5 Tips for DJs During the Current Coronavirus Crisis
By Cory Giles for BPM Supreme
I heard one DJ say, “Being a DJ doesn’t come with unemployment, a 401K, or severance pay, you have to grind 24/7/365.” That isn’t a lie by any means. I have been a professional DJ for almost three years, and I’m just starting to understand how to build a stable income.
With everything that’s happening in the world right now, it’s crucial to share advice and knowledge from real DJs on how to manage through tough times. While these recent events have been unimaginable, to say the least, we can hopefully learn valuable lessons on how to better maintain our businesses, grow as DJs, and make the best of a challenging situation. With that being said, below are 5 tips for handling this new Coronavirus crisis.
Tip #1- Plan Out Your Finances
Take a few hours to sit down and map out your spending habits for the next two to three months. Be realistic about the things you need and the things that you can do without. For example, shopping for your food is going to save you a lot of money versus ordering take-out right now. Also, it’s good to know that a lot of companies, including credit card companies, are allowing you to defer payments. See if you can defer some of your bills for the next 60 days and ease some of the stress while we wait this out. Lastly, any savings you have should be allocated to the bills that you 100% can’t defer.
Tip #2- Work on Your Craft
So, the reality is we’re stuck at home and there is no work. What you can do to make the most of your time is to learn a new skill. There are thousands of YouTube videos, books (audiobooks too), and tutorials on DJing right at our fingertips! You should also spend time practicing on your own DJ equipment. Pick a time daily to sit down and elevate your DJ game. You can even do an Instagram Live and perform for your followers. Trust me, by using this downtime to hone in on your craft, when it’s time to return to work, you will be better than ever.
Tip #3 – Network and Support
Take this time to build relationships with other DJs. Whether you’re a new DJ just starting out or you’ve been DJing for 20 years, we can and should all help and be there for each other right now. Not only is this a great time to network, but it’s a great time bond with other DJs on the fact that we’re going through a similar struggle. Being able to speak to someone who can relate does a lot for you mentally. Don’t be scared to ask another DJ how are they doing. Also, if you know of any older DJs in your community, check in on them to see if they need anything — even if it’s as simple as running to the store for them. We have a huge community, let’s make it tighter!
Tip #4 – Look for Temp Work
Some DJs may be more affected than others, but the important thing to remember is that this is a global crisis and you don’t have to be ashamed of your situation. However, sitting at home and not trying to find extra income can hurt you in the long run. If you have a passion project, now is the time to work on it. If you have a skill of any kind that you’re not utilizing, now is the time to use. Also, companies are hiring right now because they need the extra workers. Apply to Uber Eats, Door Dash, or another kind of delivery service. Some grocery stores are hiring right now to better handle the growing food demands. Keep an open mind and take that temp job to keep your head above water.
Tip #5 – Plan for the Future
Everything in the world might be on pause right now, but your future doesn’t have to be. There are so many things you can work on with this free time! Start building or updating your marketing plan for the next year or two so when this is all over you can hit the ground running securing new clients. Make new mixes or mixtapes and have them ready to release. Create a list of GOALS you want to achieve for when this is all over and check-in with yourself daily!
In closing, the DJ community has to stick together and do our best to help other DJs navigate through this all. Let us know how you’re dealing with the current crisis happening. Share your best advice below.
About Cory Giles
From the age of 4, Cory Giles was curious what it meant to be a DJ and had a strong connection to the art form through his dad, DJ Keith. Beginning with the business side of the music industry, Cory started working with giants like Def Jam, Universal Music Group, and HOT 97 in New York City. It wasn’t until 2018 that he joined Hot 97’s Summer Mix Weekend lineup and soon after enrolled into Scratch DJ Academy determined to master the craft of DJing. The next year, Cory joined Dash Radio and created his own show “The Corner” which airs weekly on the platform.
With Cory’s professionally-taught skills and early exposure to the art form, DJing came to him naturally. He’s performed everywhere from community events like AIDS Walk New York to sponsored events with companies like Verizon and Applebee’s. With a strong understanding of various genres including Top 40, R&B, EDM, throwbacks, reggae, and hip hop, never expect anything less than a quality experience when Cory Giles is on the set. Follow Cory on Instagram.