- Mixtapes make you better, faster - I am going to assume you try very, very hard to make those transitions and tricks on your mixtape perfect - right? So that effort all counts for something. Stuff that you have to put a lot of work into for mixtape will, down the line, come back to you seemingly effortlessly in your live sets. In short, mixtapes force you to stretch yourself, and you WILL remember, recall and use that stuff in your career
- Mixtapes are a great substitute for gigs - Not all of us can get a great DJ gig in our diaries every weekend, or even every month. But looking forward to and planning a mix, then posting it (and maybe even performing it live on a platform like chew.tv) can be a great replacement in those gig-free times, forcing us to be disciplined enough to practise, buy tunes and even give us a bit of an adrenaline rush on "gig day"
- Mixtapes can blow up years later! - So let's say you finally get your "big break", which nowadays could be anything from a resident at a local club, to a radio show, to - yes - a production that blows up. Now, all those mixtape that have languished on a dark corner of the internet are your "calling cards". Now, people can't get enough of you. Luckily for them, there's a few years of your skills, right there. Get ready for those thousands of listens you dreamed of...
- Mixtapes help you document your journey - Those tunes you love today, that you think will be your best friends forever? Trust me, this time next year, or in five years, you'll have forgotten 90% of them. Your style, what you're passionate about now? It'll be a fading memory. Unless you document your journey as a DJ with regular mixtapes, of course...
- Mixtapes legitimise your DJing - A trouble with DJing is that it's ephemeral, it's live, it is "in the moment". You're only as good as your last mix, is the cliche. Not doing mixes is a bit like a poet who only does spoken word gigs and won't ever write any of it down! You need mixtapes because they are your proof, your calling card, the timeless, permanent version of what you do
- Mixtapes give you a sense of achievement - Maybe because you work that much harder on each mix, maybe because it's a project with a conception, execution and end product, or maybe because it's just a great feeling to hand a lovely mix that you've made, in a great cover, to someone who really wants it... but whatever, finishing and beholding a mix feels good! And rightly so - they remain something to be proud of
- Mixtapes CAN get you gigs! - Yes, to be a superstar touring DJ you need to produce music. Sure, having that social media following helps. But a properly produced, well-made mixtape certainly can get your foot on the ladder. Just check out this free case study with Bella Cuts, who is blowing up in Berlin - one of the most competitive cities in the world for DJs - and whose mixtapes have played a huge part in that.