DJ MAG’S DIGITAL EDITOR OPENS UP ABOUT HER CAREER IN HER HIS & HERS INTERVIEW.
DJ Mag is renowned for being one of the most prestigious and well respected international dance music publications. A source of not only the latest news in dance, but thought provoking content surrounding culture and artists alike.
His and Hers magazine spent some time chatting with DJ Mag’s very own Digital editor, Charlotte L Cijiffers, at The International Music Summit, an annual music conference based in Ibiza.
Charlotte shares her career journey to date and shines a light on how a business graduate from Australia worked her way into one of the most exciting career seats in the dance music industry.
Charlotte, tell us a bit about your job at DJ Mag.
“I’m the digital editor of the magazine, which means I look after everything digital, such as the website and all social media. Additionally, I’m the editor of the the Ibiza edition, which consists of two physical publications over the summer.
DJ Mag is very much a music orientated magazine, whereas the Ibiza issue contains more lifestyle content, like shopping destinations. One of my favourite features was a DJ showing us around their home in Ibiza, it was amazing.”
Your job is one of the most sought after in the dance music industry. How did you get there?
“My first job after university was working for a retailer is Australia, as I’m originally from Brisbane. I started writing web copy for their website and writing their blog. The blog writing took me to various fashion weeks around the world such as Singapore, New Zealand. While I was there I met people in publishing, as I was either taking their photo or interviewing them for the blog and managed to get their contacts through that. Then I slowly built up relationships with these people, and began freelancing for fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Grazia. Then I moved to London. I couldn’t get a job in fashion because I didn’t have any UK based experience, and to be honest, I felt jaded by the situation to say the least. At that point I decided to move into dance music, but couldn’t get a job in that industry either.”
That must have been tough time, how did you push past it?
“I started a blog called Chase The Compass, that’s still going now. I started a blog because I couldn’t get any work. It didn’t have a readership at the time. It was more of a shop front for my writing, so if someone approached me for work I could say, well here’s my blog. It also avoided the awkward conversation of them asking me to send over any published work.”
Do you have any tips for our readers who are interested in pursuing a career in dance music journalism?
“After starting a blog, I would say to always ask for feedback, and not to be too precious about your work. Take the feedback on board and try your best to implement it as you move forward. Conferences are a great way to open a door into freelancing. If you see me on a panel, come and say hi, I’m really not that scary. As editors, we get so many emails, so being able to put a face to a name is turning point. Also bear in mind, we get so many emails sent to us, so pick up the phone and give us the heads up you’ve sent us an email.
What do you look for in a pitch?
“ Make sure it isn’t similar to a recent article. We had one sent to us that was amazing. It was brilliantly written, well researched and had great quotes, but we had published an article around the same topic the month before. So always read the magazine your pitching to. And finally, for all those budding writers out there, what makes a story stand out for you?
“Features based around the scene and culture. For example, say an artist has released a new album, instead of just writing about the actual album, put a spin on it. Like the artists participation in the Berlin dance scene for example, or an interview with her family at home, or discuss her record collection.”
Interview by: Gemma Leigh of Imprint Digital Media.
For more interviews and features, please visit our lifestyle page.