A question that we get asked at least a couple of times a day is ‘how do I join a DJ agency like yours and get onto your books?’ The answer is not straightforward at all. There are hundreds of so-called agencies out there, as well as online marketplaces such as Bark, which apparently act as booking agents or artist managers. And there are about 4 million DJs and artists who want to be managed by these agencies.
The DJ Agency
Focussing on the actual agencies briefly: If the agency is of a professional nature it will do its best to filter out the DJs/artists with certain attributes. It needs to ascertain that they have:
- A decent amount of experience. To make it onto the books it is very logical that the DJ/artist should be fairly well experienced. A booking agent who willingly takes on a bedroom DJ cannot be a serious agency.
- Proof of the experience. A lot of DJs have great and interesting stories to tell but no evidence to back them up. Viable proof of experience takes the form of event photos; event flyers; event posters; press coverage; and real references.
- Talent! In the DJing world today it can be hard to stand out from the crowd in terms of a skillset. In a submitted sample mix an agency would normally look out for the ability to put a decent mix together based on the DJ’s particular style, as well as anything special which would make them unique. Additionally any production work and releases really helps them accelerate to the top of the list.
From the perspective of the DJs themselves, it is important that they understand the standard requirements above. To be a serious applicant they should be able to tick all of those boxes, and demonstrate their worth with suitable evidence.
Because of the saturation of the DJ market (i.e. the fact that there are so many DJs out there) it might be normal for some agencies who take on new talent to charge an entry fee or some form of subscription charge. This process acts as a form of insurance for the agency, proving that the DJ/artist is serious. Also once the agent has invested time in promoting the DJ/artist it means that if they do not perform as prescribed, the work carried out by the agency would not have been in vain. Once the agency is aware of how well the DJ has performed then future payments/fees are usually waived.
The brief checklist for any experienced DJ who wants to join an agency:
- Have a variety of demo mixes available online which demonstrate your skill. Online production work downloads also help. With the recent rise of the ‘music police’, on Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Soundcloud, the current go-to place for showcasing your audio-only demos with the least amount of interference is Mixcloud.
- Stand out even further by having a video of you mixing in a pro studio.
- Collect a selection of professional photographs of you DJing or performing at actual events together with some decent head-shots.
- Have your own logo professionally designed. A regular font for your name looks nice, but doesn’t always make you stand out. Head over to djlogodesign.co.uk for bespoke DJ logo creation.
- To stand out further, you should consider your own DJ or producer website to advertise yourself in one unique place.
- Collect photos of the flyers & posters with your artist/DJ name written on from events at which you have already performed. Your preserved archive is very important for future bookings.
- Write a brief description of approximately 50 words selling yourself as a unique talent. Your elevator pitch!
- Maintain a list of all of the locations at which you have performed.
If you are interested in joining Storm DJs, please fill in our application form here.