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Everyone wants to be a DJ; fact. Just see what happens when you leave your Spotify playlist unattended at a party-everyone’ll be clamouring over each other to have a chance to showcase their music taste.
I’ve wanted to be a DJ since I was about 16. My first boyfriend, despite his many faults, had excellent taste in music, and when he got his first set of Pioneer decks I’d spend hours listening to him mixing all sorts of US & UK hip hop and drum & bass. By the age of 17 I was well and truly addicted to bass, but simply couldn’t imagine ever being able to afford the vast amounts of money that it seemed to cost! So I didn’t do anything about it…until recently!
Last October, having got a job which paid ‘proper money’ I decided to start looking into buying some kit of my own. However, having never mixed properly before, it seemed like a risky investment to make. Luckily, along came my boyfriend’s brother, who was looking for a temporary home for these babies!
Naturally, I was more than happy to babysit them for him until I was ready to take the plunge and buy my own decks, so after a morning master class from him, off I went with my new kit and a stack of vinyl to practice with!
Even now, 10 months down the line, I’m definitely still mastering the basics, but needless to say, that first day of practising was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life! The first challenge I encountered was trying to get your head round listening to, and then beat matching two tracks at the same time. I won’t bore you with the details, but before you’ve even begun to mix the two records together, you have to make sure they’re both running at the same beats per minute (bpm), which for a beginner, is considerably harder than it sounds.
Eventually, after a few weeks and plenty of swearing, I’d just about mastered beat matching – JOY! It was at this point that I could start thinking about mixing the records into each other, which lo and behold, was much tougher than I’d anticipated. But as they say, practice makes perfect, so that’s what I did!
Surprisingly, one of my highlights of learning to DJ was having such a limited (and retro!) selection of vinyl to work with. As Will’s brother started DJing as a teenager, most of his records were late 90’s/early 00’s house tracks, but it was so much fun going through and rediscovering tracks I’d completely forgotten about – it was like mixing in a time warp!
Here a few of the tracks I learnt to mix with, and consequently will always be a bit special! I’ll be keeping you updated with my ‘DJ journey’, so stay tuned for the next instalment!