There's nothing wrong with taking a few requests, but don't feel the need to fulfill them all. DJs are hired to deliver a service, and sometimes that means dealing with criticism.Different scenarios will call for different responses, but remaining respectful is a rule of thumb that will always help your case, no matter what route you decide to take.
Here are 5 Tips for DJ's to handle Song Requests
1) Say Yes (In these circumstances) :
If someone suggests a great song and you think the request could mix well into your set, give it a go. But if you think the BPM or Genre or energy of the song is too different from what you are currently playing then you don't need to oblige the request and risk upsetting the crowd & the energy on the dance floor. If the request comes directly from the venue owner, the event host, or the bride/groom - then you're going to want to accommodate. Bottom line, be professional and show respect to the person cutting your cheque.
2) Dont say a hard No. Be Diplomatic :
Avoid saying a hard NO (Eff Off) to someone on their face. Everyone has ego issues you know and it's not a wise idea to hurt someone's ego. If a person seems unreasonable, just listen to the request and then do nothing. A situation where a straight " I cannot play the request" response is acceptable is if the request, is for a song you already played earlier in the night. There will always be drunk people, people who claim to be a DJ or people who have a very entitled attitude. Be sure to remain professional and keep your cool in these situations. It's not worth your energy. If the person continues to bug you, escalate to «'ll play it soon - I promide! " & keep procrastinating. They'll eventually get tired & give up.
3) Consider Requests While Setting Expectations :
The key is to set honest expectations and to offer positive acknowledgment. Tell them:
"Great song but it doesn't really fit into the mix right now. Whenever I find a spot where it could work, l'Il definitely play it."
This approach is usually better than a hard NO because there's less risk of the person feeling disrespected. If they're with a group, they have a better story to tell their friends than, "The DJ said 'No', let's leave."
4) Use Requests to your advantage :
Requests are a very good way to build up a night and energy on the dance floor and can be used to your advantage. You get a overall sense of what the crowd in the room wants from the requests that are being placed. If you are playing Genre X and you are consistently getting requests for Genre Y then you should derinitely try & switch to Genre Y & notice the reactions on the dancefloor. If you see happy faces then you should steer in the direction of Genre Y. Also requests are a great way to learn about the popular songs of another genre that you aren't familiar with. I learnt the names of all the Rock Music classics from the requests I used to get when I was a resident DJ at a pub in Delhi.
5) Politely Lie :
What happens when someone asks, "Do you have anything we can dance to ?
Just tell the person that you don't have it, even if you really do. Your set and the rest of the crowd are more important than satisfying a single person who doesn't even know how to place a request respectfully. And remember the club owner, managers, or promoters may be listening, so don't lose your spot just because of a request. And no, you can't "just play it from YouTube" because you don't have WI-Fi & an Aux Cable. Sorry!
Side Note : If for any reason you couldn't oblige a person who respectfully gave you a request, you can apologize to them later for not being able to play their song, if they are still around after the night is over. Any resonable person will appreciate this gesture of yours and will return to hear you out again knowing you are not cocky & care about the people on the dancefloor.
This is something i personally do at my events. Doing so doesn't make you a smaller person or artist. For most of the DJs we are there for the crowd not the other way around. Be nice & try to oblige requests whenever you can. Build resilience & ignore the rude/drunk people who misbehave. Its part of the job.