DJing is a surprisingly new profession. In fact, there’s no formal mention of DJing as an actual job until some point in the early 70s. They were around, but it wasn’t as big of a deal as it is today.
Fast-forward to 2019 and we find ourselves in an era where everyone wants to be a superstar DJ. Some admit it, some kid themselves, but it’s something we all want. It’s just that wanting it and making it happen are two painfully different things.
But for those who go for it both-barrels, the life of a DJ pretty much always plays out in six stages.
…and here they are:
Babies are pre-programmed to like music. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest we’re listening to music and responding to what we hear before we’re even born. So you could say the life of a DJ starts when you’re about -0.75 years old. Not that you’re old enough to decide you want to be a DJ, but still – a nice early start to things.
For those of us who are old, talentless and generally pissed off with the world, it’s always a case of what might have been. Buy a kid a set of musical instruments as early as you can and by the time they’re your age, they’ll be better than you’ll ever be. Buy them some decks and they’ll have the skills to go pro in no time. When a kid shows an interest in music, it’s something to embrace and encourage – big time.
Teenagers think they can do everything and deserve everything. They can also be affected by the kinds of mood swings and hormonal fluctuations that are borderline lethal. Pent-up anger, teenage angst and a sense of being temporarily immortal – all perfect for making music. DJing provides the kind of creative outlet that can put all that teenage BS to good use. Teens don’t often write and record the year’s most epic albums, but some do.
4. Young Adulthood
You’ve probably scored a few small gigs by this stage and you’ve got your eye on bigger things. You’ve stopped looking at DJing as a fast-track easy-street route to fame and fortune…you’ve accepted it’s a job and you’re serious about making it work. You set yourself up with a DJ finance package and buy DJ equipment from a reputable seller at a price you can just about afford. You market yourself, you gig yourself half to death and you replace all that teenage angst with a sense of quiet optimism.
By this stage, you’ve either thrown in the towel to go work in your dad’s IT support office, or you’ve pretty much made it. You could be a global superstar or a legend in your own mind, but you’ve done what only a handful out of every thousand DJs manage to do – make a real job of it.
6. Retirement and Elderly Life
Winding things down and playing your last gig is always sad. But if you’ve come this far, you can at least tell anyone who actually wants to listen to you (good luck) that instead of a crappy career, you spent your life as a pro DJ. Even if they don’t believe you and/or care, these are the kinds of bragging rights you’ll enjoy all the way to the grave. Far better than looking back at a life spent doing something you hate for a boss you’d happily off if you had the chance.