Entries in Why DJs Should Keep a Dance Chart (1)

Tuesday
Aug062013

Why I Chart

Recently a few people have asked me why I bother to keep a monthly DJ chart, so I thought I'd name my reasons and touch on some of the potential benefits in keeping a chart for DJs in general.

First off I'll explain what my chart actually is. It's essentially a fantasy dance chart. I DJ every weekend, but I do so "professionally." Meaning I play 90% Top 40. The music you'll find on my chart is generally not music I get to play at gigs. The chart is more of a chronicle of what I'm into and what I'm likely to drop in sets for online mixes and occasional hobbyist gigs. I believe there are lots of DJs in my same boat, so I can't say I feel bad about maintaining the chart in this way.

So onto the million-dollar question: Why do I chart? The short answer is because I like sharing music. Many DJs are stingy with their findings and—to be fair—often have perfectly sensible reasons for being that way. I don't think there's anything wrong with being a stingy DJ, but it's just not my angle. I've always had music-related hobbies, and they've always been about sharing my thoughts and findings. Charting is simply the next link in the chain for me in that respect.

Charting is also a way for me to be structured and diligent about finding new music. It's a chore but a really fun one. It's an excuse to zone out once a month and spend hours upon hours finding new music. I'd be doing this anyway, but the monthly chart really helps keep me in check.

It's a way to create unique content. DJs typically don't have ample amounts of content to push online. Producer/DJs do, but I think it's a fair assumption that most DJs are not producers. Many are, but most aren't. So for those of us in the majority, there aren't a ton of obvious ways to create content online aside from cranking out mixes left and right, but that's not always practical. A chart is valid content, and content increases visibility.

But above all that, keeping this chart is about looking ahead. All the labor that goes into being a DJ won't be lost in the ether. I'll be able to refer back to these charts years from now. Decades even.

If you've kept up with AiMT for a while and are perhaps dissatisfied with the drop in content, just think of each chart as 10 individual blog posts. Only I skip the writeups go straight into the music. If you've opted out of listening to the charts altogether because you favor single blog posts, then at least do me the favor of trying the charts. A lot of love goes into them—believe me.