RANT...TODAY'S CLUB DJS NEED TO BUILD THEIR FOUNDATION

BILLY'S NEW DJ RANT

July 26, 2016

I was just kicking back in my studio and thinking about what it took for me to become a working Dj...I had (2) strange experiences recently at nightclubs and it made me wonder about todays club djs. The first one was a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to spin at his really hot party. I said sure I show up early to set up and the opening dj just had a prerecorded mix playing through his laptop...he then starts to tell me how the mixer works and how a friend showed him how to loop his control cd. I smile and say thanks. He thought he was tricking me into djing the opening slot by asking me if I wanted to start to mix...I get paid the same either way....lol. My last experience had to be the worst... I went to a club in SF as I walk in I always look to see who's djing just incase its a friend. I don't recognize the 5 guys in the dj booth all taking selfies and jumping up and down so I just go to my table with my friends. Well as I sitting there the dj is only playing about 2 bars of each song...I swear, only about 3 times did these dj guys let a verse even play all the way through. It was the craziest mess I'd ever heard, but nobody cared??? Not the crowd because I guess they were taking as many selfies as the dj and not really dancing. I see the owner just standing there like he had no clue either....

For me, I started learning to Dj in the 80's, basically I took apart my parents home entertainment center (Marantz amp, speakers and belt drive turntable no pitch control) I went to a place in Berkeley and bought another belt drive turntable and then to Radio Shack to get a mixer. I would go to Studio West and to the Palladium and listen to the djs and try to copy the mixes I heard them play... I sucked really bad and had to constantly put the rubberband back on my turntables. I finally got hipped to 1200's and counting beat per minute by Cameron Paul. I was only a mobile dj for a short time because I landed the lighting gig at Studio West. Back then you couldn't really just jump on the main nightclub system unless you paid your dues and built the trust of the head Dj and owners. I worked as Cameron's opener for many years and would pull tons of side gigs because of that. As the opening Dj I learned to respect the "Headliner" and not burn through the hits. I eventually became a mixshow Dj and "Headliner" type Dj at clubs. I remember the lessons I learned from back in the day and its kind of sad how they no longer apply to today's new djs... I think it might be because so many Dj's never got the chance to build their foundation properly and they are all fighting over gigs. I know the over saturation of djs makes it difficult to learn and club owners/promoters that will hire any dj based of FB and IG followers isn't helping the scene. I was lucky and blessed to start djing when I did...