The Recession May Result In Even More People Being DJs

Apr 8th, 2009 // 15 Comments

Let’s say you lost your job. Would any of the thoughts cycling through your brain on first blush involve a decision to finally pursue your long-held dream of spinning records for drunken people who won’t stop yelling that they want to hear “Don’t Stop Believin’”? If The New York Times is to be believed, there are indeed people who are plowing their severance packages into learning about the finer points of fading and scratching; enrollment at the New York DJ academy dubspot has doubled in the past year. (It should be noted that touting enrollment “doubling” sounds a lot more impressive than saying “300 people are laying out $1,700 so they can learn how to twist knobs.” Trend story-slingers of the future, take note!)

Dan Giove, the president and founder of dubspot, where a five-month course costs $1,695.00, said that a D.J., depending on experience and venue, can make anywhere from $50 to $1,000 an event.

“You can absolutely make a living as a D.J.,” he said. “In fact, we are seeing some of our students going out there and finding themselves decent-paying gigs.”

Mr. Giove pointed to April White, a 30-year-old account supervisor at a public relations firm in Manhattan who is so worried about losing her job that she has already put Plan B in motion.

“I’ve been gigging like mad,” said Ms. White, who has been working at bars and other event spaces around the city, including at a bar called Mr. West, where she was spinning her vinyl one evening.

“My company has laid off 10 percent of its staff, and all the worrying about losing my job has put me at a weird crossroads in my life,” she said. “I love music, and I was always the first one on the dance floor, and so I knew when D.J.’s were really killing it, or when they were totally bombing – and I always thought I’d be pretty good at it.”

I guess it’s good news that there are still people out there who are relatively solvent and can hire DJs, instead of just putting together an iTunes playlist. Of course, that may not last long.

Some Laid-Off Workers Seek New Careers As DJs [NYT]

idolator

  1. Anonymous

    Lazy. Journalism.

    Also, and maybe the DJs on Idolator can offer some guidance here, but it always seemed to me that DJ’ing was an enterprise that required a lot of start-up capital — at least if you were spinning vinyl instead of just bringing your Mac up to the stage. Those unemployment checks only go so far.

  2. Lampbane

    This is the weirdest recession ever.

  3. silkyjumbo

    @slowburn: hey, even if you’re a “laptop” DJ, that serato program is still, like, $600.

  4. Anonymous

    “I guess it’s good news that there are still people out there who are relatively solvent and can hire DJs, instead of just putting together an iTunes playlist.”

    It just has to be cheaper than trivia which was cheaper than the karaoke which was cheaper than the band.

  5. Anonymous

    What an incredible waste of money. I’m sure bars and clubs are real impressed when these 30-something schmos show up at their door with their “djing certificate”.

  6. Audif Jackson Winters III

    I blame Ultragrrrl.

  7. sparkletone

    “I used to D.J. at parties when I was 16, and I’m still young enough to get back in the business,” he said. “I used to mix records and CDs, but now most D.J.’s are downloading songs from computers, which is why I needed to take this course.”

    I can’t stop laughing.

  8. Christopher R. Weingarten

    DJing for money has the same future as “professional blogger” or “food critic” or “musician” or “photographer” or “rock writer” … EVERYONE is doing it for free, so it’s slowly worth nothing

  9. Cam/ron

    That’s odd, many of the DJs I know are broke 80 percent of the time (endless Justice remixes can only milk so many hipster nickels). Besides, lazy, auto-piloted iPod mixes are like the future of club music, man.

  10. Cam/ron

    @slowburn: Indeed, two turntables, a mixer, a receiver, and speakers will set you back a couple of Grovers.

  11. djmedi4

    If people think that going to school, getting a certificate, buying some second hand gear, and downloading some mp3′s will get them booked, and PAID, good luck.

    The recession will be over before that happens. Good on the school for 1) keeping their business alive in hard times, and 2) taking money from stupid people. Bravo…

  12. the rich girls are weeping

    Geez, is someone at dubspot boinking at Times assignment editor or something? Isn’t this like, the third story about this place in like two years? I swear!

  13. Anonymous

    So people are paying $1500 dollars to become so-called Djs thats horrible. The art of djing is passed on by new dj who love the music not to get paid and it’s free. It the way i learn and it’s the way i will teach others newcomers.

  14. iantenna

    wouldn’t this also have more to do with the resurgence of vinyl (remember that trend piece?) rather than the recession? just asking…

  15. KikoJones

    @djmedi4: “Good on the school for 1) keeping their business alive in hard times, and 2) taking money from stupid people.

    Abso-fuckin-lutely.

    If anyone wants “guitar lessons to become a rockstar” please contact me, ASAP. Also, I can get them a good deal on the Brooklyn Bridge. Act now!

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