35 Things Learned in 35 Years # 25
People ask if I take requests, and of course the answer is YES.
Requests are part of the fun of having a DJ entertain! Unlike most bands, who tend to focus on a single genre of music, PM DJs have no limit to what we can play.
Other than, of course, the client’s wishes, and good taste. It is never appropriate to play music that offends people.
So we are able to promise our clients that we will not play songs with obscene or racist lyrics. There is no good reason to play such songs, and plenty of good reasons not to.
When we plan events with our clients, we make a list of “must-play” songs, and a list of “don’t play” songs. But we don’t make a playlist for the whole event, because that defeats the purpose of having an experienced DJ, who not only takes requests, but has the knowledge to know what to play when, to make the party flow.
A loud heavy metal song with screaming guitars is not right for an elegant cocktail hour at the beginning of a wedding reception…but might be perfect later when the dance floor is rocking. Timing is everything.
So sometimes the answer to a request is, “Yes, but later, when it fits in.”
Children don’t get this. Kids always ask for their song to be NEXT! And it doesn’t matter to them, that there are other people whose requests are ahead of theirs. And there is lots of gender bias among pre-teens: the boys typically hate the latest teen heartthrob, which of course is all the girls want to hear. It can be comical, but experienced DJs have plenty of tricks for dealing with selfish and demanding kids and their requests.
Here is how one Dutch DJ handles requests for a kid’s event: