Tag Archives: DJ Business

Want vs. Need

By Mitch Taylor

I was tuned in to the TV recently and I’m constantly amazed at the barrage of ads and messages sent to us regarding products and services.  Target marketing has been around for years and of course my kids (and present company included, of course) are prone to seeing a brand, ad or message and immediately saying “I WANT that!” or I NEED that!”

Have you thought about how WANT vs NEED relates to your own business?  We’ve all seen the postings on social media that state DJs are not a “need” but a “want.”  I’m not here to debate that issue in this space (although I have my thoughts) other than to say that the key in selling and marketing is HOW to make your business go from “Well I want to hire a DJ” to “I NEED to hire ____” with the blank of course being filled by YOU.

In your conversation on the phone one of the best ways to go from WANT to NEED is asking the question “What is the biggest struggle you are having planning your event?”  Be candid with them so they, in turn, can be candid with you.

This goes back to building the relationship.

Ask yourself this and answer honestly: When was the last time a bride or client changed their date to book YOU? If this is happening to you on more than a couple times a year then CONGRATULATIONS! You’re doing all the right things to continue setting yourself apart and I’m sure your calendar is full or close to full.  If this situation hasn’t happened to you in a while or has NEVER happened then it’s time to re-evaluate your service offerings and what you are attempting to sell to your clients.

 

Mitch Taylor has worked in the Mobile Disc Jockey industry for over two decades, first cutting his teeth as an on-board club DJ for Carnival Cruise Lines. In addition to owning and operating Taylored Weddings in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he is a sought-after speaker and Gitomer Certified Advisor whose sales training, books, coaching and workshops are in high demand all over the country. 

 

 

How To Survive R Kelly & Other Troubled Artists

By DJ Brian Buonassissi

I feel like this is the elephant in the room at the moment for the DJ community so why not talk about it. If you’ve been living in a cave the past few weeks, Lifetime released a documentary series called “Surviving R Kelly” about the rumors and, in some cases, allegations of sexual, physical and mental abuse against Mr. Kelly. This type of documentary programming is part of the channel’s commitment to provide a platform for woman to bring awareness to harassment and abuse that largely (especially in the case of R Kelly) goes ignored in the mainstream media. The response to the documentary has been pretty big. Not only is the media picking it up but it’s starting to have some larger repercussions — Kelly and Sony (his label) have parted ways, artists that he’s collaborated with are removing songs they jointly work on from their catalog, his manager turned himself into the authorities and probably the most damning thing is his daughter has called him a “monster”.

Admittedly, I haven’t and probably won’t watch the documentary. I have many more things that I want to pour my time into this year than watching something like this. I’ve known of the allegations levied against Kelly for years so more witnesses coming forward or damning evidence isn’t going to move the needle of me thinking any less of him.

In a private DJ Facebook group I’m in, one of the DJs asked what our responses are going to be to this and how we’re handling it? Honestly, I hadn’t given it much thought until he made that post. There are plenty of other artists who have done things that morally are seen as disgusting – Michael Jackson’s child abuse case, Chris Brown’s domestic issues and though not entirely in the same vein, Kanye West’s eccentric behavior – and while they’ve caused waves in the news, I haven’t ever had a client or guest ask me not to play their music due to those issues. In some of the other DJ groups I’m in, I’ve seen posts from DJs who’ve been booed for playing any R Kelly at their events the last couple of weeks and other DJs who’ve removed all the content of R Kelly from their computer so it got me thinking what my take is and what I’m going to do about it.

The reality is that we all have skeletons in our closet – maybe not of the magnitude of R Kelly’s but if clients really knew some of our baggage, would they even hire us? It just so happens that, as a celebrity, R Kelly’s baggage is way more public. How many other artists are doing things that we don’t even know about, yet we play their music and clients/guests sing and dance to their tracks? I just saw a documentary on Whitney Houston that made her out to be a drug addict and a bad mother. The moment we start drawing a moral line of what is acceptable and not, it becomes a slippery slope. I’m not giving R Kelly a pass. If the allegations are proven true, he deserves punishment that fits the crime, but keep in mind that documentaries are, by design, one side of the argument.

