‘Exposure doesn’t pay rent.’ It’s time to secure the bag!
Words by Brinsley Chidavaenzi
You’re probably not being valued enough right now and it definitely shows. Secure the coin! Get the bag! Bargaining on your own terms is the ultimate leverage point. The day you set the bargain is the day your true value is being paid.
Being valued correctly is the catch up game between your internal perception on how you feel and the external (by your notoriety, status, craft, skill) and the proximity of when both ideas meet together.
How do you quantify the obsessive time that it takes for a DJ to curate their unique selection? How do you quantify their time they’ve spent on specifically curating a sound for a particular night? How do you quantify their time playing? How do you quantify a packed out room that’s absolutely engaged in dancing and joy?
All important questions of which go back to the core idea of the first paragraph: you bargain your rates. But in a world of where what the income of bar generates is power and an hourly rate that’s to be wrestled with; it’s highly easy to be paid lesser than what you feel’s right.
It’s this small grey area between the event’s earnings being split between promoters, managers, agents, bars e.t.c that can make a DJ’s payment come back differently.
The subset of skills such as: track selection, set flow, mixing prowess, mastery of technology and machinery, crowd interaction/reading, ability to make people dance, changing styles are truly invaluable on a special night. These skills can and will take hours, days, months, years to curate and to sharpen with precision and blindfolded execution. The art of DJ’ing is doing what you want to do within the context of the musical environment you’ve set and then using this to give people an experience of a lifetime.
It’s hard to price a feeling but you can get close to the heart. Exposure doesn’t pay rent but the right price for a DJ’s value’s a start.