Last Friday afternoon, around 3:30, my cellphone rung. As it rung, the cellphone displayed Joe Austin’s number.
“What up, Joe?” I answered.
“You wanna play tonight?” he asked.
Joe works at the Peacock Room, a place I DJ on Sundays sometimes.
“Yea, okay,” I answered.
Joe gave me the rundown. Tonight’s entertainment, a more popular DJ crew, canceled. A band might be playing for free tonight. Yet, I would be getting a percentage of the bar. Better yet, because the band won’t be playing long, most of the night would be mine. Starting time was at 10 PM.
I somewhat had plans to DJ at another spot. There were talks of me closing the night after the scheduled band. Yet, I never received definite word on that actually happening.
Being somewhat thoughtful, I called the owner of the other spot. When, they didn’t answer, I left a message about my night at The Peacock Room.
After that, the nerves kicked in. In the past few days, my DJ software had been crashing, most of it due to my constantly pressing buttons.
I arrived at the Peacock Room around 9:30. Joe told me it was just me tonight. The free band canceled.
Already, the lobby was packed. Because my DJ rep is not well-known in Orlando, I didn’t think the crowd was there for me.
The bar counter is located in the lobby.
The entertainment performs in a separate room possessing a stage.
My nerves still aggravated me. Tonight was the first Friday I ever DJed an Orlando spot. All of my Fridays took place in Sanford, a forty-five minute drive from Orlando.
Because it’s a smaller town, I could somewhat get away with fucking up in Sanford. In Orlando, the major city of the area, fucking up may ruin my rep in a huge way. At least, that’s what kept nagging my mind.
“You’ll be fine,” my friend Carlos told me. He witnessed my set before.
I first started with Shaggy’s “Boombastic”, the version sampling Marvin Gayes’ “Let’s Get It On.”
Already people came with requests.
I didn’t mind it. No wait. Yes, I did. At least, give me thirty minutes to warm up. Hell, even ten minutes will do. Then, start with the requests.
Most of the requests, I had no problems with. People mostly requested 90s and 80s hip-hop. Someone even requested NWA’s “Fuck Tha Police”.
Only a few came to the performance room and danced. Everyone else stayed in the lobby.
During songs, I would walk over to catch a glance at the lobby people. When I saw heads nodding, I knew my mixing satisfied.
Then, someone requested Bob Marley. I played “Them Belly Full”…and many people left the floor.
By this time, the first shift of patrons were already leaving. Yet, the folks in the following pic remained with me most of the night.
Not only being a no-name battled me, I also had to contend with rainy weather and the first Friday of the month, rent and mortgage time. A time when many folks are broke.
All night people complimented me. Still, I didn’t feel as if I was doing a good job, especially with fewer people in the place.
At one point, a twenty-something guy asked for current music. Because of past complaints about me playing “old music”, I decided to include current music in my set.
After three current songs, one of my new fans began requesting old school hip-hop and soul, something I was glad of.
After some 80s music, I played “Poison” by Bel Biv Davoe. Not one of my favorite songs. Yet, many people like it.
Next, I played Michael Jackson’s “Keep It In The Closet”, a favorite jam.
Then, a young blonde walked up to me.
“Do you have Li’l Wayne’s ‘A Milli’?” she asked. “This crap sucks.”
A few words to my readers. Don’t ever tell the DJ his or her music sucks, even if it does. As you’re being a know-it-all, most patrons may be enjoying the shitty music. (Just like my new fans were.) Another thing, after insulting their music, do you really expect the DJ to play your request now?
The same twenty-something guy who asked for current music bought me a drink. He was with Blondie and told me she liked older hip-hop.
I played “A Milli” and “Ride With Me” by Nelly, another one of their requests.
By this time, another person requested dubstep, a genre I’m slowly beginning to like. So, I played a dubstep song next, “Whyle The Fuck Out” by Matt U.
Due to my mind focusing on fears about me fucking up, I didn’t take many pictures.
Still, here’s a few.
As usual, I was told to get in the picture, too.
As the night ended, people still told me I did a good job.
Looking back on it now, I think it would be wise to focus on the old school, especially when it comes to Orlando gigs. Many folks want to hear old school music. I get the same thing at my gig in Sanford. As for new school listeners, they’ll just have to go somewhere else.