Virtually none of us will have fallen into DJing by chance. Most often, a path into the realm of curating music for weddings, club nights and every event in between stems from a love of music from being a child or discovering an artist in some of our younger years. DJs are some of those that turned that love for music into their profession, creating memories for others on the dancefloor — and those on the dancefloor have certain made some memories for us DJs! Our team wanted to dive deeper with some of our members to find out what makes them tick, in a quickfire interview feature that we started with Paul Hutchinson last year.
We sat down (virtually) with long-standing NADJ Member and South Central Branch Chairman, Dave Mills for 10 Questions about his time behind the decks.
1. We’re all in the business of music and often have fond recollections of the first time we browsed records at Woolworths, or the cassette that your Dad played in the car on every journey. What’s your earliest memory of music?
My earliest memory is listening to my dad’s old Bill Haley singles, jazz and big band albums at Sunday dinner as a child. Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Stan Kenton and more all feature.
2. What is the first record or single that you bought?
Adam and the Ants’ Stand and Deliver on 7’’ single. 99p well spent!
3. Fast forward a few years, what made you take the step into DJing?
I started out as a roadie with a friend and then when he retired, I took over the reins.
4. What is your go-to gear these days? I’m sure everyone would like to know which controller takes your fancy.
I’m not that driven by brands or the technology, I’d much sooner still use CDs as opposed to being digital. But I use a Numark Mixtrack with a Macbook.
5. Do you have any rituals before a set?
I’m normally rushing to get set up because the wedding is running behind time, so no not really. But I do like to have 10 minutes to just compose myself, change and freshen up so I’m not sweaty and flushed before starting!
6. Do you have a funny tale from your time behind the decks?
Too many. Like when I thought it was a power cut to discover I was unplugged by a 3-year-old bridesmaid while my back was turned.
Or a Christmas party where one woman (who had far too much wine already) kept getting up during the meal desperately wanting me to start the dancing. She called at me “Come on I love morris dancing, we can get them all to do it.” She pulled out 2 cloths and started herself, only to be pulled back to her table by the people she was with. They struggled to keep her in her chair
for the rest of the meal, by the time I actually started she had passed out at the table and was carried out…
7. If you had to give one piece of advice to someone wanting to take up DJing, what would it be?
Simple. Be prepared.
8. What do you think the future of the DJ and the art of DJing looks like?
Post-Covid, it’s difficult to predict. Many people have found other ways to entertain themselves and a lot of people have got more selective over what they listen to and how they listen to it.
DJs will eventually be getting their music from streaming sites, not even going out with a hard drive to plug in to their laptops. I imagine that some DJs – and maybe clubs or pub chains – will stream one DJ working from home into all their venues.
9. Is there something that you wish existed to make your job as a DJ even easier or better?
I only wish that I knew what I know now when I started. I learned many things the hard way. Proud to say that I have never ruined a night, but I’ve made plenty of mistakes that I’ve learned from.
10. What’s your favourite thing about being a member of the NADJ?
Definitely the feeling of community.
Click here to find out more about South Central Branch and keep an eye out on our website for even more features from our members. If you’re interested in becoming a member of the UK’s leading DJ Association, or need to renew your membership, you can visit our dedicated page to find out more about our membership options.