DJ, producer, turntablist, music curator, tastemaker, crowd-reader, social media sensation…the list of job requirements goes on and on for DJs today. It’s hard to explain what we deal with on a daily basis to people who aren’t in our shoes.
So, we created this list of things that only DJs will understand. Share it with your non-DJ friends and help educate those in need.
1. We really care about audio quality
While some people are perfectly happy listening to music from any source, DJs can hear the difference between a low quality and high quality track. 320 kbps is the only way.
2. Requests are optional, not mandatory
Our audience may not always agree with this one, but song requests are something we have the right to deny. If someone requests a song that’s completely different than what we’re playing at the moment, or if we already played the song earlier in the night – it’s okay for us to say no. Sorry Becky, we’ll play your song next time.
3. No, we can’t DJ your event for free
Would you go to the dentist and ask them to fill a cavity for free – because ya know, it’s easy for them? Obviously not. So unless it’s our parents (or maybe grandparents) asking for a freebie, there will be acharge for our services.
4. Don’t touch our stuff or press any buttons
We know it’s hard to resist trying on our headphones and touching the colorful buttons and knobs, but we don’t come to your job and start messing with stuff, right? We might have a phone charger for you if you’re lucky. Just be polite and ask before you touch anything.
5. Finding a dope edit or remix is like finding gold
It’s like finding a hidden treasure when you stumble upon a unique remix or edit that is sure to hype the crowd. We spend a ridiculous amount of time perfecting our set list, so nothing is more annoying than someone hovering over your laptop to see what you’re playing or yelling, “Yo, man – send me this track!” Don’t be that guy – just enjoy the tune!
6. Technology is our best friend – but it also scares the sh!t out of us
Have you ever dealt with a DJ gear meltdown? It’s the worst feeling in the world. So as much as we love (and rely on) technology, when the music cuts out, a needle breaks, or our laptop freezes, it’s proper cause for panic. But because we’re professionals, you’ll never see us sweat.
7. Dear club owners and promotors: we’re kinda picky with our set up
When first starting out, we’re not really allowed to be picky about the equipment in the DJ booth. But if we’ve worked hard to gain some status, and we send a professional artist rider along with contract and invoice, please respect the rider and have it filled when we arrive to a gig. Or at the very least have up-to-date gear we can work with – because remember, gear malfunctions scare the sh!t out of us.
8. Lingering too long or being too drunk
This one kind of relates to #4. Just as much as we don’t want you touching our stuff, we also don’t want you awkwardly hanging around in the booth. Mostly because you’re in the way. But also because we don’t like drunk people too close to our precious DJ equipment. Oh, and we know you’re a DJ too and you really want to “jump on for a song,” but just go. Please.
9. We can’t hear you if we have headphones on
This one should be obvious, but it never fails that someone tries to chat it up right when we’re mixing in a new track. Bottom line, if you see we have our headphones on or it looks like we’re concentrating on the music – give us a minute before trying to get our attention.
10. Social media isn’t real life
It’s true we need to make it look like our life is a constant party – like we’re always traveling, partying, and of course playing the hottest new tracks. But the truth is we actually spend more hours than we’d like to admit staring at a computer screen, researching new music, reading DJ blogs, and answering emails. Secretly we’re audio and tech nerds. And we also really like naps.