I know you’re laughing. I’d love to have a good laugh myself, but I can’t. I’m actually not happy to say that “Paris Hilton is a better DJ than you,” but she is definitely better than me.
Let me change that statement a bit. If you don’t have a residency, if you don’t play out on a regular basis and if you don’t make $100,000 per show, Paris Hilton is a better DJ than you.
I know what you’re thinking about. It’s her DJing debut video and the infamous sound guy who had to adjust her levels. For you, that’s where it all started and stopped with Paris. You didn’t even both listening to a whole mix by her. You just knew that because she was a rich blonde who plays dumb, she’s going to be a horrible DJ and it had to be a joke. You left it at that. You didn’t give her a real chance. You judged and moved on. That was so very P.L.U.R. of you.
You and I know though that DJing is all about technical skills. It’s about how smoothly you can blend from one track to another. It’s about finding the perfect and most obscure track to play at the exact right moment so the crowd goes wild.
Wait… what was that? “… so the crowd goes wild.”
So DJing isn’t really about technical skills then is it? I mean, there are some GREAT technical Djs out there, but if they can’t get the crowd’s attention, if they can’t connect with the crowd, if the crowd doesn’t connect… then you really haven’t succeeded as a DJ.
The other day, I did what most of you probably have not done. I went to Mixcloud and I purposefully listened to one of Paris’ sets from her Foam and Diamonds parties. Before I say another word, let me challenge you to spend one hour listening to it at least then we’ll be able to have a conversation about her with some knowledge of skillful she really is.
Ok, did you listen? She wasn’t the worst DJ was she? She obviously used the sync button on her S4. Her EQing was sloppy. She had a few mixes where she should have used a filter sweep to transition, but didn’t. On the plus side, she didn’t overly use the FX. It was a real mix though. Who would hire a ghost producer to do a mediocre mix that she could fake DJ to? That wouldn’t make any sense, unless she has an even more diabolical plan for her DJing career than we fear. She also managed to rip off the playlists of every major EDM festival headliner in the past year. I thought that was actually a nice touch. It’s also an argument to avoid those festivals.
So if she isn’t one of the best technical DJs in the world, how can she claim to be one of the top 5 DJs in the world like she did to TMZ before the holidays?
How could I claim that she’s a better DJ than you or me? You’re doing that Paul Oakenfold thing aren’t you?
Here’s how she’s a better DJ. She engages her crowd. She knows how to market herself. And, she makes her $100,000 a night residences worth it for the club owners. That’s it.
Whatever she is doing as part of her shows, it is drawing people into the club, they are buying drinks and they are coming back for more. She has a real fan base. It may be curiosity that’s leading the way or her other endeavors over the years, but they are coming to see her and they’re willing to pay money.
In the end, you’re booking is more a matter of money than it is a matter of your technical skills. The event promoter has to know that you are going to be a good investment or he’s not going to give you the time of day. Sure there are the ones willing to take a chance, but even then… you have to have done something to catch his eye and give him the idea that you will be able to engage the crowd, draw them in and have the return for another show.
For a club like The Pool, where Paris has her $100,000 a night residency now, you have to prove that you’ll draw people in, that they’ll buy the drinks and perhaps spend the night (and loose big at the tables).
In either case, you’re being booked to ensure that whoever runs the show sees happy people spending their hard earned cash. If that isn’t happening, then you’re not the best DJ.
As AJ Mora repeatedly tells people “A DJ makes people dance, creates an atmosphere and keeps the party going.” That’s your job. It’s not to be the best technical DJ possible; it’s creating an atmosphere where people can have a good time. Like it or not, that’s exactly what Paris Hilton does. If you’re not doing this, then Paris is a better DJ than you.