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Cristina Hernandez's Shares Tips for Aspiring DJs

Cristina Hernandez Shares Tips for Aspiring DJs and Producers

Cristina's tips provide a blueprint for aspiring DJs, emphasizing the blend of passion, dedication, and strategy needed to excel in the music industry.


Today’s music scene is buzzing with young people who want to be artists or disk jockeys (DJs). Thanks to new technology and online platforms, making and sharing tunes is easier than ever. Social media, especially TikTok, is a game-changer for DJs to grow their reach and connect with fans. The app allows users to create, share, and discover short-form videos and serves as a launch pad for up-and-comers to show off their skills and team up with other artists.

The impact of the internet on the music industry is evident with around 40,000 new songs and mixes appearing on streaming platforms like Spotify daily. A clear democratization of the industry which gives new artists and DJs an opportunity to make their mark. Yet, while today’s rapid technological progress offers unprecedented opportunities, success in the music industry requires more than talent and exposure.

To stand out in today’s tech-driven music scene, talented artists must exhibit a relentless commitment to honing their craft, strategic networking, and a knack for consistently securing slots at music events. DJ Cristina Hernandez, a.k.a. Cristi Hernz, learned this first-hand while making a name for herself and supporting up-and-coming talent.

Cristina lights up Miami’s music scene and gives local DJs an opportunity to dazzle and grow via Selva Beats MIA, a platform for local and international Miami-based artists. Yet, for beginner DJ’s who want to achieve fame, it involves more than an appealing moniker or gigs at popular venues. Instead, success as a disk jockey hinges on a deep-rooted passion and commitment to their art and entertainment.

Aspiring DJs can learn essential tips from Christina’s journey in an ever-changing music scene.

 

What Drives You to DJ?

Embarking on your musical journey demands some soul searching. Why do you want to become a DJing? You’ll need to access your motivation to drive your passion.

For Cristina Hernandez, DJing wasn’t just about spinning beats. She wanted to express her love for music, create memorable experiences, and leave her mark on the local Miami music scene.

“I saw it as my chance to connect with others and build a community around my art,” she recalls. “I spent my first 10 years of Djing on my own, meaning I played for private events that were within my circle of family friends. It wasn’t until 2023 that I met other DJ’s and realized there was a community aspect to the DJ world. With my access to a family friends’ venue, the Miami Beach-based Sandbox, I asked myself, ‘Why are we going to festivals and parties so often when we have enough talent to throw our own party?'”

“So, I spoke to Timmy Wilcox, the owner, and from there I started my showcase on Tuesdays. I created an experience of open decks and networking opportunities for DJ’s interested in our Summer Launch Party leading to the creation Selva Beats MIA, which became a family of DJ’s who stay connected with hangouts and outings; a reflection of music connecting others and my passion for it.”

 

Know Your DJ Gear Inside Out

Explore your DJ setup thoroughly. Novice DJs often overlook functions simply because they haven’t explored them.

Cristina exemplifies this principle by using advanced equipment like the Pioneer CDJ – 3000 and her own favorite the RX3 to fully control her music. She also explores various software to maximize the potential of her equipment. Since launching Selva Beats MIA, Cristina has since learned all new equipment to supplement her original tech knowledge based on DJ software Serato.

“I felt like a puppy new to the world while learning all these new levels of technology until I studied and worked on making sure I was aware of the club standard systems as I started playing more in the house music scene, which was primarily with USB sticks, which was a big change for me from the computer,” she adds. “Practice makes perfect, so just practice, and become familiar with your equipment, so you are ready for anything thrown your way is the best advice I could offer.”

 

Record and Reflect on Your Mixes

Even if you’re not ready to unveil your mixes, recording them is gold. Listening back helps you pinpoint areas for growth and showcases the evolution of your talent.

Cristina emphasizes that while your mix may sound flawless initially, revisiting it with fresh ears reveals  nuances. “I suggest imagining yourself as part of the crowd,” she advises. “Ask yourself, ‘Would you feel the groove with this mix?’ Consider what little tweaks you could add. Remember those thoughts and edit your track based on what you discover.”

 

Master Crowd Engagement

For those eyeing gigs and professional sets, mastering crowd engagement is key. A rookie mistake is firing up high-energy tracks too soon.

At Selva Beats MIA, Cristina helps DJs gradually build energy to a thrilling climax. Rushing this process can disrupt the vibe and disappoint the headliner. It’s essential to read the room and pace your tracks accordingly.

“I always am looking at the audience how they sit, stand, or socialize, even some of the cue points I look at are if they are tapping their foot, moving their shoulders, or tapping their hands, to see their connection with the rhythms and beats I’m playing. As the DJ, I see it as a game, pointing out someone in the crowd and focusing on trying to get that one person to dance. It makes it fun and challenging for the moment to continue flowing with a purpose,” she adds.

 

A Blueprint for Aspiring DJs

Cristina’s tips provide a blueprint for aspiring DJs, emphasizing the blend of passion, dedication, and strategy needed to excel in the music industry. By mastering technical skills, cultivating a unique identity, and connecting with the audience, upcoming artists can navigate the digital era’s challenges and seize its opportunities. Her insights serve as a vital guide for DJs who want to make a lasting impact in a dynamic music scene.

 

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