Marc and Ketty Wedding

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  DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & Boston DJ

Julianne & Wayne Wedding

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  DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

What Makes The Best Professional DJ?

First of all, there is no such thing as ‘The Best Professional DJ’. There are many incredible DJs, some that are famous, some are in your local area right here in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania. Since there is no one exact thing that makes one DJ better than another, we have to dig a little deeper before making any claims like ‘the Best Professional DJ’.

If the sports world has taught us anything, the best is not always the best. Michael Jordan did not win a title every year, neither did Wayne Gretzky or Tom Brady. First, we have to establish what makes the Best Professional DJ.

Can Crowd-Size Determine The Best Professional DJ?

Crowd-size – Some would say that the professional DJ that is most popular is the best, meaning, the DJ that draws the biggest crowds is the Best Professional DJ. That would be analogous to saying that Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga are the best musicians in the world, since they draw some of the largest audiences. We all know that is not true. They may be great at drawing young audiences but we can’t compare them to some of the great musicians of our time and would not even try.

Sweet Sixteen Party on The Dance Floor with DJ Mystical Michael

 Best Professional DJ Has Quality Remixes

Quality Remixes – It is also possible to use the quality of remixes that a professional DJ produces as a measuring stick for determining the Best Professional DJ. This at least has a technical quality to it and bears merit. An excellent remix of a great song is so much fun to dance and party to. Here is the question though, does a DJ that can produce great remixes in his or her bedroom translate into a DJ that can rock a crowd of all ages and diverse states and styles at your Party or Wedding? Do you want a DJ that can play two or three great remixes that will “Wow” the crowd and let the rest of the night fall dead?

 

Scratching – Same as Remixes. If the DJ can’t inspire a crowd, what good is a wild scratch or two throughout the night do for you and your guests? If you practice long enough in your bedroom anyone can scratch with the best of them, that does not make them the Best Professional DJ.

Best Professional DJ Playing Great Music with DJ Mystical Michael

Best Professional DJ Has The Best DJ Equipment

Best DJ Equipment – As a professional DJ that has also worked in recording studios and an avid audiophile, I understand the need for incredible sound. If you ever get a chance to listen to my BOSE L1 System, you will understand how much great, clear quality sound means to me. I might even be a bit of a fanatic when it comes to my BOSE L1 DJ equipment. But we all know that quality sound doe snot make the best DJ. The DJ still has to know how to rock the room and make sure all people of all styles, tastes and ages are having fun. If it was just about quality of DJ Sound equipment, trust me, I would be the Best Professional DJ or at least one of the best.

Best Professional DJ Equipment BOSE L1

Best Professional DJ Has DJ Insurance

DJ Insurance – DJ Insurance is like DJ Sound equipment, I have excellent DJ insurance that covers up to $1,000,000 but that it does not cover the quality of me reading and inspiring a crowd. DJ insurance is very important but it does not make me the Best Professional DJ, just maybe the smartest and most concerned for you and your Wedding, Party or Event.

 Best Professional DJ Has Great Music

Music – OK, now were getting somewhere! DJ Music is the main thing you hire a professional DJ for. If the DJ does not have a huge musical library that ranges from Top 40 to Oldies to Hip Hop to Rock to Dance to Motown to Disco to Country to House to R&B to World to Latin and the list keeps going, how is the DJ going to make sure everyone at your Wedding, Party or Event will be happy and bragging about it on FaceBook the next day?

Having a huge collection of one genre like Hip Hop or Rock or Latin is good if you are only going to invite people of one age, race, culture, style and taste to your Wedding or Party. If you want to make sure everyone is happy and having fun, the Best Professional DJ needs to have a musical library that covers all the genres to meet the needs of your diverse friends and family.

If a DJ has an excellent musical library of about 25,000 songs (mine is about 40,000), the DJ has enough songs to cover all your guests, but if 20,000 of those songs are just in one genre like House or Hip Hop, how are they going to make sure everyone is having a good time with only 5,000 songs to cover the rest of all fun music? I invite you to remember that you are not the only one listening and dancing to your DJ. Your tastes are very important but are not the only ones to consider when hiring your DJ or determining who is the Best Professional DJ.

