Can an Introvert Be a DJ?
This essay is for all the introverts out there who want to be DJs, and I am SO happy to release it.
Over 15 important subjects are covered in this article, such as:
- performing DJing in public
- advantages of recognizing your introversion early
- networking while being a recluse
- How to handle social anxiety
- Practical advice you can use today
- many individual experiences
We want to eliminate the negative stereotype that exists regarding introverts since it is a problem that can be remedied.
So let's get started straight now without further ado.
Can a DJ be an introvert?
In the realm of DJing, there is a social bias toward introversion, and that needs to shift.
And in my opinion, it's especially harmful to young people who lack confidence, are stressed out, and want to fit in with society.
Yes, an introvert can work as a DJ and do live performances. Numerous well-known DJs are introverts, yet that didn't stop them from achieving their goals. An introvert is more likely to prefer alone, which leads to increased practice and discovery of new songs and improved performance.
Since it is primarily a social activity, you could find it more challenging to gain attention and land positions, but success takes work in any industry.
A big part of becoming known as an artist is connecting with promoters, other DJs, and internet audiences who are interested in the scene.
The good news is that many musicians identify as introverted and appreciate a person with whom they can connect and be themselves.
So be genuine and avoid overanalyzing your actions to attract folks you can be comfortable around.
That applies to both managing your introverted personality in general and becoming a DJ. You develop it and give it a functional place in your life.
Going into DJing may be motivated by one's introversion.
Ironically, although you're behind the decks doing the sets, you're also the unassuming person in the background who creates the atmosphere for the audience to have a good time. Therefore, it's not really about you.
Being introverted can occasionally make you feel as though you serve no function while around other people. You may believe that you are merely an extra.
DJing helps with that because you are on the job, the life of the party, and the one driving it.
I have personally observed how the general public perceives introverts as reclusive, lazy, and unsociable.
It might be less stressful to engage in exterior activities that lead to this pressure if there were greater respect and appreciation for a person who is internally watching.
Introverted people prefer to work alone and solely love being by themselves. prefer to keep their emotions to themselves and avoid talking.
My father is an extrovert. He isn't happy if he isn't the focus of attention. I have many features in common with my introverted mother.
She prefers to be alone herself, isn't a big talker, and feels at home reading or watching TV.
She also works as a spokeswoman! But as soon as she's done, she retreats back into her shell.
She will speak to you to death if necessary (believe me), but she prefers not to and will take extra precautions to avoid doing so.
Advantages of Early Introvert Recognition (Avicii Parallel)
I was astounded after viewing the 2017 documentary Avicii: True Stories about the incredible DJ and producer who committed suicide.
I estimated that he was around 26 years old when he made his discovery about Carl Jung and his introverted personality.
How was he expected to understand that? Before he could understand introversion, much less embrace it, he became a superstar.
Different-minded individuals surrounded Avicii, albeit not in a nasty way. An extroverted nature is as common.
He was compensated for doing what put him under tremendous pressure, and the spectators cheered him on. It was necessary for the buddies and partners.
He was told that if he performed this or that event—just one more—he would achieve renown, and he did. The results were observable and real. Who among the teenagers is going to refuse?
And because of this, it's excellent that you recognized your introversion early on.
So he gave himself endlessly for years at this insanely quick rate (700+ events?! ), living in this anxiety and fear.
In light of this, I believe that his spirit was under pressure and his soul was being destroyed at an incredible rate, leaving no chance for recovery.
Being introverted is not something we are ashamed of, but it hurts when people are nasty toward us.
Many DJs are introverted
And a lot of talented people are introverts in real life.
The only issue is that you need to strike a balance between your work and leisure time. And if you get very well-known, that could become tricky.
But it is conceivable, especially if you are conscious of the fact that a job is simply labor and not true life from the beginning. When you are not performing, you won't require ongoing public support if you are confident enough in yourself.
A masked German DJ and producer named Claptone were asked how he maintains his reclusive image in the extroverted electronic music scene in an interview for Popspoken.
"When I applied myself to the music solely and placed everything else on mute, I found the way to my success. When you concentrate on the untapped source of your desire, the most wonderful opportunities become available. Background noise is everything else.
