Matty Wainwright and Paul T of The DJ Dispensary were in the Capital to impart valuable tips to experienced deejays and wannabes

In a country where aspiring to become an engineer might still elicit approving encouragement from all around you, and that of becoming an actor might raise a few eyebrows, the desire to become a deejay will in all likelihood draw a confused blank from many. As Matty Wainwright, founder and deejay at The DJ Dispensary, U.K. speaks of what made him think of tutoring deejaying, his description of the scene in England back in the ’90s is uncannily similar to what one might make of it in India today. Mostly underground barring a few cities, barely understood and hardly considered a viable career path by most.

Even so, with an increased awareness as well as availability of equipment and opportunities at least in the metros, The DJ Dispensary’s initiative to be an antidote to mechanical, unimaginative deejaying seems to have found some enthusiastic takers.

In the Capital as part of the Vivanta by Taj’s “Sound Lab” series with a three-day DJ Retreats or workshops held across three cities in India, DJs Matty and Paul T. are offering a chance to aspiring deejays to hone their skills at the turntables professionally. “We’ve learnt from our mistakes as a DJ over time, and what took us a couple of years to learn ourselves we can get over to other people in a much shorter timeframe with better technology as well,” says Matty.

Their DJ Retreats are classrooms to all kinds of enthusiasts — those who already have a basic working knowledge of deejaying as well as those who have no knowledge of it.

“Those for whom this is a completely new experience are a lot of fun to teach especially because of the reactions you get from them every time they learn how to do something they haven’t done before. Something as simple as playing a CD backwards or putting in an effect gets them so excited and it’s really great to watch them learn. With people who come in with prior knowledge, we often come to a point where we need to work to undo some things that they’ve taught themselves the wrong way. Having said that, people who come in knowing stuff already are usually interested in understanding the deeper workings of things, which is fun to do for us as well,” he points out, adding that their experience at the Retreat in Gurgaon has been great, with the first session having been almost every student’s first time and “therefore complete chaos” but a whole lot of fun!

An important part of what they teach is “having a good time yourself as you play”, adapting to crowds and venues, taking risks and mixing up genres of music to come up with a set you can call entirely your own, be happy with and proud of.