Here’s how I’m handling it right now (and I’m not saying my way is the best way or only way). Hopefully, it’ll give you pause to consider your response. For one, R Kelly’s tracks aren’t going to make/break my programming. I use 1-3 songs on a semi-regular basis but I can easily replace them with others. I don’t feel like I have to have any “one song” to make a party lit. Now, if it’s on a client’s “must play” request list, then I’m going to play it.  If it’s requested by a guest at an event, I’ll ask them, “Are you sure?” and measure their response. If it’s met with hesitancy, I’ll suggest we table it and ask if they have a different song I can play instead. I recently had a guest who did request it and when I posed that question, her response was, “You played Michael Jackson, didn’t you?” She’s right. I did and it worked. The difference here though is that this is a hot button topic right now. I don’t want to test the waters unless I’m absolutely convinced I need to play it (which is rare). I ended up playing it and it worked great. That said, I’ll probably stay off his tunes in my regular programming until the temperature cools a bit on this one.

My guess is that it’ll be old news in a few months. In some respects, it’s sad to be writing that but it is reality. We live in a very short news cycle environment and the next scandal to break will replace this one.

What’s your response to this issue? How are you handling it? Drop me a note and let me know.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events.  He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with satellite offices in Southern California, Scottsdale, AZ,  Destin, FL, Tallassee, FL and New York City.  You can connect with him at brian@djbrianbofficial.com.

DJ resolutions you should keep

By DJ Rachel Lynch

If you’re looking for the secret to drop 25 lbs while still hitting up the late night menu at Wendy’s or fix the current state of hip-hop this blog won’t be much help. However, DJs are always looking to do the job better, faster, and easier. With 2019 in full swing, here are some tips to do just that.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Meaning, find the best tool for the job and perfect the process. Here are some things you can do RIGHT NOW to start 2019 off on the right foot.

Consider Hydraulic/Lift Assist Stands– Sticker shock tends to deter some DJs from investing in these however they were my BEST purchase of 2018. If you’re on the fence, consider this. Lifting an object that weighs 10 lbs puts approximately 100 lbs of pressure on your lower back. With the average human torso weighing 105 lbs that 10 lb object adds up to 1,150 lbs (now think of your speakers and do the math). Having a speaker stand that can share some of the workloads is a smart move. You and your back are worth the investment.

Elevate Working Surfaces– Working from a comfortable height will elevate your performance and prevent unnecessary injury. Flight cases and equipment have become slimmer over the years causing the modern Dj’s working height to be reduced. Consider sourcing a table with adjustable legs or buying one that gets your gear to navel height.  Using the lid of your flight or controller case is also helpful to raise those platters and jog- wheels. If you’re tall, try bed risers. The goal? Work from a surface where your wrists are neutral with your gear. I challenge you to evaluate your posture when you DJ, you’ll be surprised at how bad we are to our bodies when we mix. If your back and neck hurt after an event this may be why.

Productive Pack Up– After a gig, the first thing on a DJ’s mind is getting out of there as quickly as possible. Over the years I have learned that despite the urgency to hurry up and leave, taking a few extra minutes to pack up properly has saved boatloads of time. One of the biggest mistakes I made was letting a “good samaritan” help me pack up. The next event took almost 30 minutes longer to set up because the cables were mismatched, tangled, and I couldn’t locate what I needed easily. Your clean up should be as neat and as systematic as the setup. It will save you time and money in the long run instead of having to repurchase things that are misplaced or accidentally left behind. Another time saver tip is to leave whatever you can pre-wired. This can be a significant time saver and stress reliever the next time you set up.

Shop Smart– Just because something is new doesn’t mean it is good. If you’re in the market for new gear, try renting it first. Take time at home to get comfortable with it. Run through the setup and breakdown. Test it with your other equipment. Is it comfortable? Consider the Weight? Portability? Practicality? Does it do what it claims? Do you have to have it? Are the newest features worth paying top dollar for? It may be better to consider last year’s model or buying something second hand. Chances are you’ll get a steep discount and still get the upgrade you’re looking for.

