How To Pick A Great DJ Name

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Ironically, most of us pick our DJ name on a lark before thinking anything will ever come of it, and then after are stuck with largely accidental results. Whether you are picking your DJ identity for the first time, or re-branding an older moniker, this article aims to help you make an important decision easier. In usual DJ TechTools style, we get into the science of DJ names, branding, and provide facts; not just fluffy suggestions.

REAL NAME VS. NOM DE PLUME

Why should you pick a fake DJ stage name or moniker in the first place, why not a real name? It’s an interesting balance – a “fake” DJ name allows you to craft an identity around the actual word itself. Skrillex, for example, has an edgy sense about his name – and it almost comes off as onomatopoeia of the sound of his music.

In the business world, coming up with a company name often has a similar dilemma: do you name your company something descriptive “Mike’s Racing Tires” or something more abstract and suggestive like “Racerz”? In a 2008 piece on Mashable about naming startups, Nina Beckhardt, president of The Naming Group, an agency whose employees have crafted names for Walmart, Target and Puma, notes:

“There’s a spectrum from descriptive names which speak directly to a product benefit or attribute, to empty vessel names, where it doesn’t mean anything about the product that we’re talking about.”

As DJs, it’s important to remember that you have the same choices. Three, to be precise: 

  • Descriptive: Suggests or describes the type of DJ you are
  • Factual:  Your real name
  • Abstract:  Non-English words and hybrids are common

Abstract offers the most potential from a branding and flexibility standpoint, which we will cover more later. 

In the DJ Mag 2011 list of the top 100 most popular DJs, we see plenty of both types of DJ names. 42 of the DJs on the list use their real birth names (or a shortened version), while 58 of them use a unique name. In the top 10, only three DJs use their real names: David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, and Markus Schulz.

There is no hard science that we’ve found that tells us which style is more appealing to potential fans, so you may have to go with your gut here.

DJ SEO

The number one thing (in terms of promotion and securing your identity) to consider when picking a name is how it will show up on a search engine. Is it unique? Can you actually own it? Will people hear it and then easily be able to Google it? As discussed in our recent article on the current state of online DJ promotion, you would ideally have control of all of the major DJ outlets with your DJ name as your username. Has anyone else taken them? Here is a good checklist to follow when considering a name:

  • Is the .com domain available?
  • Is the Facebook custom URL available?
  • Is the Twitter handle available?
  • What are the top organic search results for that name?
  • Are there any other DJs listed under that name?

That last point is important. If someone else is using the same DJ name and you become successful with it, there’s a chance that they could come back and try to sue you for confusing the public. Their argument would go something like this:

Since our names are similar, my fans confused you for me – I should be rich and famous! 

The most surefire way to avoid this problem is by conducting a simple Google search, and then if you are really serious, a trademark search.

Trademarking your DJ name is going the extra mile from a legal perspective. This isn’t always simple, and the process that you’ll need to follow in the US with the United States Patent and Trademark Office can be tricky. While every situation is different, and we’re not lawyers nor can we give legal advice, we found this helpful comment from Pamela Koslyn, a Hollywood Business Attorney, in an Avvo discussion on artist trademarks:

TM rights are acquired by use, and maybe your use of providing musical services pre-dated the use by others (…) Recording artists often register their performing name for those services, and the USPTO will do a search of others registered under the same or similar name, to prevent competitors from confusing consumers, which is the USPTO’s mission.

There are 2 kinds of TMs, word and stylized marks (Editor’s note: a stylized mark means that the physical appearance of the mark is what is unique about it, like a logo). Words marks are easier to get but harder to enforce against the use by others. Stylized marks are harder to get but easier to enforce. Which one you may want really depends on what rights you’ve already acquired by use in whatever type of TM you’ve been using until now.

(…) About 1/2 of all TM application are denied, and the fees are non-refundable, and you may want to TM your name for entertainment services, for CDs and DVDs, for clothing, and for online retail, each of which will cost you $325. I don’t know whether TMs are rejected because the applicants try to DIY, but it can only help your chances if you hire a lawyer.

You may have noticed that finding an easy to remember, one-word DJ name that’s not taken might be a challenge. That leads most DJs to start using longer names and multiple words – but will this hurt you?

Looking again at the DJ Mag list to see if the popular players have any trends in name length, the data tips a bit more heavily towards names with two or more words in them, with 68 of the names on the list being more than one word.

Only a few of the names on the list have fewer than three syllables – Deadmau5, Skrillex, Felguk, Arty and Axwell are quick names to say, but it doesn’t seem to offer any particular advantage over the other longer to pronounce names that make up most of the entire list.

THE SOUND OF A NAME

Is there a link between what names sound like and how well they perform? Is there a social bias against certain names? In his infamous book “Freakanomics“, economist Steven Levitt suggested that people subconsciously pick up on cues in the sound of a name and form bias for that person. Could the same be true for DJ names?

We looked into this a few years back and did find some patterns in the top 10 DJs list of 2010

  • TIËSTO
  • ARMIN VAN BUUREN
  • DAVID GUETTA
  • ATB
  • DEADMAU5
  • PAUL VAN DYK
  • FERRY CORSTEN
  • CARL COX
  • BENNY BENASSI

With the notable exception of Benassi, not a single DJ in the top 10 has a name that ends with an “E” sound (like you hear in the word “crazy”). Instead they all end with a lower O sound that is produced from the back of the throat. Expand that search to the top 50 and only two more DJs are an exception, making up 6% of the group. While this example is hardly a solid scientific study- there may be something to the sound of DJ names as well and it’s worth further analysis.

