Every year, thousands of ambitious DJ’s travel to Utrecht in the middle of the Netherlands, for the biggest congress for DJ’s in the Benelux: Dance Fair 2018. There waits 6000m2 of expo floor with 250 music brands. Traditionally, Gigstarter was at the congress to give artists 1 on 1 coaching sessions. We also took the time to highlight some of the tips and tricks given by other professionals!
How can the use of big data make or break a DJ career?
Anaïs d’Olivat from Mysteryland and a data scientist from Armada Music Records showed us, that big data is used to define general trends on music platforms. It is important to remember, how it can be gathered and utilised through social media. Before you get overwhelmed by all the data that is available to you as a musician, keep in mind the most important thing: to focus on what you love. You should try not to follow every trend shown online, but rather focus on your own style and be consistent with it - even if it's difficult sometimes.
The public listening attentively at the Dance Fair 2018. Picture: Floris van Bergen
The bigger the genre, the bigger the competition. The most important feature about big data and social media is how it allows you to maintain your network. Make use of the power of platforms such as Soundcloud and Spotify to make yourself and your music known to the world. Focus on local communities that are likely to be attracted to your music. Introduce yourself to those communities, and use tools that foster your online network e.g. your YouTube channel. Be careful though and consider the frequency of your releases: you do not need to produce or release too many tracks at once, otherwise your music might lose its value to your audience. You need to keep the people satisfied with new tracks once a while. In any case, try and schedule your releases to target as many people as possible.
Building a YouTube music community
Indeed, your YouTube channel will first and foremost be a promotional tool. A lot of musicians these days use vlogs to introduce themself to their community in a more personal way. You can also share playlists based on genre, mood and taste to show who you are. This is an addition to what you do as a musician to build and maintain your network.
That’s the thing: be diverse on your social media channels, provide your audience with different and engaging content, whether that's an Instagram Voting or a release announcement on Facebook. You can also use Instagram and refer back to your other social media channels, to create an interconnected online presence. Lastly, one last practical tip from the AEI group: do not edit a YouTube video after uploading it: it affects the algorithm and the video will most likely be less visible on the platform.
One of the many popular DJ masterclasses at the Dance Fair. Picture: Floris van Bergen
After these insightful sessions, we had to go back to our coaching sessions. It was great to meet so many talented DJ's from all over Europe.The Dancefair has way more to offer than Big data and social media courses for artists. Famous DJ’s give their masterclasses and icons from the music industry talk about the ins and outs. This experience definitely convinced us to put the next edition on 16- 19 march already in our agenda!