There are many things a DJ/Producer can do to stand out for branding. There are the obvious things like different photos or press shots, and a unique style/sound of music in a DJ’s set. But, the one and most important thing I find most DJ’s don’t touch on enough is their story.
STORY? Sounds simple right? Well, I will explain how big a role it plays with your music/DJ career, and how it can help you grow your brand.
Your story is everything
Nothing can beat a great story; we are always hypnotised and drawn into one whether good or bad. It’s how we can relate to others that may share similar experiences, and when we hear or read them, we are more inclined to be attracted to that person’s journey. Sharing our journey with others is self-expression just like the music we play or create for ourselves and our audience. What makes great music is great story telling. If you look at a lot great memorable music that has made history, it has always had a great story behind it.
How does this relate to a DJ brand?
If you look at some of the most successful DJ’s, like Calvin Harris, who used to work at a supermarket packing shelves 10 years before he became the world’s highest paid DJ. What about Tiesto, who started playing in a quiet bar, taking over from the owner who had to stop playing to serve people drinks. Then there’s Carl Cox, who started as a mobile DJ at the young age of 15 before he became one of the biggest household names in Techno.
Now, you and I might not be famous and as big as these guys yet, but I think we could all agree that we can somewhat relate to these guys because we always have to start from the bottom and go from woe to win. So, if we are not where we want to be as a DJ/Producer right now, how can we tell a better story?
Before I get into that, I want to point out the common mistakes in DJ profiles.
The mistakes of storytelling
When somebody listens to your music or goes to check out your Facebook or DJ website, they want to know who you are and what you represent. When writing a bio, it’s important to avoid generic ones like (Hi, my name is John, age 22, and I am a Trance DJ from Melbourne). There is no separation from another Trance DJ age 22 from Melbourne. What about DJ images/press shots - do they reflect the persona and DJ style you represent and tell the right visual story to match your brand? You may be surprised how many DJ’s can have trouble with this. Then there is the music you make. Are the tracks you produce based on a past event, experience, a theme or an inspiration meaningful to you as an artist? I don't know about you, but this can be an easy one to forget when you sit down in front of your D.A.W and start from a blank screen.
How can we tell a better story with our DJ brand?
Review your DJ brand to see what you could be doing better to tell a more engaging story. It’s better to write a more detailed but brief DJ bio than a generic one. For example, John started as a passionate music enthusiast with a desire to be on stage with his favourite Trance acts, going through many years of hard struggle to get gigs in Melbourne. Last year, he finally broke through as an emerging artist and DJ to warm up and support some of the biggest international acts in Melbourne.
Now, that is a more engaging and attractive bio to read because it tells a story of struggle to win. DJ photos and images you can have on your profile to tell a story could be you playing your first gig or in your bedroom, to a photo from now of you playing one of your best gigs. They help to show the progress you have made so far on your journey. Just some food for thought there.
How can we tell a better story through our music?
Base your DJ mixes or productions around life events that have made an impact in your life, choosing themes by photos or events that have inspired you. Get inspiration from your favourite music before you produce a new track. Get music that represents your style and speaks to you as a DJ, which will take your listeners on a journey to get to know what you are about.
Your story takeaway
Everybody has a story to tell; it’s just that many people don’t think it is important, when it is. People don’t buy products; they buy into people and their story. It is the biggest thing that will ever differentiate you from your competition. No one will ever have a story like you, so it’s up to you to tell it the best and most beneficial way you can through music and presentation. This is how you can grow your DJ brand.