I’m not a DJ! DJs breathe mixing tracks, they are professionals just like any other profession where a lot of training and practice is needed…surgeons, engineers or lawyers, no matter what profession it is, you need to practice what you do. But there’s only one thing that makes it different from a lot of other professions and that is the level of interest Djs have in their occupation. So, once again I’m not a DJ I’m a producer and film maker but if someone hires me then I take the job considering that they know I only play certain sort of music ,like Electro-Swing. But when a rising pop artist Nicki Minaj disappointed some folks with her song peaking on music charts, then a guy named Rosenberg stood up and played the part of a gatekeeper and said ‘hey, this is not Hip-Hop’ Nicki Minaj did not come to the show where Rosenberg said this out loud and she was replaced with Lauryn Hill. There is no confirmation why Nicki cancelled the gig but I must say Lauryn Hill is like best of the bests.
Now, I’m not a DJ but I’m a producer who understands what DJs do and I have enough academic achievements with three masters degrees and dozens of courses and research papers in my basket to make me eligible to give a reason to a fact that might be ignored if I won’t have industrialised eduction.
So today word ‘DJ’ has a totally different meaning with comparing to the meaning we had some years ago. DJs were working behind the scene, nobody knew them and no one could approach them, today DJs earn millions in few gigs for a reason, and the reason is the freedom they get to show their skills. Tell me one thing, Have you seen anyone telling Avicii to change a song? anyone telling him to put some Salsa? or any other music? No you won’t ever watch this happening because the crowd that goes to these parties to stand for these DJs are educated in what they want to listen to and they pay these DJs to make them millionaire only because they love what DJs do. Now if you are the one who is hating my reasons, you can leave this blog because this is a blog for people who are wise enough to accept a change. When smart phone was released, I hated it but now I have one. There used to be a time when DJ was this person who just came out of the background and people started yelling on him to play their songs, he did play it because he was getting money otherwise sitting on back and playing music was not doing anything good. But now DJs prepare their mixes before they leave the house, they don’t walk with whole collection of music everywhere. Sometimes I have 8 tracks on the line and some live instruments and drums on extra channel. I’m struggling to keep songs in key and maintaining my flow and here comes someone and asks me to play a song that is like mixing chicken curry with ice cream. People have so many reasons to just jump on DJ booth and ask for a song, have you ever assisted a dentist in his or her job? .
Before I start I will mention I have nothing to say about young people or people who educated their ears with listening to different genre and were wise to accept the change, I play in students parties a lot with house full and barely one or two persons approach me to ask for a song and as soon as I tell them I’m on list, they leave with a smiley face. Because hey, when cars were invented people used to call them ‘Killing machines’, when iPhones were invented a lot of people thought it’s going to fail big time. There are always people who don’t get wise enough to accept the change and the truth is screaming right on your face, DJs are making money, living a good life and having so many followers because they have their crowd and if you are not that person then it’s just like going to a Death Metal concert instead of Reggae or the other way around.
I myself send a form in advance to get requests, so I can prepare my CUES and plan my flow. But sometimes it’s too much to digest and that’s the reason I want to create this list.
Here are the reasons and types of persons who come to ask for a song from DJ.
1) The Control Freak:
You will meet them in every event that is not a music event, they will come to you and ask to lower the volume first and then they will come to ask you to change music (not specify, to what) then they will come and ask you to play their song and here we go, now if you will say NO to them and your NO is BIG then they will not be happy because your big NO will be visible to a lot of people on dance-floor and hey now you have created a big mess. This control freaks is going to hate you for entire night and keep coming back to you until you say Okay I will try..I will try…and keep nodding your face in ‘YES’ gesture…up and down…up and down to let the people on dance-floor see that this Control Freak got what he or she wanted. Once again, this sort of thing will only happen if you are not playing music for a music event. I even met a guy who approached me because someone told him to, and said to me ‘I’m paying you for this, so do what I say. make the floor, fill the floor’ . Yes, a fully grown Swedish man came to me and yelled on me to do what he asked me to do, he was rude and loud. Can he do this in a bus? try this! ask a bus driver to drive a bus to your home next time, didn’t you pay for the bus? Idiot! he is driving for everyone. DJs are not slaves or hired workers, they are artists who carefully put songs in a playlist and mix them, they are the art gallery hosts, they carefully put paintings on wall, you can’t just go there and ask them to hang you Mom’s Painting.
