Gangnam Style Takeover
By now I’m sure you’ve heard and seen the video (300 million + views on youtube!). Psy’s “Gangnam Style” has hit that rare viral stratosphere where one song has gotten hm worldwide attention. He’s been a guest on Ellen, performed at the MTV awards and has made many more appearances on american television.
This looks like that one song of 2012 that came out of no where and has been highly requested at events. I’ve DJ’ed three events in the past month where this song is specifically requested. I have no problem with this (yet.. lol). I like the video and Psy’s dance moves in the clip are infectious and easy to do. You will find people that don’t normally dance will be up doing the horse riding moves, and will be more loose and comfortable through the rest of your event.
If you have an event coming up I suggest you brush up on Psy’s moves. You’ll be the hit of the party!
My Summer Spinning at Nike Rivington Court
This summer has been really busy for me. Besides DJing Wedding and club gigs I landed the position of DJ for Nike’s Rivington Court Basketball Tournament. It’s a really great gig and it’s been a lot of fun! A quick background:
Nike set up a full NBA regulation sized court in a schoolyard on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Not only is it full sized, with bleachers on both sides, but the court is a full wood panel floor. Yes, wood panel floor outdoors! It’s very dope, trust me. On Wednesdays (and some Fridays) Nike hosted some of the best street basketball teams in the city in head to head matchups. Every week a new team came in to take on Nike’s home team of playground stars. We were treated to few surprises throughout the summer as a few NBA stars made appearances including Rudy Gay, J.R. Smith, Dahnte Jones and more.
As a huge basketball fan this has been a dream gig! I get to play the tunes while at the same time getting a front row seat to some of the best basketball New York City.
Unfortunately it ends this weekend with the Tournament of Champions at the Park. It’s been a great experience for me and I’ve met some great people. Gotta give big thanks to Nike for the opportunity!
Check out a few pics of the action!
Gotta Love the Kids!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of DJing a wedding for Paul and Allison at the Woman’s Club of Glen Ridge in New Jersey. I had a great time playing a mix of the bride and groom’s music picks as well as my own selections that I was sure would make the party rock.
What was interesting is the groom and the majority of his friends and family were from Texas, and he attended UT (University of Texas) so there was a whole lot of Texas pride throughout the wedding. A few older gentlemen with strong texas accents (think Bush Jr. on steroids) made a request early in the day for “any songs mentioning Texas”. I’ve been to Texas a few times, visiting Houston and Dallas, and spinning in Austin a few times but my Texas selections were pretty thin.
Luckily, the groom made sure to include some Texas “must plays” for the wedding when we discussed music. The highlight of which was "If Your Gonna Play in Texas" which had the party erupt in excitement from the minute it started. There was dancing lines, do-si-do and kids bouncing all around the hall.
For me, kids are like the secret weapon for great energy and fun at a wedding. It’s in their nature to dance and bounce around the dance floor and they aren’t self-conscious about looking silly or who is watching like most adults. When kids see adults dancing they want to get involved, and when adults see kids trying to dance they’ll watch and laugh, or get involved and dance with the kids. Either way, it makes for fun and translates into positive energy on the dance floor!
If your ever faced with the option on whether to bring your kids to a wedding or leave them home, this DJ says bring them!
One of the most frequent questions I am asked in meetings and emails is what is the difference between a “club” DJ and a wedding DJ. I got my start in clubs and still play them alongside weddings and events and they are very different. Not many DJs in New York can live in both worlds but I’ve had success in both for the past few years and I believe it’s helped make me a more well rounded DJ. But enough about me…
In many cities, the divide between DJs really isn’t there. All DJs are basically the same. But in the Big Apple there are enough people that you can have a specialty as a DJ. You can be successful as an Indian Wedding DJ. You can make a living playing 50′s Rockabilly parties. There is truly a market for everything.
The most common DJ you’ll find in New York City’s hippest spots is the open format DJ. Open format DJs will play a mix of music throughout the night – Hip-Hop,House,Top 40,80′s,Classic Rock, Mash-Ups and more all mixed together. So for the sake of this discussion we’ll use this type of DJ as the club DJ example.
You need to hire a DJ for your upcoming wedding or event. In New York your options are in the thousands. Do you hire a traditional wedding DJ, or go for a current club rocker? Let’s look at the differences:
Knows how to play to crowds of various ages
Are Grandma and Grandpa slightly opinionated? Is your boss super conservative and hates any music made after 1984? Most wedding and event DJs can navigate through these shallow waters.
Many club DJs aren’t experienced enough to entertain anyone from the pre-social network era.
Knows how to work around the details of the event
Are you planning a traditional wedding with first dances, cake cutting, etc? Are you planning on having the CEO and/or CFO speak at your event? Your Wedding and Event DJ will know how to lead into these moments without any awkward pauses and confusion from guest.
Club DJs often times don’t take these moments into account when playing. They can be more concerned with the dance floor than making sure the event is running as planned.
Limited in their music knowledge
Many Wedding and Event DJs aren’t on top of the latest music trends. Some keep up with Top 40 Radio and the iTunes Top 20. Many play as if it’s 1992. Still.
Club DJs are more musically savvy and aren’t scared to take risk playing newer, more underground tunes.
Do you look forward to hearing YMCA at your event? Didn’t think so.
A club DJ risk being pulled right off the set and banished from any DJ booth in New York if he plays anything in this lane.
Know how to rock party
If your event will cater to a younger, more loose crowd a club DJ is perfect. They know exactly what people are into at the moment and can bring a younger energy to your event.
Wedding and Event DJs tend to stay in the predictable lane, playing what they know works, regardless of the crowd.
Don’t use tricks or games
No self respecting Club DJ will ever use magic tricks, games, funny hats, or any other shtick to entertain you.
Many Wedding and Event DJs keep these weapons at their disposal and use them (too) frequently.
Have technical talent
Not just anyone can work as a DJ in New York. Crowds can be unforgiving and club owners and managers won’t hesitate to replace you if you sound bad. Either way, if you don’t know what your doing behind the booth you won’t be working for long.
Many Wedding and Event DJs use basic, simple equipment and would be lost in a nightclub DJ booth. You’ll also find most don’t have any technical DJ skills that separate them from a iPod.
Not much Wedding/Event experience
Life for most club DJs is simple. Come to venue, play music, get paid, go home. They don’t know the difference between cocktail hour and real party time and don’t have the experience to transition between special dances.
Wedding and Event DJs know the ins and outs of your event and will work with you to shape the music of the event around any special moments.
Bad follow up
This goes along with above. Clubs DJs work and stay out late, wake up late, drink often. I know..it’s more awesome than it sounds! But it makes them a little lackadaisical towards the smaller things…like returning phone calls and emails.
For most Wedding and Event DJs this is a business, and they treat it as such. Many DJs have a team that is involved in your event. From meetings to follow-up questions to working with other vendors, you’ll know the music is covered with your event.
This is a general list of differences I’ve experienced in my years of playing. There are DJs out there like myself that can give you the best of both worlds but we are few and far between. There are also wedding DJs and club DJs that are just plain bad at all the above and really should be working at a gas station instead of passing themselves off as DJs.
The most important thing to keep in mind is your preferences: there is no right or wrong style of DJ. There is a right and wrong DJ for the type of event you want to throw.
Whether you want a club or a wedding and event DJ make sure your the DJ asking questions about their style and experience and decide from there if it will be the right for the event your putting on.
And make sure they don’t play YMCA…that’s just bad.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of djing Stephon & Katie’s wedding in Brooklyn and this was the song of the night. I was contacted a few weeks before the wedding by one of the bridesmaids with the idea of them performing the song during their speech to the newlywed couple. It seems that this was the couple’s “song” and they wanted to perform it, with rewritten lyrics, customized for the couple.
I was all for it, but honestly wasn’t sure of what to expect the day of. They sent me the instrumental version of the track and the day of the wedding I was ready for the performance. During cocktail hour I played the original sample of The Light and the newly married couple stopped what they were doing and headed to the dance floor for a special dance. After that I knew they would be pleasantly surprised.
When it was time for the bridesmaids to make speeches I had the song cued and ready to go. When I got my cue I dropped the song and the ladies started the sing-along. Little did I know the groom’s sister, his best man and a few close friends also added to the performance! The wedding guest were really into it and a few were even up and dancing. The bride and groom were totally shocked and loved every minute of the performance.
It was a great memory for the couple and for myself as well.
Like most of America I caught Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime performance and I have to say, she KILLED it! I’m not too crazy about the new record but the overall show was crazy! I’ll definitely be breaking out a few Madonna classics at upcoming events.
I recently dropped this mix on soundcloud of a few nu-disco/dance tunes I’ve been playing out around town. The mix is a cool alternative to the Top 40 dance your used to. Check it out and let me know what you think!
James Brown – Dead On It (U-Tern Disco Edit)
Martin Brodin & Dumb Dan – Blood Stud (Ray Mang Remix)
NSFW – Coconut (Cosmonauts Remix)
Locussolus – I Want It (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Remix)
Gigamesh – When You’re Dancing (Feat. Induce) (Cassian Remix)
Juan Soto – Dance & Claps
Holy Ghost – Hold On
Cassius – The Sound Of Violence (Aeroplane Remix)
Treasure Fingers – Cross The Dancefloor (Chromeo Remix)
Hey! Thanks for checking out my site. This is the first blog post, and there are many more to come. Make sure you check out my DJ servies for corporate events, weddings and more.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite jams. Enjoy!