As a regular face on the European EDM scene, David Puentez is in the perfect position to give young DJs a few words of wisdom. He has hits like ‘Melodrama’, ‘Collide’, and ‘BANG!’ under his belt. He has released music on distinguished labels like Armada Trice, Playbox Music and Atlantic Records. He regularly plays LURE in Los Angeles, Cavalli Club in Dubai, and Bed Supperclub in Bangkok.
This year he has released ‘Badman’ on Bonerizing Records and remix of Flo Rida’s ‘Dirty Mind’ already. Now, he passes his knowledge on to the next generation of DJs and producers. We asked David about the equipment he uses and the tips he thinks every DJ should hear.
What equipment do you currently use when you go on tour?
Right now in 2016, I love the CDJs and the 900 mixer from Pioneer. You can go so creative and wild on them! I never travel without my Macbook Pro with Logic X. I love to do edits, mashups, etc., for my sets while on the train or plane.
What was your first set-up as a DJ and how did it work out?
Haha it was pretty basic. I had a 2-channel Behringer mixer, 1 DVD player and 1 very old Technics vinyl player. You can imagine how hard it was to mix without having a pitch control on the DVD player! But it was definitely good to start with a low budget and just learn and improve.
I think it’s important to start with the basics of mixing and therefore it doesn’t matter if you work on a shitty set-up or a 5k set-up. The best thing is learning it with the low budget version. At the end it’s about your taste in music, the way you ready the crowd and take the people on a musical journey – not just dropping the Top 40!
How did you get started DJing?
I never had a real hobby and I fell in love with house music on my first Ibiza holiday when I was 15 years old. That was where I found my hobby. Back home I bought a super cheap 2-channel mixer and mixed with the DVD player and an old Technics vinyl player just for fun at home for hours every day.
I had my first “gig” in Germany, warming up the crowd. The fee was a bottle of water! Hard times. From there I really practiced like hell every day and I got slowly more gigs here and there. The funny thing is I almost played from Asia to Germany without having one record out yet.
Lots of people then told me I needed to start making your own tracks, so I did. My first track ‘Melodrama’ that crushed it in the USA and was number 1 on Sirius BPM for 15 weeks. From there on it was about music 24/7. Lots of releases & remixes and I got really unbelievable support from the biggest names. It’s not luck, it’s always hard work that no one sees!
What advice would you give a DJ starting out today?
You need a masterplan. Before you get your name out there make sure you have at least 3 big sounding and fresh tracks that stand out and have a good marketing plan including: a logo, PR and press pictures. Always remember you wanna stand out and be not the 10,000,000 DJs we have already.
How would you say the Internet has affected life as a DJ?
Totally. In some ways it helped a lot in the other way it made it worse. The biggest problem is that tracks doesn’t last very long, just a few real big hits. But in general I see it positively and you have to deal with it and use the fact that you can reach thousands of people so easily.
What do you wish someone told you about DJing before you started?
Boy, watch out for the Vodka!
What is the best piece of DJing advice you have ever had?
A good DJ has a strong network.
Finally, if you had to sum up your wealth of experience in a single sentence, what it be?
It will be a loooong long journey but the best of your life!