Across the globe, students of reasonably good Red-Bricks and all that lies beneath who are struggling with their degrees or unsure of how to use them in the real world are having their worries disappear in an instant after making the decision to turn to the decks. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the 21st century, it’s that everybody, absolutely everybody could and should become a DJ.
I’ll give you a brief summary of how DJing became the thing for me. I came to Birmingham University looking for a great time, like everybody does. But in that year of freshers, my whole house felt empty and lifeless, going to those stupid nights out that dreadful, soulless, and insignificant people go to etc, etc. I asked them all for a house meeting, and said ‘come on guys’ this isn’t good enough anymore. We’re not happy, with our cheap Panasonic stereo and clunky speakers, listening to Craig David and the Artful Dodger all day every day. We aren’t living, e’re just existing.’ They all agreed, but said they had no ideas or resolutions.
The truth is that the prospects of the coming years of my undergraduate degree were dark. At one point I even phoned my mum and told her I was close to dropping out in favour of getting a career working for Dunelm, where all my home friends happened to be working at the time. Thank God that never happened.
Then one fine day in Selly, when the sun was shining bright on Heeley Road and I was lying in bed feeling sorry for myself, I got thrown a life line. And it was to be the lifeline that would rescue me from beginning a soul-destroying career in the furniture and decor industry. One of my friends sent me an SMS message asking if I wanted to go to a local club with him called the Rainbow Warehouse.
‘The Rainbow Warehouse?’ I thought, ‘what can this be?’. At first I suspected this was a gay club, but then I learned that it was a place where people of all sexual inclinations were welcome to go to to take drugs and have a great time, whilst listening to some real bouncy music- which I was later to learn was known as deep house. I saw Hannah Wants (I don’t remember who else) and it was one of the most stella nights of my life. I watched Hannah intently for the entirety of her 2 hour set and her, the music, the sound system and some drugs that I took blew my mind. From thereon in I was set on becoming a DJ just like her (I know what you’re thinking and don’t worry, I’ve realised that Hannah is a talentless pest now of course, but at the time I thought she was good and I’m grateful that she was in the right place at the right time, good luck with your career Hannah, us DJs gotta look out for one another).
I sought out a new social life, expelled my boring house mates from my life and became part of a new clique of young and up-and-coming DJs- the best mixers in Selly Oak. I was amazed at how well I got on with them all, we all liked to wear Palace clothing and used adjectives like ‘bait’ and ‘stella’, they even came up with a banging new DJ name for me- DJ The Ferret. We used to have parties and I’d always be the first to lay my sets down, fag on the go, everybody watching always thought I was the man. My favourite track is Bax by Mosca and I put it in every mix I do because the crowd always loves it. It’s my thing. It sounds shit and I don’t even like it really! Isn’t that funny!
Anyway, so happy would I be during my mixing that I would pretend I was DJing around the house, when I wasn’t actually DJing, like when using the hob for instance. I still do this now and my mum laughs at me but it’s cool. There’s no music but it’s fine because I don’t actually like music or know much of it, I just like the way it makes me feel when I play it; sub-zero cool. And I’ve never felt like that before. I used to feel bad all the time, I used to have low self esteem. I used to hang out with my friends, listen to music and do drugs in my leisure time. These days I still do these things, but now I’m the selector. I used to listen to Coldplay, now I listen to Kerri Chandler sometimes. So yeah. How do you like them apples?
The truth is that everybody is a DJ now; me, Steve Davis, Harry Kane, David Dimbleby, my Grandma, your Grandma, The Lannisters, the Starks, Jesus, Ross from Friends, the milkman, the cat. But it’s still not enough. If you’re one of the stubborn ones, if you aren’t currently a DJ or in the process of evolving into one, then you must ask yourself, why the hell not? DJing is categorically cool. DJing is good for the soul. DJing gets you the social life. DJing gets you a wife and kids. DJing sets you apart from the rest.
All you need is decks.