Forget the To-Do List– I said it. Stop making to-do lists. Wanting to start a website for your business? Do you need to back up your hard drive? Or deal with the check engine light on your DJ van? Throw Out your to-do list and get it on a calendar. What’s the difference? The paradox of choice. With a to-do-list there too much freedom. We often do the most pleasant tasks first versus the more complex ones. Or we push off tasks that seem less important until they become significant. The loose wheel on your Dj cart that you meant to fix since last month is much easier deal with at home on a Sunday versus fixing it when it when it breaks at 1:00 a.m. while using it. Having actions items a calendar (with a set date) will help you solidify your commitments and visually help you see if you can take any more on. It will also help you focus on tasks that have the most impact and reorganize those of less priority.

Keep Going– It is essential to set some realistic goals and strategies to ensure you are at the top of your game. If you aren’t, I guarantee you the competition is. So my last tip to making the most of 2019 is to not coast on your previous success but rather use the momentum to ride a bigger wave. If you had your highest number of events booked or were the most profitable, you had ever been, great! But that doesn’t guarantee you anything. Success isn’t accidental or lazy. It’s a direct result of preparing, planning, and aligning your time with your goals. Get back to work and keep challenging yourself.

Fun, creative, and ambitious, DJ Rachel is making her mark as one of the top mobile DJs in the tri-state area. Her diversity as a DJ allows her to play at events that include MetLife Stadium (for the New York Jets) and serve as opening act for George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic and Gloria Gaynor. For more info visit: facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch

3 Tips for Wedding Show Success!

By Eric Wenning

Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a novice in this business, at one time or another you’ve probably advertised at a Wedding/Bridal Show (or thought about doing so). What a lot of people don’t understand is there is a lot of psychology required in advertising at these shows: reading people’s reactions, knowing what to say when breaking the ice, your appearance and the appearance of your booth, and so on. All equally important if you’re going to successfully generate leads or even a sale or two. Screw up one and it could turn into a snowball effect and, soon enough, you could be left with a lot of money out of your pocket and no sales to account for it.

Let’s dive into some tips that can help you turn that around…

  • Stop Sounding Like Everyone Else!
    Your opening line to an already anxious bride needs to be something other than, “Do you have a DJ picked out yet?” The majority of brides are going to say “yes” because even though they came to the show, they really just want to grab your brochure and deal with you later. So, the trick is to ask them a question they will say yes to without knowing they are doing it. Here is a question that has made my company tens of thousands of dollars… ready?

“Wanna Play a Game?”

Now I have you scratching your head while you are reading this, don’t I? I have actually hidden a photo of ‘Where’s Waldo’ in my brochures. So I tell them, “Find Waldo in 30 seconds or less and I’ll give you an extra discount off your wedding.” What happens next is amazing. The bride grabs a brochure, the mother grabs a brochure, the maid of honor grabs a brochure, heck even the dad grabs a brochure. Smiling. Laughing. Pointing. Now visualize this, another prospective bride is walking down the aisle and sees a herd of people intently looking at my brochure and seems genuinely interested in what we are offering. We made them curious! You are now creating a buzz around your booth and people want to get in on whatever you have to offer!

  • Give Out a “Yes Bag!”
    Have you ever noticed a bride carrying a bag and the mother or fiancé carrying another bag? Did you know most bride’s have a “Yes Bag” and a “No Bag?” Did I just blow your mind? They don’t want to be rude to your face, so they will politely say, “We’ll look it over and give you a call.” Now, if you give out a bag with your logo on it (you’ve just built rapport with that prospect!) you can then say, “Make this your Yes Bag moving forward (with a wink, of course) and you will get a smile and a giggle, and hopefully a new client too!
  • Brand Your Sweets n’ Treats
    Everyone always hands out candy and treats at their booth. What you need to do is, once again, be different! Brand your sweets n’ treats. Put your brand all over suckers, candy, mints. Anything that will stick out from the rest. Because when those brides get home they will dump their bag all over their table and start to narrow down the yes, maybe and no literature. The more they see your brand/logo everywhere, the better your chances are that they will remember you!

