Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mix DJ 101

I had an extremely informative phone call with a very influential dj from back east. He is one of a few on-air djs in NYC who is given the unique opportunity to play what he desires. He's actually one of a handful in the entire country that's allowed to play and break new music.

In essence what he is so graciously permitted to do used to be the right of any and all djs. That right gave a dj the ability to exercise their ears, recognize a hit and then play it whenever and however he wanted.

The game has since changed and the playlist of a mix dj is now constructed by the PD (program director) and MD (music director) of the radio station.

It all went bad when Hip Hop got good. So good, everybody wanted a piece and by piece I mean money.
It's no wonder you can be so confused when you hear a song on the internet and think wow why isn't that on radio. It's simply because that artist or indie label can't PAY TO PLAY. Major labels in the past have paid as much as 35k to 75K for Urban records (HIPHOP/R&B) and somewhere between 150k to 300k for Rhythm records (R&B) to get a certain amount of spins from radio.

I believe the MIX DJ lost his power when radio realized how much more they could make if they monetized the mix show which is most likely the most listened to portion of the day.

Or labels/artists began to offer mix djs money for play in fear that the record would not get enough spins from just being hot alone. Once radio big wigs got a hold of that info they decided they would control it all so if there was money to be made....they would be the hanchos making it.

Whatever the impetus most mixshow playlists are not even what the dj wants to spin. He/she wants to be innovative and start new trends. The dj wants to be the first to throw on a record that bangs which no one has heard before.

But now the time slots are all bought by labels that are willing to pay a fortune to have their artist's music play but it the meantime radio is creating a distorted picture of what people want and what people are being forced in to liking. Playing songs over and over and over, truly like a broken record.

Djs, get in there and band together for your right to choose your own music for your set. Listeners, don't fall into the trap that just because it's on radio it's a hit....not.

I don't really see it ever changing unless a group of djs push their power and say enough is enough.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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