Now that all the New Years celebrations are over, and the Remix Report awards are all finished, there’s finally a chance for us to reflect on our inaugural year. While at times it wasn’t easy to keep up with the site, it was 100 percent worth it. 1) It pretty much forced us to keep up with new music and stay on the hunt for hot remixes — which if we weren’t doing the site, may have been put off sometimes. 2) We got to meet and get to know some great people. The site gave us the excuse to reach out to some of our fellow DJs who we likely wouldn’t have had the chance to talk to otherwise. 3) If the first two reasons weren’t enough, the feedback we got from all our visitors/supporters was really overwhelming and that definitely kept us motivated to keep things going and update regularly.
With that said, we really can’t thank you guys enough, and although sometimes we aren’t the quickest to respond to emails, we really do appreciate all your support, suggestions,and contributions. Anyone who frequents online forums or checks out comments on youtube understands that the online world is full of vulgar, idiotic, racist animals :) So when we started this site, we figured we’d constantly be hearing off-topic stuff like “Didn’t Jay Spring wear the red version of that shirt last week?” or “Great stutter by JD at 2 min and 29 seconds in.” Believe it or not, it actually took a few months to get our first hater (A gentleman who didn’t like the site at all and wondered why we always “rubbed against each other” in our videos LOL). More surprisingly, that was the only negative person we encountered all year — and we really can’t thank everyone else enough for your compliments and lettings us know you are genuinely interested in our site. 2010 was a great first year, and we learned alot from it. The best way we can say thank you is to take what we learned from last year and use it to make 2011 even better. We have plenty of great ideas for the site this year, and hopefully you will all enjoy what we have in store. But right now, we’re gonna look back on 2010 one last time….
We have to give a big shout out to our friends Justin Griffin and Brady Sadler at dishKarma.com . They’re the ones who inspired us to start the site — and also recommended a great book which outlined the whole blog process. As for the site itself, you can listen to us explain the ideas behind it HERE (at 38:50 in) during one of our favorite episodes of 2010, THE ROCK-IT! REPORT. Big shout out to the Solarz and Guzie for being the first to interview us.
Like anyone else who has a new venture that they’re excited about, we had very high hopes, and we were probably overly optimistic about how quick the site would catch on. Part of the reason we thought the site would work, is because we had already put our names out in the remix game. We had already made alot of friends in the game via being on the remix sites, spinning at one of the premiere night clubs in the northeast, and a few years worth of various online networking. So, we assumed if a few of our well respected friends put the word out via twitter, that word would spread real quick. Well, while that did help, things are never quite that easy. Still we can’t complain, because in the scheme of things, we did hit some of our goals relatively quickly.
It was less than a month after our start that we got our first little break. Spring wrote our second editorial “Defending DJ Pauly D“. Editorials like this would become somewhat of a theme on our site. Everyone knows how much hate there is in the DJ world, but alot of it just isn’t rational. We try to be open-minded about things, and we felt that all the negative comments Pauly D was getting were totally undeserved. As it turns out, Pauly D felt the same way we did and retweeted us, including a link to the site. Pauly lives within an hour of us, and was shown the editorial by some mutual friends. Needless to say, when someone who has hundreds of thousands of twitter followers retweets you, it’s very good for business. That post sparked a lot of commenting and really was the start of us getting our name out there.
Well, before we could even celebrate our first little break, we got a much bigger one two days later. At the time, there were a lot of things on the mind of DJs that no one was brave enough to say out loud — until our friend Alex Rage decided to speak his mind one night via twitter. With what seemed like the entire DJ world taking part (including DJ Sizzahandz), Alex lead a long twitter convo regarding the amount of theivary being done on the remix sites. Certain DJs on the sites were taking credit for simple edits of others’ work. Not only were these DJs getting paid for what others did, but even worse, they were getting the credit. It was a great, much needed rant by Alex that inspired others to open their mouths and it also opened the eyes of some who may not have understood what was going on. Since our site is “Where DJs Talk Shop“, we couldn’t let this go without giving our two cents. JD wrote an editorial about the previous night’s twitter EVENT, which if you missed, is still a must read. CHECK IT OUT HERE as well as OUR VIDEO REGARDING WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THIS EDITORIAL WAS WRITTEN. Things actually got a little heated in the comment section of the editorial, but it was really a great thing that this topic finally came to light. As you can see by the amount of comments we got, this was huge in letting people know about our site. It was really from this moment on, that our site gained a lot of the followers we have today. You can hear another little recap of this, as well as us talking about how it helped our site in that ROCK-IT! REPORT episode from above at 37:09 in.
