Making a playlist for your DJ, or more likely Playlists can some time be a daunting task. What do I include? am I adding to much? or the most common I get is “My music tastes are all over the board and I don’t know where to start.” No matter the occasion allow me to be your guide though the wild and wacky world of event day music prep!!!
lets start off with the most important… I repeat the absolutely most important list is what NOT to play. The DO NOT PLAYLIST is the most important piece of intel I can get from a client. When the dance floor is opened, the lights are dimmed and I roll my sleeves to begin the Freight train of momentum that is my Set the last thing I wanna do is play something that my clients hate… Nothing tanks a dance floor faster then watching the clients dart across the room to tell the DJ they hate this song and then scrambling to get the next track in. This is is fairly straight forward, list the stuff you hate and most importantly stuff that might be super popular you hate. I always tell my clients to skip over the obvious stuff like the electric slide and the hokey pokey cause songs like that are typically tell tale sighs of a bad DJ, and go with stuff that may not be super obvious. As always the more intel you can give the DJ on this the better.
Next up its important to know what kind of DJ you have and what they are capable of. I mention this in the instance you hire an EDM DJ who has never mixed a track outside of 128bpm and give them a song not made on a drum machine with perfect cadence and get ready for some comedy!!! Or on the flip side to that, take a traditional “Wedding DJ” who took an online course on how to press play on spotify (real thing, I wish I was kidding) and ask them to scratch into the next song and they will look at you like you are speaking another language. Its good to know what your DJ is capable of, you wouldn’t ask a 3rd grader to do calculus… so keep the playlist are with in the capability’s of your DJ
Alright… now to the music. The first approach is Volume. Make a play list with every song you have ever liked and have the DJ sift though. A good DJ worth their salt will know what to do with this. From re-arranging to make sure it flows properly to adding songs that may not be on the list. One of the glaring downfalls to this method is you have to anticipate not all of your tracks will be played. A good way to handle this is have a MUST play segment of this list. This way we make sure to get every banger in!! A lot of my clients who use this method just create a playlist on Spotify then link it to me. This saves from having to manually enter all the tracks into the client portal. Even better I pay a 3rd party service to manage, transfer and upload those tracks as you add and remove them to my systems. This way, no matter what… I’ve got all the must plays at my disposal!!!
The next approach is having trust in the DJ and giving him a small list of the MUST Plays and that’s it. This happens often in my work due to the fact that almost all my clients are from word of mouth. The key to this is to give variety and not just the same style of recommendations over and over. What I mean by this is if you list 10 songs, make sure those 10 songs are not all just Hip Hop, or Just Country so on and so forth. As much as I am flattered with this method, I always prefer to have as much intel as humanly possible that way I can craft an evening of music super specific to you guys!
No matter the list you choose just make sure to be open about your expectations with your DJ. The true merit of any good DJ can be gauged by not only their technical ability to play the instrument, but the ability to read a dance floor and see what needs to happen next….. but having a good foundation in a playlist makes knowing what direction to head much much easier!!!
Health and Happiness!!!