How Hard Is Deejaying? Isn’t It Just To Play Music

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How Hard Is Deejaying? Isn’t It Just To Play Music

Hey guys! Welcome to this week’s edition on A Deejay’s Thoughts. I hope you find it informative and enlightening, because that is very much the reason for this column. Well, with that said this week’s article will be brief and direct and will answer a question that never ceases to annoy me.

In my short tenure as a budding deejay, I have encountered a couple of ‘ignorant’ clients who ask me this question, probably based on their inexperience or their sheer intention to belittle the craft so that they eventually pay pittance for the required deejaying service. Whenever I get in this situation, I try my best not to lose my temper but maintain a calm mien because after the dues (financial, time and passion) paid learning this craft, an ill-informed person comes to disrespect the profession. I’m sure by now, you are already wondering what this question is.

‘Haaa oga deejay!!! Is it not just to come and play “ordinary” music?” And trust me, this notion gets thrown at me in different tones and accents from “tush” girls who want to do their birthday or graduation bash, to an old rich man who wants to throw an exquisite wedding reception for his ward, and also not forgetting the professor who wants to launch a book and wants ‘cool’ music played at the launch, but when you mention your service charge, then boom! The question pops. All of these experiences have culminated in me deciding to write this article, shedding brief light and detailing some of the rigours that we (deejays) have to go through in order to “just come and play music”.

Based on the assumption that I’ve learnt the craft and no longer have to do the rudiments of learning how to deejay- which is itself training that interested folks pay very huge sums for both locally and especially internationally. In order to successfully come to your event and create that happy environment and eventually leave all the guests requesting for more great tunes, there are series of events and activities that I have to do, all of which are classified into three categories namely; the initial preparation, the event day activity and finally, the post event activity. For clarity sakes, I have further detailed the activities done in each of this stage.

  • The Initial Preparation

This entails getting the details of the event- knowing the venue, the size of the event hall, the nature of the event in itself, the supposed guests, inquiring if there are theme songs or specially requested songs. From the event details, you proceed to making sure that the music library is updated (nothing disappoints guests as much as requesting songs and the deejay doesn’t have it), checking to see that all the equipment are in proper working condition, creating a playlist for the event and so much more than can be event specific.

  • The Event Day Activity

Here, heavy lifting of equipment and early arrival at the event venue is the watchword. Most guests at events don’t actually realise that before they arrive at event venues, a lot of speaker lifting and console lifting as well as lighting and sound magnifying equipment have been done. Most of these usually require a lot of strength to move.

The most critical aspect of the whole activity is the “just playing music proper”. Here, I have to do a lot of audience and situational analysis in order to know the right song to play and at the right time too. Sometimes, this analysis goes as far as studying the age range of the audience and deciding the genre of music as well as the era (old school or contemporary) of music to play. This ability is part of the many skills that gives a deejay credibility.

Eventually, after the whole event, the whole moving and lifting processes are repeated again.

  • The Post Event Activity

This is the part where you measure effectiveness and success rate at the event. This usually happens days after the event when the client either comes to show appreciation for a job well done or to show “otherwise” Here is also where a lot of social media and online activities are carried out publicizing the day’s event and marketing the deejay’s brand.

So the next time you require the services of a disc jockey, remember all of these activities and respect the profession.

Read previous articles here.

Innocent Odikpo
Innocent Odikpo
DJ XL whose real name is Ebuka Innocent Odikpo is a young chap with different sides to his personality. Switching from deejaying to writing, which are his undying passions. He is a graduate of the University of Ibadan and currently a practising deejay and writer.

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