Photo above: from Music Central’s Open Air Photo Booth which was set up for the Masquerade Ball at Elsie Perrin Williams Estate. Just for fun, The Ring’s own Co-founder, Anne Warren, is the lovely lady in the middle.
Featured in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of The Wedding Ring ONTARIO Magazine
A Q&A WITH ROB AITKEN, OWNER & DJ, MUSIC CENTRAL ENTERTAINMENT, LONDON, ONTARIO
Rob Aitken, Owner of Music Central Entertainment (musiccentral.ca) recently reached a milestone that not many DJs in Canada have been able to get anywhere near; he DJ’d his 1000th wedding (not 1000th event. 1000th WEDDING) in November 2015 [click for video]. If that doesn’t make him an expert in the field of wedding music, we don’t know what does… So when the team at The Ring finally caught up with this busy pro, we asked him questions that surely that all brides & grooms would be wondering about…
AFTER 33 YEARS, WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE INDUSTRY?
Over the last 33 years there have been some major changes in weddings. Alcohol consumption has gone down due to drinking and driving awareness. There are fewer church weddings now then ever before which created the all in one location wedding that very frequently involves having your DJ at your ceremony. 10 years ago this just wasn’t heard of. And of course the digital age has affected everything from planning to photography to DJ’ing.
HOW HAS THE DIGITAL AGE AFFECTED THE DJ’S ROLE IN A WEDDING?
Before the digital age the DJ was the keeper of the music. Few people had a music collection the size and scope of a wedding DJ. The digital age brought affordable access (and easy storage) to everyone. Now the DJ has to create something beyond the music and individual songs. It’s about how songs are played, order, flow, beat and reading the crowd.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE ‘WEDDING DJ’ IN THE FUTURE?
The digital age brought the big change. IT leveled the playing field. The wedding DJ is a dying breed. Most DJ’s prefer the club environment where they entertain a crowd with a very specific demographic and typically, genre of music. The only thing they really need is personality and the ability to beat match too. Wedding DJ’s need to beat match but they also need to entertain an enormously eclectic crowd ranging in age from 15 to 95 who listen to all genres of music. The group of DJ’s that can and want to do this is shrinking. At Music Central we’ve always been wedding and event DJ’s.
WHY ARE YOU STILL DOING WEDDINGS?WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Passion! Every wedding is unique. We like to think of the wedding vendors, wedding party and guests as the soup. We’re all ingredients in making this day distinctly different and unique. It’s your wedding. We’re always looking for that spark, that magic moment from every wedding.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WEDDINGS SINCE IT’S THE CORE OF YOUR BUSINESS?
I love being a part of this special moment in their lives. I love the couples that love to dance.
When someone requests a song but then doesn’t dance. lol
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES MUSIC CENTRAL FROM EVERYONE ELSE IN THE INDUSTRY?
We’re more than just DJs. We help with the flow of the evening, planning the schedule. We have all this experience. And we’re happy to help. Just ask.
MOST MEMORABLE WEDDING MOMENTS FROM WEDDINGS OVER THE YEARS:
Those moments are what you’re always trying to achieve as a wedding DJ – that magic moment when the two parents, their kids and all the guests are on the dance floor and super enjoying themselves, or when two moms who don’t really even know each other yet are up dancing together, really having a blast… The magic moments aren’t scheduled – they just happen. Last Saturday I played until 4 in the morning and I would’ve kept going. Each group is different from one event to the other. That’s why it never gets boring, and that’s part of why I do weddings. Even after 1000 of them.
WHAT GETS A PARTY STARTED/MAKES IT SPECIAL?
It’s all about the crowd. The DJ needs to be in sync with the crowd. The crowd is ready to dance when they’re ready to dance. It’s just a DJ’s instinct/experience that lets them read the crowd and know what to play next. We can’t make the guests dance. But the bride and groom can. The more time the bride and/or groom spend on the dance floor the more time your guests will.
HOW DO YOU PREP FOR A SUCCESSFUL WEDDING?
We don’t use a template or an email or a checklist, nothing cookie cutter. Let’s talk.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU THINK EVERYONE (VENDOR OR BRIDE/GROOM) NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT WEDDING DJ?
Location! Location! Location! This is an important tip for everyone. Where you put the DJ affects the whole evening. If they’re too far away from the dance floor the music ends up being too loud and annoys the people in between the DJ and the dance floor. The DJ won’t be able to read the crowd properly if they can’t see the crowd. To have a great party, put the DJ near the dance floor!
An event at which Music Central Entertainment was the Disc Jockey. Photo: by HRM Photography (hrmphotography.com).
MORE ON MUSIC CENTRAL:
Music Central Entertainment is based out of London, has been in business for 33 years, has approximately 15 professional DJs on it’s team, and is a member of the BBB, the CDJA, is reviewed in TheWeddingRing.ca and has DJ’d events of all sizes, including The Ring’s own Brides’ Ball events.
Recently, the local wedding and events community collaborated on a video that was all about Music Central Entertainment. More specifically, about their experiences working with Rob! Click here.
Music Central specializes in London weddings and special events music, offering DJ services, live music, photo booths, lighting, karaoke and more.
This company comes highly recommended by some of the top venues in London and Southwestern Ontario, such as Delta London Armouries, Elm Hurst Inn, Elsie Perrin Williams Estate, FireRock Golf Club, Hessenland Country Inn, Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre, Best Western PLUS Lamplighter Inn, London Club, London Hunt Club, Museum London, Old Court House, Best Western PLUS Stoneridge Inn and many, many more.