To beat mix or not, that is the question...

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sawdust123

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What was a standard then is different than a standard now. It also is regional. If you’re in an area with few to minimal nightlife spots, or work w crowds that don’t really go out much in that capacity, their expectations will be different than say my crowd, who go to Vegas, Miami, Mykonos, beach clubs, etc on a consistent basis and have a lot of experience and knowledge as to what sounds right for them.
I agree with all of that. I work in suburbia. You have to travel at least an hour to get to a fancy nightclub. We have small ones locally that try to act big but I had no desire to attract the same clientele. I would tell prospects my niche was second marriages. This caters to an older audience that I had more in common with. Older crowds also require more nuanced MC skills. This made me stand out from the typical high energy DJ.
 
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Proformance

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... expectations will be different than say my crowd, who go to Vegas, Miami, Mykonos, beach clubs, etc on a consistent basis and have a lot of experience and knowledge as to what sounds right for them.
Emphasis on: "for them."

In every major city and tourist destination there are even wealthy, elite clients who hate everything you describe and will go out of their way to hire a DJ who doesn't try to imitate any of it. I've personally had business cards handed back to me by prospects who loved what I was doing at a particular event and approached wanting to hire me, but upon seeing the card of the company I may have been obligated to represent that evening - did a complete 180 and said "we don't want anything to do with that." Despite assurances that they could book me just as they were experiencing it at that event - they absolutely refused to book through that agency who is best known for what you describe.

There is still a lot of people for whom these imitations of Vegas, Miami, et. al. are an unwelcome and even tasteless intrusion upon the reverence or honor of their particular family occasion. It's as true in New York and New Jersey as it is Boston and Hartford. It's not about the money - it's about what they consider appropriate.

No matter what niche a DJ is in - they are working only a minor sliver of the total events in that area on any given night. There are an average of 450 weddings every weekend of the wedding season in New England alone. If I was booked solid with 4 weddings every weekend I would still only be an eye-witness to less than 1% (0.88) of what is actually transpiring in the region for wedding entertainment.

Never believe that because we don't see something it isn't happening or has no following - it does. In business, we typically see and hear what we want to see and hear - that which mates with our own objective and preference. We further look to media, promotions, and reporting that support our preferences. We hear more about over-the-top events solely because of how much money is being spent - but that does't make it the goal or standard within any given region.
 
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djtaso

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Emphasis on: "for them."
In every major city and tourist destination there are wealthy, elite crowds who hate everything you describe that go out of their way to hire a DJ who doesn't try to imitate any of it.

No matter what niche a DJ is in - they are working only a minor sliver of the total events in that area on any given night. There are an average of 450 weddings every weekend of the wedding season in New England alone. If I was booked solid with 4 weddings every weekend I would be an eye-witness to less than 1% (0.88) of what is actually transpiring in the region for wedding entertainment.

Never believe that because you don't see something it isn't happening or has no following - it does. In business, we typically see and hear what we want to see and hear - that which mates with our own objective and preference. We further look to media, promotions, and reporting that support our preferences.
I mean they can look for it, but the most expensive djs will not be offering their services in that manner as it’ll hurt their brand image. As I said in the follow up post... the top tier clients THAT FOCUS ON DANCING, are typically seeking that style ir level of skill set. At least in NJ. Boston is not the same market as NJ. When I go out of state and do what I do, it is always mentioned to me how no ones ever seen a DJ come close to the level of energy and skill set that I bring. They love it... but can’t find it. I mean why is it that the best parties are the ones with the top djs in my area? We all play the same songs generally speaking... difference is how we present them.
 
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Proformance

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When I go out of state and do what I do, it is always mentioned to me how no ones ever seen a DJ come close to the level of energy and skill set that I bring.
LOL. If I had a dime for every time I've heard that line I'd be richer than Bezos.
I spent 2 years sending myself and other DJs to southern CT to entertain New Yorkers who claimed they "never saw a DJ with yadda yadda skills, etc." It took me that many months of 8 hour round trips to price myself to the point that people finally stopped referring me. A convention hall full of nurses wanted to fly us to Florida because "no one in Florida does what you do..."

It's the alcohol talking. :)
People always assumed I was younger than I actually was. By the time I entered my 50's I finally started to look closer to my real age and the alcohol stopped talking. It started again when I began fronting myself with younger dancers.:)
 
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djtaso

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LOL. If I had a dime for every time I've heard that line I'd be richer than Bezos.
I spent 2 years sending myself and other DJs to southern CT to entertain New Yorkers who claimed they "never saw a DJ with yadda yadda skills, etc." It took me that many months of 8 hour round trips to price myself to the point that people finally stopped referring me. A convention hall full of nurses wanted to fly us to Florida because "no one in Florida does what you do..."

