House DJ Pioneer Frankie Knuckles Dies at 59 – What Makes A Great DJ?
This week the music community lost a legend. Frankie Knuckles the renowned DJ, remixer and record producer passed away at the age of 59. His contributions to the music industry and DJ-ing are insurmountable. Talking with friends about Frankie’s mad skills got me thinking about what makes a great DJ.
Call it what you want – DJ, Mixer, Beat Juggler, Turntablist, or Mixologist – they are all pretty much one and the same. It’s the person behind the turntables, decks, ones & twos or wheels of steel whose manipulating the music and blending two or more songs into one. Mixing those beats that you never thought would fuse together and doin’ it when you least expected. Or, taking one song and remixing it live into a whole new sonic landscape. On the fly and totally improvised. When the DJ actually becomes one with the groove and melds him or herself into the musical fabric, it’s an amazing site to see and hear. They make their audience scream, dance, sweat and party at that club for hours after their alarm clock says they should’ve been making Z’s. There are various styles of DJing, tricks of the trade, types of gadgets and gear but what really makes a DJ great…is their ears!. Hearing the musicality of a wicked mix and holding the beat with only your ears as a guide…that’s what separates the good from the great. Frankie Knuckles was one of the best and a true legend. I know he will be keeping the mixes going cause heaven just got a new house mixer. Ain’t that the ultimate residency!
On this side of the pearly gates, get ready for some new mixes that are just jonesing to break loose. Beyoncé is gonna be “Drunk in Love” when she skids into Eminem’s “Headlights” and Tiesto’s “Red Lights” won’t be enough to stop Demi Lovato from singing “Neon Lights” when she’s ready. It’s a mad lit up party you don’t want to miss and we haven’t even talked about custom HK remixes yet. Oooooh Yeah…. clear the floor for Shakira featuring Rihanna – “Can’t Remember To Forget You”, Calvin Harris – “Summer”, Christina Perri – “Human”, and Neon Trees “Sleeping With A Friend” plus more banging remixes you have to hear to believe! It’s all going down right here on Hot 104.7 this Friday at 11pm when you’re In The Mix with HK™!