This is a slightly misleading page title as no two clients are the same but below I have summarised some of the styles of party that I seem to have a lot of success with.
My ‘Usual’ Clients
18th (and 21st!) Birthdays
18th and 21st birthdays are among my absolute favourite types of parties to play. Now in my mid-30s, I can confidently say that there is no match for the raw energy and excitement of a younger crowd when they are celebrating. As a DJ, it’s my job to steer the crowd through their favourite songs, taking note of where the energy is going.
In the run-up to the party I will have made sure to communicate with the birthday girl/boy. People this age often know their favourite songs and those that bond their friendship group so I’ll normally get a pretty lengthy song list! Alongside playing the bangers that they love, I can use my extensive and constantly evolving knowledge to throw in some wildcards to keep the dance floor moving. I was a weekly DJ to a younger/student crowd for the last few years and this experience has allowed great success in 18th/21st partied if you want to check out my testimonials from previous clients.
In a normal night we might go through modern R’n’B and trap such as Drake, Nicky Minaj, Ariana Grande; classics such a Rihanna and Beyonce or earlier R ‘n B from the 90/00s; Indie/Rock sounds such as Panic! at the Disco, Arctic Monkeys or Courteeners; harder sounds such as grime or drill and obviously DANCE!
Dance music is often a big part of these parties, from the latest Calvin Harris tunes, up-to-date house and garage/UKG tunes or old school bassline wobblers.
Wedding parties are a big deal – the crowning finale at the end of your special day. These are the perfect time for the newlyweds to finally let their hair down with all of their loved ones and dance the night away!
Music, even if it’s only played in the background while you eat, is a really important factor at the reception and afterparty and can really change the mood of the whole venue and the dancefloor fillers are so key to decide how many people dance and have a great night!
I love happy guests and couples and you can certainly tell that they’re enjoying my music set! I can tailor the experience to your tastes; whether you have unique musical genres/ eras in mind or just want to keep the party vining with the classic crowd pleasing wedding songs such as Come on Eileen, Sweet Caroline or Piano Man! A skilled DJ balances both of these worlds and keep everyone happy – while keeping to a specific theme or style. I have had wedding dancefloors heaving to grime, pop punk, drum ‘n bass, garage, bassline – all interwoven with more traditional floor fillers to keep everyone happy!
Prior to the wedding, I love to have a list of any songs that mean lots to you as a couple or songs that you thing will get your crowd up and dancing! I will interweave these in with complimentary songs from my ever-evolving knowledge of music, past and present and will, of course, take requests from your guests on the night to keep the party going!
In advance, I will communicate with the “nearlyweds” or wedding planner to find the best window in which to set up my professional equipment. Couples often like background music played during the wedding breakfast, keeping it deliberately unobtrusive until the announcement of the first dance.
This is where a good DJ will really elevate their craft as they must pick a great song immediately after the first dance to set the tone of the party, capture that energy and also build on it. It’s important to innovate and avoid sticking to one genre for too long (unless that genre is clearly killing it on the dancefloor) so I will smoothly mix floor-fillers together until I’ve built a nice party vibe. I’ll use the couple’s playlist to link vibes and ideas together whilst mixing it up with tracks that I know will keep the party buzzing. Once the fire is going, is just need to keep adding fuel – the right fuel.
At this point it’s quite normal that some people will be at the bar, outside, congratulating the bride and groom, or generally catching up with each other. As a result, the traffic on the dancefloor can be very varied (although I often develop a dedicated hardcore group who boogie with me throughout the night!), and it’s vital that the DJ is able to constantly monitor what the crowd are doing, react accordingly, and keep the dancefloor jumping.
As the evening goes on, the music might progress to R ‘n B, dance classics, disco, indie anthems, pop – whatever it is clear that the crowd is responding too, but always keeping it fresh and exciting to keep people engaged.
Music and lighting go hand in hand and the lighting can really set a mood; whether you want to enhance the romance of a first dance or get that full party vibe to allow your guests to let loose and boogie!
Wherever possible, I try to recommend the full Deluxe Lighting Package as this creates an immersive lighting experience that can be customised to your wedding colours and mood. This won’t look like a full-blown rave (although I am always happy to cater to that option!) but gives softer ambient lights, gentler fades and not too much flashing. We can also increase the intensity and change the colours of these as the night goes on, leaving the couple with personalised flexibility.
As well as an array of LED lights, I also have moving heads as well as UV and strobe capability if things get really wild. Uplighting also adds a classy effect to nearly any venue, especially anything with exposed brickwork or any interesting textures on the walls.
You can change the colour of your uplighters to suit your wedding colours or even modify the colours as the night goes on to enhance that party experience.
Finally – fog or haze to really set off the moving heads (all lights look better through even a little haze to intensify the visuals of the light beams). This can also give a first dance a truly magical, mystical appearance; as if the couple are floating through clouds or an ethereal scene. Plus, fog/ haze gives a true party atmosphere and is a great optional extra to consider upgrading if you really want your guests to have a memorable experience!
Upgrades to Consider
>> Moving Head Spotlights <<
>> Smoke/Haze <<
>> Deluxe Light Bar <<
>> 10x Wireless Uplighters <<
>> Wedding Breakfast Music <<
>> Early Start <<
90s Themed 40th
People who are now in their late thirties were lucky enough to grow up and start discovering nightlife during a time of some of the most definitive sounds in dance music. Therefore, many of the 40th Birthdays that I have been a DJ at recently have had the fantastic overall theme of 90s music to suit the tastes of the crowd!
The night might start off with a bit of classic 90s R ’n’ B such as Missy Eliot, Mase, TLC, Salt-n-Pepa and En Vogue before moving onto more of a 4×4 beat as people get into the party vibe.
Depending on the crowd, others enjoy the classy, smoother sounds of the Hedkandi record label such as Frankie Knuckles, Soulsearchers, Alison Limerick, Stonebridge and Sandy B alongside big, old-school dance classics by artists like Gala, Armand van Helden and Livin’ Joy.
In the run up to the event I will communicate with the party host who will give me the tip-off on what their favourite songs were during this time. There will often lots of songs which harbour special sentiment, and it my job to piece these together into a mix which builds and releases tension and keeps everyone engaged. I won’t lie, these parties are usually awesome and I love playing them.
A cool addition which works really well with this sort of party is a live saxophone player. When done well, a sax player can be a great focal point for the party, really bringing the experience to life and taking it to a new level.
Before the event I always like to liaise with the musician to get an idea of their style and the songs that they work best with, as well as any hardware requirements to make sure that the whole thing runs smoothly and that their presence is made the most of. I have a shortlist of musicians I have worked with that I can recommend, should you be interested.