One of the top British dance and techno artists, Patrick Topping, responded as follows when asked whether he is an extrovert or an introvert for The Skinny:
"If I had to choose, I'd say introvert, however, I can be rather outgoing as well. I don't believe being extroverted at all is necessary to be a DJ. It's really all about the music, isn't it? There are a lot of quieter guys than myself who are also great DJs! ”
Richard David James, better known as Aphex Twin, is another excellent DJ who springs to mind and is also introverted. There aren't many records of him around; his sets only feature analog sound.
Despite his introversion, we may nonetheless appreciate some of the most important gems of recent electronic music that he has produced.
In an interview with Mixmag, British DJ Daley Padley, better known as Hot Since 82, said: "I'm not sure what people think of me - I'd suppose that I come across as being nice, always smiling - but honestly, I can be quite shy."
He finds that music is the most effective means of expression, and what he has to say is completely complex but interesting, just like his inner world. All of us can hear it.
One of my favorite singers was quite quiet and introverted, but he was someone else entirely when he was performing on stage, to add to all the names already mentioned. Freddy Mercury, the lead vocalist of one of the greatest bands ever, Queen, comes to mind.
The Most Difficult Part of DJing Isn't Doing It in Front of People
I've never had trouble speaking in front of groups of people, but being outgoing around 50 strangers is my biggest fear.
My maternal grandfather played the violin in a large orchestra. He was an artist who was supremely confident in himself.
But as soon as he had to play that final note, he would start to perspire and become quite nervous since he knew that was when the social butterfly would begin. And with a symphony that size, there is plenty of it.
Many musicians exhibit strong introversion. Music composition is a solitary and reflective process. As a result, characters drawn to it are generally introverted.
It's not necessary for a DJ to be very talkative. Of course, you're making thousands of people happy, but you're up there with your audience.
I believe that the setup of a social event, rather than the amount of participants, is what exhausts introverts the most.
For those who are shy, introverted, socially awkward, or lack the bravery to come out of their shell, DJing is a fantastic opportunity.
To "make it" as a DJ, consider what kind of DJ you are, and what you want to get out of it, and work to be the best you can be.
Avoid trying to be a commercial DJ, performing at every event that will have you while disliking the songs you're required to play if your soul isn't into them.
Similarly, avoid trying to DJ like someone else by adhering to current trends. Play the genre you love if you're in it for the love of it.
Commercially-oriented or artistic oriented-content is okay as long as you are honest about who you are and why you do what you do.
Practice Builds Confidence
Being introverted should not preclude you from having confidence. You develop self-confidence by excelling at something and believing in your abilities to handle it.
Being an introvert, I have no trouble performing in front of crowds and holding the spotlight. You can get ready to be sociable and welcoming.
Simply force yourself into these circumstances. To be clear, though, it doesn't alter the fact that you like to be reserved and that you'll continue to feel that way.
All you can do is keep doing it, gain exposure, and strive to advance until you reach a stage where you are content with your abilities and your confidence increases.
Everybody experiences periods of worry, anxiety, or lack of confidence; if they claim otherwise, they are lying.
No matter where you are in your career, if you play somewhere new or that has worth to you, you will have that reaction again.
Remember that it's normal. It becomes more bearable, but it never completely goes away because it is normal.
DJing is all about technique, track choice, and flow. You can't be too embarrassed to show that side of yourself.
You shouldn't care about other people's opinions as long as you are secure in your talents.
That eliminates 80% of the anxiety before a set. You are already putting yourself at a disadvantage if you doubt your abilities.
DJing, despite having an audience, is often a rather solitary activity.
Consider it more like a performance than a simple one-on-one conversation; the audience is there to have a good time, and it is your responsibility to make sure they do.
How to Have the Courage to Perform in Front of People
Turn into two persons. To distinguish between the version of yourself that you want the audience to see and the actual you, it's no wonder that so many DJs have to alter egos.
Pick a name for yourself, a persona, and anything else you'll need to portray the persona you wish to have.
