If you’re in the process of making your first mixtape, you might be ready to start thinking about getting it hosted by a DJ.
To get a DJ to host your mixtape, you can either get to know the DJ personally and ask them, or offer to pay them to do it. You’ll have a better chance of getting your mixtape hosted if your samples are high quality, and you already have a strong following.
Read on to learn more about the process of getting your mixtape hosted, as well as other suggestions for mixtape success.
How to Get a DJ to Host Your Mixtape
Getting your mixtape hosted can be intimidating if you’re new to putting out music, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to go about it, depending on your style, your current experience level and following, and what you hope to get out of getting your tape hosted.
- Pay for It
The easiest way to get a DJ to host your mixtape is to hire them to do so. Paying the right DJ can be well worth the investment since they can play a big part in promoting you and your music.
Make sure to do your homework and check out previous mixtapes they’ve hosted, though. If possible, talk to other artists who have worked with him in the past to get a feel for how hands-on he’ll be with the project.
If a DJ takes your money just to stick his name on the tape and does little to promote it, it might be smarter to spend the budget on production, mixing, or a good cover artist.
It can cost as much as £10,000 to hire a DJ to host your mixtape, so make sure it will be worth the expense.
Getting to know a DJ personally is the best way to get him to host your mixtape without having to pay for it. The only way to do this, of course, is by networking and turning up at the right parties, clubs, and events.
Get to know other artists, both for networking reasons and for support. The industry can be rough sometimes, and it helps to be surrounded by like-minded people who understand the struggle.
The more familiar you are to a DJ, either through knowing you personally or through friends, the more likely they’ll listen to your samples and agree to host your mixtape.
If possible, try not to ask them to host the first time you meet them. Spend at least a few months cultivating the relationship before asking for any favors, whenever possible.
- Collab with Bigger Names
Collaborating with more prominent names can make you seem more legit, as well as exposing your music to all their fans. The more established you seem, the bigger the chances of a DJ giving your mixtape a chance.
You can find big names to collab with in much the same way as finding a DJ. Either meet them organically and go from there or find out if they’ll work for a fee.
- Show Up with a Following
As mentioned above, proving your success as an artist with a massive fanbase or social media following will tell the artists you want to work with that your music resonates with people. This will not only help them take you and your music more seriously, but it will benefit them by offering them exposure to your fans.
The more you’re able to prove that working with you will benefit them, the more likely they’ll be to say yes.
Always promoting your music in person and on social media is a lot of work. Still, it’s crucial to build a following from the beginning, rather than hoping someone will discover you through a hosted mixtape alone.
- Prove You’re a Professional
A poorly produced mixtape of low quality is a sure sign of an amateur that no DJ will take seriously. Don’t spend so much time and effort on recruiting a DJ that you forget to neglect the mixtape itself.
Make sure the tape has a consistent theme that tells a story, takes risks, and shows the world what you can do. Balance the mixtape with both energetic and deeper tracks, and don’t forget to add unique cover art that compliments the music.
Although technically, mixtapes can be of any length, most agree that shorter is better if you’re just starting out; this allows you to focus more on each song and requires less of a time commitment for someone listening for the first time.
- Ask Around
The more people you talk to about getting your mixtape hosted, the more likely you are to find someone who’s willing to help, or who knows someone who can. This also goes for collaborations.
Do You Need a DJ to Host Your Mixtape?
There was a time when having a DJ host your mixtape was almost a requirement for success. Before the internet, self-promotion was a fulltime job, and a well-known DJ to vouch for an artist could go a long way in building a following.
But it’s easier than ever to promote your own work nowadays, so fewer artists are using DJ hosted mixtapes. Many artists are choosing to take their mixtapes into their own hands, mixing and producing them solo and releasing them to their followers online. This is especially true now that so many people wait to listen until the non-hosted edit drops a week or two after the initial release.
On the other hand, getting a well-known DJ to co-sign your mixtape can guarantee you club and radio play and help to move your career forward. In addition to helping build hype around the mixtape and adding credibility, some DJs will go so far as to pick the mixtape’s tracks and mix the tape. This kind of expert guidance can go a long way in showcasing your talent.
Things to Consider Before Releasing Your Mixtape
Now that you know the pros and cons of getting a DJ to host your mixtape as well as how to go about it, you can focus on other essential aspects of the process. The following are things that can help improve your chances of a DJ hosting your work or getting a bigger audience:
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of cover art, especially now that most people stream music rather than listening to physical tapes and CDs. But with streaming came thousands of more options that people have to sort through when deciding what music to try, so yours needs to stand out.
Use a unique design that keeps up with the theme of your mixtape—something that really expresses what you and your music are about. There are plenty of free software options if you want to do this yourself, or you can hire a professional to take it off your hands so you can focus on the music.
If you’re on a shoe string budget and you’ve got a bit of a creative flare then check out www.canva.com to test out creating your own cover art. There’s some great advice on 99designs to help you out on your creative journey.
To get a professional designer to provide you with cover art check out airgigs.com.
Music videos can be wonderful promotional tools for your mixtape. They can create hype months before the tape is out, and go a long way towards exciting existing fans and converting new ones.
Producing a music video can cost as little or as much as you’re willing to spend. Just make it original and true to who you are as an artist, and the rest will take care of itself.
If you decide to go with a hosted mixtape, there are many ways to go about making it happen. Just make sure to do your research and be clear about what you expect from the DJ you choose.
Although a DJ can help you gain exposure, ultimately, your music will have to speak for itself. Take your time making the tape as good as it can be, think about what you want to say to your audience, and don’t be afraid to take risks.
How do I make a DJ mixtape?
It’s possible to create DJ mixtape using music production software such as Ableton where each track is placed onto the software to create a mix. The most common way is to play and mix music live, recording it using the DJ software for example.