How To Get A DJ To Host Your Mixtape
First off, ask yourself why you want to get a DJ to host your mixtape. The main reason why you should search to secure mixtape hosting is that there is an opportunity to increase your audience and fan base by partnering with the DJ. There can also be an opportunity for the DJ to increase their fan base. It goes both ways without a doubt. It all depends on popularity and where each artist/dj is at in their career. Also remember that a lot of excellent mixtapes were released without DJs. As much as I respect the DJ and acknowledge that they are responsible for the creation of the mixtape, I actually prefer mixtapes without them. Look at a few classic mixtapes that were without a DJ hosting: Drake "So Far Gone", J.Cole "The Warm Up", Wiz Khalifa "Kush & OJ". There have also been many great releases with a DJs hosting: Lil Wayne “Dedication 4” (Hosted by DJ Drama), Rick Ross “Rich Forever” (Hosted by DJ Scream), Big Sean “Finally Famous 3” (Hosted by Don Cannon). So it really boils down to your personal preference. Don't think that in order to have a successful mixtape you need a DJ to host it. But if you choose to go that path, below are a few ways to help secure a partnership with a DJ to host your mixtape.
1. Use Social Media
Social media can be an extremely powerful tool to network and make connections for your music and brand. As an artist looking to partner with a DJ, I would mainly use Twitter as the go to social media tool. Start out by making a list in Twitter and call it “DJs for Hosting” or something similar. Make it a private list also, so only you can see who you add. Then start adding DJs to the list that you would want to host your mixtape. Maybe put together a list of 20-30 DJs that you would want. Be realistic too. If you aren’t already creating a pretty substantial buzz, you aren’t going to get DJ Drama to do a Gangsta Grillz mixtape for you. Start interacting and engaging in conversations on Twitter specifically within your DJ list. Reply and retweet messages from the DJs in the list. Answer any questions they ask on Twitter. Follow them all and see if any follow you back. Occasionally you can DM or Tweet to a DJ and let them know you are interested in hosting or if there is an email you can contact to discuss it further. The one thing that you should not do is be annoying on Twitter and send more than 2 messages asking for a DJ to host your tape.
2. Email The Booking Agent Or Manager
Typically after a little searching across social media websites and official websites you should be able to find a contact email for the DJ you are hoping to have host your mixtape. This method of contacting is often the best way to get a quick reply. Simply send the manager, agent or DJ an email asking for some more information about how you could get hosting for your mixtape. Let them know that you are seriously interested and would love to learn how it could be done. Don’t be surprised if they reply back with a dollar amount. Money makes the world turn, so be prepared to pay for hosting if you want it.
3. Call Them On The Phone
Sometimes on Twitter profiles or Facebook profiles the DJ or manager actually posts a contact number. Rarely do people call this number, but it’s worth a shot. If you call out of the blue, don’t jump right in to asking for hosting. Say something like this if someone picks up or if you get a voicemail. “Hi DJ _________, my name is ________. I saw your phone number on Twitter and would love to set up a meeting or phone call with you to talk about possibly having you host my upcoming mixtape. Thank you!”
4. Go To The Parties
Find out where the DJs on your list of potential hosts are working. Go to those clubs that they have sets at and say hello. Introduce yourself and put a name to the face and let them know that you were hoping to discuss possible hosting opportunities. Offer to buy them a drink or take them out to dinner to talk about it. Little gestures like this can go a realy long way.
The best practice would be to make use of all these tips at the same time. Start out by creating your Twitter list of potential DJs and then maybe reach out to the manager by email or phone. Then try to meet with them or stop by one of their sets at a club they are working. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t land any high profile DJs to host your mixtape and always remember that you can release an excellent mixtape without a DJ hosting it. Good luck! When you’re ready to release your mixtape, make sure to come back and we’ll help you distribute it properly.
Written by Jesse Janson for Get Right Music
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