DJ Self Born's How To Piss Off the DJ: A Four-Step Guide
But he's been in the game for decades, doin' work in his native Chicago and touring with the legendary Special Ed and Wu-Tang before starting from scratch on South Beach about eight years ago.
Self Born says, "I come from a place where your skills come from playing two records on turntables and a mixer, and producing a quality vibe. It's not just playing songs and smoking a cigarette. It's interacting."
So from a jock who knows the biz, here's a four-step guide to pissing off the DJ.
Step One: Delay Payment
"Just say the words: 'Come get your check. I'll have it for you Monday.' That's, like, the worst. It's bullshit. It may not be bullshit pay, but chasing down checks ... It's one of the things you have to learn and go through, just being able to get your dough."
Step Two: Micromanaging
"Being told what to play by people who don't know what they're talking about is frustrating. When they tell you how to DJ, it's aggravating. It's always the people who don't do what you know how to do that are telling you what to do. When you are a DJ that's not known, you are treated like an employee. You are being hired to do something and someone is going to try to tell you how to do it."
Step Three: Bad Promoting
"When you get hired, you are at the mercy of how well the promoter does.You could create a good relationship with a club. But because of the promoter, you have to stop spinning at someplace you call home."
Step Four: The Request Aspect
"It is a frustration. And I always say to anybody, 'If you don't know the DJ, let him do his thing.' It's usually girls that's fucked up who want you to play the worst music, like some Czech house. Or she might say, like, "Can you play something to make me dance?," when everyone else in the club is already dancing. Just so she and her two girls can go, "Whoooo! He played my song!"
As far his thoughts on working in Miami, Self Born says, "You will get many doors opened to you based on what you have rather than the kind of person you are or the quality of your character. And there will be doors closed to you based on not having what is seen as valuable."
But at the end of the day, he loves this place, and he wants to see others do well. He says, "If the goal is to be successful, you have to spin for everyone you can, good and bad.
"Market your name and make it consistent. Establish your own night at your own little spot where you can play whatever music you want to play. The wider market is all about repetition and playing the same songs all the time.
"So to make sure you have balance and sanity and not become a puppet, create your own weekly niche and play for the people who like what you're doing, who are there for you and not the bar, and where nobody is telling you what to do."
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