Gentlemans Rant: Why I Quick Mix Songs


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Throughout my DJ career, especially in my early years, I’ve been told several times that I play songs too quick.  I’ve even lost gigs and residencies because of it. I’m not sour about it.  It’s always been my style.

Sure, now-a-days I’ve learned to be a little less temperamental with the length of a song I play but I still get a little of that A.D.D..  The reason why dates back to when I was on the grind and would travel to New York for DJ gigs.  A really awesome DJ friend of mine, Getlive!, put me on a really simple philosophy.  I can’t remember his exact quote, but this was my take away –

When you’re playing for a crowd, you really have to keep the energy up. It’s what makes a good party.  A great way to do that is by obviously dropping  familiar songs. The thing is, when you play out the length of a song, the energy starts to dissipate and the vibe becomes a little more melancholy.  Hence the reason why most DJ’s go in and out of songs after the first verse or two.

The reality is, you don’t need to get through a verse to expel the emotions of excitement and nostalgia.  You know, that “Oh shit! I love this song!” feeling.  You only need a few seconds of a familiar melody or memorable lyric to achieve the spike in energy or that “Ohhhh!” moment.  Then get out of the song and drop the next one.

I’ve always taken this to heart and try practicing this during my sets.

So, what’s your point?

I came across this video years ago and, somehow, through the magic of Youtube, it resurfaced. My inspiration for this post. It’s a video of one of my DJ inspirations, Kid Capri, from 2012.  He was rocking a club out in Brooklyn.  I ran this video from beginning to end. It made me a little emotional. It also illustrates a great example of my point.  It takes real skill to be going in and out of song’s that quickly. You can definitely feel the energy from the crowd.  Fvcking moving!

A word of caution.  If you are a DJ and find some inspiration after reading this, be forewarned.  This style isn’t for everybody.  I’ve noticed, that no matter how much you practice the intricacies of the quick mix, most people just don’t get it.  They’ll end up pissed off for not playing the entire song, especially if it’s their favorite!

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