For more information about how to get more leads and sales at your next show, check out our Online Courses at www.wenningmethod.com.

Now go make a Great First Impression!

In addition to his highly successful multi-op business in Pittsburgh, PA, Eric has degrees in Graphic Design and Marketing and also owns a full ad agency that specializes in Social Media Advertising for many different types of companies. For more info or to contact Eric visit www.wenningmethod.com

Stay off your phone!

By Tony Fernandez

The Internet is a glorious thing.  It truly is.  I marvel at the unlimited power and capabilities one has access to with a mere click or keystroke.  Once you get past the click bait, porn, and Russian political meddling, you can actually find some really useful things out there on the world wide web.

What I DON’T understand is why DJs seem to be using the Internet to fill gaps in their repertoire.  I’m not talking about the Spotify/YouTube jocks that can’t even get on the service that doesn’t have ads (I’m sure there is a special ring in Dante’s Inferno for you). . .

And I’m not talking about the yahoos that can’t use Google after people take the time to help, explain, educate, and pass on knowledge… you STILL want a link to click. . .

I’m talking about the DJs that are AT gigs… right in the middle of an event and they are on Facebook and the plethora of DJ pages asking questions like: Where do I place my speakers? The bride just moved the time line, what should I do? And my favorite: What song should I play next?

I’ll tell you what you need to do:  you need to get off your smart phone, put your nose to the grindstone, put on your big boy or big girl pants and FIGURE IT OUT! Yeah l I know you can make the point that the offending DJ is doing that by getting on their device, BUT…   do you see other professionals working and getting on Facebook to ask for suggestions?  I’m sure a lawyer in the middle of a courtroom is going to whip out their iPad and Google a case.  I’m sure a doctor in the middle of a procedure is going to check on a Facebook page to ask how to continue what they are doing. Yeah, right.

Look, I get it, we ALL need help at some point. My self included.  No single human being knows everything – well, maybe one: I saw a piece on a student (from MIT, I believe) that was able to isolate the nerve/electrical impulse that our brain uses to communicate with the mouth.  This student was then able to tap into that connection and convert that electrical impulse into text, which he sent to Google.  So you can ask this student ANYTHING and they would have the answer.

I digress…

There are some really great people on these pages that genuinely and selflessly offer up invaluable information for the sake of being a decent person. They authentically want to help.  What I take umbrage with are DJs doing the asking WHILE at a gig in REAL TIME.  Especially on things they should know.  Specifically: what music to play.  You got ONE job, handle the music.  Handle it before the gig.  And if something comes up during the gig, HANDLE IT.  That’s your job.

How do you even find time at a gig to get on a device to get an answer for something you need immediately?   I would think your time is better served by paying attention to the situation at hand instead of wasting precious time tapping a screen and waiting for a response. And at the risk of sounding like the proverbial old “hey you kids get of my lawn” guy, people were able to use the power of problem solving, cognitive skills and intestinal fortitude BEFORE the Note or iPhone was invented.

I have to go get ready to play to a bunch of college students.  I’m doing my homework NOW.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on Facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

3 Tips for Wedding Show Success!

By Eric Wenning

Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a novice in this business, at one time or another you’ve probably advertised at a Wedding/Bridal Show (or thought about doing so). What a lot of people don’t understand is there is a lot of psychology required in advertising at these shows: reading people’s reactions, knowing what to say when breaking the ice, your appearance and the appearance of your booth, and so on. All equally important if you’re going to successfully generate leads or even a sale or two. Screw up one and it could turn into a snowball effect and, soon enough, you could be left with a lot of money out of your pocket and no sales to account for it.

