Today’s wedding DJ interview is with David of Expressway Music DJ’s, based in New York, NY! Enjoy:
Tell us about yourself and how you started Djing.
My folks had three kids by the time they were 23 and my mother, who played guitar, always had a daily mix of the Beatles playing coupled with AM radio playing in the backround. In those days AM Radio (especially WABC)played the top hits of the day. By 5 years old my brother and I were taking guitar lessons…soon after we writing songs (we are both published songwriters) but what really got me into DJ’ing was that my folks had many house parties and I was responsible for the playlist. At 10 years old I would poke my head out of our tiny stereo room and looking on the dance floor (which was our dining room)…..In my head I was always putting songs that I thought fit together well (at that time it was something like “honky tonk woman” going into “superstition”)..but ever since then I’ve been dj’ing for every type of event you can imagine and then some.
What do you love about being a DJ?
Growing up my brother and I used to love to “discover” songs and then share them with each other. I am also a natural people pleaser so the combination of loving to share music and making people happy is a perfect combination for me in a career. It never gets old to me.
What makes you different from other DJs?
Many experienced and not so experienced DJ’s tend to play the same (or very similar) music sets or songs on every wedding and event they are on no matter how different the circumstances/details of each event. My style is much more oragnic then that and completely uncanned…I may play a song from today and then go back to the 90’s and then to the 80’s and then back to today etc..if you saw my play list from event to event you will notice that no two are similar and that VERY FEW songs are repeated. That is because I am always analysing the crowd and playing the best possible music to reflect the crowd in front of me. Absolutely nothing canned about my approach. I find many dj’s get into a holding pattern where they have a degree of success from party to party by repeating the same playlists. Their party’s may be “good” but there is a huge difference between good and outstanding. Mine are more the latter.
What’s the most unique wedding you’ve ever DJ’d for?
I dj’d for a couple who were from Transylvania at the Russian Tea Room here in NYC. They wanted only two styles of music…Polkas and Hip Hop. OMG it was a direct mix of bizzarre and fun like I’ve never experienced.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
It’s funny but the most challenging part of the job is also the most gratifying. Here in New York City most of the weddings we dj are of mixed ethnicity. I might have a wedding that calls for old school latin Boogaloo music to mixed with Jamaican reggae from the 90’s to todays pop techno with a splash of 70’s “Chic style” disco…..part of my “day” job is to research the styles I am weakest with and brush up on styles I know well but haven’t played for awhile(Boogaloo) …this “homework” sometimes takes hours or days and is quite challenging however it is all so worth it when I hear the Bride and Groom raving about what an outstanding job I did!!
What’s your favorite song? Your least favorite song?
This changes from day to day. Sometimes hour to hour. I actually don’t look at music in terms of “the best’ or “the least”.
Do you have any advice for wedding DJs just starting out?
Yes. Don’t get complacent. Keep up with all styles of music. Research the type of music you are weakest with. If you’ve had a lot of success out of the starting gate don’t let it get to your head. You can always improve and become more knowledgable. Even though I’ve been dj’ing most of my life and in my own DJ Business for 21 years I started a Music Podcast last year called “Music first Podcast with DJ Dave Swirsky” found here: musicfirst.podbean.com feature songs from many styles of music and it also showed me how many AMAZING songs and artists there are in the world from all styles past and present. One other piece of advice. Take care of the basics. Answer the phone. Get back to clients immediately. Listen to what the client wants before you start talking.
What are some things couples should look for when looking for a DJ?
The first question I would ask is why did you become a Mobile event DJ? I would actually ask them many questions that you’ve asked in this interview!!! I would also ask them to tell me what makes them different then other dj’s? I would want them to have an updated website with recent event blogs, I would see which other industry vendors recommend them and would take notice in how long it takes for them to get back to me and their demeanor when I first contact them.
Thank you David! For more about Expressway Music DJ’s, check out her WeddingInviteLove profile, or head straight to her website.
Have any questions or comments for David? Add them below!