With music venues and nightclubs closing due to a range of factors including the pandemic, it’s never been more tricky to get a gig and perform as a DJ in the UK, at least in the traditional sense. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get your latest set out there and perform live online:
Make a mixtape
Making a mixtape is a rite of passage for DJs, but mixing a tape is also a great way of getting your music out to an audience. While a nightclub venue PA setup can be cumbersome to say the least, all you really need to make a good mixtape is recording interface, a mixer (there are accessible DJ Controllers available online) and your music, whether it be physical records or digital files. While the live performance aspect may be lost, you can rest safe in the knowledge that your mixtape could be exposed to a wide audience once it’s released.
Do a Livestream
With nightclubs in some parts of the UK staying closed right up until January 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced DJs to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and find innovative ways to perform and get their music out to the public without the need for physical venues. One of the most popular and effective ways of performing as a DJ if you can’t get a physical gig is livestreaming, which you can do from the comfort of your own home or anywhere with internet access. Livestreaming acts as an effective platform for DJs, musicians and performers who wish to reach an instant audience. Social media was filled with live DJ streams during lockdown and the trend only looks set to continue this year.
Session with a friend
Having a mixing session with a friend is a great way of collaborating, picking up new techniques and showing off your existing skills as a DJ. You never know – may even find that your friends react better to your latest mix than expected. Jamming with peers is a fantastic way of showcasing your work and getting over any initial fears you may have about performing in front of others. It’s also a great pastime and substitute for gigs in nightclubs and physical venues, especially if you livestream or record the session.
They say that ‘practice makes perfect’, which is no truer than when it comes to mixing and performing as a DJ. To maintain your skills, it’s essential that you practice regularly, whether that be running through your latest set or having a mix with your favourite new tunes. Resourceful DJs may record practice sessions in order to listen back, modify their mix and save any golden moments for later, while practice jams can help you to hone your cuts and get used to performing in front of an audience.