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How Francis Mercier Evolved From A Local DJ to A Global Headline Artist

Issue 007

Welcome to the most epic corner of the internet, HOSTED by POSH! Every Thursday, we're your go-to newsletter spicing up your inbox with captivating tales of event transformations, ingenious tips for hosting unforgettable events, and clever hacks to make the most of any budget. So put on your shades because your inbox just got that much hotter. Thanks for being on this journey with us - let’s do it!

In our seventh issue of HOSTED by POSH, Avante and Eli sat down with Francis Mercier, world-famous DJ and Founder of Deep Root Records, to dig into his origins, get his opinions and perspectives on how emerging DJs can build a fruitful career, and hear his behind-the-scenes stories of how he built a vibrant career as a DJ, event producer, and label owner. Trust us - it’s an epic story.

So, crack open your favorite bev, sit back, and let's embark on this wild event-planning adventure together. This is just the beginning.

How Francis Mercier Evolved From A Local DJ to A Global Headline Artist

Making the move from playing local gigs to being booked for global events can feel daunting, especially as a new emerging DJ. It can feel like the “top guys” have all the right connects, and know all the right things to access these stages.

We sat down with Francis Mercier, a DJ originally from Haiti, who started his career in New York during his college years, and now plays on the biggest stages in the world. He shared his story and advice for how local DJs can break through and make a real name for themselves. But, before we dig in, be sure to catch the full episode here in case you missed it.

Crafting a Distinct Brand and Sound:

First things first - you have to OWN your sound. Make it unique, make it original, and add your own flare to each set.

From very early on, Francis clearly defined his brand and his sound. He realized that talent buyers need to know what sound to expect so he could be aligned with other artists. But, he still focused on establishing a sound that portrayed his unique brand and personality.

With his infectious blend of Afro vocals & instruments and iconic tech house grooves, he’s become renowned for his ability to captivate listeners through his immersive sounds and invigorating energy.

These distinctive sounds made it easier for talent buyers to book him - they knew exactly what sound he would play, and exactly what type of audience would enjoy it. This is a great way to stand out.

Tip: As an emerging DJ, take the time to align your brand with a sound unique to you. Understand your strengths, know the emotions you want the audience to feel, and own your sound. Don’t be afraid to make it different and create a niche for yourself - talent buyers will love this.

But how do you do this? Producing original tracks can make it easy for others to understand your artistic sound, but sometimes it’s best to start by recording live sets to establish your identity before you dive into the depths of the DAW.

Embracing the Artist Identity:

Francis’ jump from local DJ to global artist was created by one easy decision: to embrace his artist identity. The bottom line? If you want to be seen as more than a DJ, you have to be more than a DJ - that means start thinking about producing music and developing a brand outside of your turn tables.

Francis spent hours making mixes in his studio at home and even played with sounds while on the road (yup, your laptop and Airpods can get you through). His original tracks, infused with his unique musical perspective, became a defining aspect of his artistic journey. The key? Experiment with melodies, rhythms, and textures to find your signature sound.

Tip: If you aspire to be more than a DJ, dive into music production. Invest in a digital audio workstation (DAW), explore online tutorials, and collaborate with other artists to refine your skills. By creating original music that aligns with your brand, you'll establish yourself as a multi-dimensional artist, opening doors to new opportunities and audiences. The most important difference between local DJs and touring acts is the quality of their original music.

The Power of Networking:

If you’ve been keeping up with our blogs, you know how much we emphasize the power of networking. Francis' story is no different. He understood that closed mouths don't get fed, and actively sought out collaborations with potential DJ partners, talent buyers, and influential labels, mostly by hosting his own events, which we wrote all about last week.

Francis came to New York City every weekend during college, attending club nights, industry mixers, and music festivals with the goal to meet as many people as possible and learn about the intricacies of the music industry at a young age. Through his genuine passion for collaboration and building relationships, he expanded his network and unlocked new opportunities for growth.

Tip: Networking is crucial for emerging DJs. No, we don’t mean trying to shake as many hands as possible and being transactional. Instead, valuable networking occurs when you dive deep into the industry with the intention of making real connections with people interested in the same music, events, and overall industry trends as us.

Try attending industry events, engaging with fellow artists, and seeking out potential collaborators. Once your brand is defined, don't be afraid to reach out to talent buyers, promoters, and labels to showcase yourself and get feedback. Your network is your net worth - genuine networking can lead to valuable connections, bookings, and collaborations in the markets you aspire to play in.

Francis Mercier's Journey to Success:

Even when you have a defined sound and a strong network, you still face challenges as a DJ - and these don’t end when you become a “larger” artist. For instance, Francis still has conversations with agents surrounding ticket sales and if he can fill the venue. The important part? Create realistic goals based on venue capacity and previous experiences - this allows you to over-deliver. He understood that success required a balance between ambition and practicality.

His other hack? No matter the venue size, Francis made sure to treat each gig like it was his favorite. He would talk to everyone involved; the talent buyer, the venue owner, the promoters, etc, and thank them for inviting him to play. It’s this attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile that will help you succeed the most.


The question that even the best DJs still get…. #poshvip #hostedbyposh #francismercier #ticketsales #djvenues #djfaq #djadvice #djtipsandtricks

Tip: Embrace every opportunity that comes your way, regardless of the scale. Approach each gig with humility and a growth mindset. Learn from every experience, continuously refine your skills, and stay true to your artistic vision. Success is built upon a series of small victories.

As an emerging DJ, take inspiration from Francis Mercier's remarkable trajectory. Define your brand, refine your sound, and constantly seek to build meaningful relationships within your niche. Remember that success is a journey, and each step you take toward realizing your dreams brings you closer to the global recognition and stage presence you aspire to achieve. Let Francis' story be a guiding light as you navigate the dynamic landscape of the music industry, and we’ll be here supporting you as you make the leap from local DJ to touring DJ.

Watch the Full Episode

Interested in a deep dive on how Francis Mercier built Deep Root Records and emerged as a world-famous DJ from the ground up? Watch the full episode here. Or, listen on Spotify and read the full blog.

And come hang with us on socials for sneak peeks of future episodes, get BTS content of POSH, and be the first to hear about events in your area!

P.S. - If you’re looking for events to join this week for MDW, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a round up of a few events worth checking out in The Hamptons and NYC:

View all events here

That’s all for this week, folks. We’ll see you next Thursday. In the meantime, happy partying.

— Avante, Eli, and the POSH team