How Can We Nurture the Next Generation of DJs in the Philippines Without Elitism?


  • Elitism in the DJ scene is stifling industry growth.
  • Aspiring DJs suffer a lack of opportunities and elitism from established DJs.
  • Diversifying and opening up can help overcome elitism.

Being a big fan of the DJ community, I think it’s a fun and exciting industry that supports creative expression, new ideas, and collaboration. I’m glad to see that this industry embraces a diverse variety of genres, cultures, and walks of life. Unfortunately, the DJ scene in the Philippines has been tainted by elitism, which has impaired its growth and made it difficult for aspiring DJs to break into the industry.  

Or maybe I’m simply weary of scrolling through social media and seeing nasty remarks from  DJs belittling emerging DJs. Throughout my years as a DJ, I’ve noticed that the majority of successful DJs in the community don’t usually engage in negativity, but rather focus on themselves and perform smarter. Although, I get where the criticism is coming from in regards to aspiring DJs, but that is not the topic here, and maybe I can write about it in another piece. Maybe “Veteran DJs vs. New DJs.” haha

Anyways, this article looks at some of the problems that aspiring DJs face, as well as the impact of elitism on the industry.

The DJ community has a history of elitism, which is one of the issues hindering the industry from embracing plurality. It is pretty common for events to book the same DJs over and over again, especially if they have a significant social media presence or are linked with a specific circle. As a result, aspiring DJs have little opportunity to display their abilities. Because of this captive market, not only is the industry’s growth controlled, but the industry as a whole has become an unwelcoming environment for aspiring DJs who perceive being shunned from the community. This can lead to a vicious cycle in which only the most popular DJs can get gigs and new DJs have a hard time breaking into the scene.

Other aspiring DJs feel forced to resort to buttering up (kiss-ass) club owners, promoters, or other DJs in order to secure bigger gigs or improve their reputation. This type of behavior can be viewed as dishonest and deceptive, and it can have a negative impact on one’s credibility and industry relationships. While ass-kissing and elitism are not the same thing, they are tied in that someone who kisses ass may be doing so to gain favor with an elite individual or group. In either case, it is vital for individuals of the DJ community to focus on developing genuine relationships based on mutual respect and engagement rather than acting in negative behaviors. Apologies for wandering from the topic; likewise, this can be written on another piece. Maybe call it “Kiss Ass Mo Tito Mo” hehe.

Another form of elitism is when DJs decline to perform at certain clubs or events because they believe the venue or crowd is not “high class” enough for them. Others may look down on DJs who utilize entry-level equipment, do not follow standard equipment, or do not have a high social standing.

People in the DJ community also think that being a DJ is an exclusive job that requires a certain level of talent and skill, which also contributes to elitism. This notion is bolstered by the fact that many successful DJs in the Philippines are well-connected or come from affluent backgrounds. So, some people who want to be DJs think they need to be in a certain social circle or have a certain level of talent to make it in the field.

Elitism in DJ community in the Philippines
A DJ using a Traktor Controller

Despite the challenges, I’m hopeful that we can get rid of elitism in the DJ community. To do this, we need to work together to find the things that stop diversity from growing and get rid of them. As a community, we can make young artists feel welcome and help them by giving them opportunities, sharing our knowledge, and working together.

I had the opportunity to speak with an aspiring DJ who has been working hard to break into the scene with the hopes of making a name for himself someday. I asked him what factors he feels influence his chances of being booked for a gig. Keyword: Nasasapawan.

May mga DJs na naging basher ko. Talking behind my back dahil sa pagiging energetic ko sa set. I dont like doing boring set and napag tanto ko din sa sarili ko na sakin mag sisimula ang mood ng crowd kaya mapa opening or prime ang set ko tlagang energetic ako. Isa yon sa main reason why nagiging mas in demand ako sa masa. Nagiging sunod sunod yung set ko at nakaka tanggap ako ng gigs 4 times a week pero madaming DJs specially yung mga nauna dito na ayaw ng ganun kasi tingin nila nasasapawan sila but for me hindi kasi kapag sila yung nag sset I still clap my hands admire them and idolize them kasi alam kong may matututunan padin ako sa kanila but I didn’t get the same energy puro negative feedback yung nasasalo ko.

Drey Cua (

Elitism among DJs can create a barrier against other DJs who are trying to succeed, as they may feel threatened by the potential success of others. This can lead to a crab mentality, where DJs try to pull down others who are more successful than they are, in order to prevent them from outshining them. Another aspect would be, a gatekeeper might decide that only certain people are qualified to be DJs, or that only certain people are allowed to play at certain clubs. This can make it difficult for people who are not part of the “in crowd” to get their foot in the door. Gatekeeping and elitism are tied by the fact that they both involve the exclusion of others.

It is important to remember that everyone has to start somewhere, and that new DJs deserve to be treated with respect.

I understand that elitism in the DJ industry can be discouraging, especially for new DJs who may lack connections, training, or opportunity. But I’m sure that if we foster diversity and openness, we can make the industry more vibrant and dynamic by recognizing and promoting the unique talents and skills of each individual who works in it.

  • Be open-minded and supportive. When you see new DJs, be willing to give them a chance and offer your support.
  • Share your knowledge and experience. If you have something to teach, be willing to share it with others.
  • Create opportunities for new DJs to get involved. This could include organizing events, providing mentorship, or simply being a sounding board.
  • Be vocal about your support for diversity and inclusion. Let others know that you believe in a DJ community that is open to everyone, regardless of their background or experience.

But then who am I to say this stuff. Since I’m already bringing up diversity, I’d like to highlight an upcoming event we’re throwing called Bass N’ Bacon, which is an event that encourages diversity in its own right. Haha.

“Elites, communities and the limited benefits of mentorship in electronic music”
“DJ Red Flags To Avoid!”
“CDJ Elitism is Wrong”
Insightful thread on Reddit
“Many DJs have bigger egos than they should”
“Stop being insecure and a gatekeeper.”

Check out these awesome DJ tips on TikTok.


Replying to @_jaden.d on ig is it OK to gig with beginner DJ controllers like the DDJ FLX4 from pioneer dj #kuyadj #ddjflx4 #pioneerdj #djathome #clubbing

♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus


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!