[dropcap letter=”T”]hough some of us would prefer being called a music producer or laptop musician, most of us have had the personal pleasure of experiencing what it’s like to be a DJ in Manila. It’s a lot of fun sharing your aesthetic and your sonic palette with a ready and open crowd, moreso being able to rock a party. That exchange with an audience ultimately exhibits a sympathetic resonance of a certain kind, and at the end of the day its fun to connect and vibrate with similar “things” and people. Its just sometimes the club scene doesn’t allow you to leave your problems on the dancefloor. Here are just a few of the biggest pet peeves that Manila DJs have, especially those of us who play non-top40 music.
To be honest, we don’t mind playing a request or two if we have the track, or if it doesn’t mess with the current flow we’re building. It’s just that sometimes we get the straight up rudest requests. Even the manner of requesting is just off-putting. “Play my request man no one likes this song you’re playing”; “YOU GOT SOME REAL HIPHOP?”; “I like me some real thug shit!”; “ITS ME AND MY BOYFRIEND’S ANNIVERSARY TODAY CAN YOU PLAY EVER AFTER BY BONNIE BAILEY?” “You don’t have my request!? You’re not a real DJ!” Damn you, Robbie Williams.
How to deal with insane audience demands? I usually just opt to make fun of myself and tell them that I don’t have their tracks (which is true for the most part). This diffuses the tension in most cases.
7. YouTube Requests
6. Proper sound system
5. Being handed notes that don’t contain requests
For some reason, passing people requests on tissue is the norm at a club, but not only do they drop requests but also messages. Sometimes if you’re lucky positive comments and praises land on the table, but more often than not (especially if you aren’t playing Top40) you can expect some harsh things like “YOU SUCK”, “The DJ last nite was better!”, “PLAY I’M IN LOVE WITH THE COCO PLS”, and even “How am I supposed to get lucky tonight with this kind of music!?!”
4. Tech guys at clubs getting territorial
Most clubs in the Phillippines have a resident tech guy in charge of the pipe in music (the music that plays when there aren’t any DJ’s playing). While it’s normal to build a territorial mentality if you’re at a club/bar 24/7, for some reason this makes them feel like DJ’s themselves. They get to witness the club on both strong and weak nights, which gives them the so-called idea of “what works” and what doesn’t. This leads to a breed of audio techs who are Know It Allsthat will dictate what you should play, and if you choose not to follow will impose their dominance. Especially if your all-Jazz playlist doesn’t work (even if that’s what the organizers paid you to play). These techs will decorate you with nicknames like DJ Janitor and other offensive monickers that will make them feel better than you, and as soon as you leave the booth they will find satisfaction in playing their Ed Sheeran playlist off of Spotify, proving that maybe he (or rather, Spotify) is the better DJ. Not to mention that they’re always in your ear with their unsolicited opinions about what a real club DJ is, like what software you should be using, your controller, whether or not you use CDJs or vinyl, and all that jazz.
3. “Can you charge my iPhone on your laptop?”
2. Randoms touching your gear
1. People grabbing the mic for no reason
What are your pet peeves about the Manila DJ scene? Share them with us in the comments!