THE BEST OF REMIX REPORT 2010:
Besides just discussing how we played at the club, we also tried to write some thought provoking pieces (serious sounding we know) on other aspects of the DJ game. Here’s six of our most commented on editorials of 2010…
Also, throughout the year, we were fortunate enough to interview a lot of great DJs. Here’s some of the most memorable advice from those episodes…
Rock-it! Scientists touching on what to play after taking a risk with a song (during THIS INTERVIEW at 19:40 in): “We had a radio show out here for a little while, and one thing that we learned just by being on the radio from our program director, was to really be conscious of how you put songs together. And if you’re gonna play a song like “Heaven On Earth”, be real careful what you’re gonna follow it with. Make sure that if you’re throwing anybody out there, you can bring them back quickly. And that’s something that in our mixed cds, definitely in our club mixing, definitely on our radio show, we had to keep in mind. Otherwise we’d get yelled at. For a song like “Heaven On Earth”, me personally (Solarz), I would really try to and be prepared to play something that was maybe a little more modern. Just something to kinda juxtopose what “Heaven On Earth” is – and bring everyone back that might have felt alienated by that track…. FLO-RIDA !!!:) ”
“A lot of people look at their crowd and say this will limit me in terms of my creativity. For example, there was one time where i was doing a Thursday night for a while. It was all hip hop that night. It was really young kids, all 18 and up. It wasn’t my favorite gig in the world, but it was still kinda cool to have a night like that which was completely different from my other nights. But if I ever tried to go any other direction, I’d get funny looks from people. I think a lot of people go through that. They don’t want that crowd to give them dirty looks for playing something that they’re not used to hearing. So part of it as DJs, not that you should piss your crowd off intentionally, but you kinda have to be ballsy and play things that YOU like every once in a while – not neccesarily you’re gonna do that and hit them over the head with stuff you know they’re not gonna be into. But just to try to experiment on the crowd, especially if you’re playing the same spots every week. You have to try to switch it up. You just have to do it. If they’re not into it, you have to have the confidence that you can bring the crowd back. If you lose the dance floor, it’s not the worst thing in the world. It really isn’t. It sucks. I hate that feeling. But it’s worse if the dance floor never comes back, but if you can get the dance floor back, you can read the crowd and not be afraid to take a little bit more chances.
If you really wanna break it down. You can have a crate of songs that you have set up that you know you wanna play, that you really love. Put those in a crate. And then, every once in a while during your set where you think it might work, go to that crate. Go to that crate and see ‘oh maybe I can work that song in here at this time’ and then have a go-to song and get out just in case it’s not gonna work.”
DJ Scene talking about how DJs should sometimes hold back on quick mixing and scratching (during THIS INTERVIEW at 4:45 in): “It’s kinda like letting records breathe. Especially with serato you line it up 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and just ‘YEAH I’M KILLING IT!!!’ And it’s very hard these days, atleast for me sometimes, to let a record just play out and breathe. Let it marinate. Let the crowd vibe off of it for a minute. We were talking about that the other day, (with Buddy Costa in Boston), I turned over to him and I go ‘We’re gonna let it ride!’. I had the shit cued up and ready to go and everything. But its like, you just gotta let it breathe. It’s the same thing with scratching. I don’t personally feel it sounds good to be scratching the whole time. It’s just like an emcee being on the mic throughout the entire club, and talking over all your favorite songs. Shit, if I’m playing KRS-ONE, I don’t want you yelling every word and talking over my favorite song. So, it’s kinda the same thing with scratching – you just kinda do it here and there I think.
DJ Spryte explaining to us how he prepares to play before travelling (during THIS INTERVIEW at 8:20 in): “If I haven’t been there alot of times I’ll check the charts. Every city has a top 40 channel like a Kiss FM and a hip hop channel like a Hot 97 or Power 106. So I’ll check those (their websites) and see if there’s any top 40 songs I’m not playing on the west. For the most part it’s just by ear. I’m more of an uptempo guy, so I try to push that as much as possible. I just check reactions. If somethings not working, I’ll just follow it up with a banger – lets get em back and try to play off of that.”
DJ Steve1der discussing the importance of Twitter (during THIS INTERVIEW at 15:13 in): “Stay productive, and tweet your productivity. I have a bad habit, I’ll tweet a random rap lyric, from like an EPMD song. I heard the song and that’s a cool lyric. But if I was coming up, which I still am. The grind never stops. I would say always retweet your remixes, whatever you’re doing, the gigs you’re doing. Don’t be too obvious marketing yourself. But let people know what they need to know about you and keep it at that. And they’ll see what you’re really about.”
Now, as far as the music goes, we tried to stick to a schedule where we discussed hot remixes every Monday while breaking down stuff from our own personal playlists on Wednesdays. It would be way too hard to pick our favorites here, but we can tell you our most popular topic by far was when we talked about Opening DJ sets. So here’s the links to those videos – really a must watch. Not only are the songs discussed great for opening sets, but they can also serve useful to a DJ looking to add “forgotten” songs back into their live gigs. Thanks to everyone for their great suggestions in the comment sections for these!!
Again, we can’t thank you guys enough for making 2010 such a great year. Thank you to everyone who donated their valuable time to us, whether you were part of the site, or just a visitor. We guarantee we will put in even more effort this year to make things even better (especially the sound quality in our interviews!). As we mentioned at the beginning, we have some dope new features that will be debuting very soon, so please stay tuned!!