The Cardinal Rules of Party Playlists

In honor of the festivities I will be attending this evening, which largely include a Heights reunion and dancing, I offer you some tips that are sure to ensure you become the go-to DJ at the next party you attend.

1. Take requests (within moderation). A happy crowd is one that can sing along to their song of choice (#WagonWheel). I’m not saying go solely on the advice of others (because that will ensure anyone can swap in for your music duties – don’t be replaceable) but a good DJ goes out of their way to incorporate suggestions.

2. Along those same lines, play to your audience. The group that wants to hear a solid set of house laced with Britney is a very different challenge than the people who crave a combo of oldies and indie rock. A little intuition goes a long way. Bonus: if it’s a party honoring someone (birthday, graduation) and you can include some of their particular favorite songs without asking, you’ll be invited back.

3. If you’re going to take the wheel on music choices you better be sure to stock a great selection on your device. In the pressure of the moment, no one wants to be the person saying, “Oh, sorry I don’t have that song…” Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.

4. Throwbacks, throwbacks, throwbacks. For real though, play songs people used to listen to at their middle school dances or would put on mixed CDs to play on their Discman (because there were too many cuss words to ask Mom and Dad to play it on the car stereo, obvs) because crowds go wild for that s&#t. Some suggestions: Hey Ma – Cam’ron, Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly, Move Ya Body – Nina Sky, Gasolina – Daddy Yankee, Tipsy – J. Kwon, Get Busy – Sean Paul.

5. Try to be a little bit of a party-music-hipster and include at least one or two songs that noone has probably heard before. If you’re not into scouring the internet for coolio remixes of hot songs, feel free to pull a #1 and ask your incredibly in-the-know friends who love pop culture more than anything for a hip suggestion. Disclaimer: Just because I’m suggesting you be a little hipster about including songs no one knows doesn’t mean I like hipsters. I don’t. Sorry guys.

6. Try to include at least one of your favorite songs (here’s looking at you “I Want It That Way”…). If you’re a real pro, you can Jedi-mindtrick all your friends into loving it too. Alternatively, if you have amazing friends, they’ll probably be awesome enough to like the same songs. Those friends are ones worth keeping.

7. Utilize the Dance Test: ask yourself, “Would I dance to this song? Do I want  to dance to this song? Am I already dancing to this song as I craft this playlist?”. Like the Bend and Snap, this practice has a very high rate of success.

Happy Wekeend kiddos! xx CMQ

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