I’m back at the Messenger, and I’m here to bring you everything you need to know about DJing it’s a figure of speech and an intro to this article – I do not know everything about what it means to DJ.
I figure this would be a good time to talk about my first DJing experience because last weekend I played my first event under the moniker of Chancho Watson. Yes, Chancho Watson. I now declare Chancho Watson as my official DJ name so please refer to me as Chancho, Señor Watson, Mr. Watson or Chanchito when I’m behind the booth – or in person.
Yes, Chancho played his first show this weekend, and he’s glad to tell you about his experience. I was set up and ready to go early in the night, accompanied by VJ Malmestizo. Malmestizo played dope and trippy visuals, and I played A$AP Ferg’s “Shabba” twenty times in a row during the first 30 minutes of the event when few people were around. I continued to play instrumental beat music like Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing.
I hadn’t listened to Flying Lotus in a while, so I played his music for, like, ten minutes straight at one point. I am fairly sure one person noticed because I received a text a bit later that night that said “Chill the Flying Lotus you’re playing, man.” I played the same artist for about ten minutes. Terrible DJ move.
My repetitive DJ skills didn’t end there, though. As people started coming in, I realized that at some point I would have to play something with vocals in it. As I looked into my track history, I noticed that the first song I had played that night was a remix of Lorde’s “Ribs” – not exactly what I should have planned on playing first. I tried it again.
People were still coming in and out, so I began to play funny and terrible music to see if people were paying attention for example, I played “Let Me Take You to Da Movies” by Bangs, which is, perhaps, one of the worst songs of all time. No one budged, and people still danced almost as if I was playing something good. I became fearless with my music selection. Once you play Bangs, you can only go up from there.
More people arrived, and I felt I had to amp up the setting. So, again, I played “Shabba.” I then began to feel tired, however, and wanted to call it a night. “Shabba” was my peak. But, alas, I still had two more hours to spin. Terrible planning, Chancho.
By this point in the night I was approached with requests, many of which I turned down. Often, I had already played that song or I didn’t have it. I realized that I wanted to play a lot of music that I didn’t actually have. I wanted to play Riff Raff, Iron and Wine and somehow work Toto’s “Rosanna” into my set. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it all.
Near the end of the night, I looked into the crowd and saw that there were only two potential? couples on the floor dancing. It was late in the night, so to get rid of them I proceeded to play ambient drone music like Tim Hecker, which quickly did the job. No one can grind to the metal clanking and minor key playing of that kind of music. I didn’t feel too guilty since Malmestizo and I had been waiting to use the bathroom for almost three hours.
To really end the night – and to make things a bit more depressing and sad for the lonely people still at the party – the last song I played was Aphex Twin’s “Avril 14th,” a melancholic piece that made one person really drown in gloom when he realized he was alone on the dance floor.
Chancho Watson’s first night as a DJ was a light two out of ten. My transitions were terrible; I didn’t even play Christoper Cross’s “Sailing” like I had planned. But there are a few things I learned about DJing from the experience:
1. Requests: I’ve come up to DJs so many times asking them to play songs that I like. I realize now that they are DJs and not jukeboxes. From now on, I’ll refrain from asking them to play my favorite Juicy J song and instead sing along to Taylor Swift.
2. DJing is hard. Not a surprise. Playing music that the crowd likes is one thing, but making seamless transitions within different genres is pretty difficult. Choosing songs to raise or keep the momentum of the party going can also be challenging.
Catch Chancho Watson at the next local sweet sixteen in the electronic, raving town of Dundas, playing all of yesterday’s hits.