Let’s dive into some tips that can help you turn that around…

  • Stop Sounding Like Everyone Else!
    Your opening line to an already anxious bride needs to be something other than, “Do you have a DJ picked out yet?” The majority of brides are going to say “yes” because even though they came to the show, they really just want to grab your brochure and deal with you later. So, the trick is to ask them a question they will say yes to without knowing they are doing it. Here is a question that has made my company tens of thousands of dollars… ready?

“Wanna Play a Game?”

Now I have you scratching your head while you are reading this, don’t I? I have actually hidden a photo of ‘Where’s Waldo’ in my brochures. So I tell them, “Find Waldo in 30 seconds or less and I’ll give you an extra discount off your wedding.” What happens next is amazing. The bride grabs a brochure, the mother grabs a brochure, the maid of honor grabs a brochure, heck even the dad grabs a brochure. Smiling. Laughing. Pointing. Now visualize this, another prospective bride is walking down the aisle and sees a herd of people intently looking at my brochure and seems genuinely interested in what we are offering. We made them curious! You are now creating a buzz around your booth and people want to get in on whatever you have to offer!

  • Give Out a “Yes Bag!”
    Have you ever noticed a bride carrying a bag and the mother or fiancé carrying another bag? Did you know most bride’s have a “Yes Bag” and a “No Bag?” Did I just blow your mind? They don’t want to be rude to your face, so they will politely say, “We’ll look it over and give you a call.” Now, if you give out a bag with your logo on it (you’ve just built rapport with that prospect!) you can then say, “Make this your Yes Bag moving forward (with a wink, of course) and you will get a smile and a giggle, and hopefully a new client too!
  • Brand Your Sweets n’ Treats
    Everyone always hands out candy and treats at their booth. What you need to do is, once again, be different! Brand your sweets n’ treats. Put your brand all over suckers, candy, mints. Anything that will stick out from the rest. Because when those brides get home they will dump their bag all over their table and start to narrow down the yes, maybe and no literature. The more they see your brand/logo everywhere, the better your chances are that they will remember you!

Now go make a Great First Impression!

In addition to his highly successful multi-op business in Pittsburgh, PA, Eric has degrees in Graphic Design and Marketing and also owns a full ad agency that specializes in Social Media Advertising for many different types of companies. For more info or to contact Eric visit www.wenningmethod.com

The Art of The Follow Up (Bridal Show Edition)

By Mitch Taylor

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that all bridal shows are not created equal.  It’s up to you to decide if that show is worthy of your investment or not.  How?  Ask around, starting with your fellow DJs and vendors.  What shows have been helpful to them?  What kind of business do they run from a size and service standpoint?  Find a like-minded business in your market.  Take the owner to lunch and ask why they choose the vehicles they choose to advertise in.  Their answers may surprise you.  Oh — and bring a referral or an idea they can use to help their business with you.  Givers gain.

Next, look at the size of the show. How many potential brides attend? This number will be significantly different from the total attendees so be sure you understand the difference before signing on the dotted line. If you are going for volume and willing to price your service accordingly, than a show with a killer marketing piece and several hundred brides may be for you.  If, however, you’re focused on high-end gigs and wanting to build quality relationships, then a smaller venue that allows more interaction with brides would be the best way to go.

OK… so you’ve picked a show.  How do you follow up?  Clue:  Ask them at the show.  Have brides sign up by typing their info into DJ Event Planner at your booth.  This eliminates misreading someone’s handwriting and ensures your message gets where it needs to go. Ask them when they got engaged and what other vendors they’ll be using and take good notes.  This can help you know where they are in the sales process and when it would be best to follow up with them. Brides with dates two or more years out best separated from brides who are looking for things within a year.

Now, based upon how the brides want you to follow up, set up schedule that works for them, not you.  Once a bride is ready to hear from you, put her in your cycle with unique touches designed to help her in the wedding planning process (apply different touches with your email, phone calls, snail mail and Facebook).  Use an email subject line that will make her want to read more.  Above all, your communication with her must be respectful of her time and conversational.

