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This short post is somewhat of a clarification of a Facebook status I posted earlier.

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Allow me to say this again about DJ’s – so that anybody reading can understand……

A successful club DJ plays music to maybe 2-3,000 people a week. When they play the music, the crowd has no idea who the artist is, there’s no imagery or promotion behind the music. If a song catches on this way – then the artist isn’t even a part of the growth of the song. The song could be super hot in the clubs, yet the artist gets no shows, no income.

On the other hand….a 3 person street team can easily reach 500 people a day directly with the imagery of the artist, introducing his style, demeanor and attitude to over 3,000 people a week. This direct personal interaction “sticks” in a person’s memory better & they link the sound of the music to the experience of meeting the street team & artist. This leads to a desire to SEE the artist PERFORM the song. This creates an income stream.

What’s been happening in urban music lately, is that DJ’s with short reach are charging artists to play their music. The spins of a DJ with short reach don’t really help an artist’s career, buzz or growth enough to justify payment. Most artists are so short-sighted tho, that they’ll pay a local DJ to play their song in the hood club where damn near everybody already knows them. This is a waste of money.

breaking a record vs building a fanbase

The saddest part is that, consistent effort and outreach to fans via street teams, promo giveaways, meet n greets, etc. works to garner the attention of the BIGGER DJ’s who LOVE to break new music & don’t place a price tag on playing a record that’s bubbling in the streets. Record breaking DJ’s KNOW how hard an artist has to work to get their music heard and to create a buzz.

These same DJ’s get excited about introducing the new heat from the streets to 10’s & 100’s of thousands of people. I personally believe that DJ’s are able to become “heavy hitters” by taking chances and breaking new great sounding music. The biggest DJ’s play the newest music first – the smaller DJ’s play the music we’re already familiar with from hearing the big DJ’s. (Think about it – it’s the truth)

Ultimately, my vision for the artists I work with expands beyond one city or one state or even one country. We’re pushing SOLID music with consistency and focus. My homie Fly from T.I.G. (Trinidad James, Rich Homie Quan) didn’t pay 1,000 DJ’s to break his records – neither did Quality Control (Migos) – or any of the other truly successful labels. That’s not how it works.

Consistent, persistent, focused promotion of the music to a specifically targeted audience will cause the PEOPLE to demand the music be heard. Paying every DJ you meet to play your music doesn’t tell the people who you are….only YOU can do that.

remember that guy that gave up

It’s not a DJ’s job to build a fanbase for an artist. A DJ plays music. A record breaking DJ introduces new music to people. An artist has to build his/her own fanbase through hard work, dedication & persistence.

It’s all on you as an artist……not the DJ.


2iAmThaConnect for iatc site

Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A Scratchy ThroatA Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of music industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists. Tony is also owner of Authentic Artists Alliance and exclusive booking contact for Trouble (Duct Tape Ent/2 Tru Ent), O.Z. Mr. 28 Grams (Fratt Boi Muzic Group) and Racked Up Ready (Bow Ent). For digital marketing services or booking inquiries email: or


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  1. Great blog, something I have been thinking about for quite a while in the process of breaking my new artist. Everyone you come across wants you to believe their dead “eblast” list is the trick… or paying 500 diff dj’s an outrageous budget to spin each single is what must be done. Time to get focused and go back to the basics “Street Promotion”

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