“Can you play some Scorpions or Def Leppard?” The man asked without thinking of anyone other than himself. “Here, I’ve written down a list of 10 awesome songs for you to play!” Says the goof who doesn’t know anything about good music.
This is what people do at DJ events. They request songs that they want to hear not realizing that their requests reflect on me. No one realizes that I am playing a song to make someone happy, instead, they think “Why is this DJ playing the Chicken Dance?” – because your mom requested it.
I’m not complaining about my work at all. I FREAKING LOVE IT. But… I spend hours downloading music and putting together playlists. I have to make follow-up calls and meetings in person with wedding clients to go over details and reception flow. I have to constantly stay up on the hottest trends of music: Frat Rap, Emo, Alternative, Country, Rock, Reggae, Oldies, Motown, New Age, the list goes on and on.
But on the upside, I get to learn about new music, I get to spend hours listening to new tunes, mixing together great songs, looking at beat counts and knowing what song will flow well to the next and how to transition a party smoothly from a rocking bump and grind fest to a slow romantic waltz.
I think this is where the art of DJing comes in – knowing how to mix a set of music that keeps the party ever-escalating while still keeping the dance floor packed.
What you do is play songs for each group in the room. The single dancers, the kids, the rockers, the old lovers who want to cuddle and the hip-hoppers.
As someone who LOVES to dance, every now and then even I need a break. If you play hit after hit after hit then I want to dance to all of them and I just get tired. Instead, I like to have a few hits and then a few slow so I can take a break between my hip thrusting and gyrations.
So this is my life and I love it. Even the part where I tell people “No, I can’t play that song”.
DJing is harder than you think, but it is better than any other job I’ve done in my life.