Poplock Paul asks Dj Les Dickens 'Why do you believe Music is so important especially in these strange times?'
Bognor’s Music Scene.
Well, by now you probably realise I love my music and I mean I really do but what is music?
To some its the current chart, to others its a particular genre, music however, is a multitude of genres and performers and spreads out commercially well over 80 years. They key thing I think to remember about music is to embrace and love it.
Music lets not forget has been around in Chart form since the 50s. That’s a lot of number one hit singles and even more that didn’t make it. 70 years worth of hits and memories that transcend across generations and families and countries of the world. All touched at some point by something they heard on the radio by chance or by regularly listening to the weekly chart shows in their bedrooms.
Music is life. I believe this wholeheartedly, memories, passion and enjoyment, no matter what the genre as its a personable thing. One artist may be legendary to one but not to another. One genre may be the ultimate style to one but not to another. My own personal tastes vary depending on my mood or what I am doing. Background music sets a tone, not necessarily what you’d want while driving let’s say. Yes music is a powerful medium and in the right place and the right time is a perfect accompaniment to whatever you are doing.
Music has evolved over the decades for sure but we must remember that all evolution still maintains elements of its origin. There is some brilliant original music out there and again some great re workings of past brilliance too. This is a great song, yeah its a rework of a 70s classic, no way the 70s were a weird era. Everyone’s attitude to music is different and that is fine, life is different for everyone. Music however is out there to be heard and found and understood. It is nice to see faces light up when the right song is played and memories are evoked. It is great to be in a position to tell someone occasionally the origin of the track they are listening to or indeed the progression of the career of the artist that is performing it.
Music is a history lesson of life and culture within our Country and the past must never be forgotten as it also influences the future. I love performing now as a DJ because it gives me the opportunity to present a journey every time I play.
What is my style? Well to be honest I did mention in my first answer that there are a few out there that only play one genre and are very skilled within that. They specialise in that and do sometimes put on big nights with that one particular genre as the theme. The problem there is of course sustainability as it quickly become samey if it’s done all the time.
Music is a release, it’s a drug, it’s a passion, memory invoking moments whereby life is forgotten and people immerse themselves in nostalgia (whether that be from 50 years ago or two weeks ago) and they forget about worries and troubles while you play something that puts them into a happy place.
Music is more powerful than most realise, it is everywhere and all around us, consciously or subconsciously. Why do I know that song? Where have I heard that before? We gather our knowledge from a variety of sources and of course now it’s available everywhere. However its production and performance need to be respected. As a professional DJ you are harnessing an amazing tool and knowledge of the music is what will bring your audience the best evening.
Can you just buy the latest NOW album and play it making the night a great success? No guarantee of that no sir. This list I played last night was awesome will it work again? No guarantee of that no sir. Every audience is different and every mood of the audience is different, how they felt yesterday doesn’t mean they’re gonna feel the same today, therefore something different is needed. Our knowledge as a DJ can give them that.
So what is music? A moment in time where enjoyment and escapism can surface for the listener. Let’s not forget the entertainer too, you’ve created that atmosphere for them to do that escapism and with careful observation instead of constant head down you will see these moments and that in turn creates moments for yourself that make your night as well as theirs.
My own style is to entertain, this has been said many times, can I play just the one genre, yes of course I can, I like though to play longer sets where I can read the audience and take them on a musical journey from start to finish. It is important to understand that people don’t always want to dance straight away or even dance in front of everyone. Too much criticism is out there with the introduction of social media into the music scene and of course instant photography, instagram, snapchat etc and some while enjoying themselves don’t always want to be in the forefront. I am proud and happy to say that I create an atmosphere where people feel relaxed enough to o dance where ever they stand. If that’s around their own tables then that’s cool with me, at the bar, no problem in a group of friends then that school too. Yes if they make it to the dance floor than even better but I’m not one of those come on get to the dance floor kinda people. Let the music do the talking and let the audience do the enjoying. My favourite evenings are building it up slowly and finishing it fast, spending the evening lifting spirits and releasing memories and moments where people can indeed let themselves go and enjoy the atmosphere I create within the venue I perform in. I don’t shout me me me as I just get enough watching the enjoyment through music of others. Hence my own style is multi genre multi decade. Quite often said I have no idea what’s coming next but when it does it’s yet another great tune.
I will always do what is asked of me and certainly now more than ever escapism and enjoyment through music, current right the way back to the start, through genres and artists is a powerful coping mechanism for a lot of people. Knowing I have made a difference and brought a smile is what makes this magical journey worth it to me. I am humbled at the opportunity to be able to do that. Right through Karaoke nights, weddings, Dj nights and more, the ability to affect someone’s state of mind with the music you play is an honour.