How To Be An EDM DJ

It happens with every great music genre. Eventually, a sound that’s been bubbling up in the underground for years makes its way into the mainstream. That’s what happened with hip-hop in the 1990s, that’s what happened with jazz in the 1920s, and that’s what’s happening with EDM (Electronic Dance Music) right now.

In the festival and stadium scenes, where rock and pop music once dominated, EDM is now taking over. Sometimes this is in collaboration with rock or pop artists (like Deadmau5 performing with the Foo Fighters at the 2012 Grammys), and sometimes EDM dominates completely on its own.

So why is EDM “the next big thing,” and what does that mean for those who want to learn how to be and EDM DJ?

Many explanations have been given for the growth of EDM into a mainstream phenomenon, but the bottom line is that right now huge numbers of people are buying EDM music, going to EDM shows, and embracing EDM culture. Major companies have taken notice – recently entertainment giant SFX bought Beatport for $50 million. Reigning music superstars have taken notice too – Metallica now cites Skrillex as a major influence on their sound, and more and more pop stars have begun partnering with DJs to create radio hits.

If you’re a new DJ, the current popularity of EDM means that you’ve come onto the scene at a good time for electronic music. However, any good musician should also be aware that all trends come and go, and while EDM is huge right now, in five or ten years music fans may have already moved on to the next “next big thing.”

If you want to really build a career that lasts, learn to make music that defies trends, or learn to set trends of your own. After all it’s the early adopters that always come out on top in the music industry, and if you’re just getting into EDM now, it might already be too late.

To get your career on the right track, start by learning some skills that never go out of style: Watch DJ Kenya teach this video lesson about 4 essential DJ moves – Cutting, Fading, Spinbacks and Rewinds.