Do it right.. Sound advice from Levela


VIP Junglist
May 23, 2008

I have seen too much moaning recently from people who claim to know how to "make it" in the Dnb scene and think they should be headlining Random Concept & Innovation when really, their attitude shouldn't even put them on a flyer. So here is my personal advice for any artist trying to get heard in this difficult scene.

STEP 1: perfect your skill.
Whether you are a DJ, MC or producer, make sure your art is at 100% of your ability before you let the public hear it. Obviously show/play to your friends for some constructive criticism but DON'T spam the inbox of every established artist with your half arsed or unready work saying "listen to my new mix bruv, it's sick trust" because believe me, the mix will not be looked at and your name will be forgotten within seconds. Compare your work to established artist's or artists you respect and look up to to see if the quality is similar, if your song sounds like it was made on a Nokia 3310 compared to an Original Sin track then go back and work harder! Spend the next 2 years in hiding if that's what it takes to get your sound to the best that it can be. Once it is truly ready, a polite and personalised email to event promoters, record labels and DJs will increase your chances of being heard MASSIVELY!

STEP 2: getting your first booking.
If step 1 was done successfully, you may be given the opportunity to showcase your talent at a live event. Be prepared to travel, be prepared to spend money, be prepared to play in room 3 in front of 5 people and the bar staff, it's all part of the process. If the promoter has asked you to post the flyer or share the event page then that's a very fair trade in return of giving you a live performance opportunity. If they offer to send you some tickets to sell to some supporting friends & family then take that opportunity as it shows drive and determination to get people to hear you. If they demand that you HAVE to sell X amount of tickets before you can play, then (in my opinion) your playing for the wrong promoters. Some people choose to do it and that's their choice but they are not getting recognition for the right reasons so they will rarely progress and will be known between promoters simply as "the ticket sellers". Selling tickets is the promoter's job, not the artist's FACT!

STEP 3: growing as an artist.
So hopefully you have played a few club bookings and your confidence has grown, it's now time to branch out. Offer your services to other events and mention you have played here, you have played there, you are willing to put the work in and would be grateful for any opportunity that they could offer you. Make sure you smash every set you do as one of the most powerful marketing tools is word of mouth. If 2 people heard you play at an event, they may tell their friends that "DJ/MC ***** was sick, def checking him/her out again" or maybe even put something on facebook/twitter about how you impressed them. They may google your name and find your recorded sets/tracks online via Soundcloud etc. Eventually you will start to earn a small following, and your name will stick in peoples minds. Stick with this process for as long as it takes, years & years if needs be. If you have done the above and still are not getting anywhere, then you obviously are not good enough so you need to up your game and work harder. If you are very good at what you do, good music WILL get heard. If you truly have a passion for music and are as determined as you say, you will not give up.

STEP 4: Know your worth.
At this stage you may be a resident for a small event and may even get the odd booking at larger events which is brilliant. DO NOT ruin it by asking for money. It's unfortunate but true that warm up/room 2, 3, 4 artists do not get paid to perform. If you start thinking you are owed money, u will be dropped and replaced by one of the 500 other artists all hungry for the same goal. Be grateful for the position you are in!

STEP 4: Competitions.
DJ/MC competitions are a brilliant way to showcase your skill to a wide audience and can be a fast track way to get noticed by the right people. Take part in every competition, even if you don't win, the exposure is priceless.

STEP 5: Getting paid.
If you do the above correctly you WILL get noticed and progress into main room sets at decent times and the crowds you perform to will get bigger and your fan base will grow creating a bigger public demand for your name. Once you are in a position that bigger promoters are asking you to play at their event because they know you will draw a crowd, then and only then can you ask for your expenses to be covered. Ask for your petrol money to be reimbursed but don't push your luck and think you can demand hundreds of pounds because to put it bluntly, unless you are a name that the public will pay money just to see you, you are not worth paying in the promoter's eyes.

If this info has helped anyone then great, if you disagree with anything then please tell me your opinion (which would not be wrong) and it can be discussed. Of course there are exceptions as some people can do it differently but the above is exactly the steps I personally took to get to the position I am in now and I am fortunate enough to now be doing what I love for a living and is the start of (hopefully) a long career in the music industry.
Thanks for reading.
most of that makes sense
but i dont think ive ever heard a levela tune or mix that was that good?lol
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