Two successful djs discuss the best strategy to building a brand and making a living inside the DJ booth.

Steve “Silk” Hurley

Location: Chicago

Most Recent Mixtape: Steve “Silk” Hurley The Experience, Volume 1, 2, & 3, being released on S&S Records (, this Spring (2012).

Steve “Silk” Hurley is a legend in house music circles, and has evolved to play various styles. Hurley was handpicked to rock Maya Angelou’s birthday party at Oprah’s house and is Tom Joyner’s DJ.

“I’ve been a DJ since 1979,” Hurley tells rolling out. “My style is very high energy, with diverse music, many times in a Mash Up Style. I like feeding off of the crowd at all times. I play house, dance, disco, funk, old-school hip-hop, R&B, hip-hop, reggae mostly.”

How do you make deejaying profitable?

Deejaying is very profitable once you build your name, which is your brand. That’s why quality in your DJ sets is key, because your reputation builds your brand. By building your brand, your DJ fees will be higher because the demand and drawing power is bigger.

Internationally, DJs command higher fees by releasing singles. The success of such singles can determine their fees as a DJ. In many cases, having a hit record is more important than your DJ skills.

What is the future of the DJ?

The future is very bright for DJs … DJs are the new “artists.” As a matter of fact, many pop, R&B and hip-hop artists have now become DJs because they can command higher fees, and it puts them in a position where they can be closer to [and more in touch with] their fans. [Click below to view photo gallery]

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out