All DJ’s have been through this at one time or another. Except maybe for newbie DJ’s, but even for them, it’s coming. You are at your gig, in the mix, in your zone, the dance floor is full and you are totally in control. You know where you want to take the crowd, and the guy (or gal) walks up with a song request. Now, most people with requests will tell you what they want to hear either verbally (if it’s not so loud that you can’t hear), or they’ve written it down on a napkin, or piece of paper sometimes with an eye pencil or even lipstick. More commonly these days, they will show it to you on their smart phone, and some that know you personally may even text or dm the track they want to hear…. “Hey Tunes, play that new Cardi – B”!. Totally cool. Every DJ needs a reminder at times and so I never mind requests. If the track is good and matches my set, I eventually play the request. If you get multiple requests for the same song in one night and you don’t have it, That’s an alert for me to go get it before my next gig ! These requesters are not the ones I’m taking about here. It’s the other guy…..
That person that comes and stands next to you and virtually waits for you to play his/her ill-fitting request. The one that doesn’t care about what’s happening right now in front of you or anyone else’s fun. Never mind that you tell him politely that you will get to it and the time is not quite right. Never mind that you are in the thick of a fast paced afrobeats mix and he’s requesting a much slower rap song. Never mind that you tell him to stand back a little bit. Never mind that you even bluntly tell him you can’t play the song because it doesn’t fit. He’s still right over your back shoulder, watching you go through your crates looking for the next track. “Play it now”, he says, screaming over your ear that’s not covered by headphones. “Is it the next one?”, “Why haven’t you played it?”, “Type it in”, don’t play that one, …..
Right about now, you are totally fed up and in a momentary flash of brilliance, you think of a clever attempt to get rid of the guy, you think up what sounds like a good lie and tell him that you don’t have the song. It does not work. He either thinks up another song, or comes back with “Go to YouTube”, or “Can you play it from my phone?” He may even resort to more persuasive lines like…. “I’m leaving soon and I want to hear the song before I leave” or bribery “here’s a tenner for you to play the track”.
This virtual dj assistant dude is not going away! But whatever you do, don’t give in. Maybe you are in a club and you can get the bouncer to bully him away. That works. But what if it’s a wedding or other function and no security in sight? Ride it out. Because if you don’t, two things will happen. One, you’ll play the track and kill the energy at your gig, your dance floor will clear up and suddenly you’ll be flooded with requests! Two, your virtual assistant dj will not go dance to the track he harassed you for the last hour. Why should he ? The dance floor is now empty! He’ll give you the same quizzical look your audience is giving you like wtf? ! He’ll act like he didn’t request it and walk away….. You’ll sweat for the next few minutes rebuilding your dance floor again, but once it’s back popping again, guess who’s coming right back with another dumb ass request ? Your virtual assistant dj !