Learning How to be a Disc Jockey Pt1 | Erica McKoy
disc jockey | noun
a person who introduces and plays recorded popular music, especially on radio or at a club.
For a good couple of years people have been asking me to either create mixes for them, or have (literally) demanded that I should be a DJ. I've even had someone tell me that they had a dream that I was DJ.
I've finally got around to doing it, only because I've been booked do to an event at the end of August. I thought I'd document the weeks running up to the event, to see how I progress in the next few weeks.
Personally I really appreciate a DJ who can skilfully use vinyl to get a crowd excited and can introduce them to new music whilst also having a wicked time themselves. So that is my eventual plan - eventually I want to be one of those highly skilled DJ's that uses vinyl. But for now, I'll be doing everything digitally. Which actually, for me is quite fun - I have thousands of tunes quite literally at my fingertips.
Don't get me wrong though, I do love the whole record experience, crate digging for ages and having ink and dust on my fingertips. Buying it from small, independent and humble shops where the record dealer actually knows their tunes. And then going home and either slicing through the plastic or just, holding the corners of second hand already opened records and letting the weighted paper sleeve slide out - revealing a beautifully pressed vinyl within. The whole sha-bang, I love it. The smell, the excitement, the adventure - everything! You don't need me to go on, but when the needle strokes the record for the first time in your home, you know the experience is romantic. Hahaha
I've got my head around Serato after using it a couple of times, which is a DJing programme that is quite easy to use because everything is very visual. I'm trying not to be too dependent on the colourful lights and bpm, so that when I make the move on to records I won't be too lost. But I know DJing on vinyl (and DJing well) is going to take time and practice.
Looking at the definition of a DJ, it says someone who plays popular music. Hmm, not too sure I'll fit in to that box. I'd be able to play your classics but I'm not too sure if I'll be able to do your standard Radio 1/Capital playlists.
Let's see where this new skill takes me. Hopefully it'll open up more opportunities for me to listen to new music, to meet new people and who knows I may find out a definitive answer to the question - "What is the purpose of music?".