The Accidental DJ – 002

Okay so the back door dash.. We’ll come back to that. I’m going to go off on another tangent (totally out of character I know), but it still carries through from my first ramble.

IT’S ON!

The few weeks leading up to the event, really put to the test what I thought I knew, what I thought I wanted not to mention my sanity.

You see, at the height of all of this hype and excitement, I had some very raw and serious things going on in my personal life, and at times I panicked that I wouldn’t be able to commit to either one or the other. It caused me a few sleepless nights and a few catches of my head as it was rolling from my shoulders, but I came to realise that It was more than just a hobby that I’d taken off with. It was a welcome distraction, something to work towards, to keep me focused when my eyes and heart would blur.

In hind sight, It was exactly what I needed. All of my emotion turned into passion and the desire to share my wares.

Perhaps that chance conversation I was privy to, the big cahoonas I appeared to develop as I jokingly put myself forward or the fact that the idea was not poo poo’d, was the universes way of helping me through. Sarah Connor would disagree I guess but hey, I like the romance of the universe throwing me a bone.

Don’t get me wrong, I can laugh about the time I sat in the middle of the studio floor and cried now, but at the time the fear of letting people down and being the laughing stock was both mortifying and crushing. But right at the base, deep at the heart of each melt down, each hissy fit, each moment of panic and dread, was the same solace I had always derived from listening to music.

Music is a therapy, it is emotion when you can’t speak, it’s carries messages and meaning different from one person to the next. I have forged my best friendships through meeting people through music!

BE STRONG LIKE BULL, NOT WEAK LIKE GRASS

Even though I had already ear marked the sound I wanted to share before touching a vinyl, it suddenly strikes you that people might not even like what you have poured yourself into.

Cue immeasurable self doubt…

You might assume that all DJ’s have oodles of confidence, cocky even maybe. I mean, I used to put them on pedestals, but now every Tom Dick and Liddy is DJ (oooh that’s going to push some buttons isn’t it). I have somehow found myself rubbing shoulders with a few of these reprobates (love you guys), and have come to realise that they are no stranger to the normal human emotions and anxieties that us mere mortals have. It’s when I started with aforementioned self doubt that they started opening up about their own insecurities and nervous rituals before gigs back in the day, and still do now.

Now, I know my being friends with people in the industry will cause some to believe that I only had this opportunity because of the people I know, well yeh, I can’t deny that. I would have never pursued it let alone believed I could, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

As someone who gives themself a hard time (as I’m sure a lot of us do), having people that are recognised and just really fucking good at what they do, give you words of encouragement, take time to answer questions and offer advice. Even low key leave the room without making a big deal of it the first time you play in front of anyone, because you feel too shy and embarrassed (you know who you are, love you guys.. again).

That shit is worth its weight in gold, but also comes with a lead weight.

Not one of them made me feel this way, I made me feel this way. Almost like I had to skip entry level and go straight to 10+ years in the business to match them. It’s bizarre what the human brain can do to you, don’t believe everything you think guys and gals.

This was a massive boulder I put in front of myself leading up to CODA, and crazily, what helped me overcome this was my sound that I was panicking about everyone liking. It was very different from theirs and I’d be playing a different time to what they would be billed for anyway because apparently I’m a rare breed that likes to warm up… go me! But this ties in to what I started to say about panicking about people liking what you play.

Now there’s no right or wrong way of putting other people’s music together to form your own set, but there are well known tips, tricks and sciences behind it, but that doesn’t mean that you have to follow it. If it works and doesn’t sound like horses galloping or like someone’s just emptied the bottle bin, then do it. Why not, that’s where the greats becomes great.

In my humble, teensy glimmer of the industry and by listening to stories of new and old from different DJ’s, one thing that truly gets driven home…

Be YOU. Basque in YOU. Have the courage of your conviction, and don’t concern yourself with playing what everyone else is playing.

FIND YOUR VIBE.

To start with, I was all over this like tiddy sweat on a hot summers day when I was messing in my living room, but I could feel this confidence start to ebb away the closer it got to the big night.

What if it wasn’t ‘trancy’ enough – so I started to buy more generic trance like tracks.

What if no one would be balls out dancing – of course they won’t, you’re a warm up – but I tried to shove in some harder stuff.

There’s too much vocal, there’s not enough vocal, would I peak too soon.

Jesus wept, I was up and down more times than a trollop’s knickers…

And this was when I was given a little pep talk and told to put together what I had wanted to change. Then listen back to it, and see how I felt. I, hated it! It wasn’t me one bit, and it was very basic bitch trance. I was reminded of what I wanted to do before I had begun doing it, and that if only one person liked it, that was the one person I wanted to give reprieve to. So after laughing at the ridiculous state I’d worked myself up into, I got back onto my unicorn and everything flowed like magic.

Now obviously, I’m no pro, I don’t profess to be not for one minute. I am still learning and will soak up every ounce of it and love the process, but If you’re starting out, or thinking of starting. Don’t be afraid, don’t be shy or embarrassed. Explore and find you and keep finding you, and just be stronger in your belief in yourself. Friend’s who will support and encourage you, and genuinely take an interest into what you have to play, take advantage of all that, rinse it! Because they are the ones who will travel miles to be on the dance floor raving like lunatics at your first gig. Isn’t that right Jojo, Katy, Kelly, Nikki, Trina… (but that’s another story).

And hey, if you don’t feel like people get your vibe, message me.

It’s been said I’ve got the best second ears around…

Zoe ✌️

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