So, we’ve been travelling for just over 5 months now and I wanted to write a short snippet about Djing internationally. Mostly just my experiences but also some stuff to help out any DJ’s that are interested in doing it too!
While travelling i’ve managed to dj in several different Countries, at clubs and bars, and have had dozens of places playing my mixtapes on the regular. I want to give some tips and advice for anyone wanting to find international gigs while away from home. Il leave these in the order that i figured them out on my own, hopefully if you’re a dj and follow these steps you’ll have luck like me!!
1. Make some mix tapes, I made a mix series called “Dancing Naked”, each mix is an hour long and I cover top 40 electro, dubstep and moombahton, indie music, oldschool tracks, rowdy house, disco house… etc you can check them out on my soundcloud page below. Mix tapes are a great way to show what you can do live and what you produce on your own.
2. Have a facebook page with pictures of you djing, your mixes, remixes, and documented gigs that you’ve already scored back home, even if its just house parties, the more content the better. Having a fan page is important but I didn’t get a single gig because of my following on Facebook. Most clubs and bars want to know your a good dj, not a popular one!
3. Another important piece to the puzzle is the ability to use different set ups. Before travelling i could dj with vinyl and Serato. After 4 months in East Asia, I added Virtual Dj, Traktor, CD’s, and Abelton Live to my array of abilities. It was shocking for me to see how many dj’s used virtual dj with no controller or anything, just straight computer djing. Buuuut… being able to do it allowed me to play at certain bars that had nothing else to work with.
4. Once you’ve gone into the new world wherever it may be, you need to network. Every single nightclub/bar i walk into i say “hi” to the dj, the bar staff, and any management I can see working. I tell them I’m a dj from Canada and let them know im touring and am looking for a place to spin at. This step is probably the most important because without being some huge name dj that the entire world knows, it’s how you are introduced to these different establishments.
5. Don’t expect payment of any form unless it’s offered… for me at least, i’ve been completely happy getting paid in beer for me and my friends. Some places will offer to pay for your accomodation and a small fee but I wasn’t interested in the money, just the experience.
So yeah, it might sound difficult for some and like a breeze for others but if you follow these steps your bound to meet someone who’ll enjoy having you play music for their patio bar, beach bar, cruise ship, staff party, night club, underground party, house party, YOU NAME IT!
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Here’s a list of the different gigs I Had along the way:
Wish You Were Here (Sihanoukville) – April 1st – Sunday Sessions
Oocha Bar (Sihanoukville) April 2nd – DnB night
Oocha Bar (Sihanoukville) April 9th – DnB night
Dj Station (Mui Ne) – April 20th – Friday Night Live
Flow Bar (Hanoi) – Saturday May 5th
Q Bar (Veng Viang, Laos) – Wed May 16th
Q Bar (veng Viang, Laos) – Sun May 20th
Shamrocks Bar (Bangkok) – Fri June 8th
Contiki Cruise (Danube River, Budapest, Hungry) – Sat June 23rd