Not Being A DJ

“Not Being A DJ”

Quite a strong statement to make considering the amount of time I’ve spent playing recorded music (over half my years) and also from someone who has spent over a quarter of their life living in Brighton. A city notorious as a location associated with the noble art of music presentation via the form of playing one piece of music after another

So why now the conclusion that I am no longer a dj or at least not in my mind after spending so many years aspiring to such a descriptive

Well, it’s been a gradual realisation that’s more or less taken around 2 years to go through. Initially it was hard to even consider not having the dj tag let alone hankering after it anymore

I've done a few things that I’ve been extremely proud of whilst involved with presenting music and it was hard at the start of the realisation process having to think that those achievements may not count for that much in the grand scheme of things other than for myself, my family and a few friends who I have made great friendships with over the years

If I'd checked myself as recently as 10 years ago I could say my drive to reach a level of acceptance as a dj was more or less my sole focus having finished a career in Her Majesty’s Armed Services to enable a full on attempt at doing something that was restrictive due to my career yet part of my makeup and personality

Personal circumstance played a huge part as there were many occasions of where I thought I could be doing what they’re doing and would love to do that (djing) that drove me onwards, however  no longer have I any ambition or requirement to do what djs now have to do to remain in the picture

Self promoting, networking, staying up late each weekend, conversations based only on music or having to keep on top of the production output aren't for Me and probably never were

These days a balanced life that includes but isn’t defined by music is the key, a life where the experiences of sharing music with close friends takes precedence over forming associations with people that in any other circumstance wouldn’t see you sat down in the same room together or in some rare instances choice

Of course, a really positive experience playing music to people never goes unappreciated but why all that hassle of having to feed that instead of just letting it happen as and when and of course new friendships are always treasured alongside the old ones that have been formed over many years

I remember asking a respected Newcastle dj for some advice a long time ago and his words remain firmly fixed in my mind years later.

“Its not exclusively about the dj, it’s a combination of the music, the physical environment and the people that fill the space that is the important thing” This being something that I’ve realised transcends the role of the dj as the focus

My hero as You’d expect is David Mancuso who separated  himself from the DJ title in favour of being the musical host

A second person is Sue Tabb who I met when I moved to Brighton

Sue ran a series of legendary private invite parties for a good few years till around the mid 00s. Sue got the spirit of the party right and was able to balance up all the ingredients not just the music and who was playing it to always and without question provide an excellent experience for all her party goers

If there was ever a female version of David Mancuso then Sue would be it in my book

I suppose my ideal situation would be something along the lines of the ethics involved with Mancuso's Loft Party and Sue's Psyclik Parties, invite only, safe environment for all and a soundtrack that supports such a set up

So why write this post now and write it at probably the most important time for me as I don’t put so much weight on djing anymore as I grow older but still love finding and playing music to a dance floor

Well the answer for Me is a simple one having just completed a round of dj gigs (see below) that I feel very fortunate enough to of had recently

Going back to the advice I received from the dj in Newcastle I would now add an extra bit “have fun, and enjoy the friendships that are made" and never take yourself seriously

If You are a bedroom dj reading this I would highly recommend putting on your own parties and enjoying all the experiences that people bring to you. It's not about your social media reach, status or network of music associates. Things run deeper than that and you may even end up settling down with the love of your life whilst also being fortunate enough to bag a few great dj gigs and more importantly life long friendships if you're lucky

Thanks to Brighton Fringe Festival, Brighton Speilgeltent, Cafe 1001 and Memory Box in London
(Sam - English Disco Lovers / Robin, Neil and Paul from Memory Box London) and all my family and friends that enjoyed hanging out these past few weeks

I had a taste of what it was like travelling around with my music and it was good while it lasted however I could never do this every weekend like I wanted to do when I was younger

Below are a couple of pictures taken from the places I’ve visited with my bag of music and the dancers who have danced over the last two weeks as I just accept that there’s more to life than being someone who puts music on in front of people who want to have a dance for a couple of hours

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