A news story from BlogTO was passed around this week about a new Toronto tech start up, which created an app that gives clubbers the ability to choose the next song a DJ will play.
The backlash has since then been pretty steep.
DJs get requests all the time, no matter the venue. Whether it is a small bar or a 3,000 capacity venue, fans always want to request songs. Some can be reasonable like shouting out a song at the end of a set, while others try to bribe the DJ and the worst shove their phone in the DJ’s face for some generic top 40 track.
This app named PSLY was created with the intention of trying to “control the vibe.”
Now PSLY wants to take that to another level. “We’re just trying to reach as many people as we can to share the experience with,” explains app co-founder Yonathan Kristos to BlogTO.
Music is an integral part of any night out and when the music is bad, the night is generally much worse off. However, if the DJ sucks, then leave or head to another room. You may be stuck at some expensive club, but that is on you for not doing the research before.
This app says it is controlling the vibe, but in the end it is controlling the DJ who is just trying to do their job. This is wrong on a couple of main points.
1. The DJ will never learn to play a proper night out if they can bail themselves out of not knowing what to play next by asking some app. They need to learn how to get out of jams and have some songs that are tried and true no matter the situation.
2. Interaction is good between DJs and the fans, but that type of chatter can be left to the digital world before a show. Request a track in the days leading up to the event, though for bars and small venues without big name DJs that can be tough. Let them be in the zone and read what should come next without being told what to play.
3. Choosing the next song could cause a train wreck of a mix. It could be completely out of key and the tempos may be quite difficult to match, especially for a DJ still honing their craft. This is worse for everyone. Terrible transitions can kill the vibe.
4. I haven’t used this in a night out, but one would assume it involved more time staring at your phone. The ship has largely sailed on phone use at events, but encouraging more of it will hurt the vibe.
5. Let the DJ do their job. If you just want to hear your favorite songs, make a playlist and have a house party. DJs are there to play songs you potentially like and also bring in other tracks you may not be familiar with or haven’t heard in a while. The DJ needs keep the selection innovative and fresh. You wouldn’t want people requesting changes to your work in your workplace, so don’t do the same to the DJ.
Now this all depends on the adoption of this technology. Clubs that cater to music likely won't do this, but bars and other party spaces may indeed start with it. Hire a DJ to do their job -- not the job you think they should be doing.