The following New York Times DJ spotlight is brilliant. I know it is primarily focused on club DJs but don’t let that fool you. It is a well-written piece that expresses the role and qualities of a good DJ as I have rarely seen previously.
I have been a DJ on and off since 1980. Yes you read that correctly 1980! I have done radio, clubs, fashion shows, trivia, award festivals, weddings, sweet sixteens, birthdays, anniversaries, pig roasts, fundraisers, dance-a-thons, dance camps, corporate events, conscious dance, ecstatic dance, house parties, Communions, graduations, reunions, etc.. Each event requires something different from the DJ. The ability to read the room, sense what is needed and intuitively respond without losing grasp of what you were hired to do can sometimes be tricky and demands creativity, flexibility and experience. A skilled DJ must balance being in the spotlight and the humility to never forget it is not about us, it is always about you and your guests.
“A real D.J. is part shaman, part tech-wizard, part crowd psychologist, all artist. Many people claim the title but far fewer embody it.”