How music requests work here at SIM

By Adrian Cavlan

Hey there!

You know - I just stopped to think about how many requests we have taken over the years here at SIM and I suddenly started to get lightheaded… the room started spinning and I … I …Whew! OK - let’s just say it is A LOT!!!!

Requests are a funny thing. DJs who consider themselves “artistes” or whatever are typically quite smug and disdainful when people ask them to play their favorite songs.

“I mean really, I am the music expert… the curator… the docent… I mean, what I am really trying to say is that I am the STAR, ok? And how dare you come up to me and tell me what you think I should be playing! YOU should instead be marvelling at my brilliance, creativity and impossible hipness.You hear all this music I am playing that you don’t know? Well, let me tell you - it’s simply that you don’t know them YET. Within the next few months you will begin to hear these songs everywhere (because of me, thank you) and you will LOVE them, and yet there I will be at that time, still 6 months ahead of you, because that is how cool I am, OK?”

Well, then. So much for being made happy, right?

But what about the DJ who considers himself an “artistic service provider”? What will happen when you ask him or her to play your favorite song?

Well, let’s take a look:

Because a client (maybe the bride and groom or the company’s Director of HR) has hired him/her to provide music for the day, that DJ will likely first consider any request made with regard to how it relates to his client’s pre-stated desires for the event.

For example:

  1. Is the request for Metallica’s “Creeping Death” BUT the client clearly stated that they wanted an upbeat mix of Oldies and Top 40 for this event?

  2. Does the request appear on the client’s pre-made list of Do Not Play songs? We actually have two categories of these for all of our clients: Do Not Play No Matter What, and Do Not Play Unless Requested. It’s a distinction that we feel is an important one to provide to our clients to make sure they get exactly what they want and nothing they absolutely DON’T at their event!

Then, he or she may look at what is happening at the moment at the party and decide if it’s the right time to play the request at that moment.For example:

  1. It’s mid-way through dinner and a person comes up and requests “Jump Around” by House Of Pain. Great throwback, but perhaps we should wait until dinner’s over and we get the crowd started up a bit before slamming them with that loud, fun (and awesome) track.

  2. The dance floor is packed and the DJ is playing right from the hit-filled request list of the bride and groom, and suddenly a person comes up and requests “Swingin’ Doors” by Merle Haggard. I mean, dang - what a great request, but perhaps we can wait for a little bit of a lull in the action and/or play it coming out of the cake cutting or some other natural break in the program, where we can really give it the special attention and place it deserves without just blowing apart the whole dance floor because Uncle Bill “had to hear it right now”.

But here’s the good - no, GREAT - news: We here at SIM pride ourselves on playing 90+ % of the requests we get. We make a genuine effort to make that happen. Why? Because we know without ANY doubt why we are at your party. There is only one reason and one objective: to make you and your guests happy! That’s IT!

So, bring on those requests! Now we hope you have a little bit more of an idea as to how we think about that process and how we incorporate them into the music program of the day.


Adrian Cavlan