How do DJs deal with song requests?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

As a DJ, dealing with song requests is a common occurrence. It’s important to handle these requests in a way that keeps the crowd engaged and satisfied while maintaining the flow of the music. Here are some strategies that DJs often use to manage song requests:

1. Prioritize the crowd’s preferences: DJs aim to create a seamless and enjoyable musical experience for the audience. While it’s impossible to fulfill every request, it’s crucial to consider the overall vibe of the event and the preferences of the majority. By playing songs that cater to the crowd’s taste, you can keep the energy high and ensure everyone has a great time.

2. Gauge the appropriateness: When receiving a request, DJs assess whether the suggested song aligns with the event’s theme or genre. It’s important to remember that not all songs will be suitable for the current atmosphere. DJs use their expertise to select tracks that fit well with the overall mood and keep the dance floor alive.

3. Be prepared: DJs often have an extensive music library at their disposal. By being well-prepared and having a diverse range of songs, they can accommodate a variety of requests. They typically organize their music collection by genre, tempo, and energy level, making it easier to find the right song at the right time.

4. Weave requests into the mix: DJs strategically incorporate requests into their set to maintain a smooth and cohesive flow. Instead of abruptly playing a requested song, they analyze the BPM (beats per minute) and key of the requested track and look for creative ways to transition into it from the current song. This technique ensures that the requested song fits seamlessly within the DJ’s overall performance.

5. Communicate with the requester: DJs often engage in conversations with those who make requests. By interacting with the requester, DJs can gather more information about what they are looking for and determine if the song aligns with the overall vibe of the event. Sometimes, a requester may be looking for a specific moment or memory associated with a particular song. These conversations allow the DJ to understand the requester’s intent and make more informed decisions.

6. Create a request system: To streamline the process, some DJs implement a request system. This can be done by setting up a dedicated email address, social media page, or even using specialized software or apps that allow attendees to submit their song requests in advance. DJs can review these requests before the event and curate a playlist that incorporates some of the popular choices.

7. Maintain control: While DJs strive to fulfill requests, it’s important for them to maintain control over the music selection. They are responsible for creating an enjoyable experience for everyone, and sometimes fulfilling every request may disrupt the flow or energy of the event. DJs use their judgment and experience to strike a balance between accommodating requests and maintaining the overall atmosphere.

DJs manage song requests by prioritizing the crowd’s preferences, assessing appropriateness, being prepared with a diverse music library, seamlessly incorporating requests into their set, engaging in communication with requesters, implementing request systems, and maintaining control over the music selection. By employing these strategies, DJs can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for both the requester and the entire audience.