Monday, March 14, 2011

DJs: Are We REALLY Breaking Records?

March 8, 2011

What’s good everyone? I want to address a topic that has garnered a number of questions and concerns over the years. Are DJs REALLY breaking records? You will be surprised at some of the responses.

Over the years, our role as DJs has changed, allowing our craft to be in the forefront of the industry—however there are still a few of us that have become lazy and stale in our approach. With digital technology and the Internet, DJs in my opinion have lost some of the edge that is required. Back in the day, artists servicing records to DJs, getting on the phone, and traveling to their cities were ways for us to build relationships and effectively work records. Now with the Internet, the servicing of records to DJs, different DJ coalitions, etc. the personal touch has been lost. It now comes down to a few of us that actually reach DJs with our brand and music. What can we do to help break these records? Here are a few things that if used effectively, will give artists an edge in music distribution and radio/club play.

First, artists need to support the various DJ coalitions (Core DJs, Coast 2 Coast DJs, Hittmen DJs, Cool Runnings DJs, etc.) and their movements. Go to their sites, see what type of traffic they are generating, come up with a business model, and do some real business. These organizations are here to help artists grow and distribute their music. Once you have participated in a meet and greet or industry mixer, it’s up to you—the artist—to follow up with the DJ via email, Twitter, and Facebook. Keep building your relationships with the DJs and find out how they are playing the record. Now, there are a few DJs unfortunately that get lost in the shuffle and have forgotten the art of breaking music. Those individuals may need to find a different career.

Second, set a budget aside to do a serious Internet/viral campaign. The Internet is the new “Street Team” approach to breaking records. All of the various e-blast services should be used to service your record. Do not hesitate—set aside about $2500 and make it happen. McDonald’s spends close to $2 million a week to brand and market its product. As an artist, you have to do the same. Generate as much buzz as you can, and Internet hits via tags and blog placements. If I can Bing or Google you and see pictures of your performances, videos, song placements, etc., there are real tangible numbers and stats that can be used to get you that deal you’re looking for. Also take advantage of websites like, which is a site that DJs use to track their club spins (like a BDS for the club DJ). Find out if your DJ in your market is involved with that site, or any other that can give you some tracking information.

Lastly, get in your car, van, truck, or bus and travel to these markets and visit the DJs, the clubs, and the radio stations. This still works! Go to the beauty/barber shops, malls, schools, train stations—anywhere that there’s traffic and work. You will be surprised at the results. Do not be afraid to try something different; that can be the difference between your record jumping off or not. As DJs, we have a lot of tools that we can use to help artists be successful. Look at what you do as a business and not a hobby. Set it up that way, and the results will be what you expect.

Derek “The Bigg DM” Jurand

VP/Core DJs Worldwide, LLC

CEO-DMJ Music Group, LLC


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