It’s an interesting debate and a subject that many DJ’s find difficult to navigate. Just as there is a fine line between genius and insanity, a similar line can be found separating DJ’s between Fame and Underground.
I am sure many of you out there have different reasons for why you want to become, or have become a DJ. I would say however, that the 3 most prominent reasons are Music, Money or recognition. I feel it a shame that the latter 2 even be contenders, but unfortunately in this day and age, greed and narcissism are very real diseases.
Most of us I would assume are in this industry because we love the music. The love of music brings people together and over time certain DJ’s garner a following. The music they play combined with their personalities, attract attention and people slowly turn into fans. The fan base grows and grows until a certain breaking point is reached. This breaking point is represented by a fork in the road, the choice at this point can be the biggest decision a DJ has to make and will continue to pop up through his or her career. So which path do you take; Fame or Underground?
Underground DJ’s still acquire a certain level of fame, but their recognition never makes the mainstream. Jamie Jones for instance has been a big hitter in the underground dance scene for some time now, but in recent months he presented the essential selection for Radio One.[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/58674367" params="auto_play=false&show_artwork=true&color=e8221f" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]
Due to the nature of Jamie’s record selection and his attitude towards music, he has certainly acquired a great deal of fame, but he somehow manages to contain this and keep out of the limelight and mainstream media. This type of self management requires a great deal of skill and Jamie seems to be pulling it off very nicely.
So what is it that enables DJ’s to make this distinction and to steer a straight path away from the the limelight? I have asked this very question of the Crosstown Rebels and Jamie Jones. Their response has not been received at the time of publication.
Fame and Money – In a recent article by Forbes magazine they placed DJ Tiesto at the top of the pile with his yearly earnings at $14 million. Now we all like to be rewarded for our skills and efforts, but does anyone else find this a little excessive? I am sure Tiesto doesn’t mind having all that money, but has his love of the music been tarnished by the necessity of focusing on the next marketing strategy or the bottom line? With money, comes pressures and also a loss of control. Record labels and agencies take control of your creativity, turning your act into a product. There is even a magic formula for chord progressions in modern day pop music, a formula that creates hits. Just go ahead and search the internet for some information. Here is one interesting article I found – Hooktheory.
So instead of becoming somebodies ticket to money, a strong will is required to avoid the pop culture and ‘sellout’ status in order to remain underground.
What do you think, is it ‘selling out’ or just setting your sights high?
Let us know in the comments below…….