Why DJs HATE Requests

I have totalled two gigs where I have received no requests. The first one was headlining an event where people were unable to access the stage, the second was because so few people turned up. EVERY other time I have performed, people have been making stupid or unnecessary requests.

DJs have a tendency to hate getting them. There are several reasons why. Now, I'm not talking about DJing a house party where you are pretty much obliged to, and, there have been occasions where I have had requests from people who know their shit and as a result of playing the song has turned the night around (often having a tip off about the crowds preference can do wonders).

Here is my list of why they get on my nerves so much:

1. It is the ultimate distraction, when you are trying to beatmatch a new song in or even try to pick a good song in time and someone is leaning over trying to request something. DJ's are not just a play button (notable exceptions include some fairly prominent names in the industry), we do in fact have a tough job doing our job sometimes and requesting Nicki Minaj's Anaconda in a drum and bass live mashup is only going to throw me and ruin the work I just put in.

2. It is almost always impossible to mix, and no, I don't need to look at the song data to know that. If I'm playing a deep house song and you want some Hip-Hop you either wait for me to gradually change the whole tempo and vibe of the night or you can buy yourself another drink so you don't care. Believe it or not just because it's the best song ever, doesn't mean it's going to be the same speed, key and a few times even time signature to my current song.

3. It seems to require precariously waving drinks over thousands of pounds worth of kit. One of the only times I've ever got close to physical with someone was when they requested (for the fourth time) a song I'd already played for them, their drink was at 45 degrees over my controller and they doubled over about to throw up on everything. Pushing them over saved them over £1000 of replacement equipment costs so it was the kind thing to do.

4. I am in fact working, I have been told the style of the night by the management/promoter in which case, your request may conflict and I won't be able to cater.

5. We are not the internet, sometimes we just don't have every song there ever was. You will find with me, for example, I barely have any top 40 songs. By choice. I'm not a school disco DJ either so don't count on me having 0.8 Direction (formerly One Direction before one of the girls left).


Having said all this, if you are nice and patient when I'm busy, I'll be happy to listen to your request if it's reasonable for the night. I may even do my best to fit it in. Likewise, if after the show you want to comment and mention where Taylor Swift may have fitted nicely in, I will take that advice. I will even test it at home. If it's not played next time, it may just not mix well.