Are DJs in the Philippines Being Undervalued?

The music industry in the Philippines is a thriving and dynamic one. Music is an integral part of Filipino culture, and it is no surprise that DJs play a vital role in the industry. They are skilled professionals who have extensive knowledge and experience in the art of mixing music, reading the crowd, setting the mood, and maintaining enthusiasm throughout the event. However, despite the importance of their work, DJs in the Philippines are often undervalued and not adequately compensated for their services.

So, why should local DJs in the Philippines be paid more for their regular gigs? First and foremost, their skills are priceless. DJs need to be able to read the crowd and play music that complements the vibe the audience is going for. It takes years of practice and effort to master the art of mixing, and to be successful as a DJ in the Philippines, one needs to know various kinds of music and switch between them seamlessly. In short, a DJ’s knowledge and experience are worth more than what they are currently being paid.

Moreover, being a DJ in the Philippines requires a significant investment in gear and space. Turntables, mixers, controllers, headphones, and speakers are just some of the expensive pieces of equipment that DJs have to own. Setting up and moving this equipment can be time-consuming and strenuous. DJs must also be familiar with the location and its facilities to ensure a smooth performance.

In addition to the cost of equipment, DJs in the Philippines also have significant out-of-pocket expenses. They have to spend money on gas, rent, and medical coverage, and they may need to spend the night in a hotel if the gig is far away. They should also purchase insurance for both themselves and their gear in case of an accident. All these costs should be factored into the DJ’s compensation.

It’s worth noting that a DJ’s set-up involves more than just selecting songs to play. They must keep up with shifting music trends so that they can effectively incorporate them into their performances. They need to understand the mood and purpose of the event as a whole. A professional DJ will go above and beyond to ensure the success of your event, and they should be paid accordingly.

At times, a DJ’s ability to add excitement and showmanship to an event is often overlooked. It takes a talented DJ to set the mood and get the crowd moving, and they play a crucial role in making the party a success. DJs should be compensated for the value they bring to the event.

In a nutshell, DJs in the Philippines are undervalued, and they deserve higher pay for their regular gigs. When deciding how much to pay them, you should think about their skills, equipment, preparation, out-of-pocket costs, and ability to add value to an event. As the music industry in the Philippines continues to grow, it is important to recognize how important DJs are and how important they are to the success of events.

For your information as a client, and on behalf of all DJs

Club DJs, mobile DJs, turntablists, and scratch DJs are all different kinds of DJs. Each type of DJ has a different set of skills and experiences that make them stand out.

  • Club DJs play music in nightclubs, bars, and lounges to get people dancing and keep them entertained. To keep the party going, they need to know a lot about different kinds of music, be great at mixing, and be able to read the crowd. DJs in clubs usually play electronic dance music (EDM), hip hop, and hits from the Top 40. They also use software and hardware to improve their performance and make sounds that are their own.
  • On the other hand, mobile DJs play at private events like weddings, corporate parties, and birthday parties. They bring their gear, like speakers, lights, and microphones, to the place where the event will take place and set it up. Since they work directly with clients, mobile DJs need to have great communication, customer service, and professionalism skills. They have to make their playlists fit the mood and theme of the event and play music that people of all ages will enjoy.
  • Turntablists and scratch DJs use vinyl records and turntables to make sounds and techniques that aren’t found anywhere else. They focus on juggling beats, matching beats, and scratching to make remixes and mashups of songs. Turntablists and scratch DJs have to practice a lot and be good at what they do to master the techniques and create their own style.

How much should you charge as a DJ, and what factors should be considered:

As a DJ, your daily compensation may vary depending on a number of factors, including your level of experience, the venue, the kind of event, the length of the gig, and the equipment you will be bringing.

The following considerations should be taken into account when setting your DJ rate for regular gigs:

  • Experience: You might need to charge less when you first start out in order to get clientele. Yet, you might charge extra for your services if you have a lot of experience.
  • Location: Compared to DJs in smaller towns, those in major cities typically charge more. This is so that DJs may charge more to pay their costs as living expenditures are higher in cities.
  • Event type: The type of event you are providing music for can have an impact on your fee. In general, private parties, corporate events, and weddings pay more than club gigs.
  • The gig’s duration is: Longer gigs could come with a better pay. A four-hour gig might pay more than a two-hour gig, for instance.
  • Equipment: You might need to charge more if you’re providing your own equipment to cover the cost of buying and maintaining it.

It’s important to remember that, especially if you’re just starting out, you should be ready to negotiate with clients about your rate. Depending on the client’s budget and other factors like travel costs, you might need to alter your fee.

Perhaps in the next write up, we will be able to provide an estimate of the average talent fee for DJs in the Philippines, taking into account the minimum and maximum amounts, skill tier, social media elements, and other relevant criteria. In addition to this, we can also discuss the immorality of DJs who seek for cheaper fees or exposure in order to get a spot.

You can get in touch with me on Instagram if you’d like.

“Dear bar/club owners, it’s 2023 already…” by Marc Marasigan:
“What is a DJ?” by
“How much does a DJ cost” by
“Different Types of DJs | What Kind of DJ Do You Want To Be” by

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Hey, I'm a music producer, DJ, and event curator for BASS N' BACON, and run a record label. I can speak English, Tagalog, and Bisaya, and I enjoy writing about music and culture. Whether it's through my music or writing, I bring a unique perspective and lots of experience to every project I do. Thanks for checking out my work!