Let’s talk about music at your event. You can tell the difference between a pro DJ and a hobbiest by looking at where their music comes from. I could name at least 5 places where you can download free music. Every song out there is probably available on YouTube, completely free and easy to download.
As a Professional DJ/Emcee, downloading free music is illegal. You can see them coming a mile away. The guest coming up to the DJ table asking us to play music off their phone and often becoming upset when we say no. They reason, it’s only one time playing it and who will it hurt. What about the person who wrote, recorded, produced and marketed the song? Don’t they deserve to get paid for their efforts? There can be some serious results. I recently heard of one DJ who downloaded the couples first dance and right in the middle of their song, it said, “This song has been illegally downloaded from Limewire!”
The quality of downloaded songs if often poor with ads throughout. Would you want a DJ/MC coming to your event with stolen equipment?
At Surface DJs, we get a complete list of requested music from the couple for all their requested first dances and about 10-15 songs they would like to hear throughout the night. We do take requests if asked, but we have a huge library of songs that are bought and paid for throughout the years. (We are probably one of Amazon Music’s best customers!)
So we’ll continue to tell the guest with the phone that our jacks won’t fit his phone, we’ll look for his or her song, and they will walk away thinking, what kind of DJ is this that can’t even play a song off my phone. Better that then playing illegal music!