How to Get Unreleased Music? 13 Proven Methods for DJs in 2024

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As a DJ, you may want to sample some new tracks and create intriguing and entertaining mixes. Finding unreleased music can prove to be hard, especially for new DJs. However, it is not impossible. Here are 13 proven methods on how to get unreleased music as a DJ in 2022:

How to get unreleased music
How to get unreleased music

Before we continue, it’s worth pointing out there are a lot of ways to get music for your DJ library. If you want to know the best websites that DJs use, then check out my article:

13 Pro Methods to Get Unreleased Tracks [Updated 2024]

If you are looking for unreleased music, try at least five out of the thirteen methods below:

Method #1: Subscribe To Private DJ Record Pools

DJ record pools are legally allowed to distribute both released and unreleased music. This music is usually promotional, meaning it is used to hype an upcoming album, tour, or artist. DJs who are a part of DJ pools get access to loads of unreleased music and can legally play it at events like weddings and festivals. 

As part of a DJ pool, you can be assured of a steady stream of unreleased songs you can use and you don’t have to track down a lawyer to translate legal mumbo jumbo. It is the easiest and cheapest way to get unreleased music. However, you will need to have done two or three other things on this list to get accepted into pirate DJ record pools.

Method #2: Follow Your Favorite DJ/Producers

Be a fan. No seriously, be an unashamed fan. You’ve seen people getting tickets to shows, VIP passes, exclusive merch, and much more. Follow your favorite DJ and/or producers on social media and ensure you interact with their content. Message them and build a connection. Boost their ego and swoon like most of us did at One Direction in 2014. 

After you’ve done all that, make sure you do some shameless self-promotion to let them know that you are a DJ. They may just give you access to their unreleased tracks, and unreleased music websites, or connect you to someone else who can give you theirs to use. 

Method #3: Contact Your Favorite Record Labels

It never hurts to ask, the worst they can say is no. I mean, they could insult your entire bloodline but you chose to be a DJ which means you have heard all the insults before. With skin that thick, you can reach out to your favorite record label. 

Let them know you would love access and rights to unreleased music to use. Their terms may not be extremely favorable, but they may surprise you.

Method #4: Get On Music Promo Lists

Just like how influencers get on promo lists for makeup, skincare, clothing, and more, DJs can also get on music promo lists. The people on these lists usually get to listen to albums and songs way before the public hears them. They can critique it and also help promote it organically on social media. 

It is easier to get on music promo lists if you have a significant following on any social media platform. Once on the list, you will get access to unreleased tracks you can use.

Method #5: Get Yourself A DJing Residency

As a regular DJ at a club or event, you get a lot of perks. Regular pay and steady gigs are great perks, especially as an unestablished DJ. However, there is the added advantage of getting unreleased tracks. 

A DJ residency at a club can give you access to many other artists and DJs with whom you can trade tracks. If the club is popular, you may get introduced to producers and artists who are willing to share their unreleased music.

Method #6: Host Your Own Popular DJ Events

I know I said popular, but you can start with DJ events that only your mum and a best friend attend. With effort and good social media marketing, you can end up hosting popular and hyped DJ events in your area. 

These events will help you meet other DJs, artists, and producers. The more popular they get, the more attention your events will draw. People will send you unreleased tracks because they enjoy your work and want to collaborate

Method #7: Network With Other DJs/Producers

Your network is your net worth is not just a saying for finance professionals. The music industry is all about networking. If you want unreleased music without begging, connect with other DJs and producers online and in your area. They will send some unreleased music your way or let you know of any artist who is sharing their unreleased tracks. 

Method #8: Write For A Music Magazine

Music writers often get access to unreleased music so they can review and promote the artist. As a writer for a music magazine, you will receive a ton of unreleased tracks. Just confirm that you can use the music to create your songs before you do so. You don’t want to end up with a lawsuit. 

Method #9: Host Your Own Radio Podcast Show

Podcasts are big right now, and radio podcasts are no different. Hosting a radio podcast show will allow you to make some extra money on the side, showcase your DJ skills and build an audience. 

On top of all these benefits, it also gives you access to lots of unreleased music. As your show grows, labels and producers will reach out to you to offer you unreleased music as they know it will reach an appreciative audience.

Method #10: Produce Music For Labels

Music labels sometimes put out ads looking for producers for upcoming albums and songs. Be on the lookout for these positions and ask fellow musicians and DJs. Producers of music get first dibs at unreleased music from an artist if the artist is willing to share the rights.

Method #11: Exchange Your Own Unreleased Tracks With Other DJs/Producers

Barter trade is still alive and well. You can trade your unreleased mixes, playlists, and tracks for unreleased music from another artist. This fair-use trade should be documented with the terms of the agreement agreed upon. 

This will help you and the other artist expand creatively, release new music, and grow. It will also keep either of you from filing a malicious suit in case the other uses traded music to make it big. 

Method #12: Join A Private Music Community

Private music communities are great places to get noticed by people in the music industry. Not only do you get to have fun and encourage the community to cheer you on as a DJ, but you also get access to gigs, merchandise, networks, and unreleased music.

Method #13: Speak To Music PR Companies & Managers

Music managers hire PR companies to promote new music. Usually, if a produced song does not make it to an album, it can be sent to DJs on a PR list. PR companies know that DJs will spin and mix it into something people will vibe and listen to. This exposure can help create hype for the original artists’ new songs/albums. 

Common Questions Regarding How to Get Unreleased Music

Many new DJs are just dipping their toes into the waters and are unaware of how the industry works. Here are some things you should know about unreleased music in the DJ industry:

What Is Unreleased Music?

Unreleased music refers to music that an artist or songwriter has produced but never released to the public. It can be a part of a previous album or a preview of a later one. Artists can refuse to release music for several reasons, including label limitations, not meeting their standards, and not liking the song after production.

Why Do DJs Love Getting Unreleased Tracks?

When DJs legally acquire unreleased tracks, they can spin them into their creations and have a new song or mix. It is easy to work with unreleased music as it is less known and thus easier to create something new. 

Can You Play Unreleased Tracks In Your Dj Mix?

You can, but unreleased music is in a legal gray area. Make sure you acquire it legally. Never claim an unreleased track as your own. 

Is Unreleased Music Copyrighted?

Yes, unreleased music is protected by copyright laws. It is not free to use. You need legal permission from the artist(s) to use unreleased music in your mixes and tracks. 

Is Having Unreleased Music Illegal?

Yes and no. If you lawfully acquired unreleased music from the songwriter, artist, a record label, or a site legally allowed to use the sound, it is perfectly legal to hold it. However, if you downloaded unreleased music from an illegal site or hacker, you have it illegally.

What Is The Difference Between Leaked And Unreleased Music?

Leaked music is also defined as stolen music. Usually, an artist has not given consent for the music to be put on the internet, which makes it leaked. However, sometimes artists intentionally leak their music for various reasons like promotion and contract violation. 

On the other hand, unreleased music is simple music not released to the public. Unreleased music can be leaked to the public, but it is not always the case.

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Having DJ'd for several years, Chaz enjoys sourcing undiscovered tracks to come out of the underground scene. When he's not blogging about DJing, Chaz enjoys cycling around the city as well as traveling around the world.

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