The most successful DJs are music lovers, lovers of all music. A real DJ would never place limits on the type of music they play because there are only two types of music, good or bad. I believe in having a musical base that you play, disco, soul, techno, or whatever. The DJ’s that I admired and studied built outside of their main-base.
They would play an unexpected song at the perfect moment. A song played at the right time can change the life of someone on that dance floor. As a patron of the Paradise Garage and Loft, I can personally attest to the magic of songs. Today, some DJ’s are stuck on genres. Afro-House, Soulful-House, Deep-House, Techno…whatever…Just Play Good Music!
I search for the most obscure songs, no matter the style. Maybe it was a 2-minute break that could be extended or a lost, forgotten gem. Today, It appears that the crowd dictates what the DJ play. My theory has always been to play 50% of what the masses want to hear mixed in with 50% of the music you would like to introduce to your crowd.
A DJ has to be well versed; you must know how to read a room and, if necessary, change musical gears on a minute’s notice. Successful DJs can play any genre at any given moment. This is where the love of music comes into play.
I’ve watched DJ’s totally bomb out because they were too stubborn or maybe didn’t know how to play a different type of music. With access to so much music, today’s DJ has no excuse. Technology has made it so that music is so cheap and convenient to purchase.
Different countries have their own taste. Although you are being booked to DJ and they know who you are, you still have an audience to please. Some may have never heard of you or may have come to listen to the DJ who played before you. This is a golden opportunity to expand your fan base.
I can remember being booked to play at a club abroad, it was billed as a Soulful-Garage House party. That term can mean a lot of things to many people…anyway, I arrive at the club, and it’s a full blast Hard House/Techno party. Not one vocal or soulful song played. Because I was well versed and prepared to play in different situations, I was able to get the audience on my side, by giving them what they wanted to hear. Later in the evening, I was able to successfully play some of the songs that I really liked without losing my dancefloor. And introducing the crowd (and support DJ’s) to different styles of music.
It’s about sharing the music and the culture so that it can bloom within the next generation. As I was a young DJ many years ago, I relied on the DJs I admired and studied for guidance. I’m now an older music lover with a vast knowledge of music. I don’t mind sharing music, stories, and history (hence why I created this blog).