Gig Decisions
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Thread: Gig Decisions

  1. #1

    Default Gig Decisions

    ayo DJTT

    I played out for the 2nd real time last night, high school crowd of about 300 or so. I play EDM -- everything from minimal, tribal house, dubstep, the works. I was one of 2 DJs for the night, each playing for an hour and a half. The event people booked me knowing what I play, which when I play out is mostly dubstep/glitch hop/electro house/DnB. I prepared some choons, and because of my experience the last time I played at a high school party I threw in a lot of hip-hop, managing to not compromise my music tastes -- stuff I can get into -- outkast, diplo-produced hophop, tupac, Odd Future.

    I played a pretty seamless set, with no technical errors except for a couple mistakes. obviously no one cared because from what I could tell, all they wanted to hear was our dear, lyrically-challenged friend, mr. Lil Wayne. People didn't hate my set -- luckily the hip hop I knowingly threw in appeased them (they didn't even bite on the outkast, tupac, or odd future), they didn't even not like it, but all the black girls were trying to get me to play more, and I quote, "booty poppin shit." Some peeps were dancing but most were being blobs on the floor, and towards the end of my set, I had a bunch of girls on the stage and I said what the fuck, and just smashed Ludacris - How Low on the rear end of the track i was playing, and people went ballistic. I'm talking girls screaming and cheering, everybody grinding, i kid you not. After that I had time for one last track and scrapped Kill The Noise's Dying and just mixed into Look at Me Now, exact same result. a LOT more people were having a good time, and I did some hands in the air stuff and felt good, I let the track run out, did my thing on the mic, and the next DJ (who was absolute shit technically and musically, again not kidding) dropped right into lil wayne (literally - Faded) and I grabbed my equipment and pretty much escaped.

    Now the team (who are not kids) that put on this event loved me, I was professional and had a great time, they were happy with my set but kind of wished I had played to the crowd more. I got paid and they want to book me for another party in a couple weeks, I said I'll have to get back to you on that.

    Now the way I see it I have three choices.

    One, I can say yes, load up on lil wayne and go be a hero at the next party and have a ballin time.

    Two, I can say yes, make the same compromises I made this time in terms of music, while still managing to play a little good music, and have a mediocre time.

    Or I can just say no.


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  2. #2
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    This year I made 3 gigs, one of them was fun, I was able to play the music I liked along with some commercial stuff and everybody loved it. The second gig I made was shit because there wasn't so much people and the genres with the dj's where waaaay to different and also the power blew out in the middle of my set(this was mainly the reason it was shit).
    finally I did a last gig a few weeks ago in the same place as my first gig of this year, I thought it would be fun as the first time it was fun. However, living in argentina, people here seem to love this awfull genre called Reggaeton(Which should be prohibitted and vanished from existance) and kept requesting me this stuff allthough I was allready playing against my will a lot of commercial music (guetta, lmfao and stuff). I got paid but had a shitty time all night mangling with the requests of both the people who made the party as from the crowd.

    After this night I've decided that I will not make any more dj sets in these type of parties. From now on i will only make Live acts performing my tracks in places that I know will enjoy my performance.

    I came to the conclusion that if I didnt enjoy myself, what was the point of playing?
    So I made this decision and I'm sticking to it, besides, I find that its more fulfilling producing your own music rather than playing other people music(my opinion)
    Its much harder work but I think its much more of a meritory art.

    So I would reccomend, if you really need the money, do it, but you really have a shitty time while playing, maybe its not worth it.

    Just my opinion
    Hope it helps!

  3. #3
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    Being a DJ has always meant playing for the crowd. I guess the trick would be playing for a crowd where you can do what you do best without sacrificing to much of your own personal taste, or at the very least, play music that isnt out of your comfort zone and you can perform at your best. I personally think you have only 2 options here. One would be to say No, and look for something else that suits you better. To me your second option would be to say yes to the next gig, but completely commit to the music that needs to be played at these type of gigs. That means not only changing up your library, but committing to that music scene in general (at least somewhat). I personally think any compromises would mean you would be putting on a mediocre set (maybe not mediocre, but not your best), and to me that isnt fair to the crowd or to the other DJ's out there that are very capable of rocking that crowd and would love to have your spot.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru IznremiX's Avatar
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    heres the way I see it:

    1) Probably the way to go. If your taking a gig you should make your best effort to appease the crowd. This doesn't mean you can't fit some of your own stuff in, you just have to mostly play the crowd. Also, since they mentioned that they want you to do a better job of reading the crowd, you want to show the promotion company that you take the job seriously and are making an effort in doing a better job.

