People think being a DJ is being paid to play awesome music for people to dance to. What they don’t know is that you’re actually being paid to fend off drunken a-holes who want you to charge their phone and pretend to be the niece of Will Ferrell.
What we have discovered from this Q&A with Harley Viera-Newton is that she is approachable, she will accept bribes (werque, Harley!) and it takes a lot for her to have yo’ ass thrown out of the club. We would have done that at the “Madonna’s friend” stage.
How do you like to be approached by people wanting to hear their song?
Not at all?
What is the woooorrrrrst way someone could ask?
1. Being WASTED and LOUD and TOUCHING MY THINGS/MY PERSON
2. Insulting the song I am currently playing (I’m sure it IS bad but go away)
3. Asking 100 times/more than once
What do you do when people offer you money to play a song?
This is quite rare and such a pleasant change from the normal full-blown attack that I’m usually pretty for it. I once played La Bamba prime time for $20. Bon Jovi got $100 another time. Not mad.
If you say “I don’t have it, sorry” does anyone ever say “I have it on my iPod — can’t you play it from that?” How do you respond?
Please add this to the list of “how not to make a request.”
How about “can I charge my phone here? Store my jacket?” what do you say?
I can sympathize if you have a dead phone and it’s pretty easy to oblige. A jacket, however, turns into one million jackets very quickly, so that has to be a no.
You’re not a rude person, does DJing ever make you want to be rude to people?
I’m sort of desensitized to drunk dickheads at this point, however, see above “worrrsst” list.
Ever had anyone thrown out for being annoying?
Once a girl refused to leave me alone for about two hours. At first she claimed she was Madonna’s friend and demanded a full Madonna set, but that quickly changed into being “Will Ferrell’s niece” and requests for Shakira. Eventually she got drunk enough to attempt unplugging the mixer, and that was my tipping point.
What’s your fave to play right now?
What’s your stance on a DJ playing their favorite song more than once in one night?
100% for it. Bring it back 3x.
How do you work out what to play based on what event you’re DJing?
It’s usually just a read of the crowd, and then you balance what you want to hear and what you think they’re waiting for.
Do you get nervous ever?
What songs always make an awkward party better?