Waze & Odyssey give their opinion on if you can you still make it as a DJ without also producing tracks.
Waze & Odyssey are a talented DJ duo booked to play festivals and events all over the world, but they have also been equally successful as producers with releases on high flying labels like Relief, Edible and VIVa MUSiC, plus they have a new single made in collaboration with Alex Metric soon to drop on Danny Howard’s label Nothing Else Matters.
There has been much debate in recent times about whether it’s still possible to make a successful DJ career without also being a producer, so we asked Waze & Odyssey to share their opinion on this hot topic…
Waze & Odyssey: The likes of Ben UFO, Job Jobse & One Man are a testament to DJs crafting a career without having to rely on production. More than ever, they’re intrinsic to the movement of the scene. They act as a filter, directing people to artists to watch, labels to check and new boundaries being pushed. If you’re writing music day in day out it can sometimes be harder to get out of your comfort zone and dig really deep, to go digging in that niche North London 2nd hand record shop, to enter an abyss on discogs; these things take time. If you’re a DJ then your sole job is to chase down that rare Belgian nu-beat track or be able to be on it enough to get that limited 150 vinyl press that everyone is raving about. It’s a different use of time and when a DJ isn’t having to balance that digging with production and time in the studio then the result is that the DJ will get to dig deeper.
There’s no doubt a killer track can resonate worldwide and spark a touring career; as a DJ you can only be in one place at one time; a track can be a thousand places at any one moment so from a global point of view, it could be argued that producers have the ability to showcase their work on a larger scale. DJs invariably have to work city by city and rely on the internet sharing their DJ mixes.
Some producers aren’t the best DJs, or they don’t like it; their skills being in the studio and through time constraints have less of it to focus on their sets.
Some DJs can’t or don’t want to produce; They are both different forms of expression. A track is a smaller, condensed piece of work that evokes an emotion; whereas a DJ set is viewed by many as a journey and a story. It’s like comparing a chapter with a book; each a piece of escapism whether it be a 4-minute club track or a 2 hour DJ set.
A producer comes away from a DJ set thinking “I need to change the hi-hat on that track I just tested”; a DJ will come away and re-work their set, play around with how to extend a particular area or moment that worked well and so on. It’s about where you focus your time and thoughts. Of course, you can do both, but if you’re focused on one more, than there’s no doubt that the results will be different.
It’s still very possible to have a career being solely a DJ – there might be a ceiling to where that career might go in 2019? Certainly, at underground level – it’s more than possible. Arguably headline festival acts, for example, are there as a result of music hitting worldwide and being a big enough draw that a multitude of people know about them and will buy tickets to see them, which is really what takes artists to higher tiers.
You can pre-order a copy of Waze & Odyssey’s new release with Alex Metric from HERE
Words by Jamie W