2 DJs On Why Giving Your DJ Creative Freedom Matters
Some — by no means all — people running events can take too much interest in shaping the musical sounds and vibe. This goes beyond having that all-so-important initial conversation with your DJ about what kind of mood you want them to create.
We’re talking about crossing that invisible line between hiring a DJ and hiring someone to play music exactly as you tell them, robot style.
And yes, we’re talking about event runners who will literally hand over a list of songs for the DJ to play, or are EXTREMELY restrictive about the musical genres and sound range the DJ can inject into her set.
This can be HUGELY problematic, on a few levels.
Of course a big one is the DJ, being a professional, brings a unique skill set to the event and they do not want to have their musical talents boxed in and limited. They want to really make the crowd feel good, and anything that gets in that way is problematic.
And, on another level, restricting your DJ is going to have a negative impact on the event, as the DJ won’t be able to flex her musical muscle and play music in response to the crowd’s energy level, which she being a pro intuitively reads from the room.
But don’t take it from me.
In this special LUXELIFE blog, I asked two of our amazing DJs why having creative freedom matters so damn much to them, and why it REALLY REALLY matters for the success of your event.
Music triggers emotion and even memories. It can get us excited, make us feel nostalgic or even sad. If there is any one thing I have noticed both as a lover of music and a DJ, the last thing I want to hear is the radio music when I am out clubbing or at a special event. I don’t want to hear the tune I just heard at office and convenience store. I makes me feel like I am back at work thinking about everything I need to get done for the day. This is not the mood you want your DJ to create.
When I go out I want to hear some different, maybe even familiar. Maybe it’s a remix of that old 80’s tune or maybe it’s something meant to set a sophisticated atmosphere. As a business owner I totally understand that it can be difficult to know for sure what you’re clientele is looking for, however if you are setting the mood at a fashion show or showcasing beautiful unique artwork, I feel the music should match the space and create a vibe. I always like to consider the space.
And last but not least, if you give an artist their freedom, trusting their process, this is when you will see the most remarkable work. Or in this case, hear it.
DJ Flavia Abadia
I think giving DJs freedom is important because they have experience and can tell what people like, what will make people happy, what will make people stay, and more importantly what will make people spend more money!!
When people are happy, they spend money. And a DJ knows how to make people happy!!
For example, I was DJing at a restaurant and I was playing music I thought the crowd would like, then I saw a table in particular of several women who were feeling the music and I decided to play more music they would like. Even though they had just paid their bill they ordered more drinks and ended up spending $400 MORE on drinks.
If they didn’t have a DJ with creative freedom, that table would have left without spending more money.
Also creative freedom means we see who passes by, what music will bring people into a store for example. I’ve had people come up to me and say “we just came here because we heard and liked your music.”
A DJ has experience, knows what’s appropriate or what’s not. We are professionals. Giving guidelines is ok but giving creative freedom is best. Also if you give creative freedom, the DJ can create something magical!
Basically, creative freedom means having the DJ cater specifically to the needs of the people in the audience and make people collectively happy instead of catering to specific guidelines. As DJs we are always watching what’s going on, monitoring the crowd, seeing what people like and adjusting accordingly. (If the client ever feels like they don’t like it they can always tell the DJ what to adjust.)
I think Flav really nails it with that last comment — that allowing your DJ some creative range is really in the best interest of your crowd AND your event, as the DJ will always have their interest at heart.
While there is of course room to discuss the musical choices if the event host finds the vibe the DJ is weaving is not working, at the end of the day trusting your DJ to deliver a good experience and giving them creative leeway will deliver an outstanding event experience — especially when you’ve booked a professional DJ like Kilma or Flavia.