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.

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Deliberate, Coincidence or Lack Of Effort For Diversity At Festivals

Each year we run into the same controversial conversation about diversity at music festivals. The question being, “Why aren’t more women being booked if the amount of women in music is increasing exponentially?” Is it sexism? Are women being discriminated against? Or simply being over looked?

While it would be difficult to prove either way, we can ask the right questions in regards to who is being booked, why and take a look not just at ‘numbers’ but what is actually happening.

Watch the video below!

Winnipeg DJs – What To Know, What To Ask

Whether you are looking to hire or are the dj yourself there are a few really important questions both the customer and artist needs to know and ask one another. So let’s dive right in!

Disclaimer – No, you don’t have to be from Winnipeg for these to apply but this article will have a few Winnipeg entertainment companies mentioned for locals looking!

Theme

Winnipeg DJ

Customer to the DJ: What can you offer for the theme of my event?
Is this a wedding, fashion or art show? Maybe this is happening within a club environment and you need country music only! Your entertain will need to know this information and you need to know if this is within their realms of services. Don’t assume every DJ has ever track ever made, nor that all djs offer all the same services.

Disc jockey to the Client: What is the theme of your event?
If you say YES to the gig not realizing they needed folk music and all you have is hip-hop you might not be the person for the job or silly enough not prepared for the day of the gig. Find what sort of atmosphere they are going for.

Services

Winnipeg Disc Jockey

Customer to the DJ: What services do you provide?
Do you need music, games and someone to coordinate between vendors? Maybe it’s for your wedding and you’re in need of dj to direct the photographer as to where you will be entering the venue, as well as speaking with the catering company about when dinner will be served. (Extra tips on wedding djs here.)

Disc jockey to the Client: What services do you need?
Maybe the venue is expecting you to bring your own sound and gear and doesn’t realize that your rider sates that they are to provide the equipment. You may be an electronic music artist that allows for artistic freedom and they are looking for someone to cater directly to their needs outside of your brand. Knowing this allows you to offer the right entertainment company if this is NOT what you provide.

Budget

Winnipeg djs

Customer to the DJ: What would I be looking at paying?
Keep in mind the artist will need to know what exactly you need, ie. sound, hours djing, music style etc. to give you the right price.

Disc Jockey to themselves: What is a fair price?
This is more of a question towards the entertainment company themselves. This is where your “DJ Fee Calculator” comes in handy. You’ll need to figure out the amount of hours you’ll spend preparing, money spent on music (if you need additional) rentals and promo including the hours spent setting up, performing and taking down gear.

Previous Events

Winnipeg DJ

Customer to the DJ: What experience do you have?
If the price is a little too good to be true, you may want to question their experience. As it’s said in the industry, “Good djs ain’t cheap and cheap djs ain’t good.” That isn’t to say there aren’t some great ones under valuing their services, but take the time to find out what previous events this djs has been involved with. This can include checking out their website and social pages to see what sort of feedback and projects they have been involved with, to reviewing their press-kit.

Client Tip: If you are a club owner and you are on the look out for DJs that are also great at marketing their events, or running special themed nights, find out if your dj has a press-kit with reference to previous work.

Disc jockey to client: What experience do you have as an event coordinator?
If you are playing for a first time promoter that is stating they are providing sound equipment, there are some things that can go wrong if they aren’t aware of whom they are hiring. It’s not to say this person isn’t capable of throwing a great event but you’ll want to ensure the person has the knowledge and support so that the event will run as smoothly as possible. As an artist there are few things that are worse then showing up at an event where the sound engineer does not know what they are doing and YOU end up looking like the unprofessional one while playing.

Available for Art & Fashion Shows In Winnipeg
Kilma (Electronica)
Cherry Tree Productions

Available for Club / Lounge In Winnipeg
Kilma (Electronica)
Bomb Squad Entertainment (Top 40 – Electronica)

Available for Weddings & Socials In Winnipeg / Manitoba Area
Kenny Beats
Bomb Squad Entertainment
Gudlite Entertainment
Cherry Tree Productions
Special Request Weddings

Available for Bar Mitzvah Djs
Cherry Tree Productions

Throwing a Wedding Social? Here is our 2016 list of places that donate!

Too Busy or Just Distracting Yourself?

It’s incredible to hear the stories people make up as to why they have “no time” for their passion. When often the reality is, they are scared. Scared of failure, feel a lack of knowledge and so they fill their time with mindless projects that aren’t actually “adding” to their life, so much as distracting them. An excuse not to push through their fears. If you are doing the following things, chances are YOU are the one holding yourself BACK from your potential.

Too busy or distracting yourself?

You Work On Things That Can Wait

You need to finish a mix for next Friday, but instead you are writing an article that isn’t due for 5 weeks. If the most important thing for you to make your career move forward is submitting that mix, then the article can wait until that task is complete. In your mind you might think, “Well this is a taste I need to get done.” But we often work on the tasks that can wait when we’ve got a deadline out of sub-conscious fear. Before you know it, the deadline is here and this happens…

YOU HAVE A POCKET FULL OF EXCUSES

Imagine the amount of times an internet radio show or the owner of a regular podcasts hears from a dj the day a set is due, ” Holy crap! My entire dj program has crapped the bed and I unfortunately lost the mix I’ve been working on for the last 3 weeks.”

