It's never been easy to be a DJ while studying full time in University. Having morning classes a few hours after ending an 8 hour shift in a room full of bright lights, loud music and even louder guests isn't usually the best idea.
That being said, DJing is one of the professions that university students take while studying. With the hours hardly ever clashing with classes and a usual pay out that's usually better than whatever service job you could possibly find part-time, the appeal of playing music for wages seems even more enticing.
In this series we talk to 3 different DJs who are full-time university students from 3 different cities. First up we have DJ CLARE from Singapore who is a full-time DJ in an after-hours club in Singapore called District 9.
ADM: How did you find your start as a DJ?
CL: I started with event modelling jobs and I got scouted by an entertainment company managing FashionTV Club also known as F-Club back then in 2016. With my parent's approval, I signed up with them for a 2 year contract.
They put me through intense training with the agency and made my first debut at F-club on 25th June 2016, 3 days right after my 18th birthday when it was finally legal for me to play at clubs!
I managed to spin at a lot of clubs, big events, and overseas through the agency’s grooming and marketing.
I eventually left the agency right after my 2 years contract has ended and I’m currently managing myself as a solo artist.
ADM: As a DJ who's also taking full time studies do you find it difficult to manage time?
CL: Managing time is indeed a big challenge for me as having 24 hours a day really isn’t enough.
I currently have a residency at District 9, and I work from 1030pm-6am. I start school at 830am so I’ll go to school right after work every day. I’ll usually go back home to take a nap after my classes end at 2pm before heading to work again.
I’ll barely get any sleep on days where I have errands to run. Time to me is really precious and I treasure every second given to me. On my off day (once a week), I’ll usually catch up with my sleep, study, or spend time with my dogs.
Doing both work and studies full time made me better at managing my time and I’ll always plan my schedule ahead. I don’t really have the time to study/eat proper meals too so I’ll actually do them during my break time at work. I’ll usually study in the artist room during my break time if I’ve an upcoming exam.
This is probably the reason why I’m still single as I don’t even have much time to go out! Hahaha
ADM: What are your plans after you finish your University?
CL: I major in economics and plan to enter the banking/finance industry right after graduating from university, leaving the night scene completely.
I still have about 2 years left to graduate so who knows? Haha I mean like a lot of things can happen within 2 years and my mindset/thinking might change, so who knows I might actually continue my career as a DJ even after graduating with a degree.
I might also further my studies in a masters program or with NIE to become an art teacher. I do teach art on a part-time basis too, you can check out my art account on Instagram @cthmstudio!
ADM: Any advice to any of the other DJs who are still university?
CL: People usually get amazed with how I do both work and studies full-time with 3-4 hours of sleep daily, the key is actually to constantly think of what’s motivating you, the reason behind why you’re so driven.
In my case, I’m working this hard to give my family a comfortable life as my dad is in jail and I do not come from a well to do family.
Juggling between work and school is really not easy.
Sometimes I’ll feel really tired, like the world had drained me for everything I had and everything seems to be exhausting me no matter how much sleep I get or how long I rest.
I get up each time feeling really tired. It’s really not just being physically tired or not having enough sleep. I’ll get emotionally tired and holistically tired too.
Breaking down once in a while is normal and okay, as long as you learn how to maintain a work-life-study balance. Take a break whenever you feel like you need it, go clear your sleep debts or go do what you enjoy, then come back hustling. Remember not to neglect your health.
Be sure to follow Clare at