What is An Interactive DJ?


Most DJs are interactive.  If you’ve ever been to an event that entails a DJ, there are times you may leave; or stay and truly enjoy the DJ.  

This will/can ruin your night if the DJ is not interactive.  The percentages are great that the venue will be emptied out within a few short hours. An interactive DJ will do everything possible, within reason, to keep the crowd happy and lively.

So what is an interactive DJ? An interactive DJ is well known just for that; being interactive.  They enjoy and love what they are doing.  They want to please the crowd.  Be a part of the crowd and allow the crowd to understand it is their privilege to be playing for them.  An interactive DJ will shake hands with persons in the crowd, get to know and remember your name, share the mic with you, place you center stage, and place the crowd center stage as a group. 

Interactive DJs are hilarious at times, fun at all times.  They will have the entire crowd on their feet.  No one left out. They will join in on that line dance, encourage a game played for fun.  They know how to joke and tell jokes, without being rude or condescending. 

An interactive DJ will play the top 50 hits or accept requests from the crowd.  Their music list will consist of music from the oldest person in the crowd, to the youngest person in the crowd.  They have a list of all genres of music.  If not, they are capable of retrieving that music within a moment’s notice. 

What Is the Difference Between Interactive and Non-Interactive DJs

The difference between an interactive and non-interactive DJ is slight.  Both are fun and have the skill and talent to play and interact with the crowd. 

An interactive DJ will be heavily involved with the crowd.  The interactive DJ will also, walk among the crowd asking questions, interacting and getting to know the crowd.  He/she will become part of the crowd between songs.  They will make jokes with the people in the crowd or come up with special activities to get the crowd going. 

If it’s a birthday or special occasion, the DJ will point this out and generally come up with an idea, activity or something fun, to give this person/s special recognition. 

This is not necessarily true of a non-interactive DJ.

There are a couple of situations to take into consideration for a non-interactive DJ:

  1.  There are some DJs that are simply “cocky/big-headed” so-to-speak.  They may make you feel as if, you, should be appreciative they are playing your music for you.
  2.  Possibly, the DJ was not hired to mingle with the crowd?  He was hired to be polite, mingle somewhat, not rude, not ugly, “just play the music”.

The non-Interactive DJ is extremely similar to the interactive DJ, however, it is usually up to the “host” or hiring party as to which one they want.  The non-Interactive DJ will pretty much stay to themselves, although continuing to mingle with the crowd.

Both the interactive and non-interactive DJs are skilled and are both certainly sociable and talented when it comes to music.  Both are fun and know how to play to the momentum of the crowd.  Why there is a definite, separate description to a non-interactive DJ and an interactive DJ is how much one speaks and interacts and the other does not.  This is not true in most cases.  They are both talented and skilled for the job they were hired for. 

Feeding Off the Party Crowd

Feeding off the party crowd takes talent and an ability to be intuitive.  What is this crowd like?  What are they wanting?  Are these regular customers or clients on vacation and out for a great time? Is this an eighties party? A country music-loving crowd?  A class reunion that is familiar with the sixties, the seventies, or nineties crowd?  Usually, if it’s a class reunion, music will be played within that era of the crowd’s lives.  What they can relate to.  The DJ knows this.  He will find out about certain events that took place during those years and relate it to the crowd, before the night’s entertainment. 

Is this a rock-n-roll crowd?  What are the best hits for that era?  What are the new songs they may play to have the crowd feel comfortable?  To send them back in time…DJ will know their crowds.  DJs, whether interactive or non-interactive, plan on events, prepare for the nights’ event.  There is “homework” and research to be completed.

Depending on the venue or event, wherever it may be, the DJ learns and has the ability to “feel” out the crowd.  Do they feel like partying heavy, loud and fun, or is the crowd more of a couple’s crowd, laid back and wanting to be with their respective partners?  Maybe, if it’s an earlier crowd; they had a rough week; at the beginning of the night, they would rather just listen to music and relax?  No interaction, no conversation.  Just enjoy, relax and listen to music.

As the night moves forward, the crowd will probably be ready to pick up the pace.  The DJ realizes this and may ramp up the fun and jokes and has the ability to tune into their moods.

“DJ Crazy Charlie” explained to during his interview, that he has a favorite venue.  Crazy Charlie stated: “Weddings are his favorite type of DJ performance”, due to the fact these type of events allows him to be a part of a “once-in-a-lifetime” moment in a Bride and Grooms life.  A good DJ understands that weddings are special and the beginning of the newlyweds’ lives to come.  As part of the rest of the ceremonies, the DJ can help it to be memorable”. 

Topics Interactive DJs Will Touch

Some topics interactive DJs will touch on or introduce is new music and new songs.  They will ask the audience about their music for the week?  Who is their favorite artist?  It is, of course, a night of music.

Local DJs may have the crowd join in celebratory occasions.  If there are new people that just moved to town, the DJ may welcome them and have the crowd welcome them as well. 

This may seem trivial, yet, the newcomers, the majority of the time, will now become part of the crowd within a few moments time and become “regulars” for a fun night with their favorite DJ. 

What all DJs, regardless of interactive or non-interactive DJs will not touch during an event are religion and politics.  This is an is definitely not a friendly fun topic at a party.   Not if they would like to hold the attention and entertain all parties of the crowd.  People go out to enjoy and to be happy.  These discussions should be left unsaid or completely ignored!

Other topics are concerts, upcoming events, new artists, and new songs.  Events upcoming in the town, at their venue and other venues. 

Does it cost more for an interactive DJ? 

Generally speaking, DJs have a set price.  Rather, interactive or non-interactive, there should be no difference in price.  And really, there shouldn’t be.

Interactive or non-interactive DJs are of the same perception; to please the crowd. Prices are set for both at the same rate, generally.  Both are entertaining, the same amount of hours, the same disposition, personalities, skills, talents, and the same goals. 

Some believe that an interactive DJ is also an MC (Master of Ceremonies).  However, the MC is generally known as the “host”.  Introducing the DJ or acts leading into the nights’ events.  Many times, the MC and DJ are the same.

Does it take talent to be an interactive DJ? 

Absolutely, it takes talent to be an interactive DJ.  A DJ must be sociable, with the ability to play music for the crowd, any crowd, and at the same time interaction is made between the songs.  The DJ must be able to operate computer equipment.  It is no longer about spinning a record or playing one particular genre of music. 

To DJ is interacting with a crowd, playing music, and socializing, all at the same time.  Lots of energy is necessary.  Having social skills, people skills, talent, patience, and a way of “learning, listening” to the crowd is also a necessity. 

Being, lighthearted, or thick-skinned helps a lot, as well, because you may run into situations where some person/s in which; no matter what you do, they will not be happy.  You must learn to tune this out or as in any position be able to overcome and bounce back.  You cannot take it personally.  This is not an insult or attack on yourself, personally, and it helps to remember this.

However, paying attention, listening to whatever the negative comments are, as is in any situation, can, in turn, be used to your advantage.  Learn from their disappointment.  It may be useful in the future.

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