DJs are not Created Equally: Debunking a Stereotype
Updated: May 13
Working with brides over the past 14 years has enlightened me to a few stereotypes DJs endure. While these stereotypes vary from what we wear to how we speak, the one that really catches me off guard is when people think that all DJs are the same. The same music knowledge ("Hey, you're a DJ. You should definitely know ______."), the same microphone demeanor, the same experiences, the same equipment, the same song mixing skills, and on and on. I know how this line of thinking can happen, though, as I was that guy before I became a DJ.
From the outset, any logical person must realize that zero people are the same, but rather have similarities with one another. We have been taught, shown, and experienced this ever since our earliest memories. People are unique. Inherently, DJs are unique. We have different personalities, different ways to project ourselves on the microphone, different musical tastes, and we look different. We do, however, share commonalities.
Let's assume for a moment that DJs are robots and play the same music, dress the same, speak the same, etc. Why go through the process of meeting different DJs? And it is a process. Calling. Phone interviews. Emailing. Skype presentations. Recommendations. Meet-ups. Call backs. No call backs. Why do all that work to get the same result? Simple. All DJs are not the same and you begin to realize this the more you talk to us.
The same differences hold true for DJ companies. I've seen DJ companies come and go through the years. Literally. Many startups are here for a year and gone the next. Typically this is based on the competency of the owner, the level of satisfaction amongst the DJs, their ability to charge a decent amount to cover expenses, and the level of enjoyment of the clients towards the DJs.
There are real benefits of a company consisting of multiple DJs, sometimes called multi-ops, over an individual DJ. For example, sole-proprietors typically have little to no back-up system in case they encounter an emergency on your wedding date. Some say they do, but I'm willing to bet the house they do not. Again, this is just experience and I could be wrong.
Usually an individual DJ's plan consists of having a friend cover for them at the last moment, meaning the backup DJ is not aware of who you are or what notes have been taken when meeting with the DJ despite their MC skillset, mixing skills, or experience level. There is no quality control regarding skill level or equipment quality and this is a risk to some. I would argue it's a liability, but I'm the guy that likes having a plan b.
So, how do you find the right DJ?
Black Tie has two answers to this question. First, during a presentation, you tell us about yourselves and we match you based on some clear preferences that you both may not even know to address; like personality on the microphone, coordination level, music knowledge, and more. We take an in-depth look at your vision and we then match you to the best available DJ.
Our second option, Meet the DJ Night, is one we are known for in the industry. This option lets you and any guests you want to join you come to our which offers you an amazing opportunity to see how different DJs perform on the microphone. You get to select the right person for your wedding based on what you see in-person during a mock wedding reception.
Of course, we can only these two options because our DJs are employees. I can explain that further down the road (training, back up program, equipment quality checks, music knowledge), but trust me when I say you will be happy to hear we are an employee-based company.
DJs are different. We have different mixing skills, different personalities, and different experience levels. Let us help you find the right DJ. Contact us now to get started.
Derek Entrekin is a seasoned DJ with over 15 years in the wedding industry and 500 events under his belt. He focuses on bringing a transparent view to the industry for engaged couples.
Derek is also the Director of Marketing for Black Tie Entertainment and spends a significant amount of time working with clients and wedding vendors.
To reach Derek by email, click here.