Drew and Vinny, both aged 21, have completed DJ training at Mode. Getting professional DJ training has boosted their earning power and careers more than they expected.
Vinny left school and started to study sports science but when it didn’t work out for him, he landed on his feet with a music tech course at Mode. He’s now part of the recruitment team at the training provider, helping other people into DJ-ing. He explains how this career path wasn’t quite planned:
‘One of my friends was studying DJ-ing at Mode. When I tagged along I realised how much more I’d be suited to studying at Mode than sixth form. In a complete change of career path I ditched my sports science studies and enrolled on the course.’
Vinny now has a string of successful club DJ residencies under his belt. He sums up the journey:
‘During the DJ training we performed at some live student shows. Small scale but nonetheless paid gigs followed. These were typically doing the warm up set at a local event. So even in the early days I got paid to play at the Empire among other places. Through knocking on doors I got my first paid residency with Secret near Matthew Street. I was still only doing the warm up set 10pm to midnight but I was being paid to do something I loved.’
Vinny now doubles his income through club and private DJ work.
Along with fellow student Drew, Vinny is expanding his career further. The pair are starting to stage their own club nights.
Drew, from Garston, was aged 17 when he started at Mode, but four years later he has an eclectic career working for a number of different employers and DJ-ing features heavily. He’s worked in warehouses, bars and offices and even got accepted to go to Leeds University. However he decided to stay in Liverpool and has completed a business admin apprenticeship.
Drew has always loved R’n’B and Hip Hop and when he tried out the DJ-ing course he picked up the skills and techniques right away. He tells us:
‘It’s mad really as my first actual gig was a DJ battle in Circo in the Albert Dock. Alongside this I was practicing for hours on end every day and putting out demo tapes, hammering sound cloud and getting myself a fan base on social media. I got some trials for DJ residencies and ended up with a well paid job in Luxor in Crosby playing house music. My first really big break came when I was chosen to support some big DJs at Sanity which is a leading night on the Liverpool club scene.’
Drew admits he is still living at home because he loves it. But he also has plans:
‘Even if I wasn’t living at home I’m earning good money. What it means is I am saving like mad to buy a house and I already have my own car at just 21. DJ-ing has funded that and all the costs that come along with it like the crippling insurance!’
Drew has also invested in a home studio and along with Vinny they are launching their own promoted club events called ‘Certified Fridays’. Though Drew and Vinny have had to invest money to launch the night, Vinny tells us:
‘If we weren’t DJ-ing regularly we wouldn’t have had the funds to start our own events. When Certified Fridays turns out to be successful it will help take our earning capacity to the next level.’
However he also advises people to keep their feet on the ground and adds:
‘DJ-ing can be really lucrative. And most people want to be a successful club DJ but I’ve earned just as much over the years from one off private gigs that can actually pay more. Sometimes it’s probably more of a skill to entertain at a family gathering because you are expected to keep all age groups and music tastes satisfied.’
Both Drew and Vinny say their structured training from Mode was the biggest boost to their DJ careers. Drew realised that self promotion was important on the DJ scene and got some top tips whilst training. Vinny on the other hand credits Mode’s course with giving him the knowledge to never panic on a gig, whatever happens. They both reckon that being tutored by other professional DJs gives valuable insight into getting off the ground with a lucrative DJ career.
Find out more about Mode’s DJ and music production courses: