DJ Quits Day Job, Heads to WMC

Jay Gutierrez from El Paso threw his hands up last night in frustration and told his boss, “I quit!”  He then went home, packed, dropped his Labrador Sparky off with a neighbor and drove to the airport, waited on line for nearly two hours to check a bag, endured another hour-long wait for a security check, where his carry-on bag was rifled through with the dexterity of a Turkish prison warden, and then finally hopped a flight to Miami. “Winter Music Conference,” he said to himself as he paid $3 for a bag of peanuts on the plane, “Here I come.”

That’s the kind of fanaticism WMC attracts. In order to feed his passion for music, to perhaps make a direct connection to any UK grime/dubstep producers—music he loves to spin at underground El Paso parties—DJ Jay chucked it all, told the boss who was unwilling to give him the time off at his graphics design job to stick it, with no prospects when he returns. For the love of music and keeping the party going, DJs sacrifice all sorts of things—steady incomes, 401Ks, healthy sleep patterns, respect from certain fundamentalist churches, etc—but this level of commitment and sacrifice? We thought it deserved special mention. That’s how hypnotic WMC can be.

“Actually, I’m going to WMC to meet this girl I’ve been following on Facebook,” DJ Jay said.

Oh. That’s cool too.

On March 25-27, “DJ Times Shortlist” DJs Geronimo and Emily Tan from Sirius XM AREA will broadcast live from the W Hotel pool from noon to 4 pm. The daily ’cast will feature exclusive live sets and interviews from top DJs like Frankie Knuckles, Bob Sinclar and more.

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Posted in Events | Tagged , , | 1 Comment
  • Stu Chisholm (Stu & His Crew)

    Many DJs these days take on day jobs to make ends meet due to the weak economy. In my book, “The Complete Disc Jockey” (, I outline several options for disc jockeys who don’t want to look outside our industry. Why do landscaping when you’ve got AV and entertainment skills? Here are just a few quick ideas:

    1. Roller rinks. Yeah, it’s not Studio 54, but you can often find work during any time of the day! Some rinks even offer benefits. Best of all, it beats dropping fries!
    2. AV sales & rental. If you’re like most DJs, you live, eat and breathe gear! You’re up on the latest LED lighting effects, DJ/VJ software and equipment. You may also consider yourself a “people person.” So who would be better to sell all that gear? People who run your local Guitar Center or DJ toystore DREAM about having an employee like you! Daytime hours are often available, leaving you open to work the clubs at night.
    3. Recording studios and live audio. You’re already a mixing machine, so why not put those skills to use on a really BIG board? With just a little bit of training, you can land a job at a recording studio and/or concert venue, working with bands and knocking out those really BIG shows! Good audio techs are always in demand.

    There are over a half-dozen more ideas like these in the book, along with some tech tips and “access” units that tell you how to land these jobs. I’ve also included some suggestions to pump-up an existing business to add new streams of income! No matter what the economy does, people always seek out entertainment. Those mobile events might get scarce, those club nights might start paying less, and radio is even more competitive than ever, but there are ways for enterprising DJs to prosper without resorting to doing taxes, mowing lawns or washing dishes!