3 min read

How Sebastiaan Hooft Attracts Bookings: An Expert Q&A

How Sebastiaan Hooft Attracts Bookings: An Expert Q&A

Q: Sebastiaan, your journey in the music world is quite inspiring. Can you tell us how it all started?

Sebastiaan Hooft: Absolutely! My journey began at a young age when I started making and selling mixtapes at school. I confiscated a separate room next to my bedroom at my parents' house and set up two turntables and a mixer. From there, my passion for electronic music just kept growing. Eventually, I moved from school parties to professional gigs in clubs and festivals.

Q: What makes your approach unique and attractive to bookers?

Sebastiaan Hooft: My unique blend of house and techno sets me apart. I focus on deep bass lines and melodic structures that resonate with the audience. Additionally, I invest a lot of time creating a solid brand identity and maintaining a professional presence on various platforms, such as my radio show, The Midnight Project. This helps me reach a broader audience and establish my name in the industry.

Q: How important is online presence for a DJ?

Sebastiaan Hooft: It's crucial. Nowadays, many bookers find their artists online. While social media is essential for fans, I focus more on my newsletter and platforms like 1001 Tracklists. My newsletter lets me connect more personally with my fans and bookers, providing exclusive content and updates. 1001 Tracklists is a fantastic resource where bookers can see my tracklists and understand my style and recent sets. Regular updates, such as new mixes and behind-the-scenes content, keep my audience engaged and show bookers that I am active and relevant.

Q: Can you tell us more about how your network contributes to your success?

Sebastiaan Hooft: Networking is essential in this industry. I spend a lot of time building and maintaining relationships with other artists, bookers, and fans. I continually expand my network by collaborating with others and featuring guest appearances on my radio show. These connections often open the door to new bookings and collaboration opportunities.

Q: What are bookers looking for when they scout DJs?

Sebastiaan Hooft: They're after reliability, professionalism, and a unique sound. They want someone who delivers consistently excellent performances and powerfully connects with the audience. Also, you need to resonate with fellow artists on the lineup. That's why I focus on producing relevant music, being professional, and building a solid reputation. Bookers need to know they can count on me to deliver an unforgettable show every time.

Q: The Midnight Project – it's a big deal. How does it help with bookings?

Sebastiaan Hooft: The Midnight Project is a game-changer. It's my platform to showcase not only my music but also that of other emerging artists. Also, I have had a show named In Session Ibiza for over a decade. Producing these radio shows is a lot like making those early mixtapes; it's about curating a journey and connecting with the audience on a deeper level. By sharing new and exclusive tracks weekly, I build a loyal listener base that wants to see me live. It's a great way to extend my reach and keep my name at the forefront for bookers.

Q: You also run your label. How does that fit into your strategy?

Sebastiaan Hooft: Running my own label is a powerful promotion tool. It allows me to promote my music and that of other artists I believe in. However, it's a double-edged sword. While it's fantastic for promotion, it can also be incredibly time-consuming. Balancing the time between producing music, managing the label, and performing can be challenging, but it's all part of the process.

Q: I heard you're moving to Spain at the end of summer 2024. Can you confirm that?

Sebastiaan Hooft: Yes, that’s true! I'm excited about the move to Spain. It's a fantastic place for creativity and inspiration. Plus, it will open up new opportunities for collaboration and performances in the vibrant European techno scene.
I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my career.

Q: What's your advice for up-and-coming DJs wanting more bookings?

Sebastiaan Hooft: Just do it. Start your label, produce your radio show, and host events for your friends. The key is to take action and make things happen. Stay true to your sound and invest in your brand. Make sure your online presence is professional and consistent. Network actively and build strong relationships in the industry. Most importantly, always be professional and reliable. Bookers want to know they can depend on you to make their event successful.

Q: Solid advice, Sebastiaan. Thanks for sharing your insights!