Wanna Be A Real DJ?


When I first got into listening to electronic music, I was overwhelmed by the amount of genres there were to keep up with. Something I tend to take for granted now is that it’s easy for me to pick out genres. I used to reach out to my friends in the industry to ask them about a particular genre, but now they come to me because I have dedicated myself to learning as much as I possibly could. I still have a lot to learn, but because I took it upon myself to be educated about electronic music, I have a good grasp on what separates the music soundscapes.

Explore Your Options: I recommend that you search for your music on as many sites as possible. This will give you a good idea of what kind of music you can expect to find on each respective site, as they are not all created equal. Plus, it will be a great way for you to explore as much music as you can. As you learn exactly what you are looking for, you can narrow down the sites you visit. Here are the stores I like:

• Beatport I always start there, and if Beatport doesn’t have it, then I’ll check the others. The way I see it, Beatport is basically like the iTunes for DJs. Most consumers purchase their music on iTunes, whereas most DJs buy music from Beatport. This online store definitely has a strong reputation in the DJ world and is known for being one of the best––if not the best––DJ download store out there. Its interface is the best, and it has many of the tracks you are looking for.

• DJ Tunes This store has had some nice buzz going on about it lately. And people are saying that it has the biggest and best music collection out there.

• Stompy Started in San Francisco, Stompy features all things underground house. Check it out if you want that Chicago-style house.

• Traxsource If you like deep house, and house, this is the place.

Sign Up With A Record Pool: Another way to get your music is to sign up with a record pool. Many record labels send their music to record pools to help promote their releases, because a good record pool will have a great network of DJs who they send new music to. Many record pools cost money for a membership, but some of them are free. And if you get yourself in position to be a tastemaker DJ, record pools will approach you. Why? Because labels want you spinning their tracks due to your influence on the music industry.

Know Who The Tastemakers Are: A tastemaker DJ is one who is considered to have an influence on what other DJs play.  When other DJs find out a tastemaker is spinning a tune, they will want to play it as well. Many tastemaker DJs have radio shows, which gives them access to a wide audience. Being in a record pool can give you access to releases before most of the general public. Do some research and find some free DJ pools to sign up for. Below are a few great record pools to check into.

Starfleet Promo (United States)

Kings of Spin (Europe)



Get Promos Directly From Record Labels: The best way to get your music is by receiving promos from your favorite record labels or artists, directly. It’s similar to a record pool in that labels send out their upcoming releases to DJs who they think will have a positive influence on their releases. If labels and DJs see you as someone who has influence, they will reach out. That’s not to say you can’t reach out to them as well. In my opinion this is the best way to build your library because you are often getting unreleased “secret” weapons that won’t be available to most DJs until the official release date.

Get The “Secret” Promos: The best way is for you to sign your music to the labels you want to receive promos by. Another way is to create music that is getting a lot of attention. As your profile builds, labels will want to send you their promos. There are a couple of other ways you could potentially get on their exclusive lists: If you can convince the label that you are trustworthy and that you can help promote them, they might be willing to send you their exclusive promos. Sometimes all it takes is getting in touch directly with the source and asking them if they can include you on their promo list. If you visit the label’s site, you should come across contact information that’ll point you to the appropriate person.

Start Your Own Label: Yet another great way to get music is if you own a record label. For example, I launched my label Golden Needle Records in 2010.

Create A Podcast: Or how about starting a podcast that features DJs you love? For examples of this, check out my label podcast on iTunes.

SCOTT BINDER is the author of the new book Make Some Noise, published by Hal Leonard Books (http://halleonardbooks.com). Binder is the co-producer of the popular electro house duo the Banger Bros. and is a producer for Warner Music (NL). His song “Beep, Beep, Boom” was featured on MTV’s The Real World, and his other releases consistently reach the music charts. Binder launched his solo career in 2012 and has already worked with house legends Roland Clark and Todd Terry. He is the owner of Golden Needle Records, a label launched in 2010. http://scottbindermusic.com