The Sound of Madness [DJ Addiction]
A Glimpse Inside the Deejay Booth
I’ve been asked and have had numerous conversations over the years with various people from DJ’s and listeners alike whether there’s any rhyme or reason behind the music that’s played. Many believe we just walk into the DJ booth and flip a switch and tunes magically mix together like we’re motherfuckin sorcerers. Truth is, we are. But, there’s definitely some things that go into it.
This is inherently on the DJ’s themselves, as we all have an eclectic taste of music but most of us have our specialties. The songs you hear most from the DJ’s while they’re on the air. Some will try and change them up with different flavored theme shows and some stick to what they enjoy and are good at, but each of them are adept at putting on the show and changing it up whenever is needed.
I’ll try and break these down by random nights and events to give a little more insight into what goes into them.
The Random Night:
Speaking from personal experience and with some other DJ’s, there’s definitely nights where you go in or are you’re already sitting in a room and someone asks “Hey someone crank some tunes!” and one of the DJ’s pops in the booth. Most of the time we’re just firing things up and coming off the cuff, but even that cuff has some wrinkles to it. It may not necessarily be as thought out as planning a big show, but there’s the thought of ‘who’s in the room right now’? WHAT room am I currently in? Is it a mellow and chill vibe? Are they wanting to dance or rock? Should I just spin what I’m feeling to spin tonight and let them groove?
While its not nearly as difficult choice as prepping for an event or to put on some type of show or have a ‘theme’, there’s still a little bit of choice and thought that goes into it. Each DJ wants to ensure that people are tuning in and having a good time, and most will adjust with the flow of the room.
When it comes to the Event, things can get a little more tricky, however it doesn’t always equate to complete pandemonium. The hardest part usually about doing an event is finding out the theme for it. We usually ask if there’s something the people want to hear, a type of specific genre, if a mood needs to be set, and a few examples of songs that they’d like to hear, so we can build a playlist around that particular type of music. Depending on the length of the event, this can become even more difficult, as you may not want to put an entire room to sleep constantly playing slow slongs, but not want to go too upbeat and off the course.
Sometimes these events are larger then that, involving multiple DJ’s, (such as March Madness) and you find yourself in a conundrum with a few ways to go about it, so your music doesn’t overlap. Most DJ’s will attempt to communicate with others on the type of music they’re playing so even if its similar, you don’t play the same songs. Though you often hear this on the radio, we try and mostly avoid it as its abit annoying whenever it happens. It does happen though, and we’ll frequently message another DJ playfully removing the songs that we had on our lists (alot of us have the same tastes).
This is a difficult portion. We try and play as many requests as we can throughout the night but its not always simple. Sometimes on any given night we get requests that don’t necessarily fit with the genre but we try. Sometimes we might ask for another request that fits with the genre if its a ‘theme night’ and sometimes we might just go with it and either break the mold or transition it into another set for abit that brings about that flavor of music and keeps with the beat. This is often where that individual DJ choice comes in or that motherfuckin sorcery where we draw forth the curtains of oz and work some magic.
The Individual Night:
On individual nights throughout the week its DJ’s choice. This is where they get the time to shine. Showcase their own individual likes and dislikes, and put on the show. On any given night you might expect to hear different things. Most DJ’s have their own individual musical styles that they like to play, some like to change it up, but there’s definitely some thought that goes into it. Have these songs been played before? Is there new content out there? If I’m playing oldies am I showcasing ones that I didn’t before? What does everyone want to hear? Do I go with favorites or something off the wall to introduce them to new music? Will they like it?
To some it comes naturally. To others its an artform. Not all give thought to the actual music being played and how its selected and whether there’s any rhyme or reason to it but there’s usually a few common factors and more then alot of work and thought that goes into it. Whether DJing for a certain event, or just going on for a random night, there’s alot of common ground. That’s not to say that we always get it right, or that you might not always like the music being played (that’s why we like feedback!) but every DJ tries to offer something for everyone.
As always, if you like what we’re doing, tell a friend, if you don’t, tell us, and we’ll fix it.