The role of money in music has long been an interesting topic. The concept of ‘selling out’ whilst struggling for a living in the highly unstable world of music has always provided the upcoming artist with a moral dilemma of how to stay true to their art whilst earning enough to carry on doing what they love.
However, recently the trend for superstar DJs to make phenomenal amounts of money for relatively little has illustrated that despite declining global music sales, some DJs have become lucky enough to seal their financial futures.
It took relatively little time for DJ culture to grow from the gritty urban backgrounds of New York, Detroit and Frankfurt into becoming one of the most popular music forms on the planet. The 1990s in particular saw dance culture going mainstream with the rise of Ibiza as a clubbing party location providing DJs with many highly paid residencies in exotic nightclub locations.
The rise of such locations also tied into DJ culture spreading beyond traditional dance clubs. In the 2000s it became increasingly acceptable to find DJs being hired to add musical ambience at a variety of locations including bars, restaurants, holiday resorts and even casinos.
Just last month, casinos in Las Vegas welcomed the likes of of Calvin Harris and Tiesto to bring some beats to the party-going capital of the world. The rise of such resorts using DJs to increase audience numbers could be thought to mirror the rise of internet-based casinos like Lucky Nugget Casino that have enjoyed great popularity by providing an easy mobile interface for fans of mobile blackjack to enjoy gaming in the digital environment. And similarly, with the likes of top online DJ platforms such as Beatport signing new deals with streaming services such as Spotify, it looks as though the online domain will hold increasing importance for the 21st century DJ.
Despite such advances, it seems that the traditional pop charts around the world are also in thrall to the power of the superstar DJ. Most of the current chart-toppers will frequently feature some kind of remix by a renowned DJ in a bid to increase the exposure of a track across a variety of platforms. And with the recent news that Calvin Harris has become the world’s richest DJ by earning a massive $66 million in one year, it seems that DJs are finding evermore inventive ways to make a living.