Top Things To Consider When Hiring A Deejay
We recently sat down with three of our favorite deejays and chatted about their craft and the value they bring to their clients. Jake Sherman has been in the music business “since diapers” as the son of one of Washington Talent’s founders and is now in sales and marketing for the family owned company. Nathaniel Davis of Nathaniel Davis Music, a professional singer-songwriter, guitar player and drummer, has been performing since 1999 and added deejay to his repertoire in 2006. Romin Zandi has been a deejay since first touching a turntable at sixteen and is founder of Zandi Entertainment.
ARJ: What do you want people to understand about hiring a professional deejay?
ND: The importance of years of experience. We know the timing of events and how to make things go smoothly.
RZ: You really want someone that does this for a living. We’re invested and constantly educating ourselves.
JS: With a professional, the little screw ups just don’t happen.
What makes your deejaying services different?
JS: This isn’t just a side hustle for me, it’s my life. I really do care. Failure is not an option.
ND: I play guitar and sing as well as deejay so if you want one for the ceremony or cocktail hour and one for the reception, I can do that.
RZ: I really do try and make a personal connection and listen to what the clients vision is.
What is something not everyone knows goes into the cost of hiring a professional deejay?
RZ: All the preliminary work before the event, the consultation, the travel time, breakdown time. You’re paying for an amazing experience but also for what it takes behind the scenes to make that happen.
JS: There’s a security measure that comes with us versus someone who is just doing it for a hobby. We have lots of back up if God forbid someone gets sick or there is an accident or equipment isn’t working.
ND: We have all the right sound and lighting equipment. It’s like the difference between a Zip Car and a Mazerati.
Are you seeing any wedding music or dance trends for this year?
RZ: I’m noticing people don’t want to have interruptions in dancing, they want it to be a continual party without a break for cake cutting or whatever. And seems like the dollar dance and the garter toss are becoming more outdated.
JS: I’m hearing more requests for rap music than in the past, but fortunately most people want the edited version to keep it clean for the older folks. Also seeing less of the garter toss which can be a little cheesy.
ND: The multi-generational/anniversary dance is coming back a bit, where they want to honor the guests that have been married for a certain amount of years.
What is your favorite first dance song of the moment?
JS: I like Ray LaMontagne’s You Are The Best Thing.
ND: One couple I worked for did a choreographed waltz to Beauty and the Beast that was really cool. I also like Halo and Thinking Out Loud.
RZ: Everyone’s so different, one doesn’t come to mind at the moment but for getting a crowd going Uptown Funk and Shout tend to work.
Anything we haven’t asked you want people to know?
ND: I think something people don’t think about is how powerful good professional lighting is. It can really make a difference in creating a mood and an atmosphere that makes people present.
RZ: What you pay for is 75% planning and 25% execution. We do all the real work ahead of time so things are personalized for the clients and all goes smoothly.
JS: Good deejays will meet with you in advance and ask how you see the night going, how much you want us to be involved, like do you want me to emcee and guide the timing of events or do you just want music. We can be as involved as you want us to be. It’s your event.