I love music, always have and I’ve been into various different genre’s of music, except rock – I just don’t get it but that’s besides the point. I also once upon a time loved to party, most of all to dance to some good music. I remember going to events, bars and clubs to go and see various DJs playing guys who in the industry were taking it to the next level! I’ll never forget being underage in a popular night club just because I wanted to see the scratch master of the time, DJ Reddy D, go hard on some vinyl! I remember standing there in absolute awe as he DJed, scratching on two vinyl decks using his fingers, arms, elbows and even his tongue! I was hooked! From then on my obsession with becoming a DJ was born and the thirst was real!
It’s crazy how the DJ industry has grown. Previously DJs always took the backseat to a live performance because no one really believed that DJ’s were actually “performers” or that it was even a real thing. Nowadays there are whole shows and events that center around DJs, like Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland. I think it’s amazing to see this transformation mostly because in the music industry chain the DJ’s are really the ones who sell the music to people.
As a DJ I really just wanted to share some thoughts on DJ etiquette and dos and don’ts I’ve picked up from when I DJ. (Caution: some of the following points may seem mean.)
1) Lets not talk Life
I’m a friendly guy and I love people, so naturally people like to talk to me but when I’m DJing please don’t talk to me. I mean I’ll say “hi” or “whats up” but for those 20 mins or so I’m actually performing to people. Imagine someone having a full on conversation to Justin Bieber while he was trying to sing “Sorry”. Side note – I really want to apologize to you if you’re reading this and have done this to me or any other DJ – Don’t take it personally – we were kind of busy doing our thing!
2) You can’t sit with us
The second most common thing people love ask is ”can I watch you” or “can I sit here and watch” usually I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing I just nod. Later on I have this uneasy feeling as the crowed behind me becomes as big as the one in front of me. Sometimes it feels like people are literally peering over my shoulder, truth is I get really nervous and start making mistakes. Now I get you want to learn how it works but it’s really intimidating so please let me get on with it. #igotthis, so linger don’t stay please.
3) Can you please play…..
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this I would be a billionaire. I get it, everybody has their favorite song, their “jam” but there are a lot of people and if I just played everybody favorite song then that doesn’t make me a DJ that makes me a Jukebox. I’m there to play you your jam like you’ve never heard it before, like the radio but 1000 times better. It’s my job to give you something you’ve never heard on the radio or seen on TV and make you so happy and excited that you get up and start dancing!
So I’ve developed a new rule – and it’s pretty mean! Usually a DJ has spend countless number of hours learning to mix music and preparing a set or genre of music that will suit the crowed or environment they are in. This is based on audience profiling, so before we get there we as DJ’s research the demographics, interests, style of music, beats per minute and the rest, to influence what to play at what time. So my new rule is this: Pay to Play. If you really want your favorite song – Pay! I’ll play it right after this next song.
All of this sounds really harsh and some of you may be thinking “wow! he is such a drama queen” But all of this really makes me giggle because this happens so often and I love hearing other DJs tell tales of that night when this guy or this girl did that… It kind of makes it fun. So if you’re reading this please take note of above!
The thing I’ve learnt from all of this is simple. My gift is not my own. It’s God’s. It’s about other people, it’s about their God experience and it’s not about me. I say this because a lot of my DJing happens in church. God gave me this gift as a vessel for people to encounter who He is so it really isn’t about me.