There has never been a time where there has been so much music available. This is both amazing and overwhelming for any DJ. The influx of digital music has completely changed the dynamics of the DJ world and the music industry. This translates into the obvious changes that have arisen in the way the general public buy music, but also for those buying music for DJing. With so much music available to us, we have an amazing opportunity to make choices on how we shop and how we support various artists from all over the globe. I want to talk about how our decisions can make a difference not only in our DJ’ing but also in our world.
Buying Music Vs. Free Music
I don’t want to go into this in too much detail as we all know the internet can, and has been, providing many people with free ‘pirated’, illegal downloads for sometime now. This is considered both a gift and a terror. It’s kind of considered a ‘grey zone’ as so many people get away with these illegal downloads and continue to do it today. I for one am not in that category for a number of reasons:
- Firstly, there is so much free, quality music you can obtain legally, either through gifted downloads on SoundCloud, or by signing up for various DJ Promo websites or record labels.
- Secondly, downloading torrent files can bring in malware to your computer and screw things up. I don’t know about you, but I want my computer to perform perfectly when I am playing out live in public. The last thing you want is for a computer crash to ruin your first big set and crash your hopes of furthering your DJ career. If you want to take your DJ career seriously, take your music seriously too.
- Another problem with grabbing random free tracks from the interwebs, is corrupt music files. It’s happened to me: I’ve borrowed a friends external hard drive for a wedding and one track crashed my computer, thankfully the back up ipod was ready to go, so no one really noticed, but it was sheer hell for 2 minutes of that gig.
Where’s your Money Going
If you are earning money from DJ’ing, you have no excuse for not buying music. Whilst many producers don’t create for money, they do appreciate the income. If you can find a producer that sells directly on their site, buy it from them. These huge companies are nice an shiny and they do a great job of providing music, but are they taking too many royalties away from the producers? Once a producer signs a track to a label, then distributes it and then lists it for sale, so much money is skimmed off in different areas, that they see very little of the money in the end.
Unfortunately for many, convenience is king and more often than not we turn to the industry giants to source our music. Consider where your money is going when you buy a record. Is that multi-million dollar company using your money for things you support, or are they paying into investments that go against your moral values?
Take the acquisition of Beatport for example. SFX Entertainment purchased Beatport for a rumoured $50 million. Beatport earned $49 million the year prior. SFX now owns a huge chunk of the Dance Music Scene in the States and runs a number of festivals including Tomorrowland.
Whilst there may be nothing wrong with the way these huge multi-million dollar companies operate, we need to ask ourselves, “should all the money be funnelling up to one man?”
I know various people get a cut on the way up, but is this system really necessary? And is this man helping humanity?
Music Culture Revolution
We all know a DJ, we all know a producer, we can all put on parties or mini festivals. It’s time to really focus on what we are all here to do. Create music, embrace culture, share experiences, Love others and have a great time. It’s time to bring community back to the dance and music scene.
Whilst I do have much respect for many of these ‘big-name’ DJ’s, I do find that many are selling out. It’s a fine line to walk, the temptations of fame and money can be too much to deny, but we must remember to stay true to our passions and support the creative process rather than the financial industries and big corporations.
Support Local Artists and Conscious Gatherings
There are so many DJ’s and producers out there these days, that we just don’t need to support these big money making events.
We can all co-create the ideal party, or co-produce our favourite music, without relying on, idolising, or placing various DJ’s on a pedestal. Whilst it can be amazing fun to gather with a group of thousands of people, we must look at the intentions of this party before attending. Is this gathering designed to improve the quality of life for the planet and it’s inhabitants, or is it just a money making scheme?
With so many DJ’s, we have the freedom to choose a DJ to follow and support, not solely based on his or her music selection, but also on their moral choices and causes they choose to publicly support. By focusing on those that wish to improve the quality of life by giving back to others, we can all be involved in changing the direction of this world.
Bring it Home
You all have the power to create your own world, without relying on the externalities of big money and big corporations. We do not need to fund the destruction of the planet by supporting large businesses that hog resources, deplete the Earth of minerals and have only one goal of making money.
Your community can create special things, bring the party home. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it has to be intentional, inspiring and deeply connected to our true tribal roots. If you see an event sponsored by a world wide drinks brand or a household clothing name, then likely you’re money is not going to good causes and your attendance is potentially contributing to harming our planet. Now is the time to make the necessary changes to all areas of our lives; a time to live more consciously and to make choices based on the greater good.
Channel your energies, including your money, into things that improve the quality of everyones life and understand that if you are truly aligned with your passions, the world will always become a better place.