It's the alcohol talking. :)
People always assumed I was younger than I actually was. By the time I entered my 50's I finally started to look closer to my real age and the alcohol stopped talking. It started again when I began fronting myself with younger dancers.:)
I get what you're saying and was expecting that response... but whose to say it can't be true. The reality is there are many more bad dj's than good ones. The avg person only goes to so many weddings... and the chances of them seeing a good dj at one as opposed to a basic/generic/entry level one are slim when you look at the numbers. And being that most people of a certain group use similar style/priced services... if you're the first true professional that group has experienced, it is not a surprise for them to have that remark.

At the end of the wedding I did on Saturday that I jsut posted, the b&g came over and were saying to expect a lot of phone calls... and that out of the 5 siblings that got married, no dj came close to the level of fun that we brought. Now if I do get phone calls or inquiries, wouldn't it be safe to think there was something I did that stuck out to them and worth paying almost double for compared to what that group normally hires. In addition, the owner was there that day too, and while I'd have been there before, he was never there. At the end he came up, asked for cards, asked for my price... said you're the real deal... and then said, I want to recommend you but my clients are used to paying $1200... which shows that the avg client and guest experiences less than stellar performances.
 
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sawdust123

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It is interesting to see how my own priorities have shifted with age. When I was younger, I would have loved to attend a party with the energy that Taso puts together. This is about as far from what I want for my own reception (to be held next year) as I can imagine. The average age of our guests will be over 60. The average age of most of the music we dance to is probably close to 40-50 years old. Our group of friends goes dancing A LOT and 80% of the time it is to live music not DJs. The other 20% is typically when I play from a Spotify playlist through a BT speaker at a house party. Beat mixing and blinking lights is definitely not a priority for our friends. What gets the group going is pulling out the long forgotten classics. They will dance to Uptown Funk but they will go crazy if you whip out a classic like "You Haven't Done Nothing" by Stevie Wonder.
 

djtaso

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It is interesting to see how my own priorities have shifted with age. When I was younger, I would have loved to attend a party with the energy that Taso puts together. This is about as far from what I want for my own reception (to be held next year) as I can imagine. The average age of our guests will be over 60. The average age of most of the music we dance to is probably close to 40-50 years old. Our group of friends goes dancing A LOT and 80% of the time it is to live music not DJs. The other 20% is typically when I play from a Spotify playlist through a BT speaker at a house party. Beat mixing and blinking lights is definitely not a priority for our friends. What gets the group going is pulling out the long forgotten classics. They will dance to Uptown Funk but they will go crazy if you whip out a classic like "You Haven't Done Nothing" by Stevie Wonder.
I can see that with any generation though. You catch hints of it at the weddings... they have a great time with the new stuff... but when you throw in the throwbacks from 10-15yrs ago when they were in hs and college, they go crazy.
 

Jeff Romard

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Proformance

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I get what you're saying and was expecting that response... but whose to say it can't be true.
No one is suggesting you're not putting on a great show.

It's just rare for any competent DJ to finish an event and not receive these kinds of accolades - especially in socially elite circles. Part of it is just people doing their due diligence and hiring a DJ they already like and expecting a good outcome..

Then there's the modern day other side of the coin - those people who gush all over us in tribute to themselves. Yeah - of course I'm the best DJ on the planet because you wouldn't be caught dead with anything less at your event! :) Mind if I take another selfie?

One of the most interesting things to me is watching the same adult crowd at two different events - a Bat Mitzvah, and a 40th Birthday party. They assure me that their 40th birthday party will be off-the-hook because they and all their friends are such party animals. But 40 year olds have kids with babysitters waiting at home, maybe sports, school, appointments all the next day that are on their mind. But at the Bat Mitzvah the kids are all present and the parents are all twice as much fun with their kids than they are by themselves. It's not that either party is any less entertaining - but, the adults are clearly more energized when partying with their kids then they are trying to relive their own youth.
 
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Ausumm

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djrox

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It's just rare for any competent DJ to finish an event and not receive these kinds of accolades
The reality is there are many more bad dj's than good ones.
I think what you are both saying is "Competence (particulalrly in the DJ bid-niz) is rare."

