September 30, 2014

Are You Worth $5,000 Per Gig? Here's How To Get It

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Alongside Roonie G., DJ 2nd Nature, and Unique, Kris P has been spreading the video-jock gospel, playing gigs all over the United States, to Asia and back.

“I really have no interest in playing audio-only gigs anymore, just video,” he told us. “Audio-only seems so boring to me now.”

We sat down at a lounge with Kris P recently and picked at his brain like it was a salad, before we got distracted by something on TV…

So with video, there are more gigs, and therefore, more frogskins? More gigs, yes. More money, yes. As DJ Jay B would say, “$5,000.” I would say I make more money per gig doing video DJing, but I would also say I also spend more time creating mixes and editing video than the average DJ would, too. It’s probably 20 hours a week.

Give us the keys to your kingdom. I mainly use Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects and Sony ACID. Like I said, I make 99.9-percent of everything I play myself—from my own edits to my own remixes. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The game has changed, but the song remains the same, right? With the release of Serato Video, Virtual DJ and other software-based programs, “Video DJing” has become a lot more accessible. Also, with new online download services, video content is a lot more accessible, as well. Back when I started, we were making it up as we went, editing our own content, editing music, burning DVDs. Six years ago, this was all groundbreaking—that and you had to have $10,000 in gear to do it. Now it’s way more common. DJs in the smallest sports bars and clubs are mixing video.

How does a VJ stand out? What do you do to stay memorable, aside from wearing a sumo diaper? Playing audio and video saturates the senses and really pulls your audience in. If you rock it right, it’s really hard to compete. My first Las Vegas residency was at Rumjungle and my first night I played a two-hour set. The closing DJ only played for 10 minutes before the GM pulled him off and asked me to play for two more hours. He said the energy in the room dropped as soon as I was done. Create that energy, rock every show you do, pretend every show is you’re last. It’s hard to do, but that should always be your goal.

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