It was recently announced that D.J.P would be presenting at ARMDJS. ARMDJS is a regional DJ Conference held in Tennessee and produced by my friend Robbie Britton. Incredibly D.J.P joins Social networking guru, Author and amazing business person Gary Vaynerchuk in an All Star conference line-up.
I can not tell you how excited I am for this conference. However, I am very familiar with both of these presenters and I know some DJs are not. Recently in a DJ Networking Forum another friend of mine Neal Howard said “Something that some may find beneficial is if you promoted how you think the attendees will benefit from listening to them.”
Back in 2008 at The Mobile Beat DJ Conference in Las Vegas. I was with a group of DJs who decided to head out to the clubs after the close of the show. We stepped just a few feet inside the door of Studio 54 at the MGM Grand when one DJ said, “Who is this DJ he is tearing it up?” From our vantage point we couldn’t see anything except a TV screen that said D.J.P.
We had a table that night overlooking the dance floor and the DJ booth. For DJPs entire set we were on the railing looking down at a guy who was using nothing but vinyl records to rock the crowd. He was playing so many records that he was literally sweating like he was getting in a good workout. He was using vinyl to play the vocals of one song over the instrumental of another. The DJs I was with were very respected club DJs. In fact three of them had just closed the DJ hall of fame show with some amazing sets. Yet, here we all stood mesmerized and in agreement that this was the best we had ever seen.
After D.J.P finished his set we relaxed and the talk was still about how great it was. So I decided to go downstairs and see if I could find this guy. I saw him in the hallway talking with a hostess. I asked if he could come say hi to our group and he was excited to do so. He was a very humble down to earth guy, who had an obvious passion for the art of DJing. He hung out we exchanged phone numbers and some of us made a new friend that night.
It wasn’t until later when I returned home to Cincinnati that I did a little research on the guy. I read about how he and world famous DJ Z-Trip had done an album of blends (what we call mash-ups today) called Uneasy Listening that was named one of the most important musical moments of 2002 by Rolling Stone Magazine. I bought a few albums from his site and was a fan.
I still had his number and over our next few trips to Las Vegas I would call him and get on his guest list for the club he was playing at. Now he had moved over to The Palms and was playing the two story Playboy Club/Moon. This is where we got to talking about music and the use of computers and when I first got the idea that he might be a valuable speaker for a DJ conference. Just after ARMDJS 4.0 I was speaking with Robbie and mentioned D.J.P as a speaker. I then sent over a couple of videos. A few months later D.J.P turned up on a reality TV show on BET called Master Of The Mix and Robbie saw his name again. At that point he asked me how to get in contact with him and made it a reality.
So now that you know the back story let’s get back to Neal Howard’s statement. What do I see as the value?
First of all I believe Danny (D.J.P) has a unique appreciation for where our industry started and is completely devoted to it as an art form. I know for a fact that many of us in the industry got into it without that understanding. We bought gear, we got a computer, we hopefully loaded it up with legal music and we pressed play. We later developed our skills and many of us appreciate it as an art form but we lack that historical importance and understanding of the craft itself. I really think D.J.P will bring a new perspective to mobile DJs and a renewed passion for the art of purely playing music.
I also believe his creativity will inspire. Look I’ve already heard a few guys say “he’s a club guy what he is doing my clients at wedding wouldn’t understand or appreciate.” As a wedding guy I can’t completely disagree with that. However, some of the best results I have ever had on a dance floor are from taking risks and being creative with my mixes. I’ve played mash-ups. I’ve dropped old school songs I wasn’t sure would work and they have produced some amazing results. In fact one night I played a few mashups that impressed the staff so much at a wedding that I ended up being referred for years and to this day by one of my city’s best venues. Mixing skills are a part of what we do. They should be a major part of what we do. They are not limited to the club. The club hires great mixing DJs because transitions and the way they build energy with music creates amazing results on the dance floor. I know my clients want amazing results on their dance floors.
Danny also has an extraordinary knowledge of music. The guy has thousands of records. He knows who produced them, where different samples of popular top 40 songs originated and a BIG opinion on how people tend to dance to what they know and not appreciate good music simply because they are not familiar with it. I’ve heard him discuss this and the art of playing to a crowd that is there to dance as opposed to playing to a crowd who is there to watch the DJ. I really think his perspective on this is valuable to mobile DJs. How do you balance playing what people are familiar with, when sometimes your clients, have eclectic musical tastes that they are asking you to get it into the mix? How do you balance this and keep it entertaining for all? I think Danny’s experience with balancing his own eclectic tastes with what works in the club is what makes him so unique. I look forward to hearing his thoughts on it.
The other thing about D.J.P is he is captivating and he rarely uses the microphone. Watching him do his thing is exciting, he brings energy, people like him (on Master of the Mix fan voting he has acquired about 53% of the fan vote every week, there are 10 DJs to vote for and he is getting an incredible 53%!) Now I doubt he can describe the energy he puts off. I doubt he can tell you how to do it. Just watching him and the way he pulls the crowd into what he is doing with the music is a master lesson all on it’s own that I think DJs will love.
Of course he also has a great branding story for DJs. How do you develop your name to the point that your playing major clubs, TV shows and asked to become a member of the world famous “Rock Steady Crew”? I’m sure that story alone would be beneficial to mobile DJs developing their brand.
So hopefully that answers Neal’s request and hopefully it will get a few more of you as excited as I am to see my friend Danny Phillips AKA D.J.P rip it live on stage on vinyl and then talk about it at ARMDJS. I hope to see you there.