One of the most rewarding musical careers paths one can follow is as a disk jockey (DJ). In this article we simply ask if this job should be limited to young people only. Personally I have been involved in playing music for over twenty years. During this time I have worked in night clubs, bars at big youth conferences in fact across a whole range of events. Now it is no secret that I am not getting any younger, in fact a couple of years ago I crossed the 40 milestone. So I guess my answer to the age of DJ’s will come from my own personal experience and perspective.
Now you may expect me to immediately say because of my own age that age does not matter in this job. But the fact is it can and does in certain circumstances for a couple of reasons.
1) Stamina – Unless you are exceptionally fit you will find it hard to maintain your energy levels as a career DJ working on the club scene as you get older. Most people do not appreciate the amount of hard work involved in the job. Just the hours themselves are physically punishing and as we get older it does therefore become harder.
2) Relevancy – Good DJ’s exude charisma and always connect with their audience. In fact this connection is an essential factor in a DJ’s success, they will understand exactly the world through the eyes of their audience in fact it is a generational matter. Therefore as a DJ gets older he will find it hard to make that connection with younger generations. The best he can do in these circumstances is to be gracious about it; there is nothing more tragic than someone trying to hold on to their youth.
Now does this mean that I think all middle aged jockeys should hang up their headphones and put away their vinyl selection? Of course not, but you do have to change and develop what you do.
For me now I take less late night bookings and specialise in audiences that are from my era and appreciate the genres I play. One thing about being slightly older is that you possess valuable experience which is definitely a big advantage. As a result my sets are polished and I have a huge collection of music to draw upon.
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