goal to be realized don’t just activate positive feelings—they also suppress negative emotions such as fear and depression.”

3. Let Go Of The Outcome

worryworkflow
There is only so much we can control in this world. When we let go of the things we can not control, we can find some peace. This is where you can refocus your energy on the things you can control. For example, I can’t control the weather. It might rain during one of my outdoor patio gigs. I can however bring tarps, have additional sound inside ready to go and a plan of action if we must make a quick change over.

On the topic of not being able to control things like people’s opinions of you, I chat here in a vlog about why you should probably keep doing the things people are making fun of you for. 

4. Remove the distractions that aren’t really helping you

You really can use laziness to your advantage. We are naturally drawn to things that are easier, not what actually makes us happier. The satisfaction out of creating and finishing a new mixtape feels wonderful. However staying at home and watching t.v. is easier and what a lot of us end up doing. So while starting that new tune seems like a lot of work when picking up your phone and checking facebook for the 30th time today may seem easier, in the end it’s not making you happier. It may be time to shut off that wifi or delete the apps that are distracting you, cancel the cable and have your music stuff ready to go, plugged in and right in your toolbar.

Want to figure out how to stop procrastinating? I dive more into that here.

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

You meet another DJ and think, “Cool we have something in common. We are both disc jockeys.” But as you get to know this person they may not be on the same page. Maybe they aren’t very passionate about music or maybe they are totally business driven. Whether you decide to add them to your good vibe DJ tribe or not, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself FIRST.

1. What sort of vibes does this person give me?

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

Do you feel energize after speaking with them or do you feel emotionally drained? Think about it. Maybe you went to a business meeting and you thought you were both on the same page about things, but when you walked away from the conversation you felt exhausted maybe even a bit stressed out. This is likely your gut telling you, slow down. Something is off here. Whether the vibes are electrifying or not try number two.

2. Can you learn from this person?

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

Do you feel like this person has a lot of experience and knowledge to share, maybe on a topic you’re not quite sound on? Do they seem open to share that information or do they hold their cards close to their chest? Maybe they ask you questions about the way you run your business that gets you thinking about something you haven’t really dived into before. But don’t forget in turn to ask yourself the third question.

3. Can this person benefit for YOU?

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

Relationships need to be a two way street. You need that balance of give and take or else someone’s going to feel taken advantage of. (Yes, could be you.) So show people the love, help where you can and see how you can make this relationship mutually beneficial. No matter how much more experienced you feel they are,  you still have something to give. What is it?

4. Does this person motivate you?

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

Now this doesn’t have to be a direct act of someone trying to push you towards your dreams nor cheer you on, “You can do it!” But it could be someone that strives for greatness in themselves, someone that will keep you on your toes in trying something a little out of your comfort zone. Sometimes for me it’s just being around someone that it always interested in learning and trying new things. Maybe it’s an instrument or taking a production workshop. It gets me excited and thinking about what I can do next. How I can do MORE.

But Kilma, why must I feel incentive?
Look, you may think you’re doing well because out of all your friends you work the hardest… but if the hardest is just an extra hour of practice here and there it’s not really enough. When you have people around you doing more or simply things you’re not doing it’s incentive to learn, to ask questions and to make you weakness your strength. And to add to that, sometimes we keep certain people in our life because it makes us feel like we are doing well because we are doing better/more than them.

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

The last note to keep in mind; sometimes the people in your tribe are NOT djs. Maybe they are a sound engineer or restaurant owner. Some of the people in your tribe may just be industry influencers that you watch from a far, read their books and take their webinars. There are many different ways to create our tribe, but mostly it’s about keeping that good vibe going while surround ourselves with people that are just as if not MORE driven then us so we can continue to strive for greatness.