How to become a DJ Producer: Tom's story

Meet Tom and find out more about his life as a DJ Producer and his experience of gigging at the BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

  • Tom started producing music six years ago and has been DJing for two years at Newcastle college

  • He was contacted by BBC Music Introducing and asked to play at the Radio 1's Big Weekend festival

  • It was Tom's first big gig, where he opened up the dance music night for artists like Mark Ronson, Danny Howard and Annie Mac

  • His main advice to people starting out would be to stick at it. Making it in this industry is a slow process. Playing at Radio 1's Big Weekend was his first real gig after six years of producing music, but he felt it was an amazing feeling when it finally happened. Tom has found that if you keep going and commit to doing what you love it pays off in the end.

Seeing these artists backstage and having a chat with them has been such an amazing experience for me.

The lowdown

  • What will I get paid? Your income will depend on how successful you become and how much paid work you secure. Remember, a record deal doesn't necessarily guarantee success and success doesn't necessarily mean fame.

  • Where will I work? Initially, you'll probably work a lot from home when producing music. You will need to travel nationally or internationally to perform.

  • What are the working hours like? You'll choose your producing hours. Gigs are normally at night and can end very late. On tour, there will be a lot of early mornings and travel.

  • What qualifications do I need? None in particular - passion, experience and dedication is more important, although musical knowledge and performance skills could be beneficial.

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