Keep in mind that everyone does this in their job or in other situations. Some folks greet consumers with a smile. "Phone voice" is a trait of some.
Both the business "you" and the residential "you" exist. It's all just a human coping mechanism.
Simply put, it is a more noticeable scale when performing. You are the center of attention. The focus of the conversation is on you.
There is no requirement that performers behave authentically behind the decks.
Consider David Bowie, who was one of the most well-known and successful performers of all time despite being timid and experiencing social anxiety. He had Ziggy Stardust, Halloween Jack, Thin White Duke, and other hits.
On stage you are. You don't have to be "you" to act or perform.
You can turn on your DJ persona; the front is raised, the show continues, and you're there to party, entertain, and provide the audience with a few hours of escape.
You won't get through some stages in your life if you don't separate yourself from your performance.
which brings me to...
Only the music you're about is important to others.
One of my first insights as a DJ was that, up until you get a certain level of fame, most people don't actually mind the DJ.
Really, all you're doing is providing them with background music. It can appear to be a little of a kick in the pride, but it can also be extremely liberating because you don't have to worry about making a mistake.
Blasting the sound system is the only way to go wrong, but as long as you keep mixing, it's still a party.
The DJ isn't the focus of the scene. The occasion is. You might have a challenging evening, but so what? Every musician makes mistakes, especially beginning players.
All of those things are components of this craft's practice side. In addition to practicing and perfecting your mixing, you must demonstrate your DJing abilities in public.
These men are out having fun and seeing their friends. Perhaps many in attendance simply want to hear their favorite classics. They might wish to hear some fresh music.
But generally speaking, people come to have fun, and it is your responsibility to make sure they enjoy it.
They are solely interested in the songs you enjoy. And that's where you show who you really are.
How to Engage Audiences as an Introvert
Some people would argue that "it's all about engaging your crowd," but the truth is that it's all about matching the energy in the room with your music.
And socializing isn't always a part of it. The engagement is more of a dependent one. Speaking to strangers and "networking" are separate types of interpersonal interaction from playing to the crowd.
Even the most introverted person in the room can enjoy that kind of interaction, yet conversing with others in a noisy setting can often be very taxing.
Giving listeners everything they need to have a party is the expertise; engaging them in a personal way is not (unless you want to). There are two separate qualities.
The Fear of Networking for Introverts
Even with the strongest skills, fluidity, transitions, and sets, you won't get booked unless you get the word out.
It's difficult to stand out on social media because of the producer and DJ oversaturation, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
I'd advise locating a group of individuals that are hosting events in your neighborhood that are similar to your playing style and getting in touch with them. At the beginning of the event, they might offer you an opportunity if you speak out.
On the other hand, gather a group of people with similar viewpoints and approach bars or clubs to organize events. Promoters will be more likely to take you into consideration if you have a few performances on your resume.
Please don't consider it to be the only route forward; rather, it's what I discovered to be most effective for me. I'm sure DJs have employed a variety of various strategies to garner popularity.
Play the part whenever you need to connect with the audience, contact agents, visit clubs, or perform.
It will eventually become so natural to you that you won't need to pretend, but in the meanwhile, it's a good approach to set everything up.
In other words, fake it until you make it. What you practice, you become.
The Best Advice for Interacting with People at Parties
There are many strategies for attending gatherings as an introvert, but if you have face-to-face time with a new acquaintance, this may be the answer you were hoping for.
Ask them about a favorite object, then ask them to describe it, explain why they appreciate it, and, if possible, introduce it to you.
The key is to pay attention and show interest. It's difficult when you find the topic dull, but you can usually change your mind by trying to understand why the individual likes it and what they get out of it.
Don't be dismissive; pay attention to their detailed explanations of why you might find it appealing. Bring up the song that is playing right now and what genre they enjoy.
Avoid using drugs
Or booze, which will facilitate networking. Those who gave you that advice aren't considering their own health or the long term.
Drinking makes anxiety worse in the future. If you want to pay off your bank debt, consider approaching a mafia loan shark. Yes, you could settle the loan that day, but you'll later face far more significant issues.
You want people to understand who you really are. You can approach networking in a way that will feel wonderful for you.