More recently, Steven Levitte pointed out an interesting study on his Freakanomics blog that suggests people with easy to pronounce names tend to rise higher in organizations.

 “Studies 1–3 demonstrate that people form more positive impressions of easy-to-pronounce names than of difficult-to-pronounce names.”

Even with all the marketing fads over the last 100 years, one method of communication seems to be consistently better than any other form of advertisement: word of mouth. When a fan loves your music and tells someone else about it, the chances of your sound going viral is very strong. Help things along by making it really easy for fans to remember your name and tell others about you.

Should you call yourself DJ So And So? Many people do – and this certainly is a solid way of identifying what you do. Unfortunately, that could very well be a bad thing.

Only one person in the top 100 has “DJ” in their official name (DJ Feel). Sure, we are all not trying to land top 100 slots but that’s a strong indicator that it is certainly not required.  Branding yourself as exclusively a DJ could also be a really shortsighted move.

THE BRAND IDENTITY

I know you just care about the music, but let’s face facts: if you succeed, your DJ name will become a brand, and it will have a lot of value. Brands can be much more valuable if they are flexible and well crafted, so here are a few things to think about:

1. Name Flexibility: Don’t pigeonhole yourself!
2. Brand Fit: Does your name fit the style and vibe?
3. Visual Appeal:  People are going to see your name, most likely in written form (hopefully in lights) – so how will it look as a logo? What will that convey?

  • Big Tip: Try mocking up a flier with your photo and the potential name and party you would like to play. Does it fit? 

The most important thing to remember here is brand flexibility. If you start off as “DJ AfroRhythm” and then three years in decide to move into becoming a techno producer, your options will be very limited. I was recently reading Richard Branson’s biography and he put it best:

“When considering names, Slipped Disc was one of the favorite suggestions… Looking back at the various uses to which we’ve since put the Virgin name, I think we made the right decision. I’m not sure that Slipped Disc Airways would have had quite the same appeal”

Brand fit is a bit more subjective, and in some ways contradicts flexibility but it’s still important. Certain names will fit in a Genre and scene, providing a better opportunity for success. Skratchcr8zy, for example is probably not the best name for minimal techno artist – or any artist for that matter. The flier trick is a good one once again.

VARIATIONS ON A THEME

Coming up with something from scratch is tough – so start with something you like or already know, and try modifying it.

Alter your own name: This is a common road for many DJs that feel great about their name, but tweak it a little for a more original look.

Alter a famous name or brand: We’ve seen a lot of this recently in the electronic music scene, using a familiar name and switching it around. Two successful examples of this are Mord Fustang and Com Truise, but there are plenty of other clever ways to call back to a name that people already have associations with. (Disclaimer: some brands and famous folk are likely to try sue the pants off of successful DJs that capitalize off of their name, so make sure that your name has a significant level of uniqueness to it to avoid legal action!) 

FOCUS GROUPS: FRIEND-SOURCING A NAME

Oftentimes, our self image isn’t always consistent with the way the outside world sees us. Ideally your name would be consistent and authentic to the way your fans (and potential fans) see you and your music. Authenticity is incredibly important in a world crowded by fake companies selling over-hyped products that contain no real value. If your self image is a rockstar batboy but your real personality is a nerdy introvert then “BillySlash!” probably won’t last long.

Ask your friends what they’d call you, and think back to nicknames (only the good ones) that those close bestowed on you in earlier days. After the options are whittled down to the best choices, run them past your closest friends and ask them things like:

  • How does this name make you feel?
  • Does this name fit me?
  • What kind of music do you think of when you hear this name?
  • How would you spell my DJ name?

If any option scores high on all marks, odds are that it’s a solid candidate. Come back a few days later and see if they remember the name you told them. If it sticks, you might have a winner.

DIG DEEP

Some of the best names come from important references or very personal points of interest in totally unrelated places. For example,”The Doors” comes from “The Doors Of Perception”, a famous book by Aldous Huxley that inspired Jim Morrison (and myself!)

Don’t be afraid to get abstract. Forget all about what you expect a DJ to be called and go towards things that inspire you and contributed to who you are today. At the end of the day, there still is no one single formula for a great song, and we’re confident that the same holds true for a great DJ name.

What names of DJs do you find yourselves taking a liking to before even hearing their tracks? What names make you immediately dislike the artist? Let us know in the comments section.  

Ean Golden - Author

Ean Golden is the founder of Dj TechTools and a worldwide Dj specializing in controllers and new performance technology.

Follow Ean on: Twitter  Facebook   SoundCloud   YouTube 

  • Would Skirlex do the trick? Or is it too similar to Paul Van Dyk?

  • poop

    DJ pussy

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  • My old DJ name… DJ Terrordaktl… circa ’85 back in Chicago. Don’t bite! lol

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  • djzzzzzz

    Fuck you Ean xD you have a perfect DJ name

  • nah

    bustin jieber

  • hi

    bustin bieber

  • Viktor Bergstroem

    Im thinking of Sick Lion Party ???

