Doorly’s had massive achievements as a DJ, producer and promoter. He’s consistently topped the Traxsource and Beatport charts, produced for both Nicki Minaj and Usher and has released tracks on labels such as Hot Creations, Cajual and Dirtybird. He is currently on tour under his famous party banner “Doorly and Friends,” with guest DJs including Skream, Kolsch, Soul Clap, Tensnake and DJ Pierre.
Added to that he has also thrown his hat into the label ring with his new label Reptile Dysfunction. With this platform he plans to use it to showcase unsung artists that he feels the world needs to know about.
And with that, he gives us his advice for DJs on how to kickstart your career.
1. Most important: Always be nice to everyone you meet.
It’s not hard and it will make you feel good. A long career in music is full of ebbs and flows, peaks and troughs and the artists that are able to continue are usually the ones who have the support of the people around them and the friends they make along the way.
Everyone is a DJ these days so why would a promoter book you if you just mix two Beatport mp3s together?
2. Start making your own music NOW!
It’s never too late and it’s the only way to let the world understand you as an artist. Ideally learn to play the piano as it will make production a million times easier. I wish I had been given this advice at the start of my career.
3. Start your own party.
It’s the best way to build yourself a local following and get to meet your musical heroes by booking them. You get to have dinner with them, warm up for them and show them what you’ve got and if you’re good enough they will remember you!
4. Remixing is a great way to put yourself on the scene.
Message your favorite artists and their management through Facebook and ask if you could have a go at remixing one of their upcoming tracks for free. If you hit brick walls that way, then find a track that you like with an interesting breakdown or vocal section without too much drums and percussion going on and re-work it from there. Then send it to the artist. Trust me, if its good enough they will want to release it. It worked for me at the start of my career several times.
5. Make yourself stand out as a DJ/Performer.
Everyone is a DJ these days so why would a promoter book you if you just mix two Beatport mp3s together? Be creative, use acapellas, get a drum machine or effects unit, make your own edits, use a third turntable, experiment between genres to make magical moments in a set, find your way to build a groove of your own not just playing other peoples’ banging tech House records.
6. Learn to warm up properly.
I know you want to show you can smash it out and make a crowd go nuts but maybe it’s not your time to do that yet depending where you’re positioned on a bill. Nothing is worse than walking into an empty, only just opened room and hearing a DJ smashing out anthems at 127bpm. Show you have some class, depth and musical knowledge but building up the energy with tracks nobody in the room has ever heard before. For me a truly great DJ is one that you find yourself wanting to sneakily Shazam more than a couple of tracks from a set they are playing.
Support #RealHouseMusic! This story was originally published in 5 Magazine Issue 146 featuring Kai Alce, Doorly, Chip E., Golf Clap, Frederick Dunson and the Frankie Knuckles Foundation and more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music for only $2 per month!