.0007 % of the time this is true… most of the time it just is NOT! If you know you are not going to do something, own it. If you know you will put it off, don’t commit. Intention mean NOTHING. Action is everything.  If you have to actually recorded something first, then do that.

You Work On Things That You Hate

I dislike doing laundry. So much so, I used to clean the entire house before touching it. Cleaning isn’t fun for me either but the idea of having to fold laundry, organize everything and put it away seemed like more of a task then just cleaning the house. Learned to “eat your frog!” If the worse thing you have to do in your day is eat a frog, the rest of the day is easy. JUST DO IT FIRST!

The Solution – Ask yourself the hard questions

Working with artists and business owners one on one, I have to ask a lot of questions when issues arise. You can’t figure out a solution if you don’t understand what the REAL problem is. Almost always, the issue is fear. Fear of rejection, fear something wont work or wont be good enough. Then we get to play the “what if” game. A game where we don’t just say, “what if this thing happens…” but play it out to the end.

Q: What if I share this piece of music and people hate it?
A: Then I will ask for feedback.
Q: What if the feedback isn’t helpful.
A: Then I will ask for help.
Q: What if no one will help me?
A: Then I will read up online and watch tutorials.
Q: What if I am still awful even after all of that?
A: Then I will go to school for production and ask for help from the professionals.

The idea is to prepare yourself for the worst, accept it and then take the risk anyways. Often we find our fear is far worse then the reality but this way instead of fear of possibilities, we take risks for the opportunities.

On that note: here is a sneak peak of something I’ve been working on and news of our move of The Basement Sessions to MixLive.TV and you can watch it on your mobile anytime. Share your stories and music in the comments. When were you scared to share something but did it anyways? Maybe today will be that day.

How you might not be all that different from Ten Walls

In light of recent events I felt it was necessary to shed some of the light on the many different forms of branding-suicide artists and business owners alike make every day.  Ones you are very likely making, maybe unknowing. Hell, you are likely supporting artists that have made sexist, racist or bullying comments without thought. You may have even seen them as “calling it as it is.” Yet when it became the trend to “dis Ten Walls” many people seemed to have been on board for the public shaming. Which made me ask a lot of questions about what boundaries people have and how they draw the line on one thing, but not others. Was it out of love and the want for tolerance or was it possibly just something trendy to jump on board with?

Ten Walls makes Homophobic comment

If Coda Agency was so quick drop him from their roster, did that mean other artists would be more heavily looked at for discriminating behavior. As the spoke woman’s stated, “Coda Music Agency condemns all forms of discrimination based on race, religion or sexual orientation. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and to represent a hugely diverse roster of artists. “ And what about the artists not quite “there” yet. Were they making similar mistakes and killing their chances for success?

With that thought in mind I came up with some guide lines that may help you prevent yourself from a similar situation in the near future. Heck, you might even find yourself un-following some artists and deleting your old racy content just to play it safe.

Be aware of your comments & content:

Whether you are joking or feel justified in your statement, making racists, sexist or homophobic comments and you are just asking for trouble. This includes internet memes and videos. If your joke needs context it probably just isn’t a good idea in the first place.

Watch your ATTITUDE online:

Do you come off ungrateful, jaded or even hateful? Someone you know in real life might be lovely in person but their online attitude makes them seem really unhappy and difficult to work with. If you got an honest opinion about how you came across, what would people say?

Treat all people with respect:

No matter how BIG or SMALL you are as an artists, treating people poorly is one of the worst things you can do. Even if you feel they’re getting what’s coming.  I get it, some guy wronged you and he probably deserves a punch in the face but if you say it you’ll look like a jerk. If you do it, you’re facing some legal crap! Let karma work things out and you go do YOU.

Avoid aimlessly liking and following people:

Maybe you think liking lots of people will get you more friends on twitter or some traffic to your page, but suddenly you find yourself following a known sex offender or liking a facebook post that was incredibly offensive.

Think before you speak:

With great power comes great responsibility and it seems the more power people gain, the more they take advantage of the fact that people look up to them. I see this all of the time with the veterans vs. the newbie djs. They think they can walk all over them because they learned on vinyl and they think these noobs are nobody. But they ARE somebody. They were us. They are where we used to be and we need to respect their journey and remember how hard it was and how much we wanted to make them happy.

If you want to know what I mean about thinking before you speak, here is an article I wrote about 6 ways you may be offending female djs. They are common statements both men and women make without thought to how they are actually coming across.

Want more guides? Our friends at Edgar can explain many more mistakes they’ve seen people make. It’s a really great read and they too mention things you might not have even thought about. Read it here. 

Some of these might seem obvious whiles others may have once felt like an innocent joke. The reality is, regards if your joke gets you in trouble or not, the vibe you put out will attract your tribe. So if you’re not a racist, homophobic or hateful person but you put out a joke or message that shows other wise you could potentially lose the demographic you want to attract and bring in some pretty negative followers.

