Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Has the art form of the DJ died?
A great read from DJ Enrie that I wanted to share:
After an email and some tweets, I have noticed a slight backlash on my statement about me saying that DJing is dead. Well, it didn’t take Paris Hilton for me to say that statement. My theory has been around for the last couple of years. I have spent years practicing the art of being a DJ when I was younger, because that’s what I was passionate about. It was the ability to mix records flawlessly and take people on a journey through music. I didn’t do it because I can push buttons and wanted to be a superstar. You see the difference there? I would say that statement can hold true and justify how I feel. I thought I would share some examples on how the art is dead, just in case you don’t believe me :
- How easy is it to call yourself a DJ? Just create a DJ name, make a Twitter and or Facebook and that’s it. You can post pictures and write about being a DJ all day. Don’t forget to include a picture of yourself modeling a headphone. You don’t even need your own laptop. Will people believe you? Yes they will because you talk about it. Nobody will care if it’s true or not. It’s just the perception of the material you post. I always talk about “fake hype’, and this is a prime example of that.
- The “fake hype” theory is based on what you read or see online, and not actually about what you hear for yourself in person. DJs make a flashy website, a well produced youtube promo video and have their friends tweet that they are “killing it”. So to the average person, they are led to believe that DJ so and so must be really good. I have heard DJs booked on their hype and they were horrible (especially in Vegas). Twitter and Facebook are the perfect tools to create a “fake hype”. You can see it every day. I am always the one to never believe the hype and wanna check it out for myself. How many “DJs” would actually let you set up a video camera in the DJ booth so you can see what they are doing and how they actually sound live? I would say a small percentage
- The whole “keep it real” statement is no longer relevant. Does the average club goer care if you can masterfully mix 2 tracks together? Do they care that you created some cool word play and got creative? Do they care that you had an exclusive acapella that you rode over a beat? No. They wanna hear LMFAO and Carly Rae Jepsen all night. You could play an iPod with all the hits (which most “DJs” do) and it gets the job done. No skill required. Any art form in that? Zero
- This leads to the ease of equipment used to call yourself a “DJ”. Today you can be a DJ after a visit at Target or Walmart. You got some mp3′s? You got an iPad? That’s all you need. Here’s an interesting fact. There are 2 people that come to Vegas regularly and use an iPad for their “DJ” set. Good thing there’s an app for that right? You can push a button and get gigs. Any art form in that? Zero
- Celebrity DJs have become more and more the discussion amongst the DJ world. Let’s face it, people love celebrities. They love watching them and talking about them. Clubs love $$$. Celebrities bring in crowds. Crowds bring the club $$$. The idiots on Jersey Shore and the Kardashians probably make $1 for every brain cell that you destroy watching them. This leads me to discuss the perfect example and say something about Pauly D. He is a celebrity. People go to see him because he is a celebrity. I have gone to listen to him play his pre recorded mix and the crowd is mostly woman that wanna take a picture with him. People don’t go cause he’s a great DJ, they go cause he’s a celebrity. I barely saw people actually dancing. I have heard DJ Lupe Fiasco and Taboo (Black Eyed Peas) attempt their “DJ” facade. I have seen video of other celebrity DJs, and it’s all the same story. They see DJing as something cool and something they can try to do the stay relevant in the public eye. I see advertisements all the time with a celebrity name and underneath it says “live DJ set”. There is a growing list of celebrity DJs that even include Alicia Keys and Kanye West. Do they do it cause they respect the art? No. They do it cause it’s cool. Any art form with that? Zero
Those are just some examples that prove my theory that DJing is dead. I’m sure there could be more, but you should get the idea. Please feel free to contact me if you feel that I am wrong about this. I can discuss this topic and defend my statement all day. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.