DJ Music Library in iTunes with Best Professional Rhode Island DJ

Best Professional DJ Knows The Crowd

DJ Knowing The Crowd –  This is the skill and talent that I think most defines the Best Professional DJ, if there is such a thing.

A great professional DJ can look at a crowd and know in their gut what music needs to be played now, next and in twenty minutes. The DJ is surveying the room from end to end to see who is dancing and having fun and who isn’t. It is not enough to just scan the dance floor because the mark of a great DJ is making sure everyone is included and having fun. It is an istinct that cannot be taught or learned. The Best Professional DJs can just ‘feel’ what the crowd needs and seems to pull out the perfect song one after another. The Best Professional DJs know when to lower the tempo just a touch or more if needed, so you can catch your breath and be able to stay on the dance floor and not need to sit and rest. It is sometimes subtle but important in making sure to keep your party alive.

If you want to find the Best Professional DJ, look for the one that can get you, your friends, your parents and their friends and your Grandparents all on the dance floor and smiling, if smiling and dancing is what you want from your DJ. Find the DJ that somehow can inspire people from diverse backgrounds, races and cultures all to party together at the same time without missing a beat, no pun intended. Here in the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania area, we don’t all look the same or listen to the same music and the best DJs know how to handle this with ease and grace. The Best Professional DJs know from experience that staying at one tempo will burn the crowd out, especially if the DJ chooses fast tempos above 125 beats per minute. It is is a lot of fun when we are dancing to high tempo music but the Best Professional DJs know how to segue and mix it up so you can have fun all night!

Best Professional DJ at Fun Rhode Island Wedding

I am not sure I ended the debate of who is the Best Professional DJ or how to find one. At least I hope you now know what to look for when searching for a great DJ. And we didn’t even cover how well the DJ can use the mic to motivate a crowd or make announcements if you need them. Many DJs are good at spinning great tunes but when you turn the microphone on, they are completely dead and flat, or worse yet, they are cheesy and think they are what the Party is about and won’t shut-up!

 

Please choose your DJ wisely, your event is too important to you to not hire someone you think is the best for your Wedding, Party or Event. You don’t get to do again if the DJ sucks:)

Bride and Groom First Wedding Dance with Friends and Family with Best Professional DJ

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Ask about my Rhode Island Wedding DJ & Rhode Island Party DJ Guarantee!

Rain Takes A Break, Wedding DJ Doesn’t – Magical Wedding On!

Yesterday was one of the days this week with lots of rain in the forecast. We have experienced rain on a continual basis lately and were worried the outdoor wedding may not be able to take place. We discussed potential back-up plans but none would compare to the original. I left my home for the two hour drive to Long Beach Island knowing that all could be for nothing. The reception was being held outdoors at The Gables in Beach Haven, NJ.

 

It was a slight mist while setting up my professional DJ gear for the gig. If you have not been to the The Gables, their back patio is covered in beautiful hanging plants and vines with lush green everywhere. One of the vines needed to be moved to fit my head in the space for the ‘Wedding DJ station’. Here is a blog post with great photos of The Garden Brunch @ The Gables. The ‘ Wedding DJ Station’ was under the spiral staircase:)

 

By the time the guests arrived, the rain had disappeared and we even had some patches of sun through the afternoon. Everybody had so much fun dancing and singing to the music and it was an extra special event due to the lack of rain. Funny how it started to rain when I left for my next gig off the island later that night.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Believe It Or Not, Aesthetically Attractive DJ Equipment

I continue to get such a kick out of the confused stares I receive from folks as they gawk at the BOSE L1 System with B1 professional DJ equipment trying to figure out how that ‘Little thing makes such a big, beautiful sound?”

 

 

At almost every professional DJ gig there is some guy standing with his hands on his hips wondering how it works. They approach me hesitantly to ask where ‘the other speakers’ are?

 

I smile and gently share with him there are no other speakers. Someone has finally engineered a professional DJ system that is attractive, compact and loud enough for up to 500 people. It has the juice to move a crowd but still looks like something you might place in the corner of your living room.

