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Thread: The eternal playlist conundrum

  1. #71

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Durham, Co Durham


    Somebody once used a car seller as an analogy for this subject. Guy goes into a dealership & wants a mini but the salesman is pushing a range rover. Customer isn't happy - it's not what he wanted. Boo hoo naughty salesman. Right? Yeah but what if the customer wanted a car for towing a hulking great big caravan - would the mini he wanted so much do the job? Hmmmmnope.

    As for not winning em all Gary, I know. I won't win em all.

    The customer going "we've got to fill all the time available with music we just plucked out of our heads while we're sat at home" just spells out that they don't trust me, they don't have any interest in their guests.. and this isn't good news to me. This particular one talked of their love for 1990s music, particularly dance music. Where was all that in the list they got as far as? Nowhere to be seen.

    Is this all people see the DJ as being now? I don't think so - well I hope not anyway - and as I've already said if this is the new way of things I'm gonna find something else to do.

    The content of the lists - well, it's anybody's guess really how anything will be received by the crowd but we can make educated guesses most of the time. Whether I like the music or not.. meh.. don't really care much either way - sure it's NICE to play tunes I love & see them take a roof off but mainly I'm in it for people having a good time.

    Look at this from another perspective - we don't just stick stuff on & hope for the best. There's method in what we do & how we do it. It's an art form of sorts. Take that away & we aren't even skilled tradesmen anymore & any argument for being worth a high fee goes out the window.

    Problem is, people think our job is EASY or that certain numbers of us are LAZY (and in some cases all this is true).

    I admire the effort that goes into some of these lists mind - it must certainly take much longer to come up with them than it does to play them. But why spend all that time doing it when you can't even guarantee it'll have the desired effect?! Crazy stuff. Even crazier when you account for the fact you're paying somebody capable of working it out for you instead. Bonkers!

    The number of variables involved in putting on any event that could be deemed a success really boils down to this one: THE PEOPLE PRESENT. Leave them out of the equation, second guess them into next week or brazenly cast any notion they're important aside and you're gonna come a cropper.

    The "it's my party & I'll cry if I want to" mindset.. yes yes, they say, they pay yada yada... but is it really all for the best? No it isn't. The customer is always right, always until the moment they admit defeat & say okay DJ rip up the playlist & let the guests have what they like. Or everybody leaves the party miserable.

    So who's my ideal kind of customer? I think I've met a good few of them for next year already. They don't want anything for their event than a room full of people having a great time. Sure they'd like to include some music that's important to them in one way or another but their main vision is one of a memorable party with all their guests making merry. That IMHO is what this job is about. Not this "there's 5 hours to fill & the list of music we don't like would be the entire Spotify catalogue minus the list we're giving the DJ" business.
    Last edited by Nakatomi; 17-09-2018 at 12:40 AM.

  2. #72
    Benny Smyth's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014


    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    Unfortunately everyone has experienced what they perceive to be a bad DJ during their lifetime at weddings and parties (OK - possibly where the playlist has been dictated...who knows?), and don't want that repeated at their own event so they're playing safe. They're investing what they see to be a lot of money for someone to play music and flash lights...they may as well have a big say in what's played.

    Not everyone is going to agree with that, but if I was paying my fee for an evening and didn't actually do this job...I'd certainly want a big say in things. After all, supposing the DJ played the tracks he/she had limited me to and then suddenly went into full on Country & Western or Hip Hop for the rest of the evening? (both genres I absolutely detest I might add).
    If only there was some way in conveying to the client that not only will you listen to them when it comes to the songs that they love, but you'll also make a note of the stuff that they don't like without them having to resort to putting together an incredibly long list of songs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    A couple of other examples...

    * I wouldn't expect to order a chicken Korma and be given a prawn vindaloo because the chef knows best
    * I wouldn't expect to go into a computer shop to buy a Mac only to be sold a Windows PC because my choice of computer didn't match the preference of the salesman
    Sorry Wayne, but invalid arguments. If people are paying for a disco, they get a disco. The finished product is exactly what they are purchasing, but the methodology of how it is done may differ from Korma to Korma.