  • JM

    What do you guys think of : NoSoup4You
    Used to be my gaming account, but it has a nice cocky ring to it…

  • Mikael

    How About DJ NTSEFASE

  • Kieran

    I need a name know
    Help help meeeeeee

  • I like what JD Twitch did to stop people from prependiung DJ infront of the Twitch on posters etc because DJ JD Twitch looks weird enough to stop it there 🙂 This is how I remember the story, read it a very long time ago somewhere.

  • TheDJ

    DJ MBFresh

  • Aaron Jordan

    Can I use a comic book name such as i was thinking of max eisenhardt magentos real in name from the x men.

  • Dirty_Nerd86

    real talk this man, Ian Golden, sucks. hes a good rave dj, but lacks the ability to see true talent. I will always laugh at this place due to the fact that I personally heard him say Dubstep will never catch on. Followed by his demise at Fader Fest. He cant look you in the eye unless he feels he has more “power” than you. “The midi fighter is better than tunturbalism” Yea, stfu dood.

  • KD

    KD is my name!

  • WAR10CK

    How does DJ BackBlast sound to ya bros

  • Harry Blotter (Aus)
  • Edgar Rosario

    I’ve had a lot of DJ name suggestions from friends most are already taken or I just don’t like them. It’s difficult being that cater to different genres. I go by Eddie for now.

  • My DJ name (or alter ego) came to me in an epiphany 7 years ago. D’lectronique. Because my name is Dominique, which is kind of french, and I play electronic music. Musique, Electronique. Do the math 😉 I got it tattooed on my lower arm a few months back. How’s that for dedication!

  • Ziad

    I’m a Salsa & Latin DJ, going for a rebrand. Anyone can suggest me a cool DJ name?

  • DJ Zay V.. couldn’t think of a better one! lol

    http://916djs.com/what-makes-a-great-dj/

  • Indy

    My internet nickname was initially “indigo”, then it transformed into “indy”.
    I started DJing not so long time ago and is now playing only for my friends. All of them know me as Indy. So what do you think, is it a good DJ name? : )
    I heard that it can be treated as “individual prostitute” in English.
    btw “Juan Carlos Huidobro” sounds enchanting in Russian, beacuse “Hui” = “d*ck” and “dobro” = “goodness”. Mindblowing combination for russian speaking man)) Sorry)

  • Indy

    My internet nickname was initially “indigo”, then it transformed into “indy”.
    I started DJing not so long time ago and is now playing only for my friends. All of them know me as Indy. So what do you think, is it a good DJ name? : )
    I heard that it can be treated as “individual prostitute” in English.
    btw “Juan Carlos Huidobro” sounds enchanting in Russian, beacuse “Hui” = “d*ck” and “dobro” = “goodness”. Mindblowing combination for russian speaking man)) Sorry)

  • B-Mask

    DJ B-Mask –> follow on twitter @DJ_Bmask

  • Mono

    We call ourself BAMBI.
    Look at your favorite DJ, now back to us, now back to your favorite DJ, now back to us.
    Do you still have our logo in mind, when you hear our name?! Good!
    Hard to find at google, but great for artworks!
    Check soundcloud.com/bambi20359 for some music.

  • Dj ranal ape

  • Brodo Faggins

  • Dj Angell

  • Luca Natale

    my name is luca natale, Natale is italian for christmas, i find that unique for a name and possibly for music, any ideas?

    • outcognito

      Lucy Tale

  • luca Natale

    My last name is Natale, which is italian for christmas, i find it unique, help any1 for a name?

  • Luca Natale

    my last name is natale, which is italian for christmas, i find it to be unique and i cant seem to find a gd name for it, ideas any1?

  • Just pick a play on your name. It works best. Like J-Lo or J-Hud, Scar-Jo

  • Chris Bourne

    Hey I’ve asked my family and friends about a good DJ name and these are the ones they suggested maybe you guys could help me to find out which one is best:

    -Chris Bourne (Real Name)
    -Von Bourne
    -Major C
    -Major CB
    -Tackrine

    I read that if you want to be a serious dj for a lifetime (which i do), you should use your real name instead of needing to use a stupid one you chose when u were thirteen..
    I think this is a very good point but I’m still not sure..

    • Dude you have a prefect euphonic name. Leave it as is, it sounds really good on a flyer

  • It isn’t rocket science but a name does go a long way. I can effectively tell you though if you want to get far in the Electronic scene, stay away from using “DJ” in your name. It will not be as effective for branding and more importantly true electronic musicians are clearly that, musicians, playing live, the DJ moniker is a second thought, its more about the production. As a second concept most of the great DJs had many other names they go by for particular sets, function, styles. I.E. Richie Hawtin, Plasticman scenario. In the end you have to follow your heart and have fun with it, the best names are the ones that are edgy and memorable. I’ve always wanted to be in a DJ group called Five Finger DJ Punch. 🙂

  • ElvaDo Candary.

    man . what a noncence. except your name and be The Dj not the Name

  • levi

    my real name is levi van overloop and I choose levi’s liquid. what do you think?

  • Dj Dun’kno

    ive tried thinking of a few a came up with Reckzy, Doctor Flex, Rude Taste, Wizard Lust, Combat Wombat any good ones?

