I wouldn’t say that I get asked whether I can get a DJ some work every week, but it does happen regularly. Why come to me? It’s not like I run some sort of DJ agency for hungry DJs (although maybe I should………actually scratch that, I’d rather sandpaper my whole body and tip vinegar over myself, than deal with a constant stream of needy DJs wanting gigs). OK, I have my links to Kinky Malinki who I have been working closely with for 15 years, but I don’t call ANY shots, that’s Paul Kinky’s job. Admittedly if you asked politely, I could have a listen to your mix and if it really stood out (and I’ll be brutally honest, not THAT many do truly stand out) I’d definitely try and open some doors for you. I have done it in the past and I’ll definitely do it again in the future, but not for the guy that has recently asked about me getting him some more gigs through a mate of mine.
First of all I must state that I can’t shoot the messenger, who’s a pal I’ve known for years and was innocuously asking me a question: “I have a friend at work whose fella is a DJ and looking for some work”. I nonchalantly replied “Aren’t we all?” because it’s pretty much true. Most grafting DJs don’t have as much DJ work as they’d like to have. I play around 2 or 3 times a month on average. I wouldn’t mind a few bits of new work myself, but you should have to work at getting those jobs, networking, jumping on social media and working it until you can wangle yourself a gig. I don’t have the amount of time I feel is required to graft hard at networking in such a way, so I’ll happily accept how things lie for me. Why should I help this guy? I don’t know him from Adam, for all I know he could be a massive douchebag. “You might have connections?” my pal said. He is right, but again why should I give them up? If I were a salesman of some sort (I’d loath to do that too) there’s no way on earth I’d just dish out my contacts willy nilly to other bods, as they could nick my clients.
Obviously I’m sounding like an aggy sod (as per usual) and he’d got my back up, but I did open up and inquire a tiny bit “You’ve not told me anything about him?” and it came out that he’d played at Egg and other places. As I probed further I ended up getting a list of clubs he’s played at. That list included Space and Sankeys in Ibiza, the Coronet, Ministry and Brixton Academy! I don’t really believe all of that, but if he has played at those clubs, there are DJs I know that would give their right arm to play at Space. In fact it’s an ambition of mine, and one that I doubt will ever be fulfilled. So I went back with some sarky shit about him having played at a great list of venues and “Why does he need my help?” Well it transpires that matey has recently moved to London and needed more gigs to pay the bills!! Oh righty ho, so you’ve made a huge life changing decision to move to the most expensive place in the country and you want me to help you get some more money? Don’t make me fucking laugh son!!! I will definitely be able to give you a few bits of advice: 1) Get a ‘proper’ job 2) Don’t move to London if you can’t afford it and 3) Don’t bullshit on your DJ CV as someone like me might end up seeing it and know that you’re probably fibbing.
I read a lot of waffle on social media about the DJ game has changed blah blah blah. The technology has, yes, but you still need to work hard if you are to maintain what I call ‘A Grafting DJ’ life. Why should ANYONE just give you a gig without you earning it? Whether earning it means you have to bring all your mates to the club, or you hand out flyers outside the club for the promoter at first. Just being able to mix a few tunes together wasn’t really good enough in 1994 and that’s the case now too. There were less DJs back then, and less parties. Now nearly everyone’s a DJ & if they aren’t they’re a promoter. So if you want more gigs to add to your list of already impressive clubs, try and work a bit harder at it…….oh and probably don’t ask me via an intermediary, whilst I’m on my period!!