One of my friends raised an interesting issue on Facebook the other day. He said that it takes “no talent whatsoever” to be a DJ. According to him, all they do is “play records.” He said that live musicians are the ones who actually created the music (and recorded it) but yet DJ’s often seem to get credit for songs that they had nothing to do with. My friend is one who is very emphatic when it comes to everything he feels strongly about, however, his debate was a good one. The question stands: Does it really take no talent to become a DJ and are they overrated? DJ’s are often worshipped as though they are stars, even though what they do is play the music of stars. As usual, I thought this thing through and came up with my own assessments. While it is true that DJ’s basically play the songs that others write and record, in a lot of cases there is a little more to it than that. Most of the DJ’s I know have to blend the right tunes to play at the right times to keep people dancing. While it is not anywhere near as creative as writing and producing it is not something that can be done without some good musical knowledge. For the record, when you go to most clubs the DJ’s are the ones who will usually have most patrons dancing. Live bands rarely match the energy of a DJ. Bands normally need to take breaks, while a DJ can spin records for much longer. Also, bands need to make sure their levels are mixed correctly. A recorded song played by a DJ comes “already mixed.” So can it be said that DJ’s “steal the thunder” from artists? My answer to this would be “yes… and no.” In most cases the DJ is not responsible for the making of the hit tune, but where would the artist be without the DJ to actually “play” his or her music? When you think about it, Michael Jackson made it big because DJ’s played his music. Prince did the same. Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift and just about any other star you can imagine had their songs promoted by DJ’s. Chances are great that if you have a song you really like some DJ probably played it first (either in a club or on the radio) for you to like it. In essence, DJ’s are responsible for some artists to get paid and achieve fame. That being said, DJ’s are necessary, no matter what your opinion may be of them. Whenever I play a 4 hour gig with a live band, DJ’s are also hired to play music during our breaks. People love music. Bands are usually more expensive than DJ’s and generally take up more space. Never once did I believe that DJ’s steal work from live bands (but then again, I work all the time so naturally I would not be affected). Live music has it’s place (and it’s audience). When people want DJ music then that has its own uniqueness as well. One man’s music can be another man’s misery. So my conclusion is that artists and DJ’s are both needed, because each one would probably not exist without the other. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brett Jolly and Muziq Soulchild