  • Look, even if you’re about the music, if you intend to make a living from that pursuit then you should definitely think about picking a name that will be easy to promote down the road. You certainly dont want to change your name once people start to notice you. I dont understand why people act like a dj or producer cant be about the music and still have a sophisticated sense of business and marketing. People need to stop acting like everyone who is getting paid is a sell out. It just makes you seem like a hater and the reality is your music might be dope but without the knowledge to promote yourself your going nowhere and if thats the case you can only blame yourself.

  • Joshuajerkins58

    ok I’ve tried many dj names with my last name which is Jerkins (dj jerk). I tried my high school nickname twinkie (dj twink) and also made one up (dj mascre) which one do you all think is the best

  • Dj_addict

    i think its nice to have a story behind your name. ive been called addict since the first time i played at a friends party because the mc didnt know who i was and started calling me that because i had ‘addict’ written on my shirt. blatant brand rip off but its always stuck – not through me pushing it but through people remembering me from that party and friends continually using it. i suppose i owe that mc something!

  • hehe..yeah.. “El Jefe” ..in spanish means boss..in german..general..i think..and it has a latin spelling (google translate..english.. “el hafae” and listen it)

  • Rythmrooster64

    Thanks for the info. I am Rythmrooster64 and I produce music for now. But I has thought about shortening it ti RRDJ but now I might think of something else.

  • kashiusfresco

    Hurh Hurh Hurh. I forgot to laugh at that one

  • elevee

    Afrojack sounds like some reggae artist. If he didn’t get all that blog ink I would’ve never thought to listen to his stuff. Its still weird.

  • Dominic Campos

    Names got to be creative in my opinion i picked apart my name and what I like to give me DoCTeC. 

  • Shark Sandwich

    All DJ Names are rubbish. Its a fact.

  • Shark Sandwich

    All DJ Names are rubbish. Its a fact.

  • Vanel

    my djname?…..Vanel

  • Vanel

    my djname?…..Vanel

  • Anonymous

    Nice article Ean.

    I see it this way. Names are just like music. There are no real 100% rights or wrongs in picking a name. A person will either like the name you pick or not or be indifferent to it, but what ever it is, it’s just an opinion. Do DJs/ Producers become big because of their names? Nope. Does a certain name help their popularity? Maybe, some. Should you create your name with the goal of becoming popular, like, loved, or even hated? That is up to you. Since the goal of any DJ should be to become the best at what they do, the name should also match that goal. That would be my simple rule.

    scamo
    (which is a name made out of the initials of my real name)
    of 2manKru
    (which is the name my son and I came up with – two men in a team, together:-))

  • Use your real name, or a variation of it (i.e. Gavin is my middle name). Or use the old trance DJ naming system by using your first name but your middle name as your last name.

    If you are going to be totally fake pick a name that might sound real but really has nothing to do with you. Claude VonStroke is an awesome performance handle IMO, and sounds like it could be his real name, but even if you don’t like it you have to admit it’s better than Deadmau5, Mord Funstang, or anything retarded like that.

    Also remember that there are COUNTLESS clubs and promoters that will NEVER book you if you use one of those ridiculous made up names (unless you are one of the 10% that come up with a good one) unless you somehow do end up being one of the Top 100 deejays on one of the big polls.

  • This is a well-written article, I think choosing a great DJ name is an important decision. Brainstorming together with a friend can be a good way to create unique ideas for your new name!

  • Bassik T

    Hi. I’m a relatively new producer and DJ. I go by “Bassik T”. My last name is Tuholski. Anyway, little did I know when I made the name, there is another artist that goes by “BASSIK”. What do you think? Is my name too similar to his, or does the “T” make all the difference that matters?

    • Lee Alpine

      go by Tuholski. thats sick

  • Anonymous

    DJ nitor.. it was also my day job.

  • Sircronusofficial

    Many of the top 100 dj’s are up there because of their production skills. Not for their dj skill set..

    • I would go so far as to say MOST of them.

    • Dqqjay Dcue

      For Real

    • realist

      or more accurately their connections and fanbase who they can call upon when voting time comes, most of these guys have ghost writers producing their tracks.

      • Chance Shermet

        bull shit!

      • Joe

        Aaaand that’s why I use Resident Advisor. Real music, real DJs.

  • Looking for feedback!!

    I use DJ in front of my name…BUT…do so for a reason. My name is spanish in origin, Juan Carlos Huidobro, and I am named after my father and grandfather, therefore am “the 3rd”.
    So my initials are “JCH3″… But that as a name seemed very confusing to me, so I added the “D” and ended up with “DjCh3”. Then since I was using a 3 channel mixer, I went with “DeeJay Channel 3” as a dj moniker. When I introduce myself how ever I do not say “DeeJay Channel Three” I simply say “Channel3” or “C . H. 3” 
    Any thoughts or opinions on this?? I have struggled with the idea of changing my name many times over the years, but after using the same one for like 6+ years, it’s hard to actually do it. Guess I am scared of “starting fresh”. Please let me know what you all think.
    Thanks

    DjCh3

    • Carlos Ch3 (maybe pronounce it “che”)?

      Also, Channel3 is kind of rough because 3 Channels have been well known in the techno world for years… http://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/3channels

      • Thank you for the response. I am trying to avoid the “Che” due to other DJs using the moniker. As for 3 Channels, at the time I started using the moniker DjCh3 they were not big, I believe they had only even been together a year. . . But this is a perfect example of my dilemma 🙂

  • Redrolla

    I wanna be called Dj Sellout, train wreck all my tracks and be mass marketed on MTV so i can be popular and loved by the new edm generation.

