5 DJ Stereotypes That Need to Be Put to Bed
Being a DJ is hard work. For one, it takes investment of time and money to start doing what you love. But it gets even more difficult and frustrating once your friends, family, or other acquaintances who DON’T DJ make assumptions of what you do professionally.
We gathered some of the common sterotypes we’ve heard and experienced over the years. These need to be put to bed once and for all!
Stereotype #1: DJs aren’t real musicians.
This train of thought is quite common to the person outside our industry. They think, “Oh, DJing doesn’t really take that much musicality. You just press play…don’t you?” This couldn’t be more wrong! DJs have to have more musical knowledge than you realize. DJs need to have intrinsic knowledge of BPM (beats per minute) for beat matching, genres, musical styles, and keep up with new musical trends and fads. DJs should even be considered more musical than many “pop artists” who pigeonhole themselves in one genre. Don’t get it wrong – DJs are encyclopedias of music who painstakingly spend hours of their time arranging music and recreating a set to engage specific types of audiences.
Stereotype #2: DJs have every song imaginable in their library.
Ah yes. The old – “You’re a DJ so you have to have [insert super obscure underground hip-hop track].” Believe it or not, songs cost money and also take up space on your computer or hard drive. We’re sure DJs would love to have every song imaginable, but it’s just not possible. Unless you give the DJ a tracklist with your favorite underground hip-hop songs before an event, then you have to assume the DJ probably doesn’t have it. Luckily, record pools exist that DJs could easily download music from.
Stereotype #3 DJs will always take requests from their audience.
This one is quite common, sadly. DJs are real people – not jukeboxes. We know that there is ALWAYS a guy or girl in a club asking a DJ to “play more hip-hop” or expects their request to be taken immediately. We’re sorry…many professional DJs don’t work like that. Next time a DJ isn’t playing what you like, kindly and politely excuse yourself from the club or venue and do not, by any means go up to the booth and think you can get your favorite song to be played (Unless you slip the DJ a $20, then it’s probably ok).
Stereotype #4: Assuming DJs are all party-animals who drink/do drugs every night.
Sure DJing does revolve around the party and nightlife scene, but many DJs are just trying to make a living doing what they love with music. We’re sure the majority of DJs are content with a cup of coffee before their set and head home to their loved ones after they spin. The party life can get old, quick.
Stereotype #5 There is only one type of DJ
If you’re one of the people who think there is just one type of DJ, then you’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg. There are several types of DJs that require different skillsets. There are Club DJs, Mobile/Wedding DJs, Festival DJs, Radio DJs, Turntablist/Scratch DJs, Battle DJs, DJ/Producers, DJ/Remixers, etc. Seriously, the DJ industry is huge and is growing every year.
Have more stereotypes you’d like to share? Comment below!
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