Can a NYC House Music Transplant Make it in Texas?

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DJ Sebastian Marquez

DJ Sebastian Marquez has some advice for anyone lacking a passion for music: don’t get started in DJing.

“Network and surround yourself with positive, creative people,” says Marquez, fresh from a house music upbringing in NYC who made the move to Dallas four years ago. “My logo was designed by a talented young man of 15-years old who also happens to be my cousin, and my wife has an incredible marketing brain that I rely heavily on.

“Lastly, you may have to do free gigs or you may have to discount heavily. Trust me, that’s fine as long as you’re learning the business while building your music library and a client base, but don’t do it for too long. You have value and that’s what you should be selling. Sell your value. If you sell on price alone, you’ll either work too hard for the money or miss out on opportunities to retain clients.

What’s the market like in Dallas/Fort Worth?

Marquez says the two markets are actually connected by smaller towns (or neighborhoods) that make up what is called The Metroplex. He says that, as a result, probably close to 200 DJs operate in the area—though he estimates that less than 50 are serious contenders.

“The key is to find something in your marketplace that’s missing,” he says, “and then fill that need.”