    • I’d just go with DJ Sold

      • Chance Shermet

        You whiney bitches are making dance music like every other genre. If selling records means sellout, I’d love to be one. A lot of great artists are famous.. Instead of saying shit just accept that tehy are popular because people like their music.

        • teknik1200

          Justin Bieber fan are you?

    • DR.M81

      Or you could call yourself SKRILLEX

  • I am sorry Ean, but alot of your posts lately have been about trying to make he next EDM star out of the bedroom DJ / producer. but your forgetting about the music.

    if your mixes dont suck, and your music does not suck, you will be seen / heard. some of the names listed up there are retarded….and has no bearing on if you “make it”….if you suck….you suck….go back to practicing and making yourself sound better. you cant polish a turd.

    look at some of the other names out there… Mord Fustang, funtcase, borgore, the bolivian marching affair, c’mon….these names are stupid….but they are making tracks and killing it out there. I remember when liquid DNB was huge and every producer / DJ out there was using their 1st name and middle name as their aliases. kinda unoriginal but the tracks are / were bangin.

    your alias shows hints on a DJ’s personality, but the mixing / music speaks for itself.

    • Destiny

      When was Liquid DnB huge?

      • all that time u were listening to nickelback….

        • Destiny

          Amazing how full-grown people tend to be nowadays. Very solid statement too! And especially a very helpful answer as well.

        • Destiny

          Amazing how full-grown people tend to be nowadays. Very solid statement too! And especially a very helpful answer as well.

  • Guest

    Mord Fustang was cute at first, but when I started see more car names like Vodge Diper…I just thought that was going overboard.

    I’d better not see names like these:

    Coyota Torolla
    Coyota Tamry
    Coyota Tupra
    Aonda Haccord
    Aonda Hivic
    Bercedes Menz
    WMB
    Mord Fustang GT
    Mord Fobra
    Chavy Chemaro

    • awkwerd

      *Soyota Tupra
      *Conda Hivic
      *Cord Fobra
      *Cavy Chemaro

      Sorry, just had to haha

    • SomeCallMeDagger

      Ford Focus
      …Wait…

  • I think everyone should take the route I took when I was a sophomore in high school. I was eating Reeses Puffs cereal and on the back of your box it said something along the lines of “Dj Name Remixer.” Basically you just merge the name of your first pet with the street you grew up on. But it may have been different steps depending on your last name, I can’t remember. What I remember is that my girlfriend’s dj name ended up being “dj forest pancake” and mine ended up being “dj dadblast.” I’ve kept that dj name ever since. My girlfriend on the other hand is no dj, but I still call her forest pancake whenever I’m intoxicated.

    • You’ve had the same girlfriend since sophomore year in high school? Impressive (in a way)…

    • Guest

      DJ dadblast is my new favourite DJ name. 

      • It’s not as good as dj scratchatory rape, but I mean… feel free to google me

        • Chance Shermet

          I hate that name tbh, almost as much as I hate the name Mom & Dad (They are good though)

    • Hold up — Did you live on Dad street, with a pet named Blast? … or Blast street, with a pet named Dad?

    • the first pet, street name was how to find your pornstar name as far as i knew…..but i guess a jazzy looking porn name could translate to a classy DJ name 🙂 🙂 🙂 my first pet was a labrador called sunshine. and i lived on a main road that went to 5 different suburbs. it was called the five-ways road……………..my porn name……………. SUNSHINE FIVE-WAYS!!!

    • Rob

      Do you think “Smudgy Egmanton” has a nice ring to it? 🙂

  • iamspencerbaird

    I’ve always wondered about creating a cool way of designing my name, but never  had an idea where to start…
    (I currently just let the venue choose how they wanna put it on the posters but id like to have something constant)  Does anyone know of any websites or programs that are good to get started with? 

  •  Dj Scratchutory Rape

    • Kingofthejungle

      That guy exists in TN, I know him.

      • kashiusfresco

        Hurh Hurh Hurh. I forgot to laugh at that one

    • Unbelievable — that someone would use RAPE as part of their identity. I’m disgusted.

      • Nepsotic

        Oh, fuck off.

    • Kieran

      How the hell are you

  • Audiomontana

    Ive been playing under a Silver Lining ‘moniker’ but might be switching soon to Simulcra.   Reality TV, or ‘something Like it’

  • Gullum

    I got the name from a friend who was reading the Hobit to his little sister and said Gullum instead of Gollum. My nick name from before I can even remember is Gulli so somehow it just clicked. I used to produce music under the name Nanoscopic. I actually wanted to go just as gullum but everytime I was on a poster or some gig anouncement on the net the DJ was put infront of it so I just ended up going as dj gullum

  • Ekoz1337

    ekOz, for the win since 2007.

  • Christopher Sanchez

    some call me (DJ) Dirty Sanchez 
    and Crees(y)
    and 5ickvis pron(sickVis)from[sick-visuals]

    what you think?

  • DJ Internet

    I go by DJ Internet. I really think people can relate to that name since everyone in the world uses the internet. 

    • DJ Success Pills

      I like the internet. I’m will be a great successful disc jock. Buy DJ enhancing pills at Skrillpex website.

      • They give you superpowers too. For reference, go watch equinox, first of the year. xD

  • doclvly!

    I roll with DOCLVLY for many reasons. Sound good?

