Welcome to this DJ2CombatStress New Year special blog and mix where I’ll be reviewing and reflecting on the first 4 months of my challenge!
New year is upon us, but what about the year just gone?
Back in August, I started my journey to become a professional DJ to raise £10,000 over a 2 year period in support of Veteran’s charity Combat Stress. Along the journey, I want to raise awareness about how mental health issues severely impact on people’s lives, create a following, and through music help inspire people to achieve what they have only dreamed of.
One of my main plans was to build a social media following for the cause as this is a great way to spread the word for free. Twitter has seen the biggest success amassing 2,500 followers already, Instagram is steadily building and I think will increase when we have events to showcase. Facebook has given the least so far but will be the best mechanism for creating a future charity event. Most pleasing however, has been the fantastically positive response from everyone, not just those in music or the armed forces – huge thanks for all the support from everyone!
I had a highly successful (but extremely nerve racking) interview with British Forces Radio talking about the cause and what we are looking to achieve. They are also looking at other ways to help us out along the journey – big shout out to Nicky Smith for all her help!
It’s a big target; and always was supposed to be something difficult to reach. The plan has always been to bring in bigger figures further down the road, with appearance fees and fundraising events. But already people have started donating and this money is already being used to change the lives of people in desperate need of help and support. I can’t thank those people enough for their generosity as every penny really does help. If you would like to donate, please click on the link below to our just giving page
Having never DJ’d or been in the music industry, to go from complete novice to a professional DJ performing at festivals within 2 years is a stretch but something I’m enjoying rising to the challenge of with all my spare time. I am still deciding on which genre I should specialise on, but am having fun playing about with all of them. I’ve made 2 appearances on Dutch station clubdanceradio.org which was a great experience and am beginning to build a following on mixcloud. This is my 14th mix which is double the amount I’d planned to achieve and my wife said the other day ‘you’re surprisingly good’, so I must be doing something right! Most importantly I’m finding it a great way to help regulate my mood, so it is providing great positivity for my own mental health.
So what’s to come in 2019? So while I have done well so far as a ‘self-taught’ DJ, this won’t be enough to make me a professional. My lovely wife bought me a package of 12 DJ lessons which I start in Jan. The best bit is they guarantee you a gig at the end. I’m so looking forward to learning from some well renown DJs and taking the next step on the journey.
I’ve just upgraded to a Pioneer XDJ-RX2 controller to go with the DJ lessons, so get ready for some much better quality mixes in 2019. Whilst my basic controller was good for £200, it was always meant to get me started. With the RX2, this is something I can now use on the road as well as in the bedroom.
I have been offered a weekly slot on a well known internet radio station….this is something I never initially thought of but is an opportunity I am definitely open to and will be a fantastic way to spread the word!
Raving goes commercial – watch this space as we take DJ2CombatStress to the offices of Britain and help bring some positive vibes to the stressed workers of this world.
I hope you all have an amazing new year and look forward to taking DJ2CombatStress to the next level in 2019! Enjoy the special Jungle mix I’ve put together including many of my favourites from my early years!