This is the fourth and final video of our four part interview series; a chance to give our readers, potential clients, and even past clients a glimpse into the lives of our DJ's. This week we'll introduce J Clark Anderson. He's known for his outgoing personality, dance moves, true passion for music, and having a good time at every event he's a part of!
Just like the holidays come and go before we know it, so has the year flown by for our team at Snyder Entertainment. As 2015 comes to an end, its time to pay homage to two members of our team that are hard working, music maniacs also known as our DJ’s; Brian and Brad were able to rewind back to the beginning of the year to recall some of the best moments and music, and let me put a final chapter in our 2015 DJ Diaries series. When I began thinking about this entry, I quickly jotted down a list of pretty basic interview questions. Knowing that with the creative team we have here at Snyder, and the great time we all had in 2015, I knew this would be a fun post to work on. The collection of highlights from the individual interviews gives us a glimpse back to the year’s most memorable moments and music from some of our DJ’s perspective. Our team offers insight on topics like they’re #1 requested songs, favorite events, spotlight on unique venues, and their favorite Snyder Entertainment add-on. I mean who knew Brian enjoyed the Mowtown hit “Get Up Off Of That Thang” so much that he plays it at every event, or that Brad would be requested to play “Gangsta’s Paradise” every hour at a 4.5 hour event?! There are so many good memories these guys were able to recall, so here are some of Snyder Entertainments best highlights from 2015. Enjoy!
It's Monday, and that means it's time for your weekly dose of music news! It's the end of the year, and each week it seems there are new music breakouts, new albums dropping, and artists diving into new genres. While it wasn't surprising when T. Swift announced that she was officially a pop artist (formerly considered country), we have all been waiting for the announcement of Justin Timberlake to record a country record. The CMA Awards were just a taste of what JT could bring to country music, and last week his single "Drink You Away" officially hit the radio airwaves. We all went crazy, again. Not only did JT drop a country single, but we had a hip hop comeback single, Indie veterans release a new hit, and a new love song from an up-and-comer.
"Here it is the groove slightly transformed
Just a bit of a break from the norm
Just a little somethin' to break the monotony
Of all the hardcore dance that has gotten to be
A little bit out of control it's cool to dance
But what about the groove that soothes that moves romance
Give me a soft subtle mix
And If it ain't broke then don't try to fix it
And think of the summers of the past
Adjust the base and let the alpine blast
Pop in my CD and let me run a rhyme
And put your car on cruise and lay back cause it's the summertime"
This is one of my favorite songs. I think it captures the picture of youth and the feeling of being on break. Away from the grind of it all. It also captures a picture of hopefulness, young love and change. I chose to start this DJ Diary off with this lyric to set the tone for a sampling of my summer weddings and the work involved. Clearly hopefulness, young love, and big changes all occurred during these long hot Tennessee summer nights but how were those moments staged? What happens behind the scenes of these epic venues draped in that incredible Nashville lifestyle and flare? I'll put it this way...for those of us that are designing and working the event, our behind the scenes work should be making our clients feel like the Will Smith lyrics above. I have to ask myself this question since we are officially in the Dog Days of summer now. Do my clients feel like they can "lay back 'cause it's summertime" at their event? Here is a way I like to look at it. At a wedding or event, the behind the scenes should be like the tunnels below Disney World. Congested with hard work, timing, attention to detail, no questions unanswered, no rock unturned and a TON of team work. While above the bustling of the tunnels should be a beautiful fairy tale that every prince and princess would want to be a part of. How can this be achieved?
1. Customer Service. Really!? Did I stutter? Do you know that this seems like the most obvious answer in the world, but it is the single biggest hurdle that many clients face. Almost every person I have worked with knows someone who had a bad DJ experience. And by bad I mean that they didn't show up, call the bride, find out where the venue was, have the right songs, play the right songs or combinations of the aforementioned. Your job is to play music for someone and you don't call them, play the music they requested, find out where your playing or sometimes you just don't show up? How are any of these companies in business?? CUSTOMER SERVICE. Our jobs as vendors are service oriented. In other words "What can I DO for YOU?" I'm going to sum this up as shortly as I can. Vendors...interview your clients like you were hiring them to be the Vice President of a company that you run. Why? You wouldn't make someone your second in command without knowing their habits, likes, dislikes, their family members, their past, their favorite band, their personality type and the way they deal with stressful situations. If you knew all these things about your clients tell me how you can fail?