  • iNBiTuiN

    Simple rule. People should be able to chant your name.

    • DJ Eric M

      yeah cause you always hear “BEN NEE BAH NAS EEE” when you see benny bennasi. debunked

      • Chance Shermet

        Great point, this is RUDY this is dance music lol

      • JAMES

        yea but you hear BEN NEE BEN NEE BEN NEE

  • Hows “NotSoSiniSter” Sound? 🙂 Got it picked up on Twitter, SC, Youtube, and facebook without having to add some bs “music” or “official” at the end. 🙂 It helps that I’ve been using it as a internet name for like 6 years. Kinda like what Skrillex did. 🙂

    Then on top of that, I have my whole “circle mask” thing. Its a flat piece of foam board basically duct taped to my head. Doesn’t get in the way of headphones, and is super light. 🙂

  • As someone currently going through this I love this article, I’ve gone through several DJ names throughout my 10 year DJ career and have currently settled on a hybrid of my real name “Kyle_G” the underscore which started as a way to get the pages for certain social media sites has really become a part of the whole brand, it’s part of my name but it still provides enough personality that I don’t feel like it’s a cop out, I wish I was more confident in this name selection but I know that after a while of having the name it has truly grown on me.

  • DJ Skrillpex

    I’m going by DJ Skrillpex. Do you think I will be popular?

  • I wish I had read this article 20 years ago…. of course, my name has worked out for me. In retrospect, I would have preferred to use my real name or a more accurate variation of it, but please be aware of the downside: when I first started I was doing a college radio show and they always said “don’t ever use your real name!” One day the DJ before me had a sub who announced my real name. No biggie, I thought, I hadn’t 100% decided on a DJ name yet… and then I got back to my dorm room and there were 3 40 year old meth addicts who loved my show and wanted to hang out! With the advent of the internet I’m sure privacy concerns are even greater. However, it still feels disingenuous to introduce myself with a fake name.
    One thing to keep in mind… pick a name that will still work in 20 years when you are fatter and grayer… I’m not nearly as “Delgado” as I once was!

  • DJGUEST

    THIS IS A STUPID ARTICLE! I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE TECHNICAL SHIT THAN BULLSHIT!

    • Anonymous

       this is a dj site… not just a site that will teach you how to push buttons… and unless your name is billy mays don’t use all caps

      • DJ BILLY MAYS

        BILLY MAYS HERE

        • Anonymous

          BILLY MAYS HERE WITH ANOTHER EPISODE OF OXI CLEAN, YOUR SOURCE IN TRANCE AND PROGRESSIVE…

          • I’m thinking of changing my name to DJ Oxi Clean

          • I’m not sure whether they have it in the US, but here in germany it’s always Vanish Oxy Action. Call yourself Vanishing Act or something.

          • DJ DOUCHBAG

            DJ Oxi Clean is too douchbaggy. DJ OXICLEAN is better haha

          • DVJ Rick Kraft

            “douchebag”

    • there are other website if all you want is to be spoon fed information. idiot.  

  • I knew a good house DJ called Simon Houser.  I thought that was too cool.

  • Dj

    I went with “Skotish” – but I too went through this issue “in the beginning.”  It is super hard not to sound cheesy.  I simply used something about me, in this case my heritage, and tweaked it a little (no surprise there).  I wouldn’t have minded using my name, but I wanted to keep my professional life separate from my DJ “life”. I did go through all those searches to make sure my name wasn’t taken – of course the most obvious ones are already taken, which is kind of good, forces you to be more creative.

  • Djhustleman29

    How does Dj Hustleman sound? What about Gohustleman.com for a name?

    • are you actually looking for feedback?

      gohustleman.com sounds like a web address you’d hear at the end of a cheesy infomercial

  • Lauti

    DJ NAMES ARE STUPID: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1-3ai1Ayyc

    ps: dejavu anybody? I remember a similar article posted some time ago

    • NickleBach

      I really don’t think there is anything funny ab evillincoln. Dj NickelBach tho….

  • Micah Niemeier

    Okay so I am new to djing/producing and I just released a track and thought maybe if some people heard it they could help me chose a name by leaving a comment below the video. Link: http://youtu.be/kuOKrpGRdhA

  • My name is Cody Baumann and i use just BauManN as my artist name is that bad? Feedback would be awesome as i am just getting started with live production/controllerism with this artist name. . Please let me know. . Also here’s a link to my first mix, let me know what you think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJPHcQohlS0&feature=plcp

    • really tired of random capitalized letters, it just looks cheesy as hell, it reminds me of kids on forums when i was 18 years old.

      imo Cody Baumann is actually a pretty decent name on its own right. i wouldn’t mess it up by just stuffing random punctuation into it. you’re kinda blessed with a name that sounds good on a flyer.

      my friend won the jackpot being named ‘dan veytia’ which is just about the coolest name i’ve ever heard.

      • Pr1cK

        Chip Pringle? Dusty Rhodes? Hunter Gather?

    • First things first: Kill the capital M and N.

      And if you don’t like using Cody maybe C Baumann? I don’t usually like the initial as a first name but that rolls off the tongue for me for some reason.

    • Orfen

      Bad? I think that’s a terrible idea. Go with dickMauth.
      Dj BigHeartLittlePp

    • outcognito

      Bau Code

  • Chrisseibel

    DickParty – I came up with it while dreaming of forming a DJ crew that would cater to the gay scene. It’s worked marvelously as a branding and is memorable. It’s also a bit funny which helps. Most importantly it’s not quite offensive, but almost.

