We got some sound advice, wit and wisdom from some of the world’s top DJs. Today’s question:
What Was Your First Experience in a Club Like?
My first experience in a club was that I got fired after my first DJ set. It was a local club here in Germany, and as they were looking for a new resident DJ, I had a chat with them and got confirmed on January 1 as my premiere night. In Germany, usually the day after NYE is really quiet, so I knew that it would not be easy for me to convince them, but of course I wanted to try and do my best. The club was half-empty and the energy was quite low, but I played for a couple of hours. I was quite nervous, as it was my very first time playing in front of a real club audience. I made it through my set, and although it wasn’t a great night, I thought it worked out besides the fact that it was the first after NYE. A few days later, though, I got a call from the club owner, who told me that they found another DJ for that day of the week and that they wouldn’t need me anymore…
Of course I was sad about having failed, but I immediately started practicing at home for a couple of months. I learned a lot about music and mixing it properly, and when I went out on the weekend, I tried to read the crowd in different clubs I played. After a few months, I got another residency—at the main competitor of my first club show. They gave me Friday nights, and it was awesome! From the beginning, the feedback from guests was amazing, and I ended up playing there every weekend for another three years before I moved to the city. Since then, it became an essential part for me to develop my skills, watch and listen to what is going on in the club scene at any possible time, just to keep up with everything. So in the end, I learned my lesson, but it was a good one!
I knew right away that I had found what I was looking for.
One of the first experiences I had in a nightclub was getting booked for the first time and not having a clue what I was doing. Long story short: I almost blew out the sound system, and the manager had to run up to the DJ booth and ask what I was doing.
I was given the warm-up slot at the Moon club in Bristol at 15, but I was so nervous, I insisted on playing before anyone got there… so very empty.
I started out back in the ‘90s playing in small clubs in Italy. It was near where I lived with my parents, and I was still under 18.
Kissy Sell Out
Well, it would of been when I was around 14 years old, and I used to sneak into the local big nightclub by wearing a smart shirt and screwing my face up—which I thought made me look older! Dance music has always been something I consider to be a niche interest, so seeing other people losing their shit to my favorite tunes in a venue always makes me feel energized and excitable.
Oddly, my first time walking into any of the cooler clubs here in the UK was as the headline DJ when my career first started, but I think that voyage into the unknown still gives me a nostalgic, dreamlike feeling, and I think it’s that fire inside of me that still fuels the passion I inject into my DJ performances.
Fantastic. Loved it. Was the path to my future.
Dzeko & Torres
We both went to all-age parties in Toronto since we were quite young. It was just so exciting to see a ton of people in one place at once, and you’d always meet new people. Plus we were discovering house music at the time, so when the DJ was good and played some good stuff we’d never heard, it just made it so much better.
My first show was at a warehouse party in Providence, which is the closest city to my hometown of Mystic, CT. It wasn’t a proper club, but as far as I was concerned it might as well have been Ministry of Sound. I had to bring my own CDJs and mixer and carry them up like a dozen flights. Sure enough, locals complained about the noise, and the cops came and were arresting kids left and right. I unplugged my stuff, and my best friend and I sprinted down all the stairs and out the back of the building, narrowly avoiding arrest. That was interesting to say the least, and I’m glad that these days my CDJs stay safely on their table at home.
’Twas on Valentine’s Day in my first year of college… I sprained my ankle from trying to breakdance to retro classics whilst being too drunk. Then I walked home alone.
Being impressed how the DJ had control over the whole club just by playing music.
Los Angeles underground break-in. Cops came 15 minutes later. Running for the exit made it the best first date with club culture.
My first time in a club I was 14 years old. I really felt like a drug lord overdoing it, smoking a cigar for the first time, acting like I knew it all. It was fun, except for the hangover…
Terrible. I think someone slipped something in my drink.
Actually, my parents went with me, and it was pretty awkward.
I was so excited. Like something I have been waiting for forever. It wasn’t that good, but who cares anyway.