2. Attention to Detail. Of course! Well, I've been amazed at some of the events that I've been to where it felt like everyone was flying by the seat of their pants. Now, I understand that things happen; however, the sign of a well planned event is what happens when those problems actually occur. As a DJ, if a bride requests a father/daughter song, is it enough that I just play it? What if there is a 30 second intro to the song and I didn't listen to it? Just because the bride did not request the song to be shortened doesn't mean she's not expecting you to shorten it. I had a groom once who had the single job of picking the first dance song. He picked four different older country songs that I didn't know. They all had "love song" titles. He ended up picking four songs with "love song" that ended up being break up songs. I would have never known these songs were actually really depressing unless I hadn't taken the time to listen to the songs and review the lyrics. Just because they pick a song does not mean they know it inside and out. Attention to detail is asking those questions, listening to those lyrics and communicating. I had to listen to all the lyrics of five different songs before we found one that was actually about staying together!
3. Frame of Mind. I'm talking about the client's; NOT ours. In the wedding business, we tend to talk about the clients that are high maintenance and picky or really engaged and helpful. But what about the client that doesn't give you a lot of information? What about the client who lets you pick everything? That does not mean the client doesn't care or doesn't have a plan. Sometimes a client that isn't engaged is a sign that they are so stressed out that they have thrown up their hands and have agreed to let fate take over. As professionals, we can't operate in a positive/negative only environment. Nothing can be assumed. There is work to do even when the client isn't giving you feedback. I have found that I may have to carefully draw it out of them and in the process hopefully take away fears that I didn't even know were there. Sometimes after I've had a really great meeting with a client, their attitude completely shifts and I feel like I may have overcome the fear brought on by some often told DJ horror story. We can't know what lies beneath until we poke our heads below the surface.
These are the lessons I have learned this summer. I could have answered the question correctly the first time but was I executing service and detail to the best of my ability every time? I believe we all need reminders. And for the brides, grooms, and event professionals out there, you should expect us to treat you this way! You should arrive at your event and be able to LAY BACK while the rest of us run around behind the scenes working to make your event a fairy tale.
Check out my video for this DJ Diary entry. This video is comprised of a great mix of weddings and corporate events I had the privilege of being a part of this summer! All of these events were examples of great customer service, attention to detail and great client vendor relationships! Hats off to all the great people I've gotten to work for and with this summer! This summer I've seen a classic night at War Memorial Auditorium, dancing through the decades, a joint 30/40th birthday house party, a beautiful evening framed by the Gaylord Springs Golf Links, a night with hundreds of red heads, a wedding framed by hundreds of bourbon barrels and a incredible fireworks display over the hills of Mint Springs Farm. I hope you enjoy my summer re-cap and I hope this diary entry helps you find that extra mile you've been looking for in your events. So "adjust the bass and let the Alpines blast!"
A few weeks back, Wedding 101 Nashville shared that one of our Lillie Belle weddings had been featured on StyleBlueprint! It's always an honor to be a part of a published feature, but it's even more special when it's through a local blog such as StyleBlueprint! Miranda and Matthew were a pleasure to work with, and we loved being a part of their special day in downtown Franklin. We were there providing the entertainment and setting the tone for Miranda and Matthew's Lillie Belle's wedding reception! You can literally feel the love between them just by looking at their wedding day pictures. Once Like A Spark Photography was there to catch all of the beautiful lavender and lace details, emotional moments between bride and groom, and the epic dance floor moments! Congratulations to the lovely couple, and thank you to the team at StyleBlueprint for the love!
Today's DJ Diary is dedicated to all of the spaces that you would never expect to be a beautiful wedding location. J Clark had the honor of providing the entertainment for Leeanna and Chris' wedding at Brentwood Country Club. If you are one to judge a book by it's cover, then you could be missing out on a space waiting to be transformed! Brentwood Country Club (with a little help from Nashville wedding planners, Firefly Events) provided a beautiful Tennessee backdrop for this Nashville wedding!
Everyone loves a southern wedding! Ashley and Adam's Saddle Woods Farm affair was one that met one of the ultimate goals for any wedding: how do you make 150 people (most of which are practically strangers to each other) feel comfortable and have a good time to celebrate? Brad made sure to do his part with music. You'll be pleasantly surprised to find what song brought people to the dance floor to sing their hearts out!
This week's DJ Diaries entries come from two very special emcees, J Clark (Boogie Shoes) Anderson and Matt (magic rapper) Morris. Both had fantastic weddings. Their descriptions of the nights' events make me wish that I were a guests at both of these weddings! Congratulations to Meghann and Chris and Jessica and Ryan!