How DJ-ing Became Its Own Genre


            It’s sort of astonishing how popular DJ-ing has become over the past few years. With new sound technology, so many people have been able to mix music together to create mash-ups that have actually turned out to be…well, sometimes better than the original two by themselves. What really fascinates me the most is that a DJ really only needs a computer and some headphones (maybe with a notepad and pen). Other than that, you’re solid.

And that’s really how David Guetta functions.

The other thing about DJ’s is that the song title is always: “DJ ft. Person who actually sings song.”

For David Guetta, there’s not really a…theme. So is it right to say that this is a genre? Well, are themes and genres the same thing? Maybe not.

I guess you could call him pop, but there’s so much about his songs that I want to also shift him towards some techno or alternative music category as well. With each new artist that’s featured with him, he seems to tailor the music towards their style and is able to accommodate their character while maintaining his own. Which in a way is incredibly impressive and admirable. Ranging from Sia to Ne-Yo to Nicki Minaj, David Guetta covers all the bases.

Because his music covers so many bases, I’m not sure I can say that I like all his songs. While “Titanium” defends the strength of the underdog, specifically females, “Hey Mama” is incredibly demeaning towards women. Contradictions like this still have me tied up and confused about who David Guetta is. Does he actually create his own persona and his own character in the music world or is he simply just accommodating the artists that he teams up with?

Nevertheless, his songs are ridiculously catchy because they’ve got the perfect dance beat. These are your basic scientific methods. Trial and error. He tests out new beats for his tracks, watches them play out on a dance floor, and then takes his notepad and pen to write down all his observations. For DJ-ing, he starts with the main beat and lines up FX and filters in order to match up the two tracks.

For big audiences, it requires a lot more energy (hence the trial and error beforehand). I never realized how meticulous this activity is until sitting down and listening to a lot of his songs. The music has to flow with the crowd’s energy – have those fun moments of hype and incredibly magical moments where you feel like one, yet emotional at the same time. This is the hypnotic vibe. Almost intangible.

Then there are the acoustics of wherever you are. A football stadium. A basement. The dancefloor. Mixing new waves of funk and hip-hop is incredibly difficult, but it’s probably the reason why I’m so fascinated by it.


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