You don’t have to be in the big leagues to start implementing these important practices. Let’s build the scene we want to see thrive by acting the part.

Have you ever let an artists bad behavior slide because you really loved their music? Will you think twice next time you hear of discriminating comments? Or maybe there is a part of you that wants to believe someone can make a mistake and genuinely be sorry and do differently next time. Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments!

TheGirlDJAdvantage6 Ways You Are 'Unknowingly' Being Offensive to Female Identifying Djs

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

EDM For Dummies

Raving to all your friends about that sick “deep house” party you went to this weekend? Chances are it was just a dance music party that had many different sub-genres of music but you’ve unknowingly piled them all into one specific genre. Don’t feel bad, because we are about to teach you all about Electronic Music in the simplest form you can relate to. Food.

EDM For DUmmies

So what is it?

EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music. Yes, that means we are talking about all different forms of dance music. So for a moment think of EDM as food. A descriptive word to explain “any substance[1] consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism’s cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.” – Wiki

With that in mine let us look at genres. Genre’s are like food groups ie. proteins, dairy, grains and vegetables. For example, house, techno, dubstep and break beats would be some of the many food groups within electronic dance music.

Now we get to break it down to the sub-genres, which is basically a list off specific foods ie. tomatoes, mushrooms, steak, kale and peanuts. If we were listing off sub-genres of EDM you might hear, deep house, progressive house, netro-funk, or minimal techno.

Still confused? Don’t worry, many newer DJs are still lost when it come to the music they play and promote. Chances are it’s that very mix up that contributes to the confusion about electronic dance music (EDM). It doesn’t stop with the DJs either. Genres are mislabeled on top music purchasing sites, Beatport, Juno records and iTunes. So unless you have a good understanding on the “musical food groups” this often only causes more mis-labeled genres.

Keeping in mind that a lot of music is blended into other genres now a days, which creates loads of not yet specifically described music. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it’s just better to state, “I went to an awesome party with loads of great electronic music.” Rather than try to get technical in a world where most people can’t tell the difference. If you focus on the food groups while you learn the sub-genres, you’ll be in the clear.

Watch Kilma Live on MixLive.TV

What this article helpful? Was there an “Aha!” moment for you?

Brand Me Silly a creative marketing workshop with DJs and artists

What is worse than the DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs of 2014

TOP 100 DJ List Here

If you are familiar with the internet then you already know the answer to this question. Some how each year people forget that DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs are based on votes by you guested it: The people. That’s you, me, your grandma. Pretty much anyone that took the time to participate. Yet each year a large amount of people are completely shocked and outraged. You may find your feed flooded with folks slamming various DJs while others are sharing who their top picks would have been.

Boiler Room .Gifs

We as people are really good at looking at the most negative things and then focusing on them for days, sometimes weeks. Some of us are so good are letting something that doesn’t directly effect us bother us, we turn it into the bane of our existence.

What about celebrating the few artist that sneaked by or some wonderful accomplishments during the year? Is there room for them?

Predictable facebook and twitter feed for the week that follows:

“This is what’s wrong with the world.”
“DJ SuckerPunch must have slept with someone to get on this list…”
“This is why I stopped DJing.”
“These are all the excuses I use because I don’t really want to try any harder. It’s too much work and easier to be the outraged victim.”

Wait, what?

Could you imagine if the guy at work got a promotion and you just up and quit your job to go do something completely different. I mean you’ve been there longer and he got the promotion instead of you. He must be sleeping with someone. Because that’s how businesses function right? WRONG. At least not the ones you want to work in.  For some making those accusation leave the idea that the person saying them may be insecure with their abilities.

Be Curious!

Are you cut out for the job? Are you working to your full potential? If we broke it down and looked at the artists that made it how do you think it is that someone that get’s so much hate is being so hyped up on these lists? What are they are doing right?

Kilma, what are you getting at?

So maybe you’re still stuck in your way of thinking and all of this sounds completely crazy. but think about this. We are all given the same amount of hours in a day. We witness people from all different back rounds, rich, poor, poverty exceeding expectations or even becoming completely broke after starting out rich. And what about those celebrities that made it big and their careers took a turn for the worse ending up penniless? Or the ones that had nothing and made something great of themselves. What was that key factor? What was their trick for success?

Ask, Believe and Receive.

What I am saying is that we all have the ability to exceed our expectations but we have to put the time, energy and work into our craft. It wont happen over night and it wont be an easy road. And keep in mind that everyone views succeed as something different. Maybe being the on the DJ Mag Top 100 isn’t one of yours. Maybe it’s becoming a Radio Host on BBC Radio 1Xra or a success Label owner. If your downfall is someone else reaching a goal, you may just be the very reason you’re being held back from your dreams. When have to stop making excuses and start asking how we are going to make it happen for ourselves things start happening.

The only thing holding you back from your dreams is YOU.

Now take a chill pill, watch this video and think about the great things that happened in 2014 including how even SNL was able to make fun of how popular some genres in EDM became.