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What to put in a Playlist… A guide for the must haves and the please don’t.

The playlist(s) is basically the bridge between the DJ and the dance floor. Start with a good foundation and good planning and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece, wing it or try to get to fancy and everyone knows… here is the sure fire way to keep those play lists on track.

First and by far the most important are NOT the hits you wanna hear but rather the songs you don’t. Make sure to establish a baseline with your DJ about what direction you wanna head. For instance when you hire me I’ve grown my roots in traditional hip hop music but I am very much an open format DJ meaning I am able to incorporate any type of music into rotation with little problems… that’s not the case with all DJ’s. If your thing is EDM and you get a straight “club” DJ’ don’t be shocked when he can’t handle older tracks that does not lead up to a beat drop with some EQ and effects work. Not necessarily a bad thing but make sure you know what directions your DJ is comfortable going in. I will double back to the “Do Not Play” list shortly.

Next thing is to know the skill level of your DJ or at least with modern “DJ’s” the operating potential of their computer. I mention this in case you have a large range of music tastes, you want to take extra time vetting your entertainment. Nothing tanks a dance floor quicker then a person who doesn’t understand that all music has its ups and downs, but like a roller coaster its all gotta be connected. Dropping any song at any time for no rhyme or reason will just leave the dance floor empty. I had an event last night where I went from Earth Wind and Fire, to Avicii into Bad Bunny and watched my group almost stomp a hole in the dance floor but that’s not the case for every DJ… make sure they not only have the talent to connect the songs but the experience to know when is the right time to do so.

A more modern era problem but make sure that every one is on the same page about how the playlist are gonna be cataloged. My clients get access to an client portal that puts you in direct contact with my systems. Back in the day we would write out every song one by one and get them in a list, lucky now a days Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal do those things for us. I always encourage my clients to link me their playlists, as they add or remove songs from that list, my system will auto update with the songs you have edited. This way, day of the event no matter what Streaming service you use, as you update those lists with the must have songs they will auto update to my kit and will be ready for the dance floor at a moments notice!!!

My favorite and by far the most important part of the playlist is the “Do Not Play” list. I can speak for myself when I say I get much more insight out of this information then anything else. For instance I’m not much of an electric slide, YMCA type of guy so feel free to skim over that…. I don’t even keep songs of this nature in my library, but if you don’t like Beyonce, or Bruno Mars, or Hip hop, or Country or what ever!!! make sure to let me or your DJ know. This way when a guest comes up and requests a song that you would clearly hate I’m able to head that off by saying something like “I’m so sorry we don’t have the Hokey Pokey or 24K” but I kill em with kindness and try to find something that will work so they don’t run back and start screaming about how the DJ is an Asshole. Nine times out of Ten I get Zero requests till the very end of the night after the libations have been flowing and then its usually some harmless fun… Just keep those playlists on point so things don’t get too out of hand!!!! Cheers!!!