By Vanessa B
Similar to starting your own record label, choosing a DJ name is vital to how you want to be perceived. You don’t have to stick with one, though it would probably help if you did whilst you grow your reputation. If you’ve been around for a while on the music scene you can begin to experiment with names and put some feelers out to see how it would be received. Below we discuss why your DJ name matters and also help you come with some DJ name ideas.
Look for inspiration before anything else
Before you do anything else, it is perhaps best that you look around for inspiration when choosing a DJ name. For some aspiring artists, coming up with a name is often the hardest bit. You can have all the mixes and playlists you like, but if you don’t have a moniker then how are you going to become well known?
The trick is not to overthink it, which is easier said than done. You want something that is easy to pronounce but also easy to remember. Remember, your audience is key in this respect as you want it to appeal to them. So, if you have an idea of what niche you are aiming to break into (which you really should) then have a look in that genre. Don’t copy someone else’s name but you can certainly look for inspiration. Pirate Studios asked a few well-known DJs who have great names for tips and advice on coming up with a catchy reference. The blog is perfect if you need help choosing a DJ name.
Tips if you need help choosing a DJ name
Look at your own name and see what can come from it. This maybe perhaps be too obvious but is important to consider. If you can alliterate your own name into and turn it into something catchy then why not go for it? The idea doesn’t have to be original, only the name. The obvious example is the artist Eminem. The route he followed came from Marshall Mathers, meaning his name consisted of his initials. Rather than going with M&M (are you now thinking of the chocolate treats?), he opted to go for Eminem. Same sound but looks cooler and a bit different. This is a prime example of why you should not overthink your name.
Inspiration from childhood memories
You can also take inspiration from your nickname. Some nicknames are more original than others. Growing up as a child at school is perhaps when nicknames were at their most inventive. You can develop your childhood nickname and turn it into a DJ name. Some nicknames just fit. Sports stars are perhaps most well known for carrying their childhood monikers into their careers. Just look at Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod). The name is simple and effective but also seen as a global brand. Buzz Aldrin would be another. Sometimes they just stick, so why would veer away from that? Obviously, there are some limits. A person selling carpet may have the nickname Carpet but that wouldn’t be the DJ name that you would probably choose. However, it is entirely up to you. At the end of the day, you should go for something that means something to you and is easy to remember.
Go with your interests
This is a great idea, but again it depends on what your interests are. If you were a history buff in college then you may want to try and develop a DJ name around that. These are where some of the best DJ name ideas come from.
The late, extremely talented Avicii got his name through his religious beliefs. The name was short, catchy and easily remembered. The late DJ’s name actually came about from Buddhism. He referenced this in this article. Some DJ names just come about, and they stick. It is certainly worth thinking about if you are struggling to find a catchy one for yourself.
So why does it matter so much?
Choosing a DJ name and coming up with ideas matters so much because it is all part of the process of learning how to DJ. You need to learn how to approach your audience and your DJ set. There is however, as is evident from this article, no magic formula for coming up with a name.
As mentioned at the start, the bigger you get, the more you can play around with your name. Some people opt to change their name as they get bigger as it reminds them of their roots. This is easier to do the greater your status, as an original and unassuming name may get lost in the competitive industry. All in all though, it simply has to be something that you are happy with, otherwise you won’t be able to provide the X factor that you want as a DJ. Don’t overthink it, let it come naturally to you.