One in seven Americans can’t read this posting. And that’s not because they have no interest in the world of DJing, it’s because they can’t read. According to the US Department of Education, 32 million American adults lack basic prose literacy skills, meaning they can’t read a newspaper or the instructions on a bottle of Valium, not even the writing on the wall.
Not a problem for DJ Johnny Kelly. He reads–newspapers and crowds.
“Watch their body language,” he says. “Know their demographics, their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status. How are people dressed? What type of event is it? Once you’ve got an idea of who you’re playing for, project your voice; use a great microphone (the one used on American Idol), pronounce names correctly, and you will have gained authority and earned respect right from the start of the event.”
Look at the bar, too. Are people drinking with a purpose? Like relapsing cosmonauts? Or are they just using the bar as a social platform, pimping the mahogany? If it’s the latter, if they’re pimping the mahogany, you’re not doing your job, but we liked that you followed our analogy. So there’s that.
“Stimulate the crowd by motivating them,” Johnny says. “Motivate them by creating a relationship. Say something that elicits a response, like: ‘The [client] told me that her friends are incredible and they’ll be dancing all night long. Is that true?’ When everyone yells ‘YES!’, it’s like getting a commitment from people to participate and have fun.”
“And always,” says Johnny, “always thank your fellow vendors on the mic.”
DJ Johnny Kelly will be moderating a seminar on the topic at the DJ Expo. We’ll be sending literature.