  3. #73
    Shakermaker Promotions's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    I appreciate both sides of the argument however, I would also say that many of us didn't start doing this job as soon as we left school, therefore we would have worked in jobs over the years that for the most part, we didn't enjoy (before taking the plunge into the world of DJing). Yes, there are good sides and bad sides to ALL jobs, but when you are self-employed and your own boss, you are fortunate enough to be able to choose what you do, or don't do.

    In my opinion, the hardest thing about this job is getting the work in the first place. Many of us, if not everybody on this forum (including myself), don't appear to have any problems with work coming in. I am of the opinion that I CAN pick and choose which work I want to do, and if a customer has demands that I feel uncomfortable with, I won't entertain the booking. If I get booked, and then the customer moves the goal posts along the way, I'll advise, and if they are adamant about their demands (extensive playlists for example, which will see me standing there, just pressing buttons and not being able to deviate away from the "everything must be played in that order" type list), I'll get somebody else to do it.

    It is only in extreme cases that I would do something like that. 99.9% of the time, I don't get extensive 'must play' lists.
    As I said, I / We can choose to turn away work if we wish, because we're our own bosses. I like to make my job as enjoyable as possible, and I do that by taking on bookings that I feel comfortable with.

    I'm in the position now where I am working from home during the week and earning a good wage, so the picking and choosing is a common thing nowadays.
    Whereas before, I relied on the DJ work.... I don't now.
    I've turned down more bookings over the last year than I have taken on. I'd say 75% of those enquiries were nailed on certs too.

    On the other side of things, I can understand how some may look at it as "Well, it's a few hours out of my life, and I am going to earn decent money so it won't hurt" - Yes, that's fair enough, I totally get that. I felt like that in the early days when I went full-time. I'd also go out at discounted rates if I had a couple of dates to fill. That was wrong, and not the ideal way to do things, but being self-employed, I needed to be working.

    Finally, extensive playlists (or request lists in this example), can work for you.....
    I have a 70's themed night coming up in the next couple of weeks. The organiser has created a facebook event for the night, and I have introduced myself and encouraged people to post requests on the event wall.
    The requests are flooding in, and there are some classics there. This means that those that are attending will hear their requests on the night, but more importantly, it gives me a base to work from.

    As we all know, Facebook events provide false information. If 100 people say they are going, it's likely 20 will turn up, but then of course, you have those that don't use social media and will be at the venue anyway.

  4. #74

    Join Date
    Nov 2013


    The good thing about a DJ is that they know what gets people dancing.

    My reputation is everything, I would not risk it with a bad playlist and unhappy guests.

    Of course, if I wasn't working local and someone wanted to pay me £500 plus, then I would be there personal ipod all night.

  5. #75
    Imagine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Ely, Cambridgeshire


    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Murphy View Post
    The good thing about a DJ is that they know what gets people dancing.

    My reputation is everything, I would not risk it with a bad playlist and unhappy guests.

    Of course, if I wasn't working local and someone wanted to pay me £500 plus, then I would be there personal ipod all night.

    ^^^^ And that is exactly what I'll be doing on Saturday night

    Having said I don't get too many playlists, I'm doing a very rare (for me) 21st on Saturday in a golf club for a family I've done parties for in the past. They're normally OK (alright....the last one I did was an engagement and they literally CRAWLED out of the venue after emptying the bar AND cellar of Jager )

    I've just been sent the playlist.....thankfully it covers the entire evening because half of it I've never even heard of, although surprisingly it does seem to have crept into my collection somewhere along the line

    A night of Drake, Tinchy Stryder, Eminem and various other rap and hardcore Drum & Bass awaits.....might have to take the subs for this one

    Will they dance? I very much doubt it....but hey.....I've been paid

  6. #76
    yourdj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    The New Forest


    Playlist are fine by me as i have said, but just to show that it can work have a look below:

    I think it totally depends on the client. If you attract selfish clients that have zero self reflection then all you will get is what they want as 'its my day and i will have slutty R&B all night'. I think a key thing to say when they want Drake all night is "Yes I will but you need to think about your guests & also add different genres decades". If a client of mine said no, and they did not have a huge friend group then I would probably not take the booking.

