This is an undervalued topic that many DJs take for granted, but one that has great importance in your DJ Career. Here is the truth: Names DO make a difference. Your DJ name is that small detail that can make all the difference on how your brand is going to be remembered. Your DJ name is part of your marketing strategy, so you have to choose it carefully before you start promoting it to the world. Changing the name afterwards will basically mean losing all the marketing and time efforts that you have invested throughout your career.
So, before you settle on your DJ name, here are a few tips you should consider.
You have 3 Main Categories to choose your DJ name from:
Your Real Name (i.e. Armin van Buuren)
An Artistic Version of Your Real Name (i.e. Richie Hawtin, Axwell)
An Entire Different Name (i.e. Daft Punk, Avicii, deadmau5)
At this stage you might have a couple of options from your brainstorming sessions and from other's opinions. Here are some of the desirable qualities of a DJ name that can help you decide which name do use:
- It should be easy to pronounce, recognize and remember, short names help (Tiesto, Diplo, Zedd) -> Make sure it's also easy to pronounce in different languages.
- It should be distinctive on a global scale (Hardwell, Kaskade) -> Do some research on the internet to make sure other people are not already using the name. You don't want people searching for your name, then following and liking another artist's page, right?
- It should be aligned with your identity and target audience -> a name like EDM Machine might not work very well on the underground community ;)
- Think to the future, not just now -> a slang or genre might be the cool thing now, but you don't want your name to be tied to it. Make sure your name has longevity about it to last you a long time.
- If it has a story behind it, even better -> People love to hear/read stories! If people ask you "How did your choose your DJ name?", are you going to have a cool story to tell them? Take deadmau5's name origin as an example:
Zimmerman's father claims that when his son was in his early teens, he was chatting with a friend on his computer, which then abruptly shut off. According to Zimmerman's father, he said that it had a smell like burnt wire and had a strange odor. Zimmerman started to dismantle his computer and happened to find a dead mouse. Zimmerman then became known as the "dead mouse guy" among friends. Joel tried to change his name to "Deadmouse" in an online chat room, but it was too long, so he shortened it to "deadmau5". 'Maus' is the german word for a mouse and is pronounced the same as in English, the ending 5 instead of an 's' is a form of leet.
If you are not sure about your DJ name yet, don't rush to choosing a name you might regret later. Big corporations spend a lot of money doing research before they choose a product's name. You don't have to spend a lot of money, of course, but you should at least take a good amount of time before choosing your DJ name.