How to Request a Song from a DJ

Fan trying to tip DJ Herbert Holler to play the song she requested!

How to Request a Song from a DJ

You wanna know how to request a song? Then I’ll tell you. First, “yes…I take requests!” Because I love taking requests! I’m a DJ; I’m supposed to play songs people want to hear! That’s my job, and I love my job! (Check out how happy I am deejaying in this photo.) And what better way for a DJ to do a good job than to know what his dance floor wants to hear? Requests are like little cheats, little clues for what might make my dance floor really pop. I not only take them, but I really appreciate them! “Do I take requests?” Of course I do!!! Especially one of these!

THE WRONG WAY TO REQUEST A SONG FROM A DJ

DJ Herbert Holler playing charades, showing what you don't do when making a request.

Try not to request a song like this:

  • Put your hand on one ear of your imaginary headphones, crouch down, bite your lip and air scratch as a segue into your request. (Shoot me.)
  • Write your request down on a napkin and then crumple up said napkin and throw it at my face. (Suddenly, I don’t have that song.)
  • Ask if you can put your drink down on top of my DJ equipment so you can pull out your phone and open your Spotify app and scroll through playlists you follow, find the playlist you were looking for, then scroll through that playlist to find a song you recall liking but don’t know the name of, and then find that song, play it in your phone, and then put the phone up to my ear. (I’m calling security.)
  • Get me to play your song by dancing “sexy” next to me or in front of me. Or anywhere near me. (You’re drunk. And I’m married.)
  • Request a song while that song is currently playing. (I’m calling security.)
  • Make your request and then stand in the middle of the dance floor, all night, completely still, while everyone else around you is dancing, waiting for me to see you, and when I do, then put your hands together like you’re praying to G-d for your song to come on. (I’m agnostic.)
  • Start a conversation with me about the weather or politics or sports as a segue into your request. (Go Birds.)
  • Request a song more than once. Actually, more than twice. Twice is fine. The second time can be a gentle reminder, but three, four, seven times? (I’m calling security.)

 

THE RIGHT WAY TO REQUEST A SONG FROM A DJ

D Nice, Greg Nice, and the nicest DJ in the world, Herbert Holler!

  • “Can you play __________ by _______?”

That’s it. That’s all. Just come up to me, say “hi” if you wanna (not a prerequisite), then make your request. Keep it short and sweet. Throw in an “if you can,” or an “if you get a chance,” or not. “Thank you” is always cool, but I don’t even need that. I just need you take as little time as possible because I’m in the middle of doing a whole bunch of things at once to make sure I do the best job I can for my clients, which means keeping the dance floor as packed as I can, full of happy, smiling guests losing their minds to magical music, dancing the night away (as seen in these photos). Just…You know…Make it quick!

WHY THERE’S A “RIGHT” AND “WRONG” WAY

MC enthusiastically rocking alongside DJ Herbert Holler!

Now, what am I doing, exactly, that requires so much attention? I’ll tell you: A lot. I’m really, really preoccupied. It’s not that DJs are naturally dick-ish people–not at all. We’re as varied as the general population, big and small, left and right, sweet and sour (I tend to be more sweet, unless you…crumple up a napkin and throw it at my face.). It’s because so many things are going on in a DJ’s head while he or she is deejaying, ao many things, that we’re really short on time and can’t be distracted. Here’s an abridged list of those things (I won’t get into how to do these things–that’s for another blog):

  1. I’m looking for a song I think my dance floor will like to hear next. (Scrolling through my library’s 20-plus playlists holding 20,000-plus songs.)
  2. I’m cueing up that song. (Listening to it, making sure it’s right, making sure it makes sense, making sure it goes with the song currently playing.)
  3. I’m figuring out the right way to mix it in. (I can’t just “push play.” There’s a time to do it, a perfect way, and I gotta figure that out.)
  4. I’m mixing in the song. (Listening to the song that’s currently playing in one ear, matching beats, perfectly timing the introduction of the new song.)
  5. I’m gauging the crowd reaction to the song. (Do they like it? Are they moving to it? Has their energy sunk at all? What are their faces saying?)

 

DJs WEREN’T BORN JERKS

Again, that list is “abridged.” There are so many things required to execute properly, a ton of stuff requiring my full attention. So, if you come up to the booth to make a request and take too much time making that request, or accompany that request with anything else distracting (like praying to G-d, or playing charades, or throwing something at me, or definitely rubbing your bum on my left leg), it only gets in the way of me delivering a quality product and a good time for all. My request line is always open; just make sure you “hit and run.” Like disco-queen Loleotta Holloway once sang. PARTY ON!!!