Manuel Dasilva got his first (unpaid) gig as a disc jockey when he was sixteen years old. Manuel Dasilva loves music and wanted to make a hobby and eventually a profession out of playing music and mixing it for people. Over time, he got paid gigs and DJ-ed parties and events throughout high school and college. He’s now a full-time, professional DJ based in Brooklyn who also works at a local radio station as a producer.
Here’s how he got his DJ career off the ground:
- Manuel Desilva built a massive music collection.
This collection included not only records but CDs and tapes as well. He collected as much music he could use for samples as he could, and eventually built a sound and a style no one had heard before. Today, he collects digital samples to use in his sets, but the principle is still the same: you have to collect music to create music.
- Build relationships with taste-makers.
Not everyone in the music industry can help a DJ find more work and recognition, but there are always taste-makers, other DJs, radio producers, and even some musicians themselves, who talk about DJs and what they’re doing. The more you know and connect with, the greater chance your name can reach the ears of those in charge.
- Make your own beats.
Take some time and create your own breaks and beats that people can recognize as yours. You don’t need to sing or dance to make music yours. As a DJ, you only need to build your own beats with the resources you have.
Manuel Desilva has painstakingly built his own beats, relationships, and music collection to be successful in the professional DJ world.
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