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Limiting yourself as a DJ by only playing certain genres

R-Tistic

L.A. needs me!
Damm, this is pretty interesting....

I have definitely noticed that most DJ's that do play a mixture of genres tend to be those who aren't black. I know a few blacks who mix it up, but most of them I know do tend to stick to black music. It really just depends on them and where they grew up...the ones who went to mixed schools and all else that were exposed to everything will have better luck at mixing everything up.

I do see the pros and cons to both sides, but for now, I think I'll just stay with what I'm comfortable with, and where my market has always been. I didn't mention it here, but I'm also a producer...and I actually have a much bigger rep as a producer here in L.A., since I've been doin it since 95.

I still feel like people are generalizing the genres I do, and speaking as if I am "limited" because I don't do pop and rock, just because those do have a large crowd. I know plenty of DJ's who do different genres, but can't really go deep within all of them. I might be lucky to be in a major market, but there is actually a crowd for everything within Rap, Jazz, soul, R&B, old school, funk, disco, etc. etc...to where there is always going to be work...and at the same time, the scene for mixed events is a whole different arena from how I see it, and that would be a lot harder to just break into.

I think it does take hella skill and talent to DJ and appeal to a variety of crowds, and I'll just admit that it's something I don't have, and may not have at that level. Also...I didn't even want to be a club DJ at first, because I don't even care for clubs or the crowd...and the only reason I even got club events is because people heard me do everything on campus and house parties, and were like "how much would you charge to do a club?" and somehow, I ended up getting my own lounge spot weekly within a month of getting back to L.A.
 

R-Tistic

L.A. needs me!
ced_so_thoed said:
ay
I feel what a lot of y'all are saying, but then again, if you are always getting booked from playing a type of genre, then it's hard to mix in new genres to a crowd that came to the club to here what they would dance to. I tried doing the top 40 thing and it just didn't work out for me. I couldn't get into it like the music I grew up to. Some music I just don't flat out like. And I know it makes me look closed minded to the outsider but it doesn't make me bob my head or tap my foot. I would want to just be me and being me is hip hop. And if YOU can venture out and enjoy other genres, then you knock yourself out and get paid at the same time. Don't force yourself to like something because you will never be happy.
yep
Yeah...I definitely agree with that there, 100%.

It could be closeminded...but imagine how much more crowded the already overcrowded world of DJing would be if everybody tried to DJ by playing what appealed to everyone at the time.
 

R-Tistic

L.A. needs me!
MiamiHustler said:
I know your new @ Djing, and (really based off the fact you said, you don't even really know how to DJ your not really truly a Dj as of yet but a student of the game.) When I first started as a DJ seriously I limited myself also thinking just as you thought, "I was brought up on Black Music, Loved Hip Hop so that was what I was gonna stick to"! I got a rude awaking trying to get a gig on South Beach @ My first gig I was blessed because walking down the street I picked up another night @ A Famous Hip Hop Club (I mean of course for very little pay & on an off night) But anyway my first gig it was with another DJ and the crowd was mostly hispanic and liked reggaeton and all the other spanish genres like that, So i got up there played my little Hip Hop Set and they liked it but it was just ok (blurr..) then he got on with that hispanic stuff and rocked the party like crazy I mean a whole total different reaction! From that day I new that Hip Hop or African American music along just wasn't going to cut it!

See me I'm not a wedding DJ, or a childrens party Dj, or a Family Reunion Dj, I'M A CLUB DJ & I stand by that, I don't do certain mobile gigs because its not my style anymore! I won't do certain clubs because its not my style anymore because I know certain parties where the promoters gonna do a have job and no one is gonna show up!

But me being a club dj I don't limit myself to the Club Music I play meaning it can be Hip Hop, Rock, Disco whatever... If the crowds wants it then I will give it to them, no questions asked. Of course my foundation is Hip Hop just about every dj on this board foundation is Hip Hop but you have to branch off and most important as a DJ you have to play not what you love to hear but what your crowd and audience loves to hear. Bump the Bullshit...

