When I first started getting into DJing, one of the biggest questions I had was: “what should be my DJ name?” I spent countless hours trying to pick the perfect name, and ultimately I switched my name multiple times after I thought I had picked “the best name.” Today I want to give you my best advice for finding name ideas and choosing the best one.
Tip #1: It Doesn’t Really Matter What Your DJ Name Is
Coming up with a DJ name is a fun activity, but especially in the beginning, your name does not matter very much. I remember reading about how DJ Snake, one of the most popular DJs in the world, got his name.
Here is a direct quote from his Wikipedia page:
“When I started DJing, everyone called me ‘Snake’ in my city first, I was like ‘DJ Snake, OK let’s go for it.’ The name sucks, but it’s too late now.“
Despite his name, DJ Snake has gone on to have an extremely successful career. This shows how names certainly aren’t everything for a DJ. It more has to do with skill, persistence and luck. Even though names do not matter that much, make sure you read Tip #2.
Tip #2: DJ Names Don’t Matter Unless They Are Really Bad
So I just told you names don’t matter at all, and now I’m telling you how they actually matter a little bit. If you are using your common sense, this should not be an issue, but make sure you pick a name that, you know, isn’t awful. Here are some examples of awful names:
- DJ Budget
- DJ Jeans
- DJ Pullout
- DJ Puppy Man
- DJ RapeX
- DJ Naptime
- DJ Carpet
- DJ X#$$!B9
And if you are wondering if I made those names up or actually saw them in real life, with a quick google search of “awful DJ names,” you can find out for yourself.
Basically what I’m trying to say here is that most DJ names are fine to use, but there are certain names that just do not fly. Imagine a radio DJ saying “alrighty everyone now we’re gonna play the next song from DJ Naptime.”
Tip #3: Do a Facebook Poll
If you are deciding between a few names, put up a poll for your Facebook friends and let them decide the name for you. You might even get feedback with suggestions on other names.
BONUS: I just thought of this genius idea. If you get a lot of engagement on your Facebook posts, put up a Facebook poll for people to vote for your DJ name, and once the voting has ended, publish the results to the poll and include a link to your music. This is free advertising without anyone even knowing it!
Thank you to everyone who voted in the poll for my DJ name! After tallying up the votes, my DJ name will be (insert name). You can find my music on my soundcloud (insert link). Enjoy!
Being a DJ is all about building up momentum, and this could be the momentum you need to get started, especially if you have a large social media following! If you don’t use Facebook, Twitter has awesome polls as well!
Tip #4: Search For a DJ Name in a Different Language
This is one of my favorite ways to brainstorm DJ names. Go to Google translate and start typing in words that you like in English. Many times the Spanish equivalent sounds way cooler, but maybe that’s just me.
Tip #5: Make Sure your DJ Name is Easy to Spell
Even though DJ Snake said his name sucked, you have to admit, “DJ Snake” is super easy to remember. If I saw him at a random concert, it would be pretty easy to go look him up afterwards.
This is important because you don’t want fans to have to spend any amount of time trying to find your name. Simple is better.
Tip #6: Keep Your DJ Name Short
This relates to tip #5. You should make sure your name is relatively short so people have an easy time keeping it in their heads.
Also imagine an emcee going up to introduce you and your name is “DJ AppleSauce TreeLeaf PowerSurge.” No emcee will want to invite you back to perform again. As they say, short and sweet.
Tip #7: Look for Available Website Domain Names
Before finalizing a name, use a website like GoDaddy to check and make sure your name is available as a website. This will be important down the road when you’re trying to build a personal brand, and having a website is a key part of this.
BONUS: Once you picked your name, spend the $10 or so to purchase the website domain. It will be yours for a year and you can start making a website!
Tip #8: Look for Open Social Media Profiles
Just like having a website is important, having the best social media practices is key for building your brand. Once you found your name, do a quick double check and make sure the name isn’t taken on Instagram or Twitter. It’s not the end of the world if your name is not available, but it’s certainly nice to have.
If the usernames are available, immediately take them before anyone else can get them. Even if you don’t think you will be posting any time soon, having these usernames for yourself is helpful when you decide to create your social media.
Tip #9: You Don’t Need to Add “DJ” In Your Name
Just because you want to DJ does not mean you have to have “DJ” before your name. Sure, there are plenty of DJs like DJ Snake (why am I so obsessed with DJ snake?) that do have this, but there are also plenty that do not.
