One of the common complaints about a lot of newer DJs is – where on earth did they come from? They get a track signed to a big label seemingly out of nowhere, and then suddenly, they’re everywhere – yet no one seems able to explain anything about their history or what they’ve done before.
Tech-house DJ and producer John Summit – real name John Walter Schuster – is one of those names. He created “La Danza” as a DJ tool for a gig last year. Defected later signed the track and now he appears to be doing pretty much every big festival in the northern hemisphere. Yet no one quite knows where he’s appeared out of.
Summit, along with a lot of other modern DJs, could learn from Carl Cox. This is a man whose been around for literally decades – he was DJing before many of the newer names were even born. And being someone who frequently featured in the 1990s dance magazines – take no prisoner types compared to the wimps who run the likes of Mixmag today – he understands one thing well.
If you give an interview to the media, it must be interesting to whomever you want to read it. It must provide insight into your history, your personality and what you’re doing – it cannot solely be about promoting whatever you’re doing for the next five minutes. There’s few things worse than insincere people – and the public are generally pretty good at detecting them.
Take this interview which Carl Cox has given to DJ Mag. There’s lots in it about his history and what’s made him who he is today. There’s stuff in it about his work ethic and what drives him forward. He speaks about the pandemic, he discusses a little about his private life – in short, he lets the audience in to see a glimpse about his life.
What a contrast compared to the average interview you see these days – and it’s not just the newer names falling into this trap, either. Even the majority of interviews with some of the bigger DJs come across as nothing more than PR exercises – you just know someone off camera is dictating what can and cannot be asked of their client.
The result is inevitably a boring interview which no one wants to read. In other words, a failure to understand the game – that game being to provide your new and existing audience with something which they’ll enjoy and find interesting. The reader benefits, the journalist benefits from having decent content to write and the DJ benefits too!
Even the photo works. Yes, he appears to be wearing the kind of cheap-looking crown which looks like it was nicked from the BBC props department – but so what? You’ll remember the image, won’t you?
It’s time some of those DJs out there who take themselves painfully seriously learned how to play the game properly. Unless they really are as boring and miserable as their publicist secretly thinks…