JAYTEEHAZARD, THE DJ DOCUMENTING ALL OF YOUR MOST COOKED CLUB REQUESTS ON ‘REQUESTLINE’
Words by Christopher Kevin Au
Imagine that you’re at work, facing your laptop screen and minding your own business, when suddenly an intoxicated random with bad breath bursts into your cubicle, yelling incoherently and telling you what to do. For DJs around Australia, this is just another day on the job.
I used to host a few parties around Sydney, and the amount of obnoxious punters I saw requesting/demanding songs was pretty unbelievable. When the average Australian has over five standard drinks, their confidence skyrockets and suddenly, they’re experts in soundtracking dancefloors. And guess what? If you don’t play their favourite song, you’re a fuckwit.
Jayteehazard is a veteran on the local scene. On top of producing, remixing and spinning for the likes of Briggs, Haiku Hands and Hermitude, he spends a lot of time DJing at clubs around the country. Over the past few years, he’s also done God’s work by documenting Australia’s most cooked club requests. Now, he’s compiled them under the ‘Requestline’ banner on his Instagram story highlights.
We decided to chat to Jaytee about club etiquette and cooked requests. Read it all below, and in case you were wondering, Jaytee is playing at the Better Daze party in Sydney next weekend - make sure you head on down and yell ‘Thotiana’ in close proximity to his face:
You've been DJing for a long time. When did you start documenting song requests?
It’s hard to remember exactly, I think around 2009-2011. I remember only initially doing it so I would remember what their requests were, or if it was something I hadn’t heard before, I could check it out later. It was only after doing this for a little while I noticed a trend of the requests always being spelt wrong, not the actual song title or some mildly amusing explanation they would include with their request.
What's been the most common request you've received over the years? I imagine it's probably still 'Mo Bamba' or 'Thotiana' right now?
Yeah! As many DJs would know, it’s been a big couple of months for 'Sicko Mode' & 'Mo Bamba' - they’ve died off now, 'Thotiana' is definitely the flavour of the month. Last year, there were a lot of meme requests, people asking for 'Sandstorm' ironically but also actually wanting to hear it, that along with 'Horses', 'Wonderwall', 'You’re the Voice.’ Those requests would happen a lot, and always by dudes who thought it/they were hilarious.
What fuels the most obnoxious requests in clubs: alcohol, pure arrogance, or a mix of both?
I think it’s definitely a combination of all of those things. It’s funny, the people that actually take the time to write down their request and hold their phones up are actually the best. It’s a really respectful & polite way to make a request, and the fact that they’ll often stand there holding their phone longer so I can snap a picture, that's awesome. The annoying people are the ones that just yell in your face, tap your shoulder, snap their fingers at you to get your attention or are just flat out rude.
It seems like whenever someone makes a request, they have to add that "It's for my mate, and it's his/her birthday." What percentage of people are lying when they say this?
I used to think that people would lie a lot about this, but now I’m thinking it’s 95% genuine. I think that it being your friend's birthday gives you a bit more incentive to make a request. Unfortunately, I also think they forget that it’s probably like eight other people’s birthdays here tonight. So, you know, get in line.
What are some of the other excuses that people give to guilt trip you into playing their request?
Oh, geez. I don’t know if you really want to go down that road, it has gotten pretty dark in the past. Friends requesting songs (often a sad song) for someone that has just passed. I’ve had a couple of groups of people over the years that have obviously decided to 'hit the club' post-wake, people with small personal tragedies and hearing their song 'right now' will 'make my night.' These don’t happen that often, but it can definitely get awkward.
Do DJs have little meet-ups where you all discuss and debrief the most cooked requests you get? What has been the most cooked request?
Yeah, kind of, it’s definitely something I talk more about with other DJs since I started the #requestine posts. Most cooked? A guy once just held up a picture of a seagull, i’m not sure what that was about. It’s usually someone trying to explain (while really drunk) something I should say on the mic for their friend, some kind of weird shoutout request.
Imagine that the person reading this is at a club this weekend. They're drinking a pina colada and feeling that inevitable urge to step up to the decks and request a song from the DJ. What's your one message to them?
Oh, nice! For starters, definitely write down your request and hold up your phone. But before that, maybe ask yourself, “Does this song happen to be the biggest song at the moment?” If it is, you’re going to hear it anyway and it doesn’t need to be requested. Also don’t tell the DJ that “it will go off” or “the crowd will love it,” like the DJ doesn’t already know that. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s pretty annoying. Also, remember that if you make a request and the DJ says they will play it, you’ve effectively just trapped yourself in that room until you hear it. So first, think about if you feel like being stuck in the room for an undetermined amount of time.
And finally, be honest: As a punter, have you ever requested a song from a DJ?
All the time! I’m a total hypocrite and the actual worst. I always think I know better than the DJ that’s playing and that’s why I became one. Don’t be fooled, the people at the party constantly requesting songs are pretty bad, but DJs are those exact same people; they just took the constant requesting one step too far.