Call Yourself A DJ?

In this day and age with music technology being what it is, can you call yourself a DJ when all you do is simply press play?

I found an excellent article written by DJ and producer A-Trak where he talks about the validity of DJs that perform sets by basically pre-recording it, then just pressing play once it gets to the live stage.

I recommend reading the whole article as I think it’s a very fair and well written response to this fairly new phenomenon that is emerging on the DJ scene.  You can read it here.  With A-Trak being the DJ that he is, he is far more qualified than I am to comment on this subject but I am a DJ myself and I have DJ’d at numerous places for numerous events from clubs to weddings and private parties. I feel the need to comment on this subject because I have worked on both sides of the DJ spectrum as a DJ that strictly used vinyl to a DJ that has just used a computer.

I know a lot of people that have been working on their DJ skills for many years may get pissed off by someone arriving on the scene and taking big shows where they simply press play!

Personally I don’t see any point in getting pissed off with it, but I can understand why you would. Fact is, it’s reality. There are people that come to watch a pre-made show and they’re willing to pay money and enjoy it. The term ‘DJ’ is a very loose one on those occasions. It’s more like a producer putting on a pre-made show like a theatre. I know I’d rather watch someone actually DJ live than that, but I don’t put a value judgement on it.

I think it’s more constructive that more DJs get out there and show that ‘good old fashioned’ DJing is still entertaining and of course it certainly is for people like us. There’s plenty more people like us who agree.

I personally think that the only difference is that now there is more choice and people don’t have to necessarily be a skilled DJ to put on a show. Producers can pre-plan it and do it too. I don’t think this is a bad thing. It just is what it is. I’ll still keep working on my DJ skills though…

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