DJ LAB from
global stages to
Known for his performances across the world like Tomorrowland, Extrema Outdoor, WMC Miami, and Pukkelpop, Ylli's career as a DJ was marked by significant achievements. But as touring began to take its toll, he saw an opportunity to create something more enduring – DJ Lab, a place to teach and mentor aspiring DJs.
Hitting the stage: The early days
Ylli Engels' journey in the music industry began with a bang. Known as The Oddword, together with a DJ partner, they quickly made a name for themselves. Their success took them on tours across Europe, South Africa, and the USA. A desire to take a different artistic route made him start his own project called Vision Machine, which brought him to some of the most popular DJ stages in Europe.
But then Ylli's life took a big turn just a year before COVID hit. He had a scary anxiety attack out of nowhere. “It was crazy, I didn't even know what was going on, I even had to be brought to the hospital,” he remembers. That tough time made him hit pause on his touring as Vision Machine.
“Sometimes I had three or more people messaging me at the same time to book a DJ lesson.”
Spinning a new dream
Lying low and reflecting on this opened up a new path. His passion for music and sharing his knowledge sparked the idea of creating a space where he could nurture the next generation of DJs.
“I just love helping people out, you know? Showing them the right gear, sharing some cool tips and tricks. It's really fulfilling,” Ylli reflects on his transition from an international DJ to the founder of DJ Lab. “My background as a touring DJ really pulls people in. They like knowing I've played beyond just the local bar three times a year – it's a bit of global experience right in the classroom.”
The challenge, however, was managing the administrative side of the business. Ylli already had the necessary equipment, but organizing and scheduling lessons manually was a daunting task. “Sometimes I had three or more people messaging me at the same time to book a DJ lesson.” He needed a solution that could streamline his operations, allowing him to focus on his students.
“Finding Vev was a lifesaver. Other tools were either too pricey or just didn't look good.”
Finding the perfect mix with Vev
“Finding Vev was a lifesaver. Other tools were either too pricey or just didn't look good,” Ylli explains how he stumbled upon Vev when searching for a solution to streamline his scheduling and management tasks.
“What really drew me to Vev? It's got this super clean design. Makes my page look awesome – really sharp and professional,” Ylli says, emphasizing the importance of aesthetics and functionality in choosing Vev. He found the platform user-friendly, even for someone not particularly tech-savvy. “I'm not a tech whiz or anything, but setting up my page on Vev was a breeze. Even got the payment stuff sorted out quickly.”
Ylli's enthusiasm is palpable in his teaching style. “My students often say they love my energy when I'm teaching. Being passionate about DJing is key. It's infectious, and it makes learning so much more effective,” he shares. This passion not only drives his teaching methodology but also serves as a magnet for students.
“You have to stick out above the rest. Using Vev is a way to do that, because my page looks neat and well designed.”
Looking ahead: The beat goes on
Today, DJ Lab is a thriving hub for aspiring DJs. Ylli's approach to teaching goes beyond mere technical skills. “In my coaching, I go beyond just the knobs and sliders. It's not only about the technical skills but also about understanding the industry's landscape, making the right connections, and gaining insights that only come from real experience.”
For those looking to start a similar venture, Ylli offers a piece of advice: “You have to know your competition and find a way to stick out above the rest. Using Vev is a way to do that, because your page looks neat and well designed. That’s a way to stand out.” In Ylli's world – similar to a good DJ set, every end of a track is just the beginning of another exciting mix.
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