Innersoul: The Art Of Being A Resident (Plus win tickets!)

Innersoul: The Art Of Being A Resident (Plus win tickets!)

Big up all resident DJs in the area!

The heart and soul of any good party, the residents know the vibe, understand the crowd and, if they’re doing their job well, will ensure the headlining guests have been introduced faultlessly.

One of the hardest tasks of DJing, we grabbed some pearls of wisdom from the crew at London party Innersoul. On June 29 they’ll be taking over Plan B, London with a killer line-up that features Marcus Intalex, Total Science, Riya, Utah Jazz, Nookie, Eveson, Deeizm and, of course their dedicated crew of residents; IBM, SirReal, S1DJ, The Wook, Menos and Soula. Find out full details here.

Read on for some resident DJ tips, two killer mixes from Soula and SirReal and a chance to win a pair of tickets and an Innersoul t-shirt!

What’s the most important thing ALL resident DJs need to know?

IBM – If you are playing first do not come straight in with some big high impact/energy tunes. Keep it mellow – warm up slowly.

SirReal – Don’t be afraid to draw for a few of the lady’s choices. If you get the ladies dancing the guys won’t be too far behind them.

S1DJ – Understand the ethos of the night you’re playing for.

The Wook – Play to your demographic and try to strike that fine balance between educating and entertaining by doing your best to read the crowd.

Menos – Represent what the party is all about music wise.

Soula – Don’t turn up to a rave you’re playing at with your mum and grandmother behind you carrying your DJ bag and DJ controller and then getting your mum to select your tunes for you while you mix… And yes before you ask, true story!

What’s been your scariest warm up moment… And how did you deal with it?

IBM – I once played a gig where a certain ‘headline’ act who shall remain nameless turned up early and decided to take control of the entire sound check – not letting anyone anywhere near the back of the mixer. He messed around until literally 10 minutes into my set and when the first few customers had walked in and I still hadn’t plugged in my Serato. It was an absolute nightmare start however I managed to work around it!

S1DJ – When playing out in Switzerland last year, the computer I was using to run Traktor pretty much died on me during the first track and I couldn’t play all the digital tracks I’d planned to use. Thankfully I had my back up bag of vinyl & CD’s.

Soula – Yeah there is one “shit yourself” moment that stands out. A couple of years ago I just started using that pesky Serato. Having connected everything correctly, before I knew it the MC was introducing me to the crowd for my set. It was the graveyard shift after one of the headliners (DJ Krust) so no pressure! I started my first tune, everything was fine, the crowd were hyped, and the tune had quite a long epic intro so everybody was building up to this unbelievable drop… and just before the drop… all of a sudden… silence! Someone had knocked the USB lead out of the Serato Box! Laptop crashed, couldn’t get it working after that. Disaster! Still smashed it with CD’s though.

Pop quiz hotshots: you’re warming up for the main guest but he’s running late. You’ve used up all your best tunes, what you do. What DO you do?

S1DJ – Get back to the bag and draw for the b-sides, you’ll be surprised what gems you have and have been missing out on!.

The Wook – I haven’t personally ever been in that position but nowadays with the way technology has moved forward with laptops and CDJs you should never ever really be short of tunes!

Soula – Grab the Mic off the MC and sing a rendition of Britney Spears, ‘Hit me Baby One More Time! Accapella style! If that fails then, draw for the B-sides!

What, in your experience, is the best way to become a resident at a night?

IBM – There are a few different approaches. The most expensive but possibly most rewarding is to run your own night. Not every night is a success and there may be times when you lose some money, but when a night goes off and you stand back and think “I created this party” it is a great feeling.

SirReal – Actually go to the nights you want to play at especially your local ones. Introduce yourself to the promoter, give them a CD of your latest mix and do this on a regular basis. As a promoter one of the most frustrating things is when DJs send us a message on Facebook asking us to play at our events when we have no idea who they are.

Soula – Networking is very important; If you’re looking to do it on your own, then work out what separates yourself from all the other DJ’s out there and get yourself out to the clubs and meet the promoters. Maybe think about producing your own tracks or live show’s. If you show a bit of passion then the offers will start coming in.

The final hour of the night. Often one for the residents and it’s either the power hour (if the night is going well) or the graveyard shift (if the night isn’t quite so well attended)… Either way, give us your tips!

IBM – I would say be careful with your first few tunes you drop – try to make sure that you start off with the same kind of energy level in the music as the last DJ.

SirReal – I like that set, it’s a challenge, even if it’s still going off you’ve got to keep it that way. On the other hand if it isn’t, you’ve got to bring the party back to life. Draw for the classics, too many DJs overlook this. If you think about it, the biggest reaction at clubs whether they are huge warehouse events or small intimate nights are when a DJ drops a classic because you recognise it and for me it’s always the mix that stays in your mind.

The Wook – You have to be prepared to maybe play a different sort of set depending on how the night has gone. If the room’s still vibing from the previous DJ then all good, crack on with say more current selections, but if it’s not so busy then it may be better to drop more vocal and classic tunes to keep the crowd there interested.

Finally, if you have any other pearls of wisdom about being a resident DJ then please list them here….

IBM – If you can’t beat match drunk (and I include myself in that), don’t get drunk!!

SirReal – It’s all about tune selection! I don’t care if you can triple drop while doing a hand stand scratching a fourth deck, if people aren’t feeling the music they’re not going to dance and ultimately that’s your job.

S1DJ – Relax, enjoy yourself and play more Liquid Drumz Music.

The Wook – Play what YOU want to play in your style and remember to smile!

Menos – Play what you believe to be the best music for what the crowd expect to hear at that particular party and have fun!

Soula – Expect the worst, hope for the best. Try to enjoy yourself behind the decks. Don’t be afraid to take risks and stay true to your style, and if things go horribly wrong, oh well shit happens! If you’re a good DJ then your tune selections will always shine through.

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Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.