With me I always have been a fan of music, a student of music before being a DJ.. I was always an old school head from a young age, and I started studying and play Jazz (Drum kit) @ the age of 7..

In the past few years I have become a huge fan of Classic Rock like Pink Floyd, Bon Jovi, The Eagles etc.... and as of recently I have been learning House Music and all the genres of that (already loved classic 90's house.) and not only am I starting to like the music and just listen to it because it's me and my taste but the biggest reason I love it is because When I do a club and play the records the response I get from it from the crowds are CRAZY!, I am big on response from crowds when I spin so what ever genre is gonna make the crowds go wow is the genres I'm gonna play! Don't limit yourself no matter if you do this for business or a hobby or both, Be a student of the game and a student of music, For more info on Djs that Do it all look up DJ AM, DJ IRIE, DJ KAST ONE, DJ VICE, DJ CAMILO, DJ CLINTON SPARKS & DJ JAZZY JEFF (Just to name a few). And Don't play music u like, Play Music the Crowd Likes!!
I definitely get what you are sayin, and can't even say that I disagree. With that "rude awakening" you had...I still feel like somebody who was 100% familiar with that crowd would still have the advantage over anybody else...and when it comes to major events or locations, they usually go with professionals versus somebody who has limited experience with that crowd.

For you bein a Club DJ..that's what you are. I personally enjoy private/mobile gigs much more than clubs for several reasons...I just hate unloading equipment. But these are usually the events I enjoy the most. As I mentioned earlier...I didn't even want to become a Club DJ, but it just ended up happening for me.

I don't think it would be impossible for me to get into other genres enough to play them, but it took me a while just to learn how to DJ for the south, which is where I started DJing, and I only got good at that because I had the opportunity to do those events and got "hazed" by the people there. So with other genres, if I had people who were trying to get me to do these genres, then I'd have the chance to "practice" at it, versus just being thrown in the mix at a major club with that crowd in the way that you were.

I see what you are saying about loving different types of music. However, I don't think everyone is just going to love ALL music and know what is best in each genre...it's just not in everyone, and it depends on what they grew up on, what they are exposed to, and what they are "genetically prone" to having that ear for. I grew up on Jazz, Soul, Funk, and Rap for the most part, so it's just certain elements in those that hit me and let me know it's a hit. I can even listen to the lyrics in genres such as Country and appreciate them, even as novelty. But some genres just don't have a single thing that moves me at all...and it annoys me just to listen to them. Doesn't mean I'm "closeminded" or "ignorant to music" or even that "I don't appreciate music"...but some things just won't do it for me.

If you do have a knack for all of that, then you'll just always have that advantage over me and people like me, nothing wrong with it. We're all diverse in different ways...and the same way that I produce and can compose more than many DJ's, many DJ's will have an ear for other genres than me...and that just creates balance overall.
 

DJ WataBoy

The International DJ
Hell naw.. I'm not playing nothing that gives me a headache. Play what you like, so that you will continue to like it.... Like me playing POKA... not gonna happen, maybe next LIFE!!!lol
 

MiamiHustler

DJ TARIQUE
Like I mentioned... The thing that gets me off is how the crowds react to the music.. I like what the crowd likes, but then again I like Rock, I like House but I grew to like it and take an ear for it and study it.



R-Tistic said:
I definitely get what you are sayin, and can't even say that I disagree. With that "rude awakening" you had...I still feel like somebody who was 100% familiar with that crowd would still have the advantage over anybody else...and when it comes to major events or locations, they usually go with professionals versus somebody who has limited experience with that crowd.

For you bein a Club DJ..that's what you are. I personally enjoy private/mobile gigs much more than clubs for several reasons...I just hate unloading equipment. But these are usually the events I enjoy the most. As I mentioned earlier...I didn't even want to become a Club DJ, but it just ended up happening for me.

I don't think it would be impossible for me to get into other genres enough to play them, but it took me a while just to learn how to DJ for the south, which is where I started DJing, and I only got good at that because I had the opportunity to do those events and got "hazed" by the people there. So with other genres, if I had people who were trying to get me to do these genres, then I'd have the chance to "practice" at it, versus just being thrown in the mix at a major club with that crowd in the way that you were.