 

 

I have been doing this long enough that I do not have to prove myself as a professional DJ by lugging all the big, heavy gear with me from gig to gig. I now work smarter and actually have better sound than the old style of big, heavy, UGLY things that ruin every wedding photo.

 

Can’t wait for my obligatory stares tomorrow at the wedding in the afternoon and the double anniversary party at night!

 

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

What Kind of Professional DJ Are You Michael?

Folks ask me all the time, “Michael, what kind of professional DJ are you?”

 

“The kind of professional DJ that plays music and makes fun.”

 

“No. I mean what kind of music do you play?”

 

“The fun kind.”

 

“No. Really. What kind of music do you play as a professional DJ?”

 

“It depends on my client. I play what they want. I am not a kid and do not need to hide behind one genre or a certain style. I am here for my couple’s and families that hire me. I have a diverse library of professional DJ music and appreciate new opportunities to learn about music and cultures through our conversations and preparations.”

 

“Yeah that’s great but what kind of music do you play.”

 

“You want me to list the genres?”

 

“Yeah. But I want to know what kind of professional DJ you are.”

 

“I am the kind of professional DJ that has fun and creates fun for others. As far as styles of music; I am very comfortable with Top 40, Dance, Rock, Hip Hop, Oldies, 70’s & 80’s, R&B, Soul, Motown, Disco and am even getting competent with Country these days too. I continue to grow my collections of World/Global Music including Reggae, Reggaeton, Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and smaller collections of African, Indian and Middle Eastern Music. I enjoy getting the opportunity to use my different Lounge and Mood Music collections of Buddha Bar, Café Del Mar, Hotel Costas and New Age for environments and events that this is what is best suited. I like music and my library grows weekly. Does that answer your question?”

 

“Well yes and no. Now I know how diverse your library is but still have no clue what kind of professional DJ you are.”

 

At this point I give up and smile. Not everybody understands that it is 2011 and being a professional DJ that plays only one genre or style is out-dated due to the advances in technology and the variety of music that folks enjoy today.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Accepting New Challenges As A Professional DJ

I was recently approached with an offer to professional DJ at a club that is under new management. It is really a sports bar with a club upstairs; a great place to eat and party. They already have a Resident DJ but he is not willing to play music for theme nights they are planning over the next few months. He does not want to do Country, Latin or a Ladies Night. He will only do what he does and nothing else. Why are so many professional DJs like this?

 

I look forward to accepting new challenges and expanding my repertoire as a professional DJ. How can this be a bad thing?

 

Even when I was new at this way back when many years ago, I wanted to try new things, learn and gain experience and confidence in as many genres and styles as possible. As a professional DJ, it increases my value and marketability. As a performer, I add to my pallet of music in my library that I can provide to clients.  Country and Latin Music are two of the hottest dance trends these days and why would a professional DJ not want to be a part of the fun and excitement?

 

I wonder if this is just a matter of ego and maturity? If you have any ideas on why so many professional DJs are afraid to venture beyond one or two genre, I would be most grateful for your thoughts.

 

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ 

Another MultiCultural Wedding: DJ for Filipino-Italian Wedding

One of the joys of living and performing in the NYC/NJ/Philly Region is the opportunity to work as a professional DJ with Multicultural Weddings. I received a request for a quote from a young lady whose sister is getting married in November. It is a small wedding at View Of The Hudson in Piermont, NY.  She has the honor of both being her sister and Maid of Honor and is required to find and secure a professional DJ for her sister’s wedding.  We exchanged several emails before having a fun and informative conversation via the phone.

 

It turns out she is from a Filipino family and her sister’s fiancé is Italian. My Mom’s family is Italian and I grew up eating mostly Italian food from an excellent cook that has spoiled me for life.

