My philosophy of DJing is understated. Let me tell you a little secret: Your wedding guests aren’t there to see me. I mean, I’d love to think that everyone loves me, but I’m just not the main attraction so I make efforts all through every event that I DJ to sort of highlight the guests of honor.
My # 1 priority is to provide tasteful and appropriate music and Master of Ceremony services that constantly reflects the personalities of the event hosts. I am proud of my ability to play songs that don’t get overplayed at those cookie cutter-style weddings, but instead are eclectic, nostalgic and custom-tailored to each event’s unique conditions. I am proud of my ability to create a quality mix of musical and vocal elements that is artistic, spontaneous, funny at times and absolutely unforgettable. I love to constantly tweak tiny things (lighting, volumes, music styles, etc.) – things that almost nobody notices, but will subtly encourage them to dance … or laugh … or applaud…
Dinner Time: I like to keep music pretty soft during dinner and social times so that people don’t have to yell at each other and can stay relaxed. When I play dinner music, it isn’t for entertainment, but it’s more of an insurance policy to avoid those strange times when the whole room full of people will become silent for no apparent reason. Music that I play during dinner and social times also varies depending on the event. I like to talk to the event hosts to see what they have in mind (this is a great time for Brides and Grooms to sneak their favorite un-danceable songs into the event).
So let’s say that everyone eats and starts to get a little more rowdy… Sure, I’ll feed into their energy and play music that they can dance to! Some things that I won’t do, though, includes running up to any of your guests (unless I know them really well) and tear them out of their chair to make them dance, or lead the crowd into a goofy dance instruction. It’s just not me…If they want to dance, I’ll play whatever they’ll dance to, but if they don’t want to, that’s fine. I’m really, really good at ‘reading the crowd’ and playing with details to get certain reactions out of people, But I’m not the DJ that’s determined to get every single person dancing. Besides, do you really want your 93 year old Aunt Jane mauled by your entertainer? Uh…yeaah…no…
I used to have a list of every song that I own here on my website … but I surf the net while I DJ, making my play list unlimited. I can’t emphasize enough that I can play anything.
My collection of music is an evolution that I’m sure will never stop changing. As soon as someone requests a song that I don’t have, I get it. – by the way, I always encourage people to make appropriate requests. I get my music from subscription services specifically created to supply DJs and radio stations. I have thousands of songs in hundreds of genres to choose from that are organized well enough to pull up in seconds. Also keep in mind that I can hook up to the Internet almost everywhere that I go to DJ, so my music library is often unlimited.
I’m not one of those techno-geek DJs that obsesses over their equipment. What I do have, though, is a sound system that is basic, but professional and reliable. It features wireless microphones and self-powered speakers. I use the same system at an event with 20 quiet people as I do at the events with 450+ loud high schoolers. It’s so versatile because it’s “modular” in nature; I can simply add self-amplified speakers when needed. When performing, I play MP3s from custom-made laptops with software that is designed specifically for mobile DJs. I usually scatter my speakers throughout the venue to keep the sound even everywhere for social hours and dinner times. When it comes time to turn the music up and dance, I turn a speaker or two down and point the rest in a cross-fire across the dance floor. This creates a loud spot where we want to be loud and another much quieter place for folks to simply socialize.
My sound system is cleverly redundant, so I don’t have to lug around extra junk as backup. If one of my laptops start to flake out, I just turn to the other one. If an amplifier acts up, I turn it off and turn the others up. My equipment doesn’t give me trouble often, but when it does, it’s no big deal. Usually, I’m the only person who knows.
I carry an insurance policy that’s specifically created for mobile DJs. This investment is a requirement to work at a lot of finer venues and I like knowing that I have protection against the seemingly endless liability of the real world.