This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)
In July 2017 Canadian house and techno DJ/producer Kasey Riot told me about her DJ debut in Vancouver. She remembers how scared she was. “I was incredibly nervous about messing up.
“I was nineteen when I had my first performance in a proper club. Until this point, I had just been DJing house parties either I or my friends threw. The name of the venue was Canvas, situated in Vancouver (CAN). During the day it was a pretty sophisticated lounge and art gallery by day, and at night it turned into club with mostly House DJs.”
“Before the gig I was incredibly nervous about messing up and embarrassing myself at my first performance, so for weeks beforehand I meticulously planned out my set, from the order of tracks to exactly when and how I would mix them. I practiced this set over and over again in my bedroom every day leading up to the show.”
“It was a pretty artsy well-dressed crowd that I played for. There was definitely a dress code so people were looking sharp. A few of my friends came down for my first show. They were all excited about skipping the line and getting in for free at this posh place. It was quite a big deal back then as we all just turned the legal age recently.”
“The beginning was very nerve-racking as I was trying to be hyper focused, so I wouldn’t accidentally stop the music or train wreck. I probably looked like I wasn’t enjoying myself at all at first, but after making it through the first hour with no major fuck-ups I started to relax more and got into the groove.”
Control of the dance floor
“Once I started to notice the crowd dancing and enjoying themselves, it put me in a completely different mood. I started feeding off their energy and was dancing behind the decks. My transitions felt effortless and it was an amazing moment to feel like you had control of your first big dance floor.”
“I was extremely happy that I got through the whole thing with no mistakes or embarrassments. At that moment I understood the high that other DJs talked about and I was instantly addicted.”
“Then and there, I learned that the best way to make your set go well, is to try to relax. From the moment I stopped obsessing over something bad happening, everything started to fall into place. It taught me that the crowd is feeding off your energy as well, so try to give what you want to get back.”
This article is originally published on DJMag.nl in July 2017.