I advise you to prepare and conduct research before you start speaking with someone. Try emails or DMs first if making phone calls or meeting in person makes you nervous.
Practical Advice You Can Use Today
Start off by introducing yourself as a DJ.
Or a DJ in your room. Regardless of how good or skilled you are as a DJ, you are still a DJ. And people will recognize that about you because of the way you conduct yourself.
Avoid over-promoting yourself and avoid signing up for any events you're not prepared for.
Try planning or participating in a house party with your friends. That relieves pressure and is a great approach to begin developing your DJing skills. The finest approach to showcase your talents in front of an audience is to do that.
An idea for the DJ identity component is as follows:
People who aren't into DJing at all (casuals) might wonder what that means, so identify yourself as a "online DJ" and mention how frequently you produce new mixes.
And whether you believe me or not, 80% of them will want to hear what you have to say and will likely find it to be fantastic.
That gives me so much more confidence. If you're speaking with a DJ, he will comprehend that "online DJ" refers to "bedroom DJ," and he can even assist you if you're just starting out in this profession.
Simply consider your "job" from a marketing perspective and work to appear as cool as you can without acting or faking. You'll feel 30% more certain very quickly, I guarantee it!
Think About the Music
Controlling your expectations is crucial. If people don't seem to understand the songs you like or seem to respond more to music that seems to be written for an audience that doesn't know music, try not to become too irritated.
Instead, focus on using music to evoke emotion in listeners and to facilitate social interaction.
To put it another way, utilize mixing as a bridge to enter their world rather than trying to use it as a trap to draw them into yours.
It's important for introverts to realize that while they enjoy spending time alone in their heads, others aren't always trying to join them there.
By ceasing to worry, my friend was able to progressively overcome her performance anxiety. But that adjective is too vague.
In other words, he doesn't consider his anxiousness but rather concentrates on the music and the people.
How did he do it?
- He posted his mixes online and received comments. People told him they loved his sets, and the feedback was good.
Putting your mixes online is a great way to promote yourself. At first, it's a little nerve-wracking, but after a while, you don't worry about anything.
- He played music for his friends. He started by mixing for us at his home with my two best buddies. He started with small-scale house parties before going on to somewhat larger ones and continuing to advance.
Building up your self-assurance with larger crowds is quite beneficial.
What Should You Do If You Have Social Anxiety?
Whether I was around people or simply conversing with them, I used to experience severe social anxiety. That and I battled for years.
I believed for a very long time that I couldn't change this.
Because of how limited my life experience was, as a result, I believe I missed out on connecting with some fantastic people.
I soon found that changing my diet and beginning to DJ helped.
DJing is great for someone who struggles with social anxiety since you can practice at home before performing for friends or family, so it won't feel strange to you.
But the moment I began online treatment for my social anxiety that really made a difference for me.
You only speak with licensed therapists, receive counseling in your leisure time at home, your information is kept private, and you are free to switch therapists at any moment. Additionally, it costs significantly less than conventional in-person therapy.
My entire life was turned upside down.
Through a lot of introspection, DJing, and support from kind therapists, my friends, and my family, I was able to overcome my social phobia and start interacting with more people.
Maintain Consistent Routines Outside of DJing
Preparation and acceptance of the situation are the real answers to DJing.
Make every effort to be prepared. Have everything organized the way you want it, and have a few generic setlists on hand that you may use as a reference if necessary.
Prior to your performance, make sure your sleep pattern is in order for the remainder of the week.
The anxiousness just gets worse the more you fight it. decided to push through and accept it.
You will feel better every time as you complete more sets. By concentrating on your passion for the bass, fight the worry!
The first time you stand up behind the decks, regardless of what you do, you'll start to feel anxious. Still, that's it.
If you go up there with that knowledge, it won't surprise you. Don't let it stop you from pursuing your passions; it is what it is.
Put into practice the following:
healthy diet and exercise
Running/long walks for cardio (helps a lot)
Just in case things get out of hand, keep anti-anxiety medications in your suitcase. Even if you never use them, having that bottle nearby helps you maintain composure.