Hello from a sister in New York!
December 16, 2013 at 11:02 pm #40281
Hello everyone! My name is Laura Smith (aka DJ Sammla). I am a very new and very beginner DJ, still learning how to put together a good mix. I’ve loved C-EDM for years (my first C-EDM album was World Wide Message Tribe’s “Revived”), but for the most part I never even realized there was more to the genre than that first CD I bought o so many years ago…
I’ve been doing sound engineering off and on for my church for longer than I’ve even known about C-EDM (I refuse to get into how old I am…). Recently my husband and my minister asked my to replace my husband behind the mixer so my husband would be able to get his heart’s desire of being able to completely focus on worshipping God during the worship service. Since I have always had the conviction that serving God in the worship service is my best spiritual act of worship I could give, I agreed immediately.
My minister then handed me a thumb drive of music he wanted me to “play before the service”. I cringed listening to the stuff — some of it sounded like tracks of the music used to train our worship team (a cappella)…and some of it sounded like it was meant to be played to the toddlers’ Sunday School class. My first thought was “I can pull together better music than this in my sleep”. So after getting my minister’s permission, I put together a playlist of standard CCM stuff on Spotify and worked off of that for about a month. It was fine, but I got bored of it *quick*.
It was then that I thought about another pet peeve I have when it comes to some of my church’s events, *especially* some of the wonderful retreats we host during the year. They’re spectacular events, filled with great spiritual teaching and worship; but then right smack dab in the middle of the weekend, everybody ‘kicks back’…with a wedding reception. A worldly hotel party with usually not particularly spectacular food and pounding worldly (though usually fairly tame) party music. All. Night. Long. Hands down this party has always been my least favorite part of these events.
So I got to thinking: was there enough danceable Christian music out there to be able to have a great dance party that still glorifies God? I started surfing around and found this site among many others…and a huge collection of music to work from on Spotify. I made a basic mix’tape’ and played it before service that Sunday. My minister *loved* it. He said it gave entering church an energy similar to walking into a rock concert.
Ever since (and this was only about six weeks ago, to be honest) I’ve been determined to learn how to DJ with a focus on Christian Progressive House, Trance, Techno and danceable Pop music. If this grows into anything beyond church, I want to use the name DJ Sammla, which is an acronym of the end of Psalm 27:6 — “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.” (I added ‘Almighty’ to the end of the acronym to make it a more pronounceable name.)
God has blessed me with a huge opportunity that most beginner DJs don’t get. I have 45 minutes – 1 hour of time at the beginning of service (although my tapes are rarely shorter than 1 hour and 15 minutes) and 15-20 minutes after service ends to play *whatever music God moves me to play*. My church skews *very* young: probably at least half the church is under the age of 30, and our campus ministry is dynamic and a major focus of the church. We don’t have an organist (or all that many musicians, for that matter), and ‘traditional’ music is not on the popular end of the scale. (People enjoy it, but in limited quantities.) This gives me a really nice amount of freedom in terms of programming. My last mixtape included World Wide Message Tribe, a solid chunk of G-Powered, and tracks from Mandisa, Burlap to Cashmere, Britt Nicole and Royal Tailor. I *love* playing this stuff, and the music has been very well received almost across the board. (Only complaint so far? Too loud. )
Sooooo…..I’m hoping you guys can help me kick things up another notch.
1) I’m in the middle of putting together a mix of high-energy Christmas music to be used as part of Sunday’s Christmas Service. Anyone know of any great Christmas music that I just *have* to add to the mix?
2) Once life gets back to ‘normal’ in January, I’d love any leads on great C-EDM worship music to work into the weekly mixes.
3) My church is having an “International Sunday” on January 26th. I’d love to expand the mix to be primarily Christian Latin, Hip Hop and Reggae…but I know nothing about Reggae and don’t speak enough Spanish to screen Latin music. I know I’m going to use some tracks from JDR’s “Ultra Empire”, but beyond that…I’m at a loss. Anyone got some good recommendations?
Have a great Christmas, everyone! I you’ll at least post to say hi to the new girl even if you can’t help. Thanks!December 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm #40284
Hi sister, I’m new here too. I’m sure the old timers will soon chime in and give you a good steer on what’s out there. Keep praying!December 20, 2013 at 10:32 am #40301
sounds to me like you got it going on girl.. just remember first priority should be producing fruit for the kingdom when you loose sight of that it gets ugly… maybe your not the one making disciples but if the music is there the people will come.. “I THINK” and that’s apparently your job… so take your job a serious as a heart attack… best wishes… “MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU” heheJuly 22, 2014 at 1:47 am #40577
Somehow I was led to click on your post as the very first post I ever clicked in the new member thread!
All I have to say is if you feel called to do it DON’T GIVE UP. I love doing this DJ mixing and I have my own life, marriage and a full time job. There is so much to learn, study and practice. go on youtube a little and discover some of the skills available to DJing (loop, cue, hot cue, effects, sampling, syncing, Camlelot wheel, etc.). It does take time to learn, study and research (including legal issues such as public performance). I’m still learning and right now I am reaching out on forums to get my music heard beyond my social network on Facebook.
I wish you all the best!
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