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IN THIS EDITION
Profile: Promo Only Promotions' DJ John Suraci
If you're already a successful mix-show DJ or industry "insider," you can move along; there's nothing to see here. But if you've set your sights on a mix-show career or would just like to know how the hottest new dance tracks can find their way into your hands, too, hang around as we share a few words with the guy the industry's most influential DJs are talking about when they say they 'know a guy' who can get them the good stuff. Turns out this guy actually has a name: John Suraci.
Morning drive time in NYC finds us chatting with John via phone as he heads for his desk at Promo Only Promotions about - what else? - music.
"I never really wanted to do homework or anything else but mix records," says Suraci. "I remember my first mixer was the Radio Shack one - the Realistic with all the wood on the sides; and, I don't know how my parents did it, but they bought me a pair of 1200s and a couple of Gemini speakers. Naturally, being in New York, I was exposed to everything: Cypress Hill, Freestyle, Jackin House, Todd Terry, acid - there were so many legendary artists and labels in the making back then. So, for me, it really all started with making mix-tapes in my parents' basement for my high-school friends."
..it all started with making mix-tapes in my parents' basement for my high-school friends.Those mix-tapes soon had John spinning house parties and weddings. "I have all the respect in the world for mobile guys, but I would do a wedding and it would stress me out so much that I found myself gravitating towards any gig where I could just walk in and DJ." It was at just such a gig, a bar in Queens where his live set was broadcast via radio station remote, that John caught the ear of a local station manager and soon found himself with his own mix show. "From there, it wasn't long before a friend of mine called and told me a guy at Atlantic Records was looking for an assistant. That was my 'in' to the industry. And I took it."
The skills John honed during his four-year tenure at Atlantic would serve him well when AOL Music came calling; and there, as Label Relations Rep and Music Programming Manager, that he found himself solidifying the reputation that has since led to five nominations and three International Dance Music Awards for Best Independent Record Promotion for his role in breaking artists the likes of Avicii, Lady Gaga, Swedish House Mafia, Rihanna, Britney Spears, David Guetta, Afrojack, Flo Rida, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, and more.
At heart, John remains first and foremost a DJ and producer, serving with DJ Jimmy Greco as co-member of two-time Grammy nominated production team, Smash Mode, while still finding time for the occasional solo project. Today as he prepares to puts wheels down at our New York office, he admits there's never a dull moment: "I've just completed a remix for Demi Lovato's "Cool For The Summer" that was picked up for her new album. Pretty stoked about that."
For more about John visi, visit djsuraci.com To hear more of John's award winning programming, just sit back. As a Promo Only subscriber you already are.
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Digital DJ Tips Presents...
Is your music legal for public play?
Technology is running faster than the law, and that means grey areas. Our rule is simple: Pay for your music, don't steal it, and make sure the venues you play at have public performance licenses. Ethically that seems to cover it; it's no one DJ's job to rewrite copyright law as technology marches forward.
Things do get more complicated with the introduction of digital music. Look in the small print on your favorite digital music store and it'll almost certainly tell you the music you pay for is for your own personal use only. Even Beatport has such a line, which is clearly ridiculous for a DJ store.
Here's another complication: Recently DJ software has started offering access to streaming music services; for instance, djay Pro 1.1 on Mac has this, and even now touts the fact that it works on Pioneer CDJs and XDJs, which of course are in 80% of DJ booths worldwide. Yet Spotify and other similar services have similar clauses in their user agreements about personal use only.
All of which means that some lawyer somewhere could make the case that as a DJ, you're breaking the law by playing tracks you bought from Beatport, or tracks streamed from your paid Spotify subscription. As streaming music is on the up, the latter especially is a whole new can of worms.
What's a DJ to do?... [continue reading]
About Digital DJ Tips: Featuring news, reviews, show reports, and tutorials, Digital DJ Tips is one of the most-read DJ tech websites in the world, with over 60,000 students on its paid and free DJ courses.
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POOL Pro Tip
Simply pay a visit to your app's Charts and Picks menu and cruise the top tunes. One click on any release will let you know instantly if it's in your collection or not. Should you see an Available for Service message, that's our way of telling you is that the song you're checking out isn't included in your current subscription but can be instantly downloaded via our website by the one-time purchase of the subscription that contains it.
Pro-Tip: Looking for different versions of the top tunes? One click on any track featured in our Charts and Picks will provide ALL the versions serviced to your package!
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