    2) The problem with this is that your going in knowing that you'll play a mediocre set. You won't be happy, the crowd won't be happy, and the guys hiring you won't be happy.

    3) No point in saying no. At worst, atleast your making a bit of money out of it and your making some connects
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    It was a lot less hassle in the old days, when music was expensive, and people weren't going to spend thousands of $$$ replacing their record collection with tunes they didn't like, to play music to people whose tastes they'd despise. You'd end up with DJs playing who enjoyed themselves and were passionate about the music they were playing, with the crowd as kindred spirits. Now you can just get a bunch of MP3s and wing the gig anyway, because a gig's a gig. Plus ca change.

    </troll>

    ----

    Sorry, that was really grouchy, wasn't it?

    @OP - I'd say it's (1) or (3) fella. (2) didn't seem to make you too happy.

    I'm off for a cuppa tea.
    Last edited by lethal_pizzle; 05-21-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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  6. #6
    Tech Guru VirtualLogic's Avatar
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    Go with three man, but just play a mixture of hip hop, some lil wayne, jay z etc. ans some tupak and jackson 5 and all that old school shit they will love it as long as they can sing along.

  7. #7
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    "One, I can say yes, load up on lil wayne and go be a hero at the next party and have a ballin time."

    So basically: you're happy, the promotor's happy, and the crowd's happy. On top of that, you're getting some cash. I have absolutely no idea what's not obvious about that. As long as you're happy doing what you do, and people love it, it's not really a sellout. You just do what you love doing.

    As soon as that changes (and the time will probably come some day), it's time to reconsider your situation, obviously. Just don't be a slave to the commercial is bad attitude. Playing what a mainstream crowd wants doesn't necessarily mean selling out.


    Edit: that said, playing what the crowd wants doesn't mean you can't be creative. Whilst crossfading from one hit to the next will keep your crowd dancing, adding some unexpected twists here and there may make 'em go berserk. In your case, hip-hop and dubstep have great potential when combined.
    Last edited by StephanV; 05-21-2012 at 08:34 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephanV View Post
    As soon as that changes (and the time will probably come some day), it's time to reconsider your situation, obviously. Just don't be a slave to the commercial is bad attitude. Playing what a mainstream crowd wants doesn't necessarily mean selling out.
    this. after djing a number of events from holidays to new years to boxing matches to cinco de mayos, and as the events change, so do the crowds. from the sound of it, you were playing some classic/quirky hip hop, that people SHOULD appreciate, but don't (just don't be mad about it). get up on your newer commercial releases (ie, faded), and give the people what they want. you can slip in some of your own favorites, but if you want to have a fun, successful night, you'll have to make some compromises.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru PeteWoods's Avatar
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    Man i've seen this happen with some open format clubs in my area, that eventually people come to love you BECAUSE you dont just play Lil Wayne. You can spin big hip-hop songs, but bring out some more old-school shit, (Pass The Courvoisier always goes down well) and theres a possibility you'll become known for the fact that you do make the crowd go apeshit, but with your own flavour!

    Theres a night that runs in one of the clubs around my area and it's turned songs like Love Is In The Air by John Paul Young into anthems among its regulars!

    I'd say dont stock up on Lil Wayne, but know the crowd your playing to and get yourself some jams that are gonna go off with them

  10. #10
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    if you need the cash and future gigs, sure go for it play what they want.

    Personally I could not play music I wouldn't want to hear myself, and if you go that route be prepared to be pigeon-holed into playing stuff you thorougly dislike for future events that may come up as a result of this one.

    My 2 cents.

    BTW - I don't have a clue who lil wayne is

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