Radio 1 presenter Annie Mac goes behind the scenes.
Speaking to Clash, series presenter – and superstar DJ in her own right – Annie Mac talked about what skills a DJ needs to break into the upper tier.
“Is it an innate skill for the mix, or can someone with a strong personality stand out beside quieter but more talented DJs? I think that, like with anything, if you want to get really, really good at this, you have to practise, all the time,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re big on the underground or popular with the mainstream, if you’re going to make it then you need to have a relentless schedule. These people never stop. You look at some of these DJs, those on the show, and the amount of gigs that they have in a year. They might be playing on 340 nights of the year. It’s like, how? How do you do that? So these people dedicate their lives to it.”
Social networking and a strong personality also go a long way, and these days DJs are increasingly expected to produce their own tracks too, she added.
“Disclosure were famous before they even knew how to DJ. They told us that they showed up to their first DJ gig without a clue how to beatmatch. They didn’t know what to do – and yet they were making their own, really good music. But what’s more important, these days? I think there is a case that you can do one without the other.”
Watch the trailer below and catch the first episode, focusing on Tiësto, on Wednesday, June 25, at midnight. Next up is Seth Troxler, then Disclosure, Fatboy Slim and Diplo in the last episode on July 23.
Superstar DJs is the latest in a flurry of music docs on Channel 4, including programmes on jungle, Bristol’s bass legacy, Balearic and UK garage as part of Music Nation.