Every DJ needs a good name, but they aren’t always easy to come by. To find a DJ name that isn’t taken, try some of the following tips and techniques.
1. Focus on creating a name that’s catchy and easy to remember. The syllables should complement each other and produce a certain effect when you say them out loud. For example, words with g’s, k’s, z’s, t’s and hard c’s tend to be hard and edgy and are considered cacophonous, or phonetically unpleasant. In contrast, words with many l’s, w’s, long o’s, y’s, s’s, and soft c’s tend to sound soft and fluid and are considered euphonious, or phonetically beautiful. Of course, a DJ might not want a soft, beautiful name, so choose your sounds accordingly to make the name appropriately gritty for your persona.
- If you want “DJ” to be part of your name, make sure it flows with the rest of the name.
- Consider shortening a long nickname so that it’s easier to remember and less bulky to say. If you choose the name DJ Quadrilateral, for example, you may want to mostly go by DJ Quad.
2. Look for interesting names around you. Pay attention to street names as you drive around. Borrow the name of a foreign landmark or a distant planet. Watch the movie credits to the end to find interesting names from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. You might even flip through the phonebook, a baby-name book, or a mythology book from the library. (In addition to having cool names, mythological figures, astrological signs, deities from pantheistic cultures, and historical figures have interesting back stories that can be symbolically significant to your art.)
3. Build a name from icons you identify with. If you like dogs, you might consider a name like Pitbull or Canine. If you are really into early American history, try something like “Revolution.” Alternatively, you could even think about something that commemorates an event or loss in your family.
- Think of numbers that are meaningful to you and play with their inclusion in your DJ name. If 7 is your lucky number, then adding that to your DJ name could make it unique. Or if you were born in 1995, you could try a name like “DJ 95.”
- Use Google translate to translate relevant words (ex. “music,” “song,” “noise”) into other languages and see if you get any interesting hits.
4. Modify existing names. You might blend common names together (ex. if your kids are named Gabriel and Orin, you might choose the name Oriel or Garin), use a spelling variation (ex. Mykael instead of Michael), or scramble your own name (ex. Leaha Stone could become Sheala Tone). You might even translate part or all of the name into 1337.
5. Invent a name randomly. Play with letter magnets, cut individual letters out of a magazine and throw them into the air, or use a random word generator like wordconstructor.com or fakenamegenerator.com. To make your name musically-inspired, write a few lyrics from your favorite song without spaces and see if it makes any interesting letter combinations. Ex: wellimstandingnexttoamountainandichopitdownwiththeedgeofmyhand contains Gnext, Nandi, Tainan, Geof, and Myhan.
6. Make sure that people like your name. Ask your friends, family, neighbors, etc. to see if your pick is a good choice. In fact, they might come up with a great variation or alternative that you hadn’t thought of – and what could be more appropriate than a DJ name that was chosen by your own crew?
7. Make sure the name isn’t taken. Search for your name on Google both with quotation marks (ex. “DJ Myhan”) to pull up exact matches and without to pull up similar results. Look around major DJing communities to see if it hasn’t been taken by someone who isn’t on the web.
- Make sure you sign up with your chosen alias on sites like YouTube and Facebook so you can begin to spread your name.
- Keep building a list of ideas. It can take weeks, months, or even years to come up with a name you like, and even more importantly, that others like.
- Use alliteration and other writing techniques to make your name more interesting.
- Don’t get too crazy with the names. If you choose something like “DJ Commander Transverse Pyjama Anthro-Hippopotamus,” people won’t be able to remember it or take it seriously.
- If you plan on producing, check out the “big names” in digital distribution (such as Beatport, iTunes, etc.) to make sure your name isn’t already being used so you don’t get mixed up with other artists!