Unfamiliar With A Music Genre? Here Are Some Music Discovery Tips

September 5, 2018 by Jordan Nelson

Whether you’re a new DJ who is just starting to build his library and musical knowledge or a veteran baffled by a client’s music requests, music discovery is a large part of our job. A lot of my events (mostly weddings) involve the same general styles of music, and I’m able to dip into the same playlists repeatedly to fill out my dance and background sets. A fair amount of my clients, however, have completely unique tastes in music that I’m not nearly as comfortable with. Here are a few ways that I’ve learned to fill out playlists for artists and genres that I’m not as familiar with.


The streaming king, Spotify has a pretty amazing algorithm for serving up similar songs when you plug in a tune you love. If your client gives you a favorite band or song, head into your Spotify app and find the track. Tap the small triple dots button next to any song, artist, or album and select “Start Radio” to build a custom radio station based on that track. Spotify will automatically start suggesting similar songs, and you can add ones that you like to a custom playlist.


While Youtube should never be a professional DJs choice for their main music library, it can be a fantastic tool for music discovery. I’ve recently started implementing more tropical house music into my wedding cocktail hours. A simple Youtube search for a song remix, such as “Jason Mraz Tropical House,” took me straight to the perfect vibe that I was looking for. The real utility, however, lies in the “suggested videos” sidebar. To the right of the video, Youtube will suggest similar videos, which are usually spot on with the genre you are listening to. You can then go source those tracks from a reputable music supplier.


Similar to Spotify, Pandora will build a custom radio station for you based on a song, artist, or genre. Since Pandora only offers radio, their stations are usually much more tailored to whatever you input. I personally don’t pay for a premium account, and as such have to bear with pretty frequent commercials. Pandora is a great option to throw on when you’re cleaning your gear or organizing your materials for upcoming events.

What’s your favorite way to discover new music and fill out your library? Let me know in the comments.

Jordan Nelson Jordan Nelson (77 Posts)

Jordan Nelson is the owner of SLC Mobile DJ in Salt Lake City, UT. A native of the tiny southern Utah town of St. George, Jordan began his mobile DJ journey as a junior in high school. After traveling to Salt Lake to attend the University of Utah, Jordan completely revamped his business and invested heavily in sales and master of ceremonies training, turning his $400/event company into a $1,500/event company in under a year at 22 years old. Jordan developed a strong passion for lighting and lighting programming during his early DJ years and has written 2 books for mobile DJs on the subjects. When he is not spending his weekends at weddings and events, you can find him at the local gun range or hiking with his beautiful wife.

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business