This is a fun column this month, it makes a strong point at the end, but you need to follow me on this one…Felipe Massa unfortunately got badly injured in a crash during qualifying in F1 a while back. This left Ferrari without one of their key drivers, so they looked to their test driver of many years. Luca Badoer has been developing Ferraris for the past 12 years with the F1 team. He can drive these cars faster than most of the official F1 drivers lap for lap as he tests them for the drivers in preparation for the races. He’s been involved with every aspect of the F1 Ferrari, so he knows exactly how the cars will react with every extreme thrown at the car, so it was a natural first choice for the Ferrari team. Then came his first race and it was a total disaster with him finishing pretty much last, and it’s been the same story for the past few races and Ferrari are looking for a replacement driver for the rest of the season.
I see the same similarities with DJs and producers. For as long as I can remember there’s been an age-old debate (fun one) with producers having a dig at DJ’s, they vent fury saying ‘we are the ones making great tunes and you DJ’s get all the fame and glory for simply playing them’. Deadmou5 was yet another to voice his opinion recently. They don’t understand that there’s a lot more to it. The past few years’ things have changed. There is no longer any money in selling music (due to Torrent sites) so producers have suddenly become ‘DJ’s’ so they can earn a living. This is where it gets interesting and my opening example starts to make sense as they get a taste of the DJ world for themselves. Producers are the ones that make the amazing music, they design these tracks especially for the dancefloor, and their production and engineering skills are next to none. They really do make the Ferrari tracks of the music world, I admire their genius. But as with Luca Badoer the Ferrari test driver, when they get faced with the real world situation of a dancefloor, they have no experience of what to do because they’re used to sitting in a recording studio. Luca Badoer was only used to an empty track, and suddenly had to deal with: intense pressure, strategy, overtaking, challenges along with other traffic all done in a live situation. This pressure broke him. I see the same with producers at clubs and festivals; they don’t know how to deal with live situations thrown at them, Maybe the opening DJ is playing too hard and fast before them, their set may not be working and they don’t know how to read the dancefloor to see what direction they should go in musically to get the crowd back. They play a track that gets hands in the air, so figure this is way to go, but 2 hours of hands in the air tracks isn’t a DJ set, I’m sorry guys!
The fact is they can’t DJ in the same way Luca Badoer wasn’t a racing driver. It’s hard not to want to jump around shouting ‘I told you so, I told you so’!! Over time they will get it, as many have proved, but you must do your training time first to understand how to work a crowd and handle certain situations presented to you. A good DJ knows how to program sets, he knows exactly when to drop a track and make it sound magical. He knows how to read and interact with a crowd. We are the racing drivers of the music world. Give us the high quality tools (music) and we will make them perform to be winners. It’s the way we deliver these tracks that makes them sound so good, we know exactly how to do it. This is why we are a winning team together and we will always need each other. In a way I’m glad producers came to the DJ world, because they now see how difficult a job it is (well some of them do!). Maybe this is the reason why our friend Deadmou5 suddenly wants to be the best DJ in the World as he canvases for votes for DJ magazines Top 100 DJ’s….a strange turnaround!