A friend of mine asked me a few years ago if I could help him compile a playlist for his wedding. I asked him why doesn’t he have a proper DJ to run the musical aspect of such an important event. His gaze took hold of the ground and he admitted, they essentially ran out of funds once the venue, caterer and other essentials were paid for. I asked him if I could play his wedding as a gift. He offered what little they had left and I asked for half. I told him to keep quiet about it as grateful tears welled up in his eyes.
The wedding was a great success, the reception went off without a hitch. They were amongst some of the happiest couples I ever had the pleasure to work with. As the dancing went on, I noticed an elderly couple make their way to dance floor when I would drop the old Soul and Funk tracks. They became my focus as I tried to keep these two dancing. Eventually, the rest of the dancing crowd began to take notice of the older couple and created an open space for them to dance in the middle whilst the rest of the family cheered them on. It was awesome to say the very least. He smiled at her with a love I hoped to one day have and she held on to him beaming with joy.
The night drew to a close and the older couple came up to me to thank me for a great evening; they were drenched in sweat. He told me he hadn’t danced with his bride “for years, until tonight….” I was humbled. Here was this couple who have been married for decades showing these youngin’s how its done and done right. He admitted when he was living in Brooklyn, as a youth, he would sneak down into the basement of his synagogue and “secretly listen” to Aretha Franklin, James, Brown, Otis… all the classics. “We weren’t supposed to listen to that stuff back then, but I couldn’t help but want to dance to it…” He had the same tearful eyes his grandson had when he spoke to me. He thanked me and said I did a really “good thing, tonight…” and winked. He handed me some folded bills and patted my shoulder. He introduced his sweet wife and she told me to lean in so she could hug me for thanks. It was one of those moments I could never have expected nor plan for being a DJ. I told them the thanks was all mine and they smiled the biggest smiles.
They both walked away slowly, holding hands, in love. Still.
This is why I DJ.