By Bethel Alemu
Although it may look complicated, becoming a DJ is easier than it looks, especially during pandemic times. DJ Alize and 4KORNERS share their best tips and break down how to become a DJ.
DJ Alize and 4KORNERS have a lot of experience under their belt.
Alize has been DJing for more than 7 years in night clubs and on radio stations. Not to mention, Alize is also a DJ Agent, searching and booking gigs for other DJs across Canada.
As for 4KORNERS, he is the official DJ of the Toronto Raptors and has played in many nightclubs internationally.
Although Alize is successful now, he had to start off just like everybody else. One day, him and his friends created a song about the Edmonton Oilers. Long story short, his friends had connections and gave it to the previously known radio station, 91.7 the Bounce. The Bounce played Alize’s song after an Oilers win and the rest is history.
According to Alize, there are two ways to become a DJ: in person or online.
Back in pre-COVID times, when someone was interested in DJing, they would head down to the local night club, and watch the DJ perform. After the set was finished, they would talk to the DJ and ask questions. Ideally, forming a relationship with the DJ first, and then getting into the DJing community from there. Building a connection and relationship within the community is important.
“[There’s] strength in numbers,” says Alize.
Since recent restrictions, the formula to becoming a DJ has been altered. The DJing community sought out Twitch and Discord as their unofficial new home. Practicing and learning the equipment stayed the same, the only difference being that now the audience and connections are online.
Streaming live on Twitch is the norm for DJ’s everywhere now. Twitch and Discord are expanding the community by allowing people to learn from others DJs around the world. With building connections and contacts being one of the most important things for a new DJ, these two platforms are a gold mine. 4KORNERS and Alize both expressed how crucial these platforms are for an upcoming DJ.
As far as equipment needed to start, Alize recommends the DDJ-SB controller. Alize suggested getting this equipment at Long & McQuade Musical Instruments. The store allows people to put down 20 percent and walk out with some nice gear. For programming, Alize recommends Serato DJ, as most of the community uses this program.
If someone has a passion for making music then DJing just might be what they need. DJing does not have to be a full-time job either, DJs can easily make some extra cash on the side as part-time.
Regardless, be versatile with the music.
“Never fear another genre,” Alize says.