Wednesday, August 23, 10:30 – 11:30 am
After deciding what music format is right for your club — and why — how do you successfully convey the strategy behind that format to everyone in the club, including the entertainers, managers and owners? Find out during the “Can you hear me now” EXPO seminar!
reative taste is subjective, especially when it comes to music. Nobody’s going to agree on the best track. Even here at ED Publications, the sounds flowing out of our offices would give a person whiplash to walk through. In the nightclub, individual music taste can be a constant source of argument: What’s the “right” music to play to please the whole crowd, which might range 21-65? And to get the money flowing? Should the DJ be playing what they like or what they’ve studied? And what about the dancer — should she have a say in what she comes on stage to?
Regardless of what music format a club decides on, staff in all positions can at least agree that they ought to agree on something. In the 2023 EXPO music seminar Can you hear me now?, industry professionals from DJ to dancer to club manager share their strategies for keeping peace on the set list.
Danny Meyers is head DJ at Diamonds Cabaret in Dayton, Ohio. He also runs the “What’s HOT in the Strip Clubs” podcast, which features the PANDA Top 20, the top 20 songs that are being played in strip clubs all around the country. Meyers makes it a daily practice to study music trends. But how does he decide what to play when 100,000 songs are added to Spotify everyday?
“I always look for a pop-sounding format,” says Meyers, who has been a DJ for almost 50 years. “And when I say ‘pop-sounding,’ it doesn’t have to be a pop song, but it has to have a pop feel to it. TikTok and Spotify Top 20 are the two that I use a lot.”
Someone who has worked in the adult entertainment industry for 20 years — as a house dancer, a feature entertainer and in a managerial capacity — Bambi Wilde has seen the impact that music formats can have on the club and the entertainers alike.
“While, as a dancer, I prefer electronic music or rock remixes with a fast beat, I’ll really dance to whatever,” says Wilde, noting that as a dancer originally from New Zealand, she typically would not select her own music. “A lot of the clubs that I danced at in New Zealand, it was like, whatever came on while you were on stage was what you danced to, so I sort of had training in regard to trusting the DJ and what the club wanted to play.
“But when I worked as a club manager, I had a lot of girls that wanted to dance to really slow R&B, and I don’t think they realized that it was actually a hindrance to themselves, because it wouldn’t make them more money, it would put people to sleep,” Wilde continues. “As a manager I’ve never really had an issue with with DJs, but I have told guys off for playing music that was too slow or had the ‘N’ word in it too many times, or music that had gunshots in it. What you really want is something that’s a bit more upbeat, especially at nighttime. When people are drinking, they want party music.”
Fast or slow, rap, hip-hop, pop, rock or country, whatever you choose, how do you get the whole club on board with this decision?
“You try very hard to please everyone in the room,” says Meyers, “But you can’t stay too down the middle, because that sounds boring. But as the DJ, you really have to cater to all — the owner who controls your employment, the entertainer who controls how much money you’re going to make that night and the guests who control whether the club’s going to be open tomorrow.”
For more information on Danny Meyers and to listen to the “What’s HOT in the Strip Clubs” podcast, visit djdannymeyers.com. For more on Bambi Wilde, follow her Twitter @bambi_wilde.