Grandmaster Flash Talks “The Theory” Of Being A HipHop DJ & The Beginnings Of Hip-Hop!!
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Everybody wants to have great music played and their guests up dancing and enjoying themselves at their party, wedding or special event, but how do you choose the music?
There’s no right or wrong answer, and it’s completely up to you, here are a few things to consider to make sure your event is fun and the success you want it to be.
1. You could entirely compile your own list of your favourite songs for the DJ to play from, but bear in mind that if you have really eclectic, ‘out there’ tastes, your song selections may not cater for all your guests and where you may love the music, your dancefloor may be left empty and your guests may not enjoy themselves as much as you
2. On the flipside, you could leave it up to your DJ to select all of the music, and use his/her experience and skill to play a good mix of music to cater your guests’ wide range of ages and musical tastes. However, you run the risk of an inexperienced,’hobby’ DJ completely missing the mark by playing all wrong or inappropriate songs, or even just playing only the songs that he/she wants to hear without regard to what you/your guests want to hear
So what do you do? Here’s the secret…
Hiring a professional DJ from a professional, reputable DJ company ensures the DJ is experienced, skilled to ‘read crowds’ and knows what song to play and ‘when’ to get the best response from guests. Even if you still want to provide a list of songs to be played, a true professional DJ will be only too happy to accommodate this, and give you ideas on how to work your requests in to the night, particularly if your requests aren’t ‘mainstream’ or likely to be loved by your wider guests, but you still want them to feature at your event. A professional DJ has the experience to tailor a playlist to suit a wide range of ages and musical tastes, and who are happy to take requests on the night!
Team this with selecting your favourite songs to be played and you get the best of both worlds!
It can be overwhelming when it comes to selecting music for your party, there are just so many songs to choose from! This is especially true when your DJ/DJ company boasts to having upwards of 50,000 songs in their collection.
So where do you start when making a song list for your party, wedding or event?
Firstly, have a think about your own favourite songs and what you want to hear at your event. Then, think about the guests you have invited and what music they like to listen to and/or which era they grew up with, to give you an idea of the genres you might like to cover on the night to ensure everybody has a great time.
Should you hire a professional DJ for your party or event? Or should you just hire the equipment to then play the music from your phone or laptop yourself?
By having a professional DJ:
If you decide to D.I.Y:
A lot of factors contribute to what makes a great DJ, but here is a list of just some of the qualities to look for when hiring a DJ for your party, event or wedding:
These are just some of the qualities that make a great DJ which might help you make a decision when looking for the best DJ to hire for your wedding, party, corporate event/function, school disco or formal, deb, valedictory or any function that you want fantastic music and entertainment for!
There are a number of venues that are subject to noise restrictions, largely due to the fact that they are located close to residential areas. I cannot put more emphasis on how important it is to check with the venue if any noise restrictions will apply, preferably before making a booking, as this can really affect the DJ’s performance (with respect to how loud he/she can play your music) and ultimately how your guests will respond to music played at such a low volume.
Some venues have in-house audio/sound systems that all DJs must use when DJ’ing there (thus DJs are not allowed to use their own equipment). These do not have the ability to let the music play loudly (nor allow a lot of ‘bass’) as the size and power of the system is so small, thus the volume is always kept markedly low.
Some venues will have this in the form of a ceiling system, which generally allow for a greater dispersion of sound, however it can be difficult for the DJ to balance the volume between enabling guests throughout the entire venue to hear the music at a comfortable level, whilst avoiding blasting the ears off those guests seated close to or directly under the speakers.
Other venues will also have what is called a ‘compressor’, or sound limiter, which essentially ‘cuts off’ the power when the volume reaches a certain level. This is often set a considerably low level, so the music is unable to be played much louder than the volume of a normal conversation. In such venues, DJs will generally be given 2 warnings, in that if music reaches the limit on more than 2 occasions, the music will terminated for the rest of the function/event.
As such, when considering booking a venue with an in-house audio system or one that has any sound restrictions, it is highly recommended that you ask the venue to demonstrate the system capabilities, or the maximum acceptable volume, bearing in mind that the system will also need to compete with the noise generated by a room full of guests.
Ultimately, music can really influence the success of a function/event, and if your guests are continually complaining about the low volume of the music, thus not getting into ‘party’ mode and not wanting to dance, this can really set a negative tone for your function/event, so please consider the venue and any sound restrictions carefully.
When booking a DJ for your wedding, party or event (whether this be through a DJ company or independent DJ), please consider the following questions/points to ensure you are booking the right DJ for you:
These are just some points to consider and I hope this helps when choosing a DJ!
Wedding planners can help take the stress away when planning the flow of your reception, however not everybody can afford this ‘luxury’. It can be a little daunting trying to figure out what order to do everything in, but bear in mind there really is no right or wrong, it is after all YOUR special day and you can plan as you see fit.
Some popular order of proceedings are as follows:
Here are some things to consider, especially when it comes to your first dance (bridal dance).
Some couples choose to have the bridal dance after the speeches, to ‘kick off’ the ‘fun’ part of the reception. That way, they have their first dance introduced right before the main dance bracket, as then everybody can be invited to the dance floor straight after to get the dancing (and partying!) underway.
Other couples choose to have their bridal dance following the cake cutting, which allows for a smooth transition from that tender (or sometimes ‘light-hearted’) moment to the romantic first dance.
Whilst other couples opt to have their bridal dance straight after their entrance to the reception (either to ensure that they have all their guests attention from the get go! or to ‘get it out of the way’ especially if they are nervous!).
In any case, there is no ‘wrong’ time, you just need to think about what will feel right for you. Your venue may be able to give you some ideas from their experience (but bear in mind that some venues may make suggestions based around what works best around their catering, as opposed to your best interests), as may friends, family or even other internet blogs.
Let’s be honest, the prices out there vary considerably.
You can go from paying just a few hundred dollars, up to the thousands. Bottom line is, however, you get what you pay for.
The reputation and experience of the DJ comes into play when it comes to price, as well as what is included in the service.
For example, if you book through a DJ company that employs many DJs on its books, you could probably get away with saving a few dollars by booking through them for a ‘standard, 5 hour service’. However, the experience of the DJs can vary widely in these companies (be it from ‘hobby’ DJs, to uni students who DJ part-time on the weekends, to the more experienced DJs who have been on the scene for years). You often will not get to meet the DJ beforehand either, which again poses another risk factor in that how do you know you will you be getting the ‘right’ DJ for you?
Compare this with booking through an independent DJ, the kind who owns his (or her) own business and takes the time to sit down and meet with all of his clients. Yes, you may pay more for this kind of service, but at least you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for – read up on their DJ’ing experience, read their testimonials, meet with them and ask all the questions that you need/want to, look at the equipment that will be provided in their service etc.
Though booking an independent DJ seems to be a great, ‘safe’ and be it perhaps that little bit more expensive option, do not be put off by booking through a DJ company – just do your research!
Ask about the experience of their DJs, compare what it is included in their packages (look at the quality of the equipment!), enquire about who you will be dealing with throughout the whole process (will it be one person so then at least you know who you’re talking to, or will there be different people?) and look at their testimonials/feedback…take your time to make a decision so you can feel confident that every dollar you spend will be well worth it.