Have you been clubbing recently or partying and you notice the crowd are not feeling the choice of tracks being played by the DJ but you look over to the DJ’s corner, and the dude is busy bumping his head to the beats and you and your friends are like “huh”? Fine, that means you would be interested in this episode of “Digest_It”…
The other weekend, I walked into a wedding and yes, there was music but most people were sat down and yea, it was an “ok” music but it was so old school as in one of those that should be labelled as “never play”, it was “Remedies – Jealous”, yes that was the face I made too. Anyways, not to be too forward, we took our seats and thought maybe we walked in on the wrong song.
But as time went on, we were in total dismay because this dude dressed in carrot jean, tight fitted tee shirt with dark sunshades has either had a bad day or just has a daft collection titled “wedding” and we looked over and this DJ was enjoying himself away.
And I thought; he has the music if he wants to enjoy the songs, loud it up in your room and dance butterfly but don’t freaking collect fees and not satisfy the crowd. As if he knew what I was thinking, the next track was…
OK?! At that point I thought “right, he’s either doing a free job or they paid him cheap” but I know this couple and I know they have a good taste in music and are music lovers and I couldn’t imagine their thoughts at the time.
Why do DJs do this?
And what I mean if you still don’t get it is; as a DJ, you go and play in a paid-event [and if not even paid for so what, you need to do freebies sometimes to get that contact!], you set up with your deck, put your “Beat By DRE” headphones on and then press “play” and start spinning and you actually forget your audience or you don’t even study their reactions; are they still dancing or all of a sudden just left the floor when the next track came on? Or majority are giving you the “looks”?
This DJ and some other DJs’ that I have heard do not even bother with the crowd at all. Some feel because they are now a “house-hold” name or a “brand”, whether the crowd respond negatively or not they are already famous and would still get shows regardless and while others just forget the main reason why they are really behind the deck spinning.
I am no DJ or music expert but I am a sucker for good tunes and I love my dance so if and when I go out and the DJ is just making noise by talking over the mic and not letting me enjoy the music or has a crap line ups, then that’s a killer because it’s not as if you don’t have the CD or tunes at home but you just wanna dance… Digest _It
I then decided to speak to some well-known DJs’ and asked for tips and as professionals; what they should avoid when on the deck. Of course, these tips are not for me but for aspiring DJ’s who are still there wondering how no one is calling them or asking for their business contact cards.
“…foremost concern for a DJ should be to adapt the music selection to the crowd, he must be wary of their responses to certain songs plus, the akpako that would move the streets crowd would not have the same effect on a different clubbing crowd”; this was the response from our very own AceWorldTeam boss “DJ Sean” who didn’t forget to chip in that “DJs shouldn’t get stoned to the deck”…very true and important fact, because imagine a tipsy DJ on the deck? Hmmm… Digest_It
“Peak Awards” nominee and “Dynamix” nominee – “DJ Prince”, responsible for the dancing feets and sweaty faces at “G12, Oniru beach”, nationally and Internationally recognised, going on tours with the likes of “DavidO” et al gave me 5 steps to a successful DJ spin;
- fall in love and know your equipment as this would help you spin effectively
- playlist to suit the event so if it’s a wedding or 5years old party, as a DJ you would know it should be a different playlist and if it’s beachside, you should have a right playlist
- study your crowd, know whether it’s the fast or old school classics they want
- your dress code? Make sure it is suitable to each event, don’t be wearing dark sunshades to a wedding feeling fly, and
- have your own style be different be unique.
Just like I narrated previously; studying the crowd you’re playing to is so important and that is what I think some DJ’s lack a lot and all they have to do is raise their heads up and see their crowd then they would know that playing “St. Janet” at a 10 years old party is so inappropriate… Digest_It
Ok so studying the crowd you can see, right? Ok, how about a DJ on a radio station who cannot see or study the audience? What happens? How do they know the right songs to play?
Let me share this with you, ehn, I stay up late most nights [if you #ff me on Twitter, you will notice that] and the only company I sometimes get is the radio on my Nokia phone [well, as the radio-world is fading off, I only have an iPod dock in my room] listening to DJs or a talk show.
My favourite is “Beat FM’s House Party”, which “Osi Dirisu” spins the tunes and he is famous for keeping me and many other listeners awake all night for playlist and his friendly attitude on air doesn’t go amiss. Osi Dirisu’s House Party has made top trends 8 times in 9 months on Twitter and if you are an addict like me, you would know that it is a big deal to be on top trends in Lagos and now “Osi” has been nominated for “Radio Personality 2012” by “Future Awards”.
I caught up with him to get some tips and the first thing he did was to correct me 8-| by saying “…we are referred to as On-Air Personalities [OAP]” and then went on further to explain that having a huge catalogue of music is mandatory as it has to consist of old, new, foreign, national tunes and mixing and blending of tunes.
So how does an OAP study his/her listeners? “…studying your crowd on the radio is obviously impossible but I act like am speaking to one person when they call in to make request and from requests, you can kind of tell what the audience feel towards to but nevertheless seamless switch from one song to another is still important…” clarify “Osi”.
Alright now whether you are a DJ, aspiring to be one or just a music lover, I am sure you and I can definitely pick out the most constant thing in what has been said from these DJs’.
So please when next you at an event and a DJ is spinning the wrong thing [I so want to use another word there but cannot], please refer them back to these tips or maybe we should just throw a bottle cap at them and shout “yo! DJ, play that song!!!” … and we can only hope they would look up and get the message!!! Digest_It
And if you are an upcoming DJ trying to break into the industry or you think “…ooo, I only play in small house parties not big events o…”when you notice people go back to their seats that’s a goddamned sign, take off the sunshades and study your dancers and if you are a DJ already and feel like “…well, I am big and well famous, don’t need these tips…”, please invite me or one of my readers to your events and we would assess your playlist and attitude because when you are too big to learn and feel you know your market too well, then your competition is around the corner… Digest_It
I just wanna say a big thank you to ma favourite DJ’s for their individual contribution and for contact or bookings, please see info below and a big :* to my readers.
DJ Sean | e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone Number – 08154398995
DJ Prince | e-mail – email@example.com | Phone Number – 08136611646, 08023385640
Osi ([For eMCee bookings] | Phone Number – 08059381172
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