    • Campark43

      12 inch:) go a head use it.

      Top ten names to not be chosen over dickparty
      10. sausagefest,
      9. The popsicle
      stand
      8. greek salad,
      7 stinky dinks:),
      6. silent fart festival.

      Thats all i got. Reply with yours. Try and beat stinky dinks and silent fart festival.

      • GayRamone

        Knutz deep in butz

        phudge siyckle

      • GayRamone

        Knutz deep in butz

        phudge siyckle

  • awkwerd

    I currently use “KRG” as it’s my initials, but every website / forum / whatever else I use “awkwerd”. I am attempting to switch styles of playing anyway so I may use both names (KRG for DJing and awkwerd for production / live controllerism style) just so I dont waste the 5+ years I’ve been playing. What do you guys think? I just like the sound of having an awkwerd remix.

  • Cool article, best advice is find something that applies to what you do in a broad sense and expand upon it.

    D.N.A. = Digitally Natured Audio – I made this moniker before everyone was spinning digitally, it was more in reference to all of the music I play is of a Digital Nature….granted not many peeps remember Digitally Natured Audio, but they know it doesn’t stand for Deoxyribonucleic acid.

  • great article… made me think seriously about my dj / producer name.. i regularly produce and dj with the name jonnyscratch (no space no h lol) its a name i’m sort of stuck with it was a name my friends called me when i learnt to mix. i can scratch but i’m no way a scratch turntablinst.. I don’t really get questioned whether I can or do these things but i sometimes wonder is it the right name.. there are a couple of other similar names accross the world.. but spelt my way i am definitely the most searchable.

    I have had many records released on various labels and I do a fair bit of djing too.. my style is techno and underground house. do i really feel like my dj name fits this sound.. im not sure. i have been considering using my shortend normal name for djing.. and keeping jonnyscratch for production. check out my profile. 
                                     http://www.beatport.com/artist/jonnyscratch/189301

  • Using famous names to make your own is crap.

    Sincerly Yours,
    Mutis Mayfield 
    :}

  • SEBdotDj

    After this article i am still happy with my clear, short and different but international approach. SEBdotDj with http://www.seb.dj as url…

    Seb

  • Djcrun

    I personally got the tip from a dj friend of mine while i had problems finding mine. He said “Look at the stuff around your desk and combine some words and names”. i personally think that’s a creative way of finding your dj name and i had good experience with it. try it out…

    • That is creative, I dig it. I chose my name by looking at the pronunciation of my initials and then coming up with a creative way to spell it using the languages I studied in high school and college. It often gets mispronounced, but that’s mostly because most Americans don’t know how to pronounce words anyway :/ oh well.

    • ametheus

       Great. Most notably, there’s coffee, a lamp, an APC40 and percocet on my desk… I shall henceforth be known as DJ Percolampstar40.

  • Mygaffradio

    Thats mad, as I was reading this, the last heading came up as Dig Deep…  Thats our cool collective from 5 years back.  

  • khx

    a) using DJ in front is so passe and even cheesy today.
    b) Some spend too much time figuring out their DJ name rather than spending time learning the craft of DJ:ing
    c) Take one name and stick to it, if you change it year by year or month by month, all the hard work behind branding is gone each time.
    d) Simple is good. Look at computer company brand names.

    • Anonymous

       computer company idea is brilliant 😀

  • SPHYNX

    I go by THE SPHYNX…because it was a nickname given to me by one of my friends…cuz I’m hairless and skinny LOL I like it but don’t think people get it and/or could pronounce it. :/ 

    • Maybe add a first name. Depending on what your first name is maybe that one.

  • DJ Arctic

    My DJ name started as DJ Arctic Soldier, because I was thinking about wearing an outfit that a soldier in a colder climate might wear. Then I just decided to dump the “soldier” part of the name and go with DJ Arctic, and now here I am.

  • Audio Lust

    Actually ran into a bit of a problem with my DJ name. 5 years ago when I started out DJ’ing out of a college dorm room just playing some music for crowds no larger than 15, I almost jokingly used the name “Eargasm.” Not very original but it seemed to really stick. After a few years I started landing residencies around the city at some of the biggest clubs in town. I attempted to switch to the name “Audio Lust” keeping a similar vibe and coming up with something more original. People that had started to follow me still seemed to refer to me as Eargasm. I then said screw it and kept using Eargasm the majority of the time. I’d like to get away from Eargasm, anyone have any suggestions?

    • Speak up

    • Filitico

      earlust vs audiogasm sir.

    • Yes. Anything but either of those.

    • My suggestion is to “incorporate” in a way and make a “company name” (even if it’s just for a name – a Sole Proprietorship) that you can use interchangeably. My DJ name is Zhem (pronounced “jem”), which I chose for a number of reasons but has pronunciation issues (I don’t get all bent out of shape when people say “zem”). My DJ business is Zhem Productions, but I also have a “blanket” company named ObsidianGrey which I operate my photography and IT businesses under as well. The point here is I can use ObsidianGrey as a DJ name as well, if ever I choose. Why not keep Eargasm but name your ‘company’ Audio Lust? That sounds like a good fit to me.

