In a nightclub or party, I pick and play music that gets people dancing. In a lounge setting, I keep people interested in the music by providing a chill atmosphere. And in a corporate setting, I maintain a classy, professional environment for networking and socializing.
I love being creative with how I play music. It's all about having the most people enjoy what I'm playing. I'm perfectly happy playing Dancing Queen and Brown-Eyed Girl, or the Humpty Dance and This Is How We Do It, or We Found Love and Shots, or Nice For What and Walk It Talk It… if the dance floor is full and the bartenders are busy, I'm loving it!
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First and foremost is just talking about what kind of event they are having. Finding out their vision for the event, what kind of music they want, and figuring out if we match up music-wise and vision-wise. I don't come with bells and whistles—I am totally focused on providing the best music possible
Always loved music. I chose Oberlin College because it had a student-run radio station. Didn't know they had a student-run nightclub on campus also! Started spinning at the club as a sophomore, and quickly rose to be the #1 DJ on campus.
Moved to Boston in '88 and started networking my way into the club scene there. In '99 quit my corporate 9 to 5 and transformed my music hobby into a business. Radio, clubs and corporate events have been the bulk of my income since 1999.
Corporate fundraisers with Dimock Health Organization; Home for Little Wanderers; and Hopkinton Little League
Political fundraisers for Tito Jackson (D) and Dan Winslow (R)
Retail events for Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Madewell
Other corporate events for Sloane and Walsh LLP, Harvard Business School, Biogen, Proctor & Gamble, Boston College
Favorite wedding reception: young Italian couple who wanted Throwback Hip-Hop… and Frank Sinatra for their parents. 95 degrees in the middle of July under a tent in suburban Boston and everyone sweated through their clothes dancing!
Other than that, my 30+ events are the ones I'm most fond of. We provided Boston with an amazing alternative to the typical club scene, and I'm looking to do the same in Atlanta. Fellas in suits and shoes, ladies in dresses and heels, all partying to Neo-Soul, current R&B, House and throwback Hip-Hop in an elegant setting.
Money is not the only indicator, but it is a good gauge of quality. Most DJs know their worth. If most quotes come in at $1000, but some come in at $500, those DJs know they need to low-ball the price because they are not very good and they wouldn't get hired otherwise. The DJ that comes in at $1500 usually has a long history of successful events and happy repeat clients and goes above and beyond to satisfy their clients. Understand the needs of your event. If you just need background music, hire the cheap DJ. But if the music is important to you, and you want people raving about your event afterward, spend the money and hire the best DJ possible.
Is this a full-blown party, or do you need tastefully curated background music? (A full-blown party needs a great DJ who understands how to get people up and moving. But sometimes you just need a DJ that keeps people entertained between socializing and drinking.)
How long have you been DJing, and how long have you been doing it professionally? (With rare exception, DJs who have been spinning for less than 10 years don't have the experience to size up a room and tailor the music to the people in the room. They just play what they know.)
Do you play different types of music, or do you specialize in one style? (Open Format DJs are what you are looking for. They are DJs who play all types of music, but more importantly, they play the music that gets the most people dancing, whatever that is.)
Do you play only the music you like? (if they say yes, steer clear—they most likely will not have enough music that caters to your crowd, and they will start playing for themselves)
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