A Guide To The Craft Of Opening Up The Dance Floor By DESNA

opening dj guide by desna

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York DESNA represents the next generation of modern techno, making her mark in the music industry.

The New York native released her first EP of 2020 titled ‘Jugar’ featuring a collaboration with Bulgarian artist Metodi Hristov on the ‘Call If Found’ record. The EP has elements of ominous energy yet, permeates mystical elements of euphoric techno with its haunting baselines and moments of ‘shut your eyes and just dance.’

As a former resident DJ at Brooklyn’s Output [R.I.P], DESNA shares her insider tips, which are critical to the craft of opening up the dance floor.

Be aware of the room’s vibe

Whether you’re opening or closing a party, you have to be aware of where the crowd is at and where they need to go. That is the art of deejaying and you have to be keen to keep a flow of movement in the room without maxing it out for hours or being too soft. There is finesse in grabbing a crowd’s attention and taking them for your musical ride.

Pre-plan peak moments

I usually generally outline what I think I’m going to play and this works well in cities I’ve played over and over, but in new environments artists usually have to be more fluid and open to people responding slightly different. Knowing your tracks that grab a rooms attention time and time again are essential to me. I think being really familiar with your music is so important. That’s why I don’t completely change my music out for every show.

If you’re not headlining be considerate

If you’re direct support for someone else, you can definitely have your shine and keep a memorable set! Having been direct support for many respected artists, I have become really seasoned on how to set up someone else. It’s imperative to get the room hot and bothered for the next person but not satisfying them entirely so they cannot wait for what’s next. That’s a true skill and if you can master it you are a real DJ in my eyes!

Take every gig seriously

No matter how big or small a party is, you never know who’s listening. I’ve played for 4 people and thousands of people and give myself fully to both situations. If you’re truly passionate about the art of deejaying, then even on a slow event you still have fans or possible new fans listening. Another obvious one is know your “party” limit. The basic theme here is just be respectful of the venue and promoter who booked you.

Every part of the night is important

When artists work in synergy that’s when the magic happens. I’ve had some gigs that just flowed with so much ease, passion, and energy that I was flying high off of it for days after. That isn’t achieved by one person, that is actually synced energies from the start to end of an event. We are all bodies of energy contributing to an experience. The crowd, the artists, and patrons running the venue, are all contributing to how the night feels. I’ve walked on to a stage before with immediate goosebumps before even playing a track. That is synergy.

desna techno dj


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