In this episode of Creative Living, Carl Alleyne interviews DJ Fadayz. Join us in the episode “A day in the life of a DJ”, where we take a look at the creative approach to life, from a DJ’s perspective. Listen to our podcast or read it here.
DJ Fadayz is one of the top DJ’s in Boston. He is super talented; A DJ, an entrepreneur, a dancer, artist and rapper. Besides being an amazing DJ, he also trains people to become DJ’s.
So what we want to see today, is a DJ’s perspective to an event. Often we get perspectives from event planners, bands, brides and grooms or companies hosting a party, and so on. But today we’re looking at a DJ’s perspective to an event.
DJ Fadayz: That’s awesome! It’s great you’re giving the DJ a chance to talk!
Let’s start by telling us how long have you been DJ-ing for?
DJ Fadayz: Since 2002, learning, studying and DJ-ing.
What other events do you do, beside weddings and birthday parties?
DJ Fadayz: Homecomings, going away parties, corporate gigs, and the list goes on. But most of the time, which is all year around, are weddings and birthday parties because that’s continuous.
How would you approach making a wedding reception festive?
DJ Fadayz: You have to engage the people you are working with. The first time you shake their hand, you need to sit down and talk to them, and get to know them. If your personality is a match with theirs, it’s fun right from the start. It depends; with other people you might have to put in some serious work. Like, they want to get married and they’re very serious, and you have to find a way to get to the child within them. Once you do that, everybody is having a good time. Once everybody slows down to relax and take some deep breaths, you can get to know them. The other portion of it would be to get to know the crowd of people.
Interesting you say that, that was our next question actually. How do you feel out the crowd to get them dancing?
DJ Fadayz: Every crowd is definitely different. But the interesting thing is, there’s always that one person that gets up first. Whether it’s a five year old kid, or the grandfather that’s travelled from Hawaii, or the uncle that loves to dance. Once you get that one person on the dancefloor, somebody else is going to follow. And then you just have to keep that music going. But the hardest part in everything is the first five minutes. You have to play THE song to get that crowd into it. It goes way beyond than the music in a club, where you play the hottest music. But at a wedding, you’re working with multiple personalities. You need to get that one song that’s going to get everybody up. You really have to read the crowd.
That’s an interesting phrase you’ve used, crowd reading. I’d consider that a skill that a DJ needs to have, what do you think?
DJ Fadayz: Yes, definitely. When I first started, I was like blindfolded, but then you learn from experience. It’s not just about going in and playing the music, or having good equipment. If you don’t know how to read a crowd, you’re just going to see a shiny wooden floor.
Yeah I’ve been there. It’s so heart breaking to see that shiny beautiful looking floor. The floor is beautiful, but that’s not what we’re looking for!
What are your favourite moments from your DJ-ing experience?
DJ Fadayz: I’d return to the last question for that one. Reading the crowd. Like, when someone walks up and asks for a song, and you point to the computer and they see that song is actually already in cue, next up. Or you tell them it’s actually coming up and they’re like whoop, and then they go and talk about it to the rest of the crowd. And you know it’s going to be a good story after that.
These are organic moments that get created because of your chemistry with the crowd.
DJ Fadayz: Yes, it’s like running and pacing yourself. If you’re DJ’ing, you have all this cool music and your head is in the computer, you’re not looking at what’s going on; it’s not going to work out too well. As a DJ, you need to be looking at the crowd and doing your thing. That’s the most important thing of DJ’ing, reading the crowd.
What difficulties did you experience while DJ’ing at a party, and how did you resolve them?
DJ Fadayz: The first one didn’t work out well. The speakers were in the wrong input output. When you’re learning, that’s something you want to learn at home, not at your first event. Especially at a prom. At this prom, I turned these speakers that were on the wrong input output on max, and they fried. That was when I was learning and studying. At that point, I learned that I have to go home and study. Even now after so much experience, before going to an event I make sure I have every wire and everything I need from my list. It’s important to have a list of the things you need to have as a DJ.
How do you approach kids’ birthday parties?
DJ Fadayz: At kids’ birthday parties, you need to just walk in and start talking to the kids. Don’t even start DJ’ing right away. Just talk to them, and ask them about music. What they like, do they like to dance. If they don’t like dancing, you just play music that they listen to at home, and they’ll have fun anyway. If they love dancing, you can dance with them. You have to become friends with them, you can’t just go there and start DJ’ing. Every group of kids is different, there’s no special recipe. Some kids are going to be off the walls, some will be laid back, and some will be video gamers that just don’t dance. You have to create something. If they’re playing games on the phone, you play some epic music from games and they’ll come over to you and say like “This is awesome!”. It’s all conversation.
You know Fadayz, I’ve known you since 2004, maybe even before. And I can definitely say that you’re a people person. In your responses to my questions, I love to see how your personality comes out. That’s one of the things that makes you such a great DJ, the way you connect with people. I appreciate what you shared with us today.
DJ Fadayz: Thank you, I appreciate that. And another thing, like I said before. When I first got my equipment, I was like, I’m a DJ! But then I learned, it’s not about the equipment, it’s how you use it to make things good for the people.
DJ Fadayz also has his facility, which is called “The self-expression centre”. Which is on 511 Metford Street in Somerville. They have incredible events for adults and kids. They even have a kids’ beat boy jam. This is organized by DJ Fadayz and his friend DJ Mac, another phenomenal DJ. That’s an incredible place where people can learn to express themselves. So check them out, they have a lot of classes and events for everyone and they’re doing some great things in the communities too.