I concur...especially as it realtes to the US Northeast...
Ba Dum Tsshhh ODJT.jpg
 

Scott Hanna

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To beat mix or not……

Beat mix

Like anything else, it doesn’t mean everything, doesn’t mean absolutely always, doesn’t mean you don’t need a personality, doesn’t mean you don’t need to read the crowd and select the right song.

But it will always be better with the ability to mix properly.

So….learn to beat mix.
 

Handinon

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I find this guy hard to watch and don't necessarily agree with everything he says but he makes good points
"The Formalities are going away"

They already left. 20+ years ago people actually danced at weddings, now they jump up and down. Which one do you think the sudo Club DJ/ beatmixer caters to?
You can see it in Taso's vids - he does a great job, gives the wedding party what they want, and makes big $$$'s - but the times certainly have changed!
Evolve or die.
 
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djrox

Sir Wyzazz
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Why don't they just come in a van like the rest of us?
1625664870127.png
I find this guy hard to watch and don't necessarily agree with everything he says but he makes good points

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CoFfaYCG4c
"Hard to watch"...maaaay-be...not as funny as he thinks...definitely...informed infulencer...Nah.

U.S. Constitionally granted and protected Freedom of Speech, at least in the not to distant past, extends, unfortunately, to freedom of meaningless speech. I can deal wit dat!
 

ProDJ Jose

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Apr 19, 2016
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Beat mixing records is the main reason why I became a DJ and it's the main reason why it's a joy to get up in the morning. There's always a new song to discover or a new mix to try.

Is it relevant to my clients? You bet! Hispanics love to dance and DJs that can mix Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, Reggaeton, Classic Disco, Freestyle, etc are in short supply.

In the early 80s, it was my mixing skills that got me my first job at the world-famous Copacabana in 1985. Then I landed several clubs and it was all thanks to my dance music mixing skills. Almost every Mobile DJ gig I did in the 90s was the result of my mixing skills. Later it was my ability to create medleys, add party props, and dance routines that got me noticed. Later it was my ability to mix music videos. But, the underlying reason is my ability to creative beat mix dance music.

I honestly believe that it's my mixing skills are what will keep me reaching every goal I've set for myself and my DJ Career. As an example if I put a Freestyle mix on YT, ex:

https://soundcloud.com/prodjjose%2Ffreestyle-dub-with-love-medley-1 View: https://soundcloud.com/prodjjose/freestyle-dub-with-love-medley-1


I'd probably get a million hits. I doubt I'd get any events, but at least I'd have some bragging rights.
 
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Handinon

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Beat mixing records is the main reason why I became a DJ and it's the main reason why it's a joy to get up in the morning. There's always a new song to discover or a new mix to try.

Is it relevant to my clients? You bet! Hispanics love to dance and DJs that can mix Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, Reggaeton, Classic Disco, Freestyle, etc are in short supply.
No question Latinos are dancing fools, but I actually deliberately don't mix Salsa. The group I DJ for are all 55+ and grew up on Salsa Dura. They like the whole song, and they like the pauses between songs to take a break and/or change partners. I once made the mistake of playing a less than 7 minute version of Caballo Viejo and learned my lesson! :laugh:
 
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Albatross

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I find this guy hard to watch and don't necessarily agree with everything he says but he makes good points

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CoFfaYCG4c
The shift he's talking about started taking place here a long time ago. And that's already the line I'm personally trying to bring together is that bad ass club DJ skill with the polish of someone that has done hundreds of weddings and really understands the role and what is important.

But for my local weddings, the thing that club DJs don't do well is the multi-phase set ups. So many of the weddings I do have ceremony on-site, and cocktails in another space, and then still need the reception to rock. I already think my ceremony product is better than most of what I see, and I'm continuing to try to improve myself and my rig to be better at it.
 

djrox

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It happens in every industry/craft/trade there are generalists & specialists and the divisions ALWAYS gets muddled when competition is plentiful.

I'm sure with the right equipment a house painter could paint a car and vice versa. But if you want a show quality job, hire the respective painter beacuse the results are dependent on the ability and talent of the painter's respective knowledge, experience and capabilities.We've all seen crappy paint jobs on houses and cars. Odds are the crappy job was done by a "muddled" practitioner.

...and going cheap always reveals itself.

As it relates to dj performance/art, I've witnessed plenty talented club jocks shit the bed at private/non-club performances and just as many wedding/private event jocks do the same at clubs.

Dish It aont Rock It Sir Jury.jpg
 
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