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Thread: Getting permission from artists to play their music

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Getting permission from artists to play their music

    I am curious about this. How difficult is it to obtain permission from someone? Depending on the artists do they only say yes if you are recognized for having skill? Do some artists just blatantly say no? I'd love some worldly perspective. It would be so awful to have one of your favorite artists say you couldn't play their stuff. I imagine if you prove yourself and make a reasonable name for yourself people would be more willing?

  2. #2
    Moderator pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    old orléans
    As a DJ your job is to play the music of artists.
    From DJs playnig music, whether it be in a club or radio or internet, it is how artists gain publicity. Publicity leads to sales.
    So it is a win-win situation.
    What the artist cares about is that the DJ has aquired the tracks by legal means and the medium in which the music is played gives them credit, and recompense via by the DJ buying the music and playing it in a way that gives them payment via royalties.
    In fact a lot of DJs get free tracks via promo copies - the artists are so happy to get their music played out to the public.

    I'm sure if Paris Hilton was playing a set with the hottest underground artists, the artists would not be happy to be associated with such a DJ, but they can not complain.
    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
    finally a mix by me
    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    In the UK, commercial artists pay promo companies to make sure DJ's have their latest material.

  4. #4
    If a musician doesn't want their music played in public, they won't release it.

    If you are looking to make remixes and need the original, unreleased stems, then you'll usually need to prove yourself first.

  5. #5
    This might be helpful:

    But keep in mind that major licensing orgs like BMI don't generally represent some types of music.. eg electronic music on small independent labels that cater to DJs.. EXPECT their music to be played in clubs, that's why they're selling it. And you don't necessarily get a piece of paper promising that you won't get sued for it.. but you won't. Luckily all the music I play is in that category. But if you are out there playing Beyonce or whatever, then yea someone is supposed to have paid for a license for you to do that. In the case of a club, they have the financial interest in the music being played in their place therefore it's on them to get the licenses. But for mobile DJs I think it is on the DJ to have music from licensed sources or to have paid for the license. Most probably don't tho.

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