Earlier this month we sat down with one of our member DJ’s, David Partridge aka DJ Furious George, from Toronto, Canada. He shared comments around music pools, zipDJ, monkeys, and life on the road as a mobile DJ. Our DJ community is the backbone of our brand culture, so hearing our resident DJs’ stories, backgrounds, and perspectives on our industry is always a treat.
Just like the music flowing through the veins of our industry vary greatly from song to song, album to album, so do the personalities and playing styles change from DJ to DJ.
Without further adue,
David Partridge aka DJ Furious George
Raised by a DJ, David was introduced to the art and craft of mixing from a young age. His first mixtape was recorded at 9 years old and he played to his first crowd at 13.
As President of the University of Waterloo DJ club for 3 years, he also successfully trained and help begin the careers of many other DJ’s. Now with over 10 years of DJing experience, David has become known for his smooth flowing mixes, usage of keys and harmonic mixing. David is known to flow his crowds through a night-long journey of soundscapes & ever-changing beats to keep the dance floor bumpin’!
zipDJ: So, tell us the road you took in becoming a mobile DJ.
David: My father was a mobile DJ, which was an advantage not many DJ’s have. He always had lots of audio equipment for me to tinker with, and tons of music for me to be exposed to at a young age. He used to bring me to gigs when I was little to help him carry all the gear and records (there was so much more stuff back then!), and eventually he started to let me mix a bit. He definitely taught me a lot about reading and working a crowd!
zipDJ: What’s kept you behind the turntables all these years? Passion for the club scene, the music, or something else?
David: It’s my love for music and my desire to try and get people to feel what I feel in the music. When I listen to a song and the adrenaline flows and my heart gets pumping, I want to drop that song in a club and watch everyone else feel the same thing. It’s an electric feeling when you spin that track and watch everyone’s arms go in the air and watch them jump up and down like crazy.
zipDJ: What inspired you to create the zipDJ mix?
David: The inspiration for the zipDJ mix(es) is just pure adrenaline. I make mixes to get pumped up and share good music with people, and since I’ve been getting all that music from zipDJ, I feel it’s important to give them credit too
Click here to listen to DJ Furious George’s Club Mix (Made exclusively with music from zipDJ!)
zipDJ: Speaking of inspiration, are you allowed to tell us why you picked ‘Furious George’ as your DJ Name? (is there a cool story behind it?)
David: It’s probably my reputation for punching out other DJ’s (just kidding!). I’ve always been told I look like a monkey, and Curious George was very popular in my house growing up. When I started DJing I had a bit more of a temper too, and people told me I looked really angry while spinning. After a party one night, someone had made a comment on how much I looked like an angry monkey, and then Furious George was born! I thought it was catchy too, and people seem to remember the name.
zipDJ: How many weekends a year do you spend on the road?
David: I haven’t ever kept a solid count, but I’d ballpark somewhere in the range of 20-30.
zipDJ: Would you say it’s important for DJ’s to join a digital music pool? If so, how does it help you stay on top of the mobile DJ’ing game?
David: I think digital record pools are totally where it’s at. It’s the closest you can get to the record labels to grab music hot of the press, and it’s the best way to define a unique style as a DJ since you are selecting from a pool of unfiltered music. When a DJ is selecting music from commercial stores or other music sources, it is usually filtered (meaning, someone has already selected that song for you to hear, usually based on how much $$ they will make from you buying it).
In a [digital] record pool, YOU select the music, YOU are the filter, and this makes your style more authentic and unique. Plus, it’s also really cool breaking new music. I love the feeling of playing a brand new song to a crowd and knowing that you are the first person to expose them to that song. When you hear people blasting that song days later in your area, you can’t help but wonder if you contributed to that.
zipDJ: What other tricks do you use to stay on top of the latest music?
David: I follow the zipDJ charts obviously, and I’ll check the charts of other zipDJ DJ’s on occasion. Sometimes I’ll browse music blogs, and other times I’ll turn on the radio to hear what they’re supporting. But I think the best trick is to just listen to what other people talk about and ask them lots of musical questions.
Often, I see other DJ’s in social settings try to take control of music conversations and they only want to talk about the music they love, I guess because they think since they’re a DJ, they have to dominate a musical conversation. Personally, when I’m not spinning I like to listen to people and hear what they have to say about music. It keeps my mind open, and after all, it’s THEM I am DJing for.
zipDJ: What are the top tricks you use to maintain the right vibe, and keep the crowd moving?
- Harmonic mixing, reading the crowd, and patience.
- I feel that properly mixing in key is the best way to connect to and channel people’s emotions on the dance floor. When two records clash keys, it can really kill a vibe… but good key progression can make the difference between an “ok” dance, and a full on emotional experience.
- Reading the crowd is essential for any DJ to be successful. You might think your crowd is going to dig a certain genre, but if after a few tracks they are not moving, you need to switch it up!
- More patience. I see a lot of young DJ’s blasting out peak-time tracks too early in the night. I know it’s tempting when you’re trying to get the party started to reach into your heavy-hitting tracks, but saving them until later in the night will have a much bigger impact!
zipDJ: Any other tips you’d like to share with your fellow DJ’s?
David: If you’re having a tough time getting a dance floor going, play for the ladies! Once the girls are on the floor, the boys will follow. Females are generally much less inhibited with dancing than males, playing for them will ignite the flame you are looking for.
zipDJ: Any pet peeves that you have while spinning? And if so, how do you deal with them?
David: I have a few pet peeves, but one for sure is when people make outrageous requests for songs, and think you’re an a__hole for not playing them. For example, last Friday I was spinning at a club for a university event, and around peak time I drop “One – Swedish House Mafia”, and some girl comes to the DJ booth and requests “Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden” for her and her boyfriend to slow dance to.
When I kindly told her “no”, she rolled her eyes, huffed at me, and stormed off. 600+ people are going bananas on the dance floor and she requests a slow dance, then thinks I’m an a__ for not playing it… WTF?!? That drives me nuts.
zipDJ: Haha! Well, David I’m sure that’s a battle DJ’s all around the world have been fighting for years and years. We’re sure you’re handling it perfectly well. Thanks very much for taking the time to sit with us!