Becoming a Disk Jockey isn’t as easy as it seems. I always thought if I could put together just enough popular grooves, and a disk table, I would do just fine. But being a DJ isn’t only about matching beats or scratching over songs in dance clubs. It is about being observant, empathetic, and reactive.
Tyrone is a resident DJ at the local nightclub down the road, and he lives next door. I was always intrigued by the way he makes the crowd go wild by just playing the right song at the right moment. He knew how to keep peoples feet moving, so he got a lot of respect from his fans. He even got some gigs to DJ at weddings and huge parties away from the club. He was the reason I fell in love with the art.
To begin, I got a DJ turntable, a portable mixer, and a headphone. I didn’t know people studied DJing online, but I was interested in learning. I got into several online tutorials and practiced in my bedroom. With Tyrone just a door away, I got all the help I needed in becoming a DJ. It was harder than I thought. Besides the time and effort spent, not mentioning the several times I had to stay out overnight watching other DJ’s do their thing, I found out to be a great Disk Jockey, I had to learn the ability to match my musical expressions with the desires of the audience. It was the only way I could harness the true power of Djing.
After three months of DJing in my bedroom, I got a gig to play at a friend’s birthday party. It was nothing big, so it was perfect for a first public performance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great first appearance. I was lucky to get another chance, which turned out better than the last. After approximately three other gigs, I was getting good at it. From there on, I started DJing in house parties.
Moving up in the world as a DJ can be challenging. Yes, I enjoy playing at parties, but the most I could get was a crowd of fifty regular faces I see in college. I needed to go big. Tyrone was out of town, and the local club needed a DJ to fill in for a couple of days he would be out. I was familiar with the nightclub, and I knew the musical vibe and what the crowd responds to. I was not exactly close to the owner of the club or its promoters, but I knew Tyrone. Tyrone was happy to put in a good word for me, even though he had informed me not to be overly optimistic since a lot of DJ’s were in for the gig.
Fortunately for me, they loved my mixed tape and called me, including two others. I was to fill in for three consecutive nights as an opener. The task was simple. I needed to get people on the dance floor when there’s no one else dancing and keep them there so more people can join. I was ready to crush it, ready to show them what I could do, and I did. My performance was impressive, and I was retained as an opener for a few weeks. After a month, they began booking me for later time slots, until I became a headliner.
The journey to becoming a DJ for nightclubs and other live events is one that is accelerated by your not only your DJing skills but also your social skills. Right now, I am being booked as a featured artist for the night at various nightclubs. This took me over two years of tenacity to attain, and I am excited I leaped.