 

I love to DJ Multi-Cultural Weddings. They are so much fun and always have a few interesting twists to add spice and variety to any event.  This one should be no exception. I too am from a Multi-Cultural family and it provided some unique and peculiar traditions when both sides of the family gathered together. I know many professional DJs flinch when presented with cultures they are not originally from; I do not understand this. I look forward to these events and the new experiences they offer. In the past year I have performed at about ten weddings with Brides and Grooms of different races, cultures or continents. I learn something new at every one of them and meet great people. Glad I am here in New Jersey where this kind of wedding is commonplace.

 

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

The DJ Plays A Great Last Song!

It was a really fun wedding to DJ. Everybody had a good time and the smiles and high-energy on the dance floor let me know it was going great. I wanted a great last song. I approached The Bride and Groom to let them we had about a half hour left and wanted to see if there were any songs they definitely needed to hear before we shut-down. They both looked at each other, laughed and in a chorus, “No”, and she continued “Everybody is having so much fun!” and pointed to the dance floor, which was still packed with happy guests at 11:30.

 

We had not set in advance a last song since they wanted to see how it would go. They thought none of their friends and family would dance as she said in our meeting, “We’re not real dancing people but I hope at least some people will dance.”  They did, all night.

 

“What would you like me to close with?”

 

They looked at each other again, “Whatever you think will be best is fine with us. You’re the professional Wedding DJ”

 

“OK” And I walked back to my DJ station for the last bunch of tunes.

 

I glanced over the list of songs we had created together to see what was not played yet that would be a perfect closing song.  Typically we close a wedding with a few slow songs to bring everybody down and leave it with a nice happy, romantic feeling. Then I saw it near the bottom of the list: Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes, “Havin’ A Party”. Perfect!

 

 

I knew it was going against the tradition of ending with slow songs but this was a fun group and they didn’t follow many of the typical wedding trends; why should the closing be any different?  My assistant DJ looked at me skeptically but I stuck to my guns and cued it up. Two minutes later I cranked the volume and all the guests that were left including The Bride and Groom rushed to the dance floor singing and clapping to the song with joy pouring out of their smiles! It worked. When the song was completed they were all standing there hugging each other and sharing ‘High Fives’.  The red cheeks and bright eyes told the story and gave me all the confirmation I needed. This was the right song for this wedding and guests.  A true celebratory group needed a celebratory conclusion.

 

This may be my new closing song for the right wedding or party…

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Why A Digital DJ?

I get asked regularly, “DJ Michael, why are you a digital DJ instead of turntables, since you are such a professional DJ purist, an ‘Old Skool-type DJ’?”
“Simple. I can honor the requests live of pretty much any genre or song a guest may ask.  I would need to bring with me thirty or forty racks of records to even come close to covering the diverse musical requests that a professional DJ needs to have access to at an event. Also, it is a lot easier on my back and body, not to mention there is such a smaller margin of error with digital equipment than turntables and CD players.”
When I was younger, I knew it was always possible to deal with needles skipping when someone was having too much fun near the DJ Station. I knew records would get scratches and grooves in them. To a much lesser extent, I experienced some of this with CDs, although not nearly as much. I do not have any tech problems these days. Nothing.
I miss using vinyl. I miss its natural sound and the feel of the records in my hands. I even miss the liner notes I used to read to learn about the musicians and the album. None of these are worth sacrificing technical perfection and the ability to honor nearly 95% on-site requests. For a true Club DJ that only plays one genre and does not lug gear with them from gig to gig; vinyl is a great option. I am not that kind of professional DJ. I need to be ready for whatever genre someone wants to hire me to play. It might be Top 40 and Hip Hop one night or 80’s the next or Oldies and Top 40 the day after. I have performed at weddings with Celtic, Reggae and Calypso on a Sunday afternoon after playing Top 40, MoTown, Soul, Disco and R&B the night before. I appreciate the opportunity to play diverse playlists and the challenge of hunting down obscure tunes that a couple may want during Cocktail Hour or a First Dance Song of a couple celebrating their 50th Anniversary and renewing their vows that had the local band play at their wedding in 1961 as a professional DJ! And I will find it. This is fun for me.
I’ll keep using my MacBook. I like the ability to be more creative than I could have imagined when I started out many years ago.  Time to finish preparing for a wedding on Saturday night with Rock, MoTown and Top 40:)