    • Eargasm presents Audio Lust
      And after a while just use Audio Lust exclusively

  • Fow-T

    Hi to all! My real Name is Foti and my artist name is Fow-T , so pretty much the same in pronouncing, but it gives the reader something like a swing. For me it was very important while picking a good artist name that people (or haters ^^) couldn’t easily modify the name to something negative. For Example -> David Guetta -> David Baguetta ^^
    How do you find my artist name ?

    • AIGEE

      I think you should use foti as your dj name, no offense, but fow-T is terrible, i would much rather see a dj named foti… it sounds really unique

      • Yep! This is another case of trying way too hard when you already have something good as your given name.

    • outcognito

      yeah man, Foti is way better than Fow-T, just stick with your lucky real name 😉

  • Emery

    All my friends call me by my last name Emery.. I dont really like the “DJ” Emery, or DJ Matt Emery. I would prefer just Matt Emery.. the DJ, and thats pretty much how I brand myself on my business cards. Matt EMERY – Mobile DJ. Any suggestions on how to make it a little more unique?

    • emer , drop the “y”

    • Guest

      Memery

    • Noelflava

      Matz Emerald 

  • Zak

    ATB doesn’t end with an “E” sound? lol. Great article 🙂

    • I guess it depends on pronunciation, but it sure does when I pronounce it ATB. 😛

      • Lee Alpine

        must be british or something.. Ayyy Tee Bay

        • DJ Headfucka

          I dont know anyone who speaks like that..

    • Ruffa

       Aye Tee Bee

    • Agea2313

       Pronounced At-Buh.

  • Mac Digi

    OH NO!!! I have to pick a new DJ name and start all over thanks to this DJTT article. I had no idea having an “E” sound at the end of my name was so detrimental. Well, I guess if you broaden your scope a bit passed Benny Benassi, you will also notice names such as Steve Aoki, Netsky, Vaski, and Doctor P to name a few. I think when that “E” or “Y” sound appears at the end of a name, it only pushes people away if it is an add on, such as “DJ Pauly D” which automatically sounds cornballish because the name “Pauly” is no more than a young child’s moniker for the name Paul. However if the name “naturally” ends with that sound, I feel it’s more legit. Just my opinion though. I’ll be keeping the name Mac Digi, lol.

  • Synaptic Flow because I prefer music that’s deep and mellow (deep house or intellgent dnb) so I feel like I am making or playing music that stimulates the mind and soul, not just the body.  Synaptic = the mental aspect.  Flow = the smooth vibe of mellower tunes.  That’s how I came up with my name.

  • Anonymous

    Calgar C … what type of music does my name say 😀

  • I picked my name, Beatsnatcher about 10 years ago when I first started looping and sampling stuff when DJing and producing. It stuck with me and nobody has had the bad taste of choosing the name either, according to Google (with the exception of a rapper who has it for a nickname, which I of course have already sampled for my DJ performances) 🙂

  • Great post!

    Picking a DJ name is no easy task, and after a year of internal debate and 12 months with the name under my belt I’m still happy I landed on “dropcap” for mine. As a graphic designer/creative by trade, I wanted something that was not only original, but had a personal meaning as well. And having a story when people ask “how did you pick THAT name” is a nice conversation starter. I wish this article was around when I was trying to pick mine, but its comforting to see many of the points I considered (SEO, originality, pronunciation) are listed here.Its amazing how many existing DJ names some people will settle for without doing the right research or just flat out being in a rush to pick a name for themselves. Take your time and do the research to make a name for yourself that will stand out from the pack- its worth the extra effort and time.

    http://www.djdropcap.com

  • Jack Hoesterey

    Hey I don’t mean to be mean, but I THINK there was a typo in this line  “Whether you are picking your DJ identity for the first time, or re-branding an older moniker” The typo being moniker instead of monitor.

    • Grammar Nazi

       FAIL

    • moniker, monicker [?m?n?k?]nounSlang a person’s name or nickname

    • Evolakim

      Grammar Nazi FAIL!!!!! 

    • cokeisdope

       “Hey I don’t mean to be mean”
      meanception ?

    • Jack Hoesterey

      Thanks guys. All you had to say was what daryl fritz said.

  • WIllIam

    I remember at first I thought the name Skrillex was a bit random, but after listening to his music and constantly hearing more about him, it grew on me. I now think it’s pretty awesome and badass. ^_^ 

  • nxtonic

    Personally when I heard of DJ Pauly D I thought, “wow, sounds like a bit of a tosser,” and I think this was because of that ‘y’ sound. It’s just an opinion by the way…

    • i really think the name exudes a huge amount of douche and it has nothing to do with the ‘e’ sound at the end.

      i think there’s a certain je ne sais quoi of association with other things we’ve heard about before that impacts our perception of names like that. i have a feeling that we’ve all encountered that d-bag, self important DJ at a local club whose ego far outstrips their ability to perform and their name sounded very much like ‘dj pauly d.’ he is very much a walking stereotype of that kind of dj.

  • $Future all day

    • Adam

      So what is your name? Dollar future, money future or just future?

    • Thesis

      Dollar Sign Future?

    • oneend

      Would be a good name if I knew how to say it…….

    • Mdebernardini

      its future dollars! lol heard your tagrm (the al gore rhythm method) remix 

      • this guy has got it right. its pronounced future dollars. like if you had ten dollars. but you have a future amount