Discussion: Why DJ?

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DJing is a popular pursuit at KSPC, but there is no obvious answer as to why people choose to DJ. For one thing, there is no economic incentive, and little experience that would “look good” to most employers. I suspect that there are multiple categories of people who DJ, with plenty of crossover between them.

First up are those who DJ because they really want to get music out there. Most people have to have some of this in them, but some people really, really want to spread their music to other people. It interestingly combines altruism and ego into a cocktail of musical deliciousness. Almost all music fans have a sense of pride in the bands they’ve discovered, and it is natural to want to share that discovery with others. In this way, DJing becomes a way for people to try and spread the joy they’ve found to as many people as possible.

There are also those who spread music for the sake of the bands. It’s hard to be an indie/small label musician, so this category of people takes it upon themselves to help spread the music of these bands. This gives the DJ the feeling that they are doing good, not only for the listeners but also the bands.

When DJing it becomes almost necessary to discover new music, while frantically digging through the shelves before your show to try and find some music. Some of what you find is “meh,” but others are cool treasures you might never have otherwise discovered. This allows for gains for the self, but can also transition back to the altruism of those spreading the music for the bands and/or the listeners.

There are plenty of other allures from DJing. Some people like getting phone calls, some don’t, but it can definitely be fun to have random people call you from across Southern California. You get to use awesome equipment. You get to speak on the public airwaves. You get the satisfaction of a job well done. You get some nice solitary time. You get people telling you how awesome it is that you DJ.

Finally, I suspect there are people who are not even sure why they DJ. Which reasons are yours, and why do you DJ (or not DJ)?

-Kai, KSPC Blogger

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