2) The Skeptic Bastard:
Sorry for the language but this is about me now and man oh man I’m not a person who will shut down with this sort
of behaviour. Being Ignored can either send you to shadows or make you rise up and say ‘Do you see me now’. That’s why all of the rap music gets nasty with lyrics like ‘Look at me now, look at me now, I’m getting Papers-Lyrics from Chris Brown’s song’ that’s when you listen all of the things you think is showing off in lyrics but you don’t understand….true artist breaks all ignorance and keep working hard until one day they have everything they ever dreamed of, even more than that. So, when I play as a DJ people see me as a guy from third world country, but then they think how is this person playing this sort of music in our region, this music is our speciality…how can he play this. Will you not get treated if you were faced with an Indian doctor?. I understand, if I was back home and some European guy came as a DJ and played music from my roots, I will first think he’s not that good ‘Maybe’ but hell no no no I would dance for him till he leaves the place, no matter what he plays. This is not only me, we are so happy to see people coming from abroad and trying our traditions. But let me be clear, DJing is the last thing you want to attach to any race, if that happens then that means human race is in danger, a DJ plays music from everywhere to bring people together. My playlist have dozens of world music tracks, sometimes I play French I see people leaving the room, sometime I play Swedish I see people coming from dark corners where they have been hiding all of the time. We all come to one place to dance for the music that some guy planned and prepared for us. So next time, do not think if someone looks from a country that in your dictionary is considered to be ‘Poor’ because a long time ago we were divided in first, second and third world countries by some people who were confused about the meaning of ‘Happiness’ and mismatched it with Industrialisation.
3) Hasty going Nasty:
So these are the people who just got in to the party and got drunk and now they think they can just jump in front of you and ask for the magic to play their song. These people are bad with judgment, they think no one is dancing because you are not playing their music, ignoring the fact that they came to the party when everyone was tired and went for fresh air, or when party was about to end. Watch out! These people get annoyed so fast and they might attack you in different ways and try to turn your dance-floor against you.
4) Smart Azz:
party and they have it all figured it out. They think DJing is just as easy as playing songs on their laptop or phone :). They come to you and watch what you are doing either with a slight smile on their faces or a strange face that shows ‘I’m not smelling what you are selling because I’m the Smart Azz’
5) Cultural heavy folks:
Take it easy if you are Latin or you like a specific genre, you are not alone here. These people think their cultural music is the best to make everyone lose their sheet. It might work on a specific crowd and it works on a lot of crowds but it does not mean that a DJ can turn from Dubstep to Salsa in minutes.
1) Laid-back bird: There’s a reason I used word ‘Bird’, they come to you and ask for a song with a nice smile, if you as a DJ is starting your conversation in a way that shows them you can’t play their song, they will say no problem, I know, I understand and then they will leave and dance. These are mature people who maybe are not in to DJ music but their laid-back personalty makes them to be wise to accept a change.
2) Dance floor warriors:
3) Music lover beer friend:
oh God! I love you guys. Sometimes in parties someone will bring a beer to you, did you hear what I said? I did not say will offer you a beer but will just give you a newly opened beer. That means, thank you, these people also give you thumbs up.
4) High five fellows:
If you are a DJ then you know these people who come to you just for high-five, beautiful ladies with high fives give you a lot of energy to continue doing the good job :). Instead of criticising one song, try to appreciate a song, Nice, very Nice.
5) The shout out heroes :
Oh yeah I know, I’m being very nice with my group of people. But if you read a policeman’s diary or mind, you will know how much they appreciate people who assist them with their work. This group is the one that won’t let you fall asleep or even let you think about your bed, because every time a beat will drop, they will be shouting, clapping and singing out loud. Yeah! Ma people
Last Thoughts and Recommendations:
- If you are attending a party then try to understand that you might know people in the party better than the DJ and you might think you know what exactly can be played to change the game but DJs have a proper plan, flow and playlist to play from. You can send them as many songs as you want, but only in advance. Most or maybe None of us like to get any requests.
- DJs are not hired labour. Just like all other artists, they have a proper agenda. You can’t ask Bob Marley to play a Skrillex song. Would you stand up and say, Hey play Skrillex?
- You may ask DJ for a song but his or her slight nodding should be enough to tell you if he can do it or not
- Accept the change, this is 2015.
- Do anything from THE GOOD section, especially 2,3,4 and 5
- For all of my fellow DJs there’s only one thing to say ‘Keep on doing what you do, because what you are doing is working….maybe not for everyone…but for those who love what you do…it’s working damn good for them….that’s the reason you make so much money…music is all about love..you share it.
Without this being said, I’ll promise myself to never ever take a gig again if the event is not my type and event organisers are not aware of my Jam. I will record a live performance right after my EP and that’s going to be some stuff I breath, DJing is just something I do because I get asked for it, otherwise it’s not the air I breath because it’s a full time profession and I do film and music production. I’ll play, mix and record live session of my whole album with couple of artists and film it all to let people know what we do and how we do it in 2015.
If I put a NO REQUEST sign like a lot of other DJs then I will be called rude and my race, personality and a lot other factors that don’t match with minorities will be thrown in a blender and out it will come ignorance and hater just like I explained in the start of this blog, but hey! I’m never going to dark corner I will rise and shine because that’s what I wanted to do all of my life, produce music and make movies there’s no one who can stop me.