I think having DJ in your name is limiting. If you want to make music, score films, or do any other musically related activity that isn’t exactly DJing, your name would look weird. Imagine an announcement saying the next big feature film will be scored by none other than DJ FireBeast.
Tip #10: Google Your Name
When I first thought I found the perfect name, I decided to do a quick Google search just to make sure it wasn’t taken. It turns out there was not a DJ with my name, but a celebrity who went by the same name as my future DJ name. This would be a huge concern if I got traction on my DJ career!
Make sure you do thorough research after you have decided a name. There are a lot of DJs/people out there, and you do not want to have to think about a dispute for your name later down the road.
Tip #11: Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Name
Just because you find a DJ name you liked early on does not mean you can’t change it if you find a better one. This is especially okay in the beginning when you haven’t built up a fanbase that knows you by your DJ Name. Just make sure to stick with one at some point.
Tip #12: There is No Perfect Name
Sometimes you just have to realize there will never be a perfect name in the beginning. Names are always better in retrospect, and as I have mentioned previously, they are usually not the deciding factor in your career.
My favorite example comes pretty recently when I first heard a song by an artist named Juice WRLD. He is a rapper, and he exploded onto the scene in 2018 with several hit songs. When I saw his name at first, I was shocked!
If my friend told me he was going to pursue music and his name would be “Juice WRLD,” I would tell him he had to change his name. The name is weird and hard to spell, but it does not matter because now Juice WRLD is popular. Hopefully this shows you names are not everything.
Tip #13: Set a Date to Finalize Your Name
If you are really indecisive and cannot decide on a name, sometimes it is a good idea to pick a time when you will officially decide on a name.
One of my DJ friends could not stop thinking about his DJ name, so he decided to pick his favorite few and draw them out of a hat and stick with whichever one he chose.
This might a good strategy for you if you feel like you cannot be productive until you pick a proper name.
Tip #14: Use a DJ Name Generator
If you are really running out of ideas, there are dozens of DJ Name generators out there on the internet. Some of them might be good, but here was the result for a DJ name quiz I just took:
See tip #2: I would classify this as an awful name. I am sure this generator is just a joke, but I want to make sure and warn you just in case you are putting all hope into a generator.
One generator success story comes from Childish Gambino, and extremely popular rapper and singer. He said the origin of his name comes from this Wu-Tang name generator. If all hope is lost, maybe give this a go!
Tip #15: Make Sure Your Name Is Easy To Pronounce
The fastest way to get popular as a DJ is getting other people to talk about you to their friends, family, etc. If your name is hard to pronounce, people are simply less likely to say your name, because it’s not fun or easy to say!
Make sure you pick something with a standard pronunciation so that there is no confusion when people are talking about you. This is a subtle tip but can actually be extremely important.
Tip #16: Don’t Get Too Specific With Your Name
Humans are good at associating obscure names to people. A perfect example that I found from this YouTube video is “The Chainsmokers.” When you think of The Chainsmokers, you don’t think of people smoking, you think of two people who make music.
That is exactly why there’s no reason to get too specific with your name. For example, if your name is Edward, “DJ EDM Edward” is probably overkill with how specific it is.
Tip #17: Stick With Your Own Name (Maybe)
The easiest thing to do is to continue using your own name. It is simple, it is low effort and it is usually just fine.
I remember watching a Dillon Francis interview a few years ago, and the video went something like this:
Interviewer: “Hey Dillon, how did you find your DJ name?”
Dillon: “My birth certificate.”
If you have an awesome name like Dillon Francis, your work is done! But often times people do not have that cool of a name.
Warning: I personally think you should use a completely different name than your actual name. Having a separate name gives you a little bit of protection since your real name is not associated with DJing. Why does this matter? If you DJ on the side and have a full time job, job recruiters check social media and will surely find out you are a DJ.
If you’re ok with that, then don’t worry about this, but in my career path, professionalism is extremely important, and I did not want to risk any recruiter or boss associating me with the DJ stereotypes.
Tip #18: Keep Your Eyes on the Bigger Picture
After all these tips, if you still do not have a DJ name in mind, do not worry! The most valuable way to spend your time in the beginning is to learn the technical aspects of DJing and how to promote yourself.
Think about it, finding a DJ name can be done in an afternoon of brainstorming with some friends, while becoming extremely skilled at mixing takes hours of consistent practice until you get it right.
If you can get ahead and start learning technical skills now, you will thank yourself later.
Questions, comments, concerns? What’s your DJ name? Share it with us below!