I have DJ’d many shows over the years now and it still seems that local artists can’t get S**t right. So without embarrassing you in front of many at a show, just learn from this blog. Don’t blame the DJ if you’re not prepared.
1. Have your set on a flash drive AND CD.
Don’t approach the DJ asking if you can hook your phone up to his or her DJ gear. I’m not surprised if you’re laughing and asking in your head if any artist has done this? IT IS VERY TRUE AND EMBARRASSING TO SEE. Rappers may be able to pull that off at a small house party with drunk friends, but not on stage with many other hungry artists.
Depending on the gear the DJ is using, it’s always best to have a flash drive and CD (yes both media) with your set on it ready to load. Now when I say flash drive, the only thing on that drive should be your show set. As a DJ, we don’t have time looking through 25-50 folders for the one that contains your set. Keep it super simple. Your set needs to include a number in front of the name of each track. This way you are not telling the DJ which track goes where. Oh, please have one CD or drive for your entire set. I hate when an artist brings me 2 CD’s or drives and says “two of my songs are on this drive and…” Shoot yourself.
2. Please use a fresh CD with your set.
Many times I’ve received a CD that an artist has taken to different shows or has been transferred from car to car. I hate when a CD starts skipping during a show set and the artist looks at the DJ like it’s our fault! If I see scratches on the surface before your set, that disc will be thrown out the window.
3. Two to three song max for your performance.
The shorter time for your set, the better. You’re the opener, not the main headliner. That headliner usually has a catalog of hits and will need a 30 to 45 minute set. Please choose those tracks that will keep the party pumped!
**This advise is for many of you promoters too. Giving an artist 15 to 20 minutes will kill your crowd. Step up and learn how to say no to lengthy opening sets. Two songs can leave a lasting impression if they are done right and are bangers too!
4. Know how to hold a mic!
Many of you hold the mic like it’s a Hollywood movie. I know it looks cool to cuff the whole head of the mic when performing, but this is a Sound Man’s nightmare! If you can not tell the difference between clear and distorted sound, get out the game now!
5. Leave the booze off stage.
Seeing an artist on stage with a beer in one hand and the mic in the other looks trashy! There will be plenty of time to get your drink on after you light the stage on fire. The crowd paid money to see you give your 110 percent. Especially if there is a highly respected record rep in the crowd, you may have just killed your whole potential career.
A 6 minute performance takes roughly 6 hours of practice to nail it perfectly.
If you have any questions on how to improve your set, just email me. [email protected]