Over To You: Should I DJ At A 90s Party When I Wasn’t Even Born Then?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 8 November, 2017


Keep Calm
Should our reader take on the challenge of DJing a party with music from when he wasn’t even born, or should he leave it to those who were there at the time?

Digital DJ Tips reader Dennis writes: “I’m 19, from Hamburg in Germany. My older sister plans a 90s party and wants me to DJ, because they don’t know another DJ and the real 90s DJs are expensive. I don’t want to do that, because I have not really a clue about 90s music, how to mix it and finally I only have two or three songs from this era, but she tries to convince me to DJ at the party and she would organise the music and says I can practise before. Should I DJ at this party although I’m not into this kind of music?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

A few thoughts on that. If it’s just a party, and not a “big deal” (someone’s wedding, a big club gig etc), the stakes aren’t really very high – especially as they know you don’t really do this kind of DJing anyway.

On the one hand, it can be great to DJ outside of your comfort zone, and if you put the effort in (spent a few weeks getting to know the music, practising some mixing, listening to mixes from that time) you’d get an awful lot out of it. Remember, DJs today still drop music from back then to devastating effect in their sets. Learning about your heritage is always A Good Thing. Why not build out from the two or three songs you have, and try and get a set that’s your own distinctive “take” on the 90s?

On the other, if you really don’t think you like any of the music from back then, and you haven’t got the time and effort to put into researching, practising and opening your ears to a whole different (and long gone) musical scene, then you’re not likely to do a very good job of it, or enjoy it. In that case, I’d say pass on it.

Would love to throw this one over to the readers, though, as I feel many of our community have faced similar dilemmas, and have chosen to do different things, and I’d love to get their views on it for you.

So over to you! Should Dennis do a crash course in 90s dance and take his sister’s gig for the experience? Or is it a bad idea? Please share your thoughts and your own experiences in the comments below.

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