Having learnt how to DJ at the London Sound Academy, I did my first ever DJ set this weekend, at Ministry of Sound.
The set was 50 minutes and the hardest thing was trying to compile my playlist. We were able to play any genre, so my first playlist was quite Tech-y/EDM-y (Electronic Dance Music) because I thought this would ‘fit’ the night. There’s one thing listening to music in your headphones, but another listening to music in a club, and last week I had such a bad headache from hearing too many high hats (the ‘Ts Ts Ts’ high part of a song).
The more I listened to a song, the less I liked it. I then thought of my friends and I dancing in a club. We get a bit over excited, to the extent of looking like kangaroos in the shower, sweating so much from all our jumping, and I couldn’t see us jumping to my Tech-y/EDM stuff. I stumbled across a track (Tuff London- “Letters”, below) that made me grin like a madwoman, when it dropped at 4 minutes, and this was the inspiration for the rest of the playlist. I went with a 90s house/dance inspired set, finished with some of the original techno-y/EDM that I wanted to play.
I finalised my playlist on Friday afternoon, which didn’t give me much time to practice, but I was happy with the choice of songs and there were a couple of ‘Kevin and Perry’ style tunes chucked in for good measure (when you shut your eyes and sway your hands in the air). There were a couple of different styles of music from the cheesy vocals to the more serious tech/house. If I am feeling brave enough I shall record the whole set and upload it to Soundcloud at some point….
- Sailor & I x Eekkoo – “Letters” – I thought this would be a good tune to start with, to introduce my new playlist from the previous set. My favourite part of this track is around 4 minutes, so there’s a danger of people getting bored in the run up, but I wanted to play it.
2) Weiss (UK) – You’re Sunshine – I was slightly hesitant playing this track because I didn’t know if it were too ‘commercial’ but chuffed to hear it playing in the main room once I had finished my set.
3) Tuff London – Sending Love – As above, this is the song that influenced what type of music I wanted to play (make sure you listen to it around the 4-minute mark)
4) Sisy Ey- Do It Good – Slightly cheesy on the vocal side, but it has that classic fist pumping 90’s feel to it.
5) Nora En Pure – Convincing – I loved this track the second I heard it. I love the vocals, and the funky element that the guitar brings, which remind me of my favourite event held by Defected Records, Glitterbox.
6 ) Mark Knight – Yebisah – This seemed like a nice transition between the high energy vocal tracks and the techno-y/EDM tracks.
7) Moonwalk – Onisia – This was my ‘Kevin & Perry’ track, when you close your eyes and get a little bit lost in the music.
8) OC & Merde – Maasai – This was shortlisted to my original EDM playlist. I really love the ‘lyrical’ part of this song (again, at 4 minutes). My housemate wasn’t too impressed when I was ‘singing’ along whilst it was playing on full blast in my head phones though…
9) Moonwalk- Meteora – In hindsight, I could have played a more uplifting tune to finish the set but I liked this one and it has another one of those ‘Kevin and Perry’ moments which reminded me of being at Ants at Ushuia in Ibiza.
Truth be told, I was absolutely petrified. My last minute playlist, lack of practise, and accidental hangover from the night before, made me very hesitant of my ability, and my choice of songs. I couldn’t talk to anyone beforehand because the knots in my tummy were making me feel sick.
Once we got there, I was relieved to see that the Baby Box room that I was playing in was actually quite small (in comparison to the other rooms) and that the DJ booth was tucked in the corner with a perspex screen at eye height, which meant that although people could see me, I couldn’t really see the dance floor.
I soon realised that I was supposed to have taken my own headphones, but luckily one of the other DJs leant me theirs. It helped not being able to see the dance floor, but I was still petrified of accidentally stopping the music. I now know what stage fright really feels like and although I was slightly shaking, I played my set and apparently bought in a decent crowd.
The excitement didn’t kick in until an hour after. We were in the main room dancing to a fantastically fun set by Low Steppa, when someone came up to me and said ‘You’re the DJ from the other room! Nice one.’ and I suddenly realised what I had just done. We eventually set off on our 1.5-hour journey back home, and once in bed I couldn’t sleep for ages. I had just played at one of the most iconic clubs in the world, and although I kicked myself for not practising more, it feels incredible to tick this one off the list… I had even given someone my autograph (and yes, it still counts if it was one of your friends).
But the best thing? Being able to tell Molly when she is older…
“Mummy played at Ministry of Sound”