If you’d like a real life example of a follow ups I send my clients, send an email to mitch@tayloredweddings.com with the subject line “dj news bridal show FU” and I’ll get it out to you right away.

Lastly, be real. I often joke with the brides that stop by my booth that half of the information in their bags will end up being thrown out or forgotten in a corner somewhere.  People relate to real.  This is why if you are advertising at a high-volume show with dozens of vendors and hundreds of brides, you need a phenomenal marketing piece that really stands out from the crowd.  By striking up a conversation and genuinely seeking to help, you can cut through the hustle and bustle and get down to what really matters: helping a bride get the wedding she wants.

After all, that’s all sales truly is.  Find a need and fill it.

Mitch Taylor has worked in the Mobile Disc Jockey industry for over two decades, first cutting his teeth as an on-board club DJ for Carnival Cruise Lines. In addition to owning and operating Taylored Weddings in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he is a sought-after speaker and Gitomer Certified Advisor whose sales training, books, coaching and workshops are in high demand all over the country. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz

Stop Boosting and Start Funneling (Part One of a series)

By Eric Wenning

 I know many of you out there are struggling to advertise on social media with little to no success. Let me guess what you are doing. You have a picture of a packed dance floor in your ad that states something like “Book us because we are AWESOME and PROFESSIONAL” and are clicking on ‘Boost Post,’ thinking that will help bring more traffic to your site and you’ll get more sales…

Am I getting close?

As a successful multi-op who also owns a company that specializes in social media solutions for other companies, I’m here to help you with some of the marketing troubles you face on a day-to-day basis.

First, you have to understand there are many components in a successful ad.

  • Targeted Ad Copy
  • Targeted Audience
  • A Clear and Precise Irresistible Offer (to lure them in)
  • A Video to Grab Their Attention
  • A Clear Call to Action
  • Send your Leads through a Proper Sales Funnel
  • Installing a Facebook Pixel so you can track everyone

I know this might seem overwhelming, but you have to first know the ingredients to understand how something’s made, right? Almost all of you running ads are running them to COLD Traffic. Say what, Eric? WARM and HOT Traffic are leads from a friend, family or vendor referral. Cold Traffic are people that have NO IDEA who you are.

You have to target Cold Traffic differently than you would Warm and Hot Traffic.

What makes you stand out from your competition when it comes to Cold Traffic? Almost nothing until you get them on the phone, right? All they see are the same flashing lights and people having fun that appear in any DJ ad. But what can make your company look different in their eyes…

You have to understand that people price shop tangible products all the time. You and I both do it. We do it at the grocery store, Amazon, anywhere we can save a buck. Now put yourself in the bride and Groom’s shoes as they look at your company and your competition. The prices are almost the same, but what is going to give that Cold Traffic a push in your direction?

An offer they can’t refuse.

Without getting into the dreaded price conversation, you have to understand once that couple becomes a client they are more likely to spend more money because you have a trust factor with them. Prospects that are still on the fence are a harder sell to because you have not gotten them emotionally involved. The method to sell to Cold Traffic is to get them in at a cheaper price with an Irresistible Offer and then UP-SELL them once they are a client.

To accomplish this, make sure you have an Irresistible Offer. Make sure that offer is clear and precise. Make sure to have a clean landing page that CLEARLY states the offer you are making or your ad may get denied from Facebook.

Start with a broad audience, then narrow it down and retarget the people that saw your ad and did not convert. Create a video that has Stopping Power, meaning your video makes them stop and watch so you can explain your offer. Stop just using photos.

To recap, start CREATING COMPELLING ads instead of just boosting a post, and start to Funnel Your Clients!

In addition to his highly successful multi-op business in Pittsburgh, PA, Eric has degrees in Graphic Design and Marketing and also owns a full ad agency that specializes in Social Media Advertising for many different types of companies. For more info or to contact Eric visit www.wenningmethod.com

C’mon, Man!

