International Artists Reveal The Art & Science of Being a DJ

Flumes, Lost Frequencies and more talk about how to DJ right

learn more about Priyadarshini Patwa

By Priyadarshini Patwa


You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

While mixing tracks or creating one might look like the easiest job to many, this is no duck soup. Becoming a DJ is beyond one's passion for music. It's about making music essential for life. So to all those who aim to be a part of this exciting profession, get ready for the battle of originality. The ocean is deep and you need to taste the water before you jump into it. To understand the journey, Entrepreneur India got in a conversation with international artists at Sunburn Festival Goa 2020, who present you with a 101 guide to be a DJ.

Fail all the time but keep going. Try lots of different genres. Copy other artists and figure out how they do what they do. Once you copy them, you'll be able to find your sound. Do your research and find out what fits your vibe. Put a lot of time into producing it at the end of the day — these are only a few words of wisdom by Fedde Le Grand, a Dutch house DJ, record producer and remixer. The passion to hear, see and learn can map your way to being a great artist.

Belgian DJ and record producer, Felix De Laet aka Lost Frequencies from his experience explains, "I try to be open-minded to learn new ideas and towards different kinds of people or coaches and their music. Just try to stay up to date with what's going on. And originality is a must. Most importantly, try to be positive and be inspired by other upcoming artists and perhaps see how they did it and be motivated.

Business Fundamentals

Being an independent artist has its perks but with that comes the responsibility of being a wise business mind. Five-time DJ Awards winner, Chilean-Swiss DJ Luciano believes one can create a business based on passion, not just thoughts. And when your name becomes business, surround yourself with great minds.

"It's like virus you will create through time, something viral. When you feel the music and perceive something deep that can contaminate people, you can dominate people. I did it for 25 years, travelling around the globe. If you put 2,000 people dying at an entrance, that's a business. That's when you have to surround yourself with great people. Hire someone who takes care of the accounting and other daily deals when you are producing and creating music," he says.

Australian record producer, music programmer and DJ, Harley Edward Streten, known professionally as Flume whose has topped the ARIA Albums Chart suggests, "Read the contract. Know who's taking what. It's important to know where your money is going. I particularly have not always been on top of it. But the longer I'm in this business, the more I realize how important it is to be aware of what's going on. Also, everything's negotiable."

Lastly, once you start performing, real money will follow and that's when you need three most important things. "Get a good lawyer, an accountant and then you can do whatever you want. This is very important to have a good word. I think it's very important to have a good accountant. Think wisely because the moment you start making money, a lot of people just get carried away and that's where you also need a good partner to help your business," advises Teri Miko who is known for her high energetic DJ sets and performances.

Own Your Masters

When you are the creator, why let the moolah overpower? "Most artists give up their masters' labels in exchange for an upfront paycheck. Masters eventually, like a fixed deposit will keep making you money," according to Anish Sood, Indian music producer, songwriter and DJ. When fame catches up, the flow of money comes in. However, it does dry up what many artists fail to realize.

"There are times where you will need to reinvest back in your career to reinvent it. So treat it like a business. A business person would invest back. Spend money on yourself, improve your technical abilities, improve your collaborations and work on yourself," he adds.

Be Obsessed! It's a Long Process

Unless you haven't failed three-four times, you can't hit success. While many might disagree, Cuban-American DJ Maceo Plex believes that's the route. "Be obsessed first! If you're really obsessed, it's not just for fun or impressing others. You can't sleep at night. Quit three or more times and come back. Be mad because you didn't get a gig and someone else did. But then it will happen. It's a long process but it works," he says.

The profession of being a DJ certainly looks glamorous but requires you to be grounded and understand the essence of the unsaid musical world. If you can manage that, you won't just rule the charts but also rave the industry.

Priyadarshini Patwa

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Editor, Entrepreneur India

Priyadarshini Patwa is the Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosts an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handles the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and also is responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle. 

She’s @Priyanka_Patwa on Twitter and @priyadarshinipatwa on Instagram.

Related Topics

News and Trends

Scam 2023: Inside The World Startup Convention Disaster

To many, the speaker line up for the World Startup Convention (WSC) which had been scheduled for March 24-26, 2023 at Greater Noida may have seemed too good to be true.


Why Embracing Your Unique Strengths and Talents Will Lead to Success

By identifying and developing one's strengths, aligning with passions, cultivating a growth mindset and positively impacting the world, individuals can unlock their full potential and create a life of abundance, passion and fulfillment.

News and Trends

Why Government May Ban Related Party Sales Of E-commerce, Food Delivery Startups

"E-commerce companies are permitted to merely operate a pure-play marketplace i.e. a bridge between the buyer and seller and not sell any goods, even their own products on their platforms," said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, CAlT

Starting a Business

90% of Online Businesses Fail in Just 4 Months. You Can Avoid the Same Fate By Using These Strategies.

It's not catastrophizing when we think about potential failure; it's in fact a chance for any business to precisely see any outcome and prepare in advance.

Growing a Business

Scaling Made Easy: How to Scale Your Business like a Fortune 500 Company

Once you have the night-vision skills of Fortune 500 restaurants, scaling becomes effortless. Here are 3 ways to scale, hidden in plain sight.


5 Insider Tips for Improving Your Confidence as a Public Speaker

Presenting publicly can be a nerve-wracking experience. Here are five key tips to help you boost your confidence.