DJ Secrets: where do DJs find their music? Part 2

This post follows on from DJ Secrets: Where do DJs find their music? Part 1 so check it out if you haven’t already. Here are some more places to help you in your quest for a full music library:

6. Radio

Gone are the days of just a few commercial radio stations playing the same mainstream songs every couple of hours. Now there are thousands of internet radio stations covering all music genres and, fortunately for us, their playlists are often publicly available. Choose a few here 

7. Magazine reviews

Not everything has to be done online – there’s something comforting about taking your time to flick through the smooth, glossy pages of a print magazine. It’s easier on the eyes for one thing! At the back of music magazines, such as  DJ Mag and Mixmag, you’ll find reviews of singles and albums in most dance music genres. A huge number of print magazines have folded in the past few years so we should try to support them while we’ve still got them.

Where do DJs find their music. DJ magazines

8. YouTube

Most music blogs (see Part 1) and magazines also have YouTube channels where you can stream new music. Another good resource is Pioneer’s DJ Sounds channel. Pioneer invites top DJs to mix and has one camera on their hands as they’re doing it. Not only do you get to hear their tunes of choice but it’s also a great way of learning new DJing techniques – handy for beginner and experienced DJs alike. Check out the DJ Sounds show here

9. Boiler Room

Boiler Room invites DJs to play at a private location and streams the show live. So, when you watch a Boiler Room, you’re watching a live night out. It hosts parties worldwide and focuses on up-and-coming talent so you can check out what the kids in Poznan are getting down to, for example, and incorporate some of it into your own sets. They also host big names like Jamie XX and Four Tet  so the chances are that at least some of your favourite DJs will have a Boiler Room set you can check out. They also have an active and passionate community which you can join and which will help you figure out the tracklist for the sets being played.

10. Streaming services

Spotify is well-known for its massive song library of over 20 million songs but it also has a customisable online radio. Type in an artist that you love and Spotify will play songs by that  and similar artists – the idea being that you’re exposed to new music in your favourite genres. Spotify has over 10 million users and most (but not all) mainstream artists on its streaming service. However, it’s been widely criticised for paying the artists a pittance and the general consensus is that it needs to do better to support the musicians who make the platform possible.  Taylor Swift very publicly removed her back catalogue from the platform and Thom Yorke has been a vocal critic

11. Do It Yourself

A lot of DJs are also producers these days. With so many free resources online to help you learn the basics of the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of your choice, it’s becoming increasingly easy to edit existing songs. This is handy if you have a great old tune from the ‘70s that you want to give a modern twist to so you can play it out. You can add in a breakdown, insert some beats at the beginning and end so it’s easier to mix, remove the vocals entirely – the possibilities are endless! Once you’ve had a go at remixing, your interest will be piqued enough to move onto producing your own songs. More on this in a future post!

As you can see, there are plenty of places for DJs to find their music. Now that you know where to look, you can figure out which of the above suggestions work well for you. Take note, though – the key to finding great music is not only to look in the right places but also to search regularly and often – so get cratedigging!

Are there any valuable places that we’ve missed off the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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