Be a dance DJ for half an hour challenged Emily Saunders (as opposed to a radio DJ because I’d done plenty of that). OK, well that sounds fun!
My strategy with all challenges of this nature has been to find an expert and seek their help and guidance. I’m always happy to pay for their time and expertise but it’s important to me that they get behind what I’m doing and why. Lucky me had three such experts help with this challenge.
I started with a zoom chat and some basic mixing tuition with Jules Peake of Stretch & Vern fame – they had a top ten hit with their single I’m Alive in the 90s. I felt like I was in the company of dance music royalty!
Then my friend and fellow former TFS Radio DJ came round for a couple of hours of hands-on practical help and tuition. A frustrating technical issue meant that the software settings just wouldn’t work properly on my laptop. Neither of us could resolve the problem but I learned some more about beat matching and using EQ to create interesting mixes.
Takeover of the decks
Then the fabulous Iain Simpson allowed me to hijack one of his 80s v 90s dance party gigs for a half hour slot. With permission from the venue secured, we started planning my takeover of the decks! I had a couple of practice sessions and came up with a cracking playlist, even if I do say so myself! (Song list below if you’re interested.)
Let’s face it, I was never going to be a pro in the short time I had to work on this, but in the spirit of all my challenges, I gave it my best shot. And it was an absolute blast! We had a great crowd in, and the whole room was up and dancing. I’d say half of my mixes were smooth and the rest were OK-ish. LOL! But I don’t think anyone cared, and they were all super supportive when I told my story and explained what I was doing.
They were also very generous – I’d taken a collecting bucket with me and when I totted up the amount donated, it came to exactly £119.63. Wowsers!
One of the highlights for me was seeing an 88-year-old lady busting her best moves to Dreamer by Livin’ Joy. What a legend!
I’m adding DJing to the list of challenge activities that I’d like to do more of.
Somebody Else’s Guy – Jocelyn Brown
Trapped – Colonel Abrahams
Good Life – Inner City
Where Love Lives – Alison Limerick
What Is Love – Haddaway
Too Blind To See It – Kym Sims
Shine On – Degrees of Motion
Dreamer – Livin’ Joy
The Bomb – Kenny Dope & The Bucketheads