I read with interest the article on not downloading requests, and the broader debate about whether or not DJs should play requests, and I have a different view on this.
Just to build my credibility – I’ve been a professional DJ for over 16 years now, and DJing has been one of my main sources of income for the last 10 years, so this comes from my own experience. And I think it’s fine to play, and even to download, requests. Here are my arguments:
- People love it when you play their requested songs! – They came to party, and if the DJ is ready to make that extra step just for them – even better. Our main job and mission as DJs is to make people in the club / bar / place happy, isn’t it? Not to impress, make us proud of ourselves and feel all-important. It’s about the folks on the dancefloor and by the bar. Right?
- Playing requests is a nice way to make some extra dough – Nothing wrong with that. Some drunk guy comes up, requests a song. You say the price. Not much, but still. If he pays up, great. If he doesn’t, it’s OK. He just gave you an idea for song, maybe. It also gives you a feeling as to what kind of crowd has gathered tonight
- Sometimes the requested song is a new hit that will really light up the dancefloor – If you don’t have it, but have the ability to download it, and double-check it before playing, great! You just got yourself the latest hit, thanks to that drunk guy – who just gave you extra buck for it too
- Sometimes playing a request out of your planned repertoire can energise the dancefloor – Pretty often when playing a requested song, I can see the dancefloor livening up, sometimes unexpectedly. Also, if the request comes from a group of people, pretty often they’ll all go crazy to it…
- Downloading and playing requests broadens your library with important songs – Remember, these are songs requested directly by your “clients”. Aren’t these the most important people for your DJing?
- Playing requests is almost a must at private parties – And if you don’t have that song, having the technical ability to download and play it on the spot is a godsend
Having said that…
Having said all that, of course there are conditions for downloading and playing requests:
- The requested song must not fall out of the context of the music played in the bar / club / venue – This rule has exceptions though, naturally (see above). Sometimes playing something unexpected and out of the genre really gets the crowd going wild. But you have to know when and how to do that
- You must check the quality of the downloaded track – for things like sound compression, glitches, cut endings and so on
- You must make sure it does not distract you too much from DJing – Only if you have ADD and/or are good at multitasking, should you attempt this complicated task… 😉
• DJ Pasha is a DJ from Lithuania. Check his website out (in Lithuanian) here. You can also find him on Facebook: Paulius Markulis.
So what are your views? It is sometimes OK to play requests, or even download them? Have you ever done this, and if so, how? Or do you still think DJs should avoid requests at all costs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…