If you think you are amazing right from the beginning, how do you improve? I knew I sucked for a while on the 1200s and needed daily practice to get it down. From early on I started recording everything and to this day I have the tendency to tear myself apart for every imperfect mix – when I listen back to my set I listen more closely to error than the good parts. I have to stop myself sometimes and remember to just enjoy the music.
It’s not my favorite characteristic of myself – self-criticism and the quest for perfection – but it does make me better. For at least 15 years I have recorded every mix I’ve done, bedroom or live, and listened back with keen attention to learn about how my tracks flow together.
Self-criticism has to be kept in check though. I remember early on in the 90s I played a set I wasn’t happy and someone came up after and say how much they loved it. I said something like, “really? I didn’t like it that much.” I could see how it deflated my excited new fan’s mood and I learned that in such situations answering with a humble thank-you was much better!
Looking back at 2018, my self-critical side says I wish I had kept up Modern Dj Musings better. Keeping that it check, I realize that posting the column 20 times this year isn’t bad at all. Some of the posts got a lot of attention, I gained some new respect and following, but most importantly I heard from many newer djs how they thought the column was really helpful.
2018 was a crazy year for me, the year I quit my job to pursue Dj-ing and event organization full-time. I got in a great flow with focus on djing and blogging February to May then got consumed in a wave of events and touring and found it hard to keep up with. Well at least I’m not still trying to teach full-time on top of it all. And I got to finish the year on Maui!
Looking ahead to 2019 i don’t want to beat myself up for what I didn’t accomplish this year… but to renew intention and hope to move forward with a fresh start.
Some things I am looking to accomplish? To keep this column more steady, and archive it on my website (launching rt after the new year). To find more time for music production – a lifelong challenge for me but I have not given up! And of course to host the most amazing Tropical Oasis Retreat on Maui I can while continuing to enjoy life island life with my family!
Wishing everyone an amazing new year and all the best in 2019!