    This was a list from two brides that did not want me to deviate at all from their list or take any requests. She was a university lecturer & very middle classed & a nice person, just my type of client. She had seen her her friends take over (obnoxiously) at every wedding (asking for ezzergood etc.) hence the no requests, but they did not bother me once. She wanted control as she was uber specific with what she likes (she banned maroon 5), had a great grasp on what was appropriate, but more importantly took everyones opinion & subjectivity on board.

    This was the list as it was played on the night; the second one was a father dance and the third one what they asked for, but the rest was left up to me. Very different selection to normal (i.e. tracks like lunch money lewis), which was very refreshing and crucially it had everyone dancing all night. I have saved the playlist as one of my favs.

    Hey Jude was the last track and then I hit them with Eurythmics, awesome reaction.

    130 Ain't No Mountain High Enough Marvin Gaye
    72 MAIN - What a Wonderful World Louis Armstrong's Orchestra And Chorus
    108 Come And Get Your Love Redbone
    114 Heart of Glass Blondie
    100 Superstition Stevie Wonder
    126 T-Rex - Bang A Gong Get It On
    126 Bills Lunchmoney Lewis
    125 Do Your Thing Basement Jaxx
    128 You Can Call Me Al Paul Simon
    93 Escape (The Pina Colada Song) Rupert Holmes
    115 Let's Dance - David Bowie David Bowie
    117 Human League - Don't You Want Me DONT

    117 Club Tropicana Wham!
    117 Billie Jean BILLY Micheal Jackson
    120 Baywatch Theme - I'll Be Ready / Iím always here Ė Jim Jamison TV Theme Songs
    120 Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
    120 Finally Ce Ce Peniston
    Young Hearts Run Free Kym Mazelle
    75 Human Rag'n'bone Man
    76 I'm Yours IM Jason Mraz
    103 Could You Be Loved Bob Marley
    Shame, Shame, Shame Shirley And Company
    98 boss James Brown
    103 Reservoir Dogs - Little Green Bag
    98 Senorita Justin Timberlake
    98 Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd Skynyrd
    97 Phil Collins - You Can't canít Hurry Love CANT Phil Collins

    99 crazy in love Beyonce
    102 A Town Called Malice The Jam
    105 Are You Gonna Be My Girl Jet
    105 Valerie (Feat. Amy Winehouse) Mark Ronson
    83 Johnny B Goode - BE GOOD Chuck Berry
    93 Long Tall Sally Little Richard
    96 Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes
    80 Happy Pharrell Williams
    79 hey ya Outkast
    115 Uptown Funk (Feat. Bruno Mars) Mark Ronson
    116 Get Lucky (Radio Edit) [feat. Pharrell Williams] Daft Punk
    108 Diana Ross - Upside Down (You Turn Me) Diana Ross
    108 I Don't Feel Like Dancin' DANCING - BEST ONE Scissor Sisters
    106 9 To 5 - dolly parton Dolly Parton
    99 The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
    109 Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours stevie wonder

    129 Uptown Girl Billy Joel
    132 Wham - I'm Your Man Wham!
    125 Sweet Dreams MAIN (Are Made of This) Eurythmics
    76 Sex IS on Fire Kings Of Leon
    128 The Darkness- I Believe In A Thing Called Love The Darkness
    104 Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand
    80 Everyday I Love You Less & Les Kaiser Chiefs
    81 One Way or Another Blondie
    124 Stuck In The Middle With You - Stealers Wheel stealers wheel
    136 The Rolling Stones- GET NO Satisfaction
    127 Oldies - Roy Orbison - Pretty Woman
    78 Chuck Berry - You Can Never Tell (Pulp Fiction Soundtrack)(2)
    75 Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
    81 80s - Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
    87 Footloose Kenny Loggins
    74 The Killers - Mr. Brightside HARDER ONE The killers
    130 Song 2 Blur
    79 01 Keiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot

    77 Chelsea Dagger The Fratellis
    120 Donít Stop Believing - Journey dont Don't Starship
    74 Hey Jude The Beatles
    112 There Must Be an Angel (Playing With My Heart) Eurythmics
    I Put a Spell on you Nina Simone
    120 Supermassive Black Hole Muse
    Last edited by yourdj; 20-09-2018 at 08:20 AM.
    Your DJ - Mobile DJ The New Forest, Southampton & Hampshire. Toby
    http://www.yourdj.co.uk/ | http://www.phatdiscos.co.uk/

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