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Deadmau5

deadmau5’s manager shares 7 tips on how to be a dance music star

Deadmau5 is known around the world for his musical success, but none of that would have been possible if it weren’t for his long-time manager Dean Wilson. Wilson has guided Deadmau5 (real name: Joel Zimmerman) to the top of music festival lineups, all while sticking to his client’s artistic vision and personality. The latest of which is Deadmau5’s Cube V3 tour, which begins next month. Wilson is also founder and CEO of music management company SEVEN20, and managers working under him are helping a fresh batch of producers find their success in the dance music world. Below are 7 tips for producers according to Deadmau5’s manager Dean Wilson, for all producers and up and coming artists on how to be a success in the dance music world.

1. Make Music that leaves an impression

There is no magic genie or wand that will clap and make you a huge name. Your product needs to shout you and your brand. What you want to speak to your audience should leave an impression on them, which will end up with them wanting more because you want them to. In the music industry, it is all about the music. If it doesn’t connect with you or your audience, it won’t be good music. Make a positive impression and any label will want your music.

2. Develop an authentic brand

Once you have the music side sorted, next comes the marketing. Just like Deadmau5 or i_O, what makes your stand out from the rest. You may want to take inspiration from others before you, but make sure its your own take. Everything you do online, from your personality, online and social presence to your creative vision, these are the key items for a successful brand. Otherwise, you’re just a person singing a piece of paper.

3. Make a Plan and execute it your way

Where do you end up seeing yourself in 5 years? Quite the cliche, but also true. Which other artists do you compare to? Think about which festivals you want to play and what labels you want to release on. How will you release new music and produce? How will you achieve all this? If you start asking yourself these questions and have some answers to them, then you’ll be on for a winner. If you’ve got one fantastic hit, make sure you can make more. Don’t wait on one tracks success, always keep grinding.

4. Lwayer up, Consider things carefully

Signing deals is going to be a bit part of your musical career. It can bring you up or throw you down. It will determine your salary, marketing, promotions and practically everything else. If you find a major publisher and a deal, this could make a good work/life balance hard. So make sure you get a good music lawyer, listen to them and your managers.

5. Be prepared, it’s going to escalate quickly

These artists play multiple gigs a year, they work on planes and converse on the internet. They share ideas and bump into each other at random places. This is how collaborations end up happening. You meet new people and take a likening to them and start working on new songs together. Deadmau5 got with Kaskade and Rob Swire outside his studio and look at them now. ‘Ghosts N Stuff‘, ‘I Remember‘ and ‘Monophobia‘ are classic hits today. Music technology is so advanced, it would be easy.

6. Be Patient

Being patient is always tricky, but good things come to those who take time in their work. If you believe in your product then this is key, even when others may not. Be passionate and know you’re doing the right thing. Make sure you stick to the plan. Managers make sure your artist is making music, engaging with and building their fan base.

7. Play to your strengths

Strengths are yours and no one else’s, each artist is different. Joel is shy in public, but we can watch him in his studio, making new music. That is cool and what he’s comfortable and strong at. So there is no need for a press release.



27 years old. Lover of all things EDM (especially bass). From Leeds, UK