One of the most important features of your DJ career will be your name. Sure, you need to have a great bit of DJ kit, music collection and work ethic - but your DJ name will be how you are remembered, recognised and ultimately glorified in the press for years to come.
Whether you are choosing your first ever DJ name, or re-branding an idea that hasn't quite worked - we've written a guide to help work through some of the problems faced in this very important decision.
Real name vs pseudonym
This will be down to personal preference; from Andy C to Skrillex, you can choose to have a descriptive, factual or abstract stage name. Even large corporations have to think carefully about their name from a branding standpoint, but here has been no proof of which style works best for DJs. So, do you use your given name, a nonsensical word or an abstract description of the services you offer? The choice is with you.
In a growing world of internet and search engines, you will need to assess how well your chosen name will do in a Google search. For example, is there a URL available? Could you use the name for social media? To avoid disappointment, make sure your dream name isn't already in use - there could also be variations of stage names that will affect how you want to use it. Consider trademarking your chosen name as soon as possible to protect you from a legal perspective - you never know who could want it too.
How does it sound?
Stage names vary across all industries. Indie rock bands are often known to have creatively long or abstract names, whilst famous pop stars use their own name to appear more approachable. For a DJ, having a shorter name is proven to help rise higher in the musical ranks - we believe this may be because they are easier to pronounce as you travel the world - and most importantly easier to remember...let alone able to fit onto festival flyers!
Should you use DJ in your name? Whilst it does brand what you do - it really isn't necessary, consider adding an air of mystery to your career with names like "Original Sin" or "Hazard".
The more famous you become, the more your skills and music will become part of your brand; your stage name will encompass all of it. This brand will be much more valuable if you consider the flexibility of your name and its logo early on. For example, if you start off as "DJ House Master" and later move on to trance, you've automatically pigeonholed yourself.
Phone a friend
Your circle of friends and family will be a great sounding-board for any ideas or questions you have about your DJ name, they will always be honest and you can trust that they know you well enough to give constructive feedback. Ask them questions like "how does this name make you feel?" and "how would you interpret the name?" - whatever they say, it will help you make a clearer decision overall.
Names are all around
Some of the very best DJ and band names come from important references throughout history. Whether from a person, book, poem or moment in time - don't be afraid to get abstract. For example the band name - "The Doors” comes from a famous book named The Doors Of Perception by Aldous Huxley. There are names out there waiting to inspire you!
Good luck fellow music lovers, remember - stick with us for all your DJ kit and audio equipment.