A DJ I know recently posted the following comment online;

“Why don’t people take hints,,,,if you ask for a song and the dj doesn’t play it,,its because its a floor clearer,,,,so don’t ask again”

keep-calm-and-request-a-song-6I see this attitude a lot amongst DJs. I understand why. Many a time I’ve had a dance floor packed with happy people, dancing and singing at the tops of their lungs and someone would come up saying “This is rubbish. Play something decent. Nobody likes this song. Play <insert their request here>– it’ll go OFF!” When you politely acknowledge their request and note it for later playback, they demand you cut the song that’s playing (in spite of the packed floor) and play their request. Um, probably not. But thanks for the input.

HOWEVER…

It’s always worth asking why that particular song is important. I had a wedding about 5 years ago where a slightly tipsy 20-something female guest was adamant she wanted Brotherhood Creed’s “Helluva”, and that everybody would LOVE it. The crowd was predominantly white, middle class professional people aged between 35 and 65, so I couldn’t imagine it working at all.

I asked the question and discovered that there were 8 members of the school netball team at the wedding (including the Bride and two Bridesmaids) at the wedding and “Helluva” was their team song. They’d had a couple of amazing years touring as they played at a national level and that song was their anthem.

I played it with an intro explanation and it was EPIC! I played it twice more that night mixed with other tracks and sampled it a couple of times also.

I always remember that one in particular, because I was so close to not playing it until I asked the question. There will always be obnoxious drunks who are oblivious to everyone except themselves and it is the mark of a true professional DJ to manage those people without causing a scene, without upsetting them and without ruining the night for everyone else. Rammstein probably won’t go down well at a kindergarten disco, but those people struggle to understand this. It’s a balancing act.

I’ve discovered absolute hidden gold in my music collection by paying careful attention to requests and slotting them in once I’ve qualified the ‘why’. THIS particular DJ takes your requests very happily.