It’s a given these days that customers want a say in the playlist for their party, be that a milestone birthday or a wedding reception.
It’s really not a problem for me and I happily provide the tools to enable customers to provide anything from a few favourites which I can work from and build on, to the entire evening’s playlist. After all, you know your guests better than I do. Or do you?
But how good IS your playlist?
We’ve all got favourite songs and genres of music, and we’ve all got songs that we just don’t want to hear. Personally, I don’t like the super-cheesy tracks such as the Cha Cha Slide, Macarena and even worse, Oops Upside Your Head. That doesn’t mean I won’t play them – I’m more than happy to do that if that’s what you want (I don’t like the songs themselves but seeing you and your guests having fun is what I strive to achieve every time I go out on the road).
Similarly, I don’t have a lot of time for Rap, Hip-hop and R&B – but understand that guests want to hear exactly those tracks and I’ll happily include them for the evening.
BUT – is the music YOU like to hear, perhaps whilst driving to work in the morning, the same music that’s going to get your guests throwing shapes on the dance floor?
As already mentioned, I’m more than happy to take a playlist for the entire night’s entertainment. In fact the only thing I definitely WILL NOT DO is play it in a particular order.
Because if it worked that way, it’d be much easier for me to sit down before every party and pre-record the playlist in order, press play, and disappear to the buffet until the end of the night. Whilst that might sound like DJ heaven, a pre-determined playlist in a set order can’t “read” the dance floor to see what guests are reacting to at that point in the evening, it can’t naturally build energy, it can’t respond to requests from your guests (which incidentally….they’re more likely to dance to).
So what makes a good playlist?
It’s the holy grail of being a DJ. Every event is different.
For instance, a milestone birthday is likely to have guests of a similar age present which makes things just a little bit easier – you’re all likely to like the same music.
Switch that to a wedding where there are likely to be guests from 2 – 82 (or older) present, and you’re suddenly looking at many decades, genres and styles of music to please everyone. Great-aunt Mabel might like the Rock ‘n’ Roll classics whilst young Courtney wants the latest “banging” chart hits (of which, to be perfectly honest, there aren’t many!). It’s a fine juggling act and can only really be determined by how your guests are behaving on the night of the party.
That said, I’ll repeat myself in asking how well do you know your guests?
I’ve entertained at several events recently where the entire playlist has been provided. Some, such as weddings where the guests have sent in requests via their invitations (and they’ve worked a real treat on the night), and some where the bride and groom have specified hard rock, rap and metal to be played (again, they knew their guests and it worked really well).
I’ve also entertained at similar events where the host or bride and groom have selected their own favourites and the guests haven’t liked what’s on the playlist. On most of those occasions, I got permission from the host to move away from the playlist and onto music which would get the guests on the dance floor and happily, it’s worked.
It all depends on whether you want me to play your personal favourites, or whether you want your guests to enjoy the evening and spend time on the dance floor.
So, although you may have an absolutely brilliant playlist in your head for your party – bear in mind it might not be to your guests’ tastes and won’t necessarily get them swinging from the chandeliers for your party.
An experienced DJ (such as yours truly), has built up many years of experience in entertaining at many different types of party and understands what will work and when. It’s not as easy as being a Spotify playlist, it never has been and it never will be.