I see what you are saying about loving different types of music. However, I don't think everyone is just going to love ALL music and know what is best in each genre...it's just not in everyone, and it depends on what they grew up on, what they are exposed to, and what they are "genetically prone" to having that ear for. I grew up on Jazz, Soul, Funk, and Rap for the most part, so it's just certain elements in those that hit me and let me know it's a hit. I can even listen to the lyrics in genres such as Country and appreciate them, even as novelty. But some genres just don't have a single thing that moves me at all...and it annoys me just to listen to them. Doesn't mean I'm "closeminded" or "ignorant to music" or even that "I don't appreciate music"...but some things just won't do it for me.

If you do have a knack for all of that, then you'll just always have that advantage over me and people like me, nothing wrong with it. We're all diverse in different ways...and the same way that I produce and can compose more than many DJ's, many DJ's will have an ear for other genres than me...and that just creates balance overall.
 

Muaupoko

DJ 828
If you fell in love with djing hip hop/rnb of whatever, and that's made you start djing, that's not limiting anything, that's what you love. Cut the bullshit of catering to what other people want. If you dj hip hop, people should know or be aware that's what you do. Period.
 

Prophet__X

Member
You do gotta play what you love and what you're comfortable with...but at the same time it's all about the crowd...if you're spinning tracks that don't appeal to the crowd, then that place will clear out quickly and you'll be by yourself jamming alone lol...mix it up a bit, if you haven't tried techno/trance, then try it...if you hate soca, then play some soca...give it a try...keep an open mind
 

dj_golden_child

New member
Ive only been at this for 2 years. Im a Hip Hop/Reggae head by heart,but when I got to DJ in a bowlin alley over here I play the top 40 like they ask me to. And yeah, I might not know anything about a song that Im playing,so I just look to see if certain people respond to it. If I see them singin along then I know the song must mean something to someone and thats enough for me. If I get asked to do House or Techno.I wont turn it down.I will do my research,get what I need, and mix it up like I would do a Hip Hop set..so I would make it work. If I was asked to do Country music, I would play the hot -old and new songs from the 1st word till the last word.No blending, because that crowd aint gonna be lookin for that.They just want to drink cold beers and line dance. I also find it a challenge for me to play music other than Hip Hop. It gets my heart rate up because Im in uncharted waters, but I like to throw myself in the fire so....I say play all genres if you are asked to.
 

MiamiHustler

DJ TARIQUE
If your willing to go threw those different genres as a DJ then your gonna make it far in this business, the djs that limit thereselves will always just be those djs, You know how many djs there are now this aint 86 or 94.. Everyone and there mom is a DJ, so u have to be able to set yourself apart.. anyone who says fuck the crowd play what u feel, i never want to hear you spin.. Being a Dj is about controling people's emotions and making them show emotion, that what I am going to keep doing, everyone else catch the fuck up!


dj_golden_child said:
Ive only been at this for 2 years. Im a Hip Hop/Reggae head by heart,but when I got to DJ in a bowlin alley over here I play the top 40 like they ask me to. And yeah, I might not know anything about a song that Im playing,so I just look to see if certain people respond to it. If I see them singin along then I know the song must mean something to someone and thats enough for me. If I get asked to do House or Techno.I wont turn it down.I will do my research,get what I need, and mix it up like I would do a Hip Hop set..so I would make it work. If I was asked to do Country music, I would play the hot -old and new songs from the 1st word till the last word.No blending, because that crowd aint gonna be lookin for that.They just want to drink cold beers and line dance. I also find it a challenge for me to play music other than Hip Hop. It gets my heart rate up because Im in uncharted waters, but I like to throw myself in the fire so....I say play all genres if you are asked to.
 

hellofriend

New member
da blur said:
Play what ever you want but if you only play hiphop&Rnb be the best you can be... try to be more diverse and open but dont sell out and play some shit you dont want just for $.. (unless its a boatload of cash)
co-sign :cool:
 
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