Every endeavour or professions has its perks and challenges- that is a known fact. However, over the years, we have been made to believe that some professions are generally more accepted and considered elitist than others are, especially in a worldview and culture like ours that lay undue and unnecessary emphasis on superficial image and reputation rather than on reality and self-actualization.
In lieu of this, rectifying this belief and offering reasons (information) to think otherwise, especially as it relates to the business of disc jockeying is the crux of this week’s article. I hope that this informs and educates you and gives you some level of insight into the intricacies and nuances of not only the deejaying profession, but that through this insight, you start acknowledging and respecting other human endeavours that you hitherto believed to be ordinary and easy to do.
To begin with, being a disc jockey is hard work. It takes investment of time and money to start doing what you love. It gets even more difficult and frustrating once your friends, family, or other acquaintances who know absolutely nothing about your job make assumptions of what you do professionally. Here are some of the common stereotypes I’ve heard and experienced over the years. Some of which I started getting even before I made the choice of becoming a disc jockey. All of these stereotypes have to be corrected at once, and I hope this article helps in setting that correction in motion.
- Judging all deejays as party-animals who drink/do drugs every night.
Agreed, deejaying does revolve around the party and nightlife scene, but many deejays just try to make a living doing what they love with music. I’m certain that majority of deejays are content with a bottle of whatever is their choice of beverage before their set and head home to their loved ones after they spin. The truth is that party life can get old, quick. Hence, after a couple of months or years rocking parties/clubs/concerts frequently, we (deejays) get tired of the ‘perks’ that everyday people find at parties and are barely moved by the food and drinks/drug. All we just want to do is finish our work and get away from the loud music.
- Deejays are not real musicians.
This school of thought is quite common to the person outside our industry. They think, “Well, Disc jockeying doesn’t really take that much musicality. You just press play…don’t you?”
This couldn’t be more wrong! Deejays have to have more musical knowledge and be more musically oriented than you realize. They need to have intrinsic knowledge of BPM (beats per minute) for beat matching, know different genres of music and musical styles, and keep up with new musical trends and fads. In fact, deejays should even be considered more musical than many music artistes- (recording or performing) who restrict themselves in one genre. DJs on the other end are encyclopaedias of music that painstakingly spend hours of their time downloading and arranging music and recreating a set to engage specific types of audiences.
- Deejays will always take requests from their audience.
This one is quite common, sadly. But the truth is that deejays are real people – and require high levels of concentration to do their jobs well. We know that there is always a guy or girl in a club, concert or even an ‘owanbe’ party, asking the deejay to “play more fuji” or any of their favourite songs and expects their request to be taken immediately. Errrrh! Sorry, but many professional deejays don’t work like that.
So, next time the deejay isn’t playing what you like, kindly and politely excuse yourself from the club or venue or you be patient till your favourite songs start rolling in. Do not by any means go up to the booth and think you can get your favourite song played (Unless you slip the disc jockey some tip, then it’s probably permissible).
Here is where I’ll pause for this week’s article. I know it’s not concluded, but I have to stop here. The conclusion of this post will come up next week. Do have a fulfilling week.