This was the key theme of a presentation I gave to the National Association of DJs (NADJ) London branch a few weeks ago. My message to fellow DJs was all about encouraging them to find ways to tell their stories as a way of explaining and promoting the value of what we do, and of debunking some of the misconceptions and stereotypes about our profession.
While the main focus and practical value of Top 10 Tunes is that it contains some great playlists (if I say so myself), I am quite excited about the stories that it will inspire and create once it’s published. A great example already exists in the ‘Your Top 10s’ forum on this site which was submitted by someone called DJ Froggy who I’ve never met but would really like to think for his great feedback. Just in case you don’t check out the forum or if you missed this particular contribution I thought I should share the main parts of it on my blog.
In DJ Froggy’s words:
“I played a gig Saturday for a wealthy teenager's birthday. They had requested a lot of the usual hip-hop and electronic stuff, but I happened to have printed off some pages from the book and had them with me. I've been really intrigued by the Northern Soul top ten and had already gotten a bunch of them in mp3 format to check out. Anyway, one of the kids happened to see that list, and asked about it. So I played Tainted Love by Gloria Jones. Then one of older guys, probably around 20, came running up and asked if I had the original. When he found out that WAS the original, he wanted to hear some more Northern Soul. After the Soft Cell cover, of course. Took the party in a whole different direction. I ended up playing mostly 80s electronic, Motown, and soul from then on. But they all had a BLAST! A bunch of them thanked me for introducing them to stuff they'd never heard before.
One of my best gigs in a while, thanks to the Northern Soul top ten list. I've already pre-ordered the whole book. Can't wait to see the rest!”