By Glen Ervin:

 Assumptions: We all make them all the time. It’s how our brains function, the result of millions of years of evolution (one would assume) during which pretty much everything was trying to kill you. Good times. Problems arise, however, when we confuse our assumptions with reality despite clear evidence to the contrary.

The pipe and tweed crowd refers to the habit of hoarding preconceived notions as cognitive bias, and have come up with some pretty catchy titles to describe its symptoms.

Some you may recognize: the Bandwagon Effect, Confirmation Bias, Cheerleader Effect, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, aka all the other kids are doing it, I’m just here for opinions that agree with mine, five girls in skimpy skirts are better than one girl in a skimpy skirt, and way too many idiots have an inflated opinion of themselves, respectively.

Others less well known have no doubt spread your way.

Maybe you’ve caught an earful of the Sharing Music Doesn’t Hurt Anyone Bias. That’s the shell game some DJs play where they convince themselves that taking caviar off the table of rich recording artists is no big deal while conveniently ignoring the fact that everyone from secretaries to songwriters to how much DJs can charge for their events is negatively impacted by music piracy.

Or maybe it’s the Music Is Free Effect, Real DJs Don’t Use Sync Bias, Real DJs Beatmatch Effect and, my personal favorite, the I Have More Songs On My Hard Drive Than You Do Bias that make you back away from the keyboard and voice the only reasonable response available…

C’mon man!

If you’re in a place where you think you’re entitled to earn a living by ripping off artists and driving down prices for other DJs. Or need to build yourself up by tearing other DJs down, that’s… a choice.

Just know those of us who strive every day to make our best better and value the music that makes doing what we love for a living possible are rolling their eyes.

And while we may not always say it out loud, we’re thinking it…

C’mon man!

After being turned out to pasture following a 16-year club residency, Glen Ervin finds himself gainfully employed as Promo Only sales manager, media consultant and staff writer.

A DJ’s role

By Tony Fernandez:

Let me say right off the bat… I am NOT a fan of Cardi B’s music. To me, “Bodak Yellow” is unlistenable. Recently, however, I found myself, mostly out of curiosity, watching Cardi B co-host the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I will admit I was thoroughly entertained. She was funny, engaging and genuinely herself. She was hilarious. Then she performed “Money Bag…” which brings us to the dynamic of music in general and to the DJ’s role in that music specifically.

As I have stated, I am not a fan of Cardi B’s music. However, I totally respect her as an artist. She has the right to create any music she desires and to work her shtick any way she sees fit. I don’t find fault with that whatsoever.

On the flip side, I believe any artist that puts themself in the public forum, any artist that is trying to monetize their craft, opens themselves up to admiration in conjunction with disregard: I can acknowledge and respect Cardi B as an artist…

I don’t have to purchase or play her music.

As DJs, we’re hired to be professional music soothsayers. We play songs in accordance to the client’s wishes or the crowd’s feedback. We all, myself included, play music that we don’t personally like. We’re there to do a job, not play for our personal entertainment.

BUT…. (there’s always a but) while we are DJs, we are human as well. We all have our personal proclivities. We have our biases. We have our likes and dislikes. And on some level, consciously or subconsciously, our dispositions are reflected in the way we program.

As a DJ, I have both the right and responsibility to pass judgement through my own personal filter. As a DJ who acts as an ambassador of music and is a tastemaker, I have the right to exercise my disposition at my discretion.

I play songs I personally don’t care for all the time. There are also songs I will not play. Period. I have garnered through experience and reputation the right to be in that position. I work with clients and venues that understand that I have PLENTY of other options, songs, and artists to play/program.

Not playing an artist doesn’t pass my personal filter is not going to kill my floors.

I don’t let what’s popular dictate how I program. I do take requests. But those requests have to be tempered with what works best at the event I’m working. Taste, appropriateness, content, and personal experience all come into play before a song is played.

I feel it’s incumbent on DJs to be able to exercise their judgement and mollify music that has questionable content. Granted that “questionable content” is often subjective, but the fact remains that DJs should feel compelled to be gatekeepers of “good” music.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email