Your DJ – The Party Artist

The simplest definition of what a DJ does is the selection of songs and plays them to an audience. Sounds simple doesn’t it? sounds like any monkey with an aux cable could do it. Sounds like something an iPod on shuffle would do too.. but truthfully, let’s tackle this age old question: Is DJing considered an art? I may come off biased for obvious reasons – but allow me to dare say that DJing is in fact an art. There are things that an iPod would not do. Here’s what I think:

Musicians and artists use their skills to create something new, or to capture a scene or moment in time in whatever medium. Most artists do this in order to share with people – as much as it may be be self expression – art is made to be shared – to evoke emotion in other people. In the same way, DJs use their skills to create music mixsets/mixes. They are essentially capturing something unique in these sets. Which often bring out emotion in people evidenced by dancing, woops and accolades.

The most fundamental aspect of DJing is song selection – which may sound easy – however when selecting music to go into a certain mix then comes teh art of curation. Selecting what songs to put together in a set calls for a musical ear. It is done by carefully considering the mood of the people and how they will sustain these moods or change them seamlessly. When a DJ does his job well, a mix will take people on a musical journey.

Then comes mixing. The aim here is to create a mix where the audience doesn’t notice the transitions between the tracks. This is to ensure the energy on the dancefloor or as the listener tunes in is at a constant. Mixing is a technical skill that many people can learn which may not be artistic but mastering this makes the DJ only a better at his art.

Lastly, entertainment! This is an art in itself. Not everyone can entertain – but to be a good DJ one must be an enetrtainer. For this, every individual infuses their own personality and flair into their mixes and their presentation. This is where we have DJs who are great at scratching and others who prefer to have no interruption, others will have drops and links and others won’t.

There we have it! Let me know what you think? Do you consider DJs as artists in their own right?