Famous DJs making a name for themselves in Vegas

Playing at the most prestigious venues across the world in front of thousands of fans is the ambition of every musical artist who attempts to make a name for themselves in their chosen genre. The meteoric rise in the EDM industry has created a new wave of DJs who hope to follow in the footsteps of big hitters that have contributed to making electronic dance music so popular and sought after worldwide. Potential breakthrough artists often upload their work to Soundcloud or YouTube to generate interest in their idealisms and brand of music, but it takes hours of dedication and creativity to reach the same heights as the big stars.

Artists know they have made it when they get to make considerable amounts of money through playing gigs in Las Vegas, which has replaced Ibiza as the EDM capital of the world and is home to the highest paid DJs. While they may start to make music for online gaming sites in the future, the most famous names make their living playing on the decks in front of packed venues that clamour for the latest electronic dance masterpiece.

Regular performers

Only the most privileged get to play in one of America’s most glamorous cities, but famous DJs have now made Las Vegas their home on a residential and performance basis. Although Forbes have declared Calvin Harris as the highest paid electronic DJ in 2014, with almost a third of his overall income being generated in Las Vegas, Tiesto is amongst many who have found fame and fortune on the Strip. The Dutch-born star valued 2013 as ‘the year of Las Vegas’ as the EDM scene made major strides into America and took the country by storm; Tiesto often performs at the MGM Grand’s Hakkasan and Wet Republic, and earns an estimated $250,000 per gig. David Guetta has also made a hugely successful switch from the United Kingdom to the United States, with the talented French DJ often performing at Hakkasan and the Encore Beach Club in front of adoring fans. Avicii and Steve Aoki are other renowned names who continue to light up the Las Vegas strip, while Skrillex is the perfect rags-to-riches story for any aspiring DJ; once buried in $60,000 worth of debt as the front of former band From First to Last, the 26-year-old now earns around $15 million a year through his unerring talent behind the decks.

Could gaming generate more income for DJs?

With the EDM industry’s stock continuing to rise at a rapid rate, it would appear that the most famous DJs who have proved their worth in Las Vegas will have their hands full producing new material that will be played in famous clubs and venues across the world. Having the opportunity to further increase their fanbase and have their music played through numerous avenues other than gigs could be an opportunity which famous DJs choose to take. Creating music for online gaming sites could be a potential avenue which opens up for the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris in the future, with the music industry already featuring heavily in the gaming industry. Joel Zimmerman, more commonly known under the pseudonym ‘deadmau5’, features on DJ Hero 2 as a playable character, while some of his music has featured on titles such as Fifa 13, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, and The Sims3. There is every possibility that EDM will become a common feature throughout online and console games to add more emphasis and all-round quality to the gameplay experience.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].

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