Last week, we caught up with DJ duo Hugo Gruzman and James "Jimmy" Nathan (AKA Flight Facilities) at the Australian launch of Samsung Sound. We asked them to share their top five tips for bedroom DJs looking to make it big. Here's what they came up with...
#1 Play music you actually like
Jimmy: If you don’t play music that you like, you’ll end up hating DJing within a few years.
Hugo: And it has to be representative of you as well. If you play the Top 40, that’s a representation of everyone; it doesn’t show the unique things you’ve grown up with or that’s special to you for whatever reason.
Jimmy: There’s got to be parts of your selection that set you apart from what the radio defines as the most popular songs at the moment. And don’t be afraid to play old!
Hugo: There’s a time and place for it, but don’t be afraid to play obscure or be experimental.
#2 Surround yourself with like-minded musicians and DJs
Jimmy: The benefit of this is that you can start trading music with each other. You all start to give each other a similar vibe; kind of like iTunes recommendations for humans.
Hugo: People always like giving you a leg up; you’ve just got to get inside that circle. There’s power in numbers so don’t try and do it alone.
#3 Find a mentor
Jimmy: This is kind of an extension of point 2, but building a relationship with someone who's established can really be a huge help.
Bruno: Who do you like seeing? In today’s day and age, you can actually talk to your favourite DJ instantaneously over the internet.
Jimmy: Most DJs are way more approachable than rock stars; even if they’ve attained a similar level of fame. If you’re at a gig, talk to them and they’ll more than likely offer you advice and tips.
Bruno: Just don’t do it while they’re playing!
Jimmy: Be good at your craft. Before you go out and start playing, you really need to practise a shitload.
Bruno: It’s like Eminem said: you only get one shot!
Jimmy: Actually, you get as many shots as you want. Don’t be afraid to fuck up when you DJ. But still practise your craft and pre-plan it.
Bruno: Yeah, be the best bedroom DJ you can be – then go out and do it in public. If you go in there before you’re mean to be in there, you’re going to be shit. If anything, you want to be the guy who’s playing in his bedroom, going to clubs and thinking “I’m better than thus guy” but still practising.
Gruzman and Nathan performing at the Samsung Sound launch.
#5 Respect the main event
Bruno: Warming up is one of the most prestigious things you can do. If you’re a good warm up DJ you’ll get hired more and will also get the respect of whoever the main act is.
Jimmy: And that’s how you get a mentor! Back to point three! Yes!
Bruno: But seriously, if you get to play a warm-up set for a big act when they come on they’ll be like “that was perfect, exactly what I wanted” and you’ll instantly build a really good rapport.
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