The Mobile DJs Guide To Slow Jams
Classic Cuts 172: Soul Jams is the latest release in the Mastermix Classic Cuts range and includes 30 tracks from artists including Jagged Edge, Isley Brothers, Michael Jackson, Maxwell, Joe, SWV & En Vogue.
Each track has been carefully compiled by DJs for DJs to ensure the right versions of each track are included as well as offering a selection of tracks that work well together allowing you to create unique sets for your clients.
As a professional DJ I am always looking to find new music styles to listen to & play out for my audiences. Whilst the live events are temporarily on hold I’ve taken the time to tidy up my digital music library and create some new crates for when things start returning to normal and we are allowed to perform again.
I’m always looking for music styles that allow me to create unique music concepts for my clients and whilst digging through my music collection I started to play a few R’n’B ballads like ‘Nobody Knows’ – Tony Rich Project & ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’ – En Vogue. Great songs… strong ballads… but with enough going on to make them interesting & playable at various parts of an event. I was loving this vibe and continued to collate more tracks and it soon became apparent that I had stumbled on a style of music known collectively as Slow Jams!
So what is a ‘Slow Jam’?
The term ‘Slow Jams’ was created to describe ballads or down-tempo songs commonly associated with R’n’B & Soul music. An early use of this term came in 1983 when the group Midnight Star featured a track called ‘Slow Jam’ on their album ‘No Parking On The Dancefloor’. The track was written by Kenneth Edmonds, better known by his stage-name – Babyface, and is personally responsible for penning hits for Michael Jackson, K-Ci & JoJo, En Vogue & Janet Jackson as well as achieving chart success of his own with Slow Jam classics including ‘Everytime I Close My Eyes’ & ‘When Can I See You’.
Throughout the 80s & 90s the Slow Jams anthems kept on coming including ‘Twisted’ – Keith Sweat, ‘Nice & Slow’ – Usher, ‘Sweet Love’ – Anita Baker & ‘If You Were Here Tonight’ – Alexander O’ Neal and that trend has continued to this day with many modern artists recording tracks that fall into the Slow Jam genre, but it’s the classics that remain popular with many tracks reaching new audiences thanks to social media platforms including Tik Tok & Instagram.
Whilst the 80s & 90s saw a huge influx of Slow Jams there are many songs that work from other decades including the 70s with tracks like ‘Let’s Get it On’ – Marvin Gaye, ‘Cruisin” – Smokey Robinson & ‘Never, Never Gonna Give You Up’ – Barry White. The same can be said of the 00s with tracks including ‘Birthday Sex’ – Jeremih & ‘Promise’ – Jagged Edge.
Slow Jams lend themselves perfectly for an End Of Night or After Dark style set but can work almost anywhere with some careful programming. For a cooler vibe they are perfect and appeal to a wide range of age groups thanks to the diversity of the artists who fall under the Slow Jams umbrella. From Stevie Wonder to Prince, En Vogue to SWV, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Slow Jams come in many forms and can even be found tucked away on some classic albums including ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson that features the track ‘The Lady In My Life’ that has all the hallmarks associated with a Slow Jam…silky smooth vibes all round.
Music is great fun and the joy of discovering a new music style is one that a DJ should embrace & enjoy. Whether it’s playing well-known tracks or digging through your music collection to find those hidden gems, you can never underestimate the importance of pushing your boundaries and expanding your music knowledge.
The Ultimate Guide to a 90s Theme Night
Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee breaks down how to structure a 90s theme night
The 90s is a fascinating decade filled with an eclectic mix of music styles. As the 80s ended and the 90s began it was the emerging Dance & Indie scene that was to lead the way…although there was a healthy dose of Pop and Novelty hits kicking around as well. Just like the 80s it was a decade that delivered so many great tracks, and some not so great, from a large range of genres.(more…)
A range of summer playlists covering a variety of music styles and genres, perfect for outdoor events and DJ sets!
Mastermix have created a range of Summer collections including 4 albums compiled from the hugely popular DJ Beats range. Each track is a proven floorfiller with added intro and outro beats making mixing even easier and allowing DJs to create unique and innovative Summer playlists.(more…)
Top Ten Reggaeton Floorfillers for Mobile DJs
Reggaeton is a style of music featuring Latin & Caribbean vibes with a strong Hip Hop influence. This genre of music has been around since the 90s when it became huge in countries including Puerto Rico, Cuba & Columbia. Its popularity continued to grow across Latin American countries before exploding globally.
Here’s a quick reference of the top Reggaeton tracks for a mobile DJ to play, that will guarantee to fill the dancefloor!(more…)
TOP TEN MOBILE DJ 00S URBAN FLOORFILLERS
Mastermix DJ Dave Evans takes us back to the Old School – for some of us anyway!
As a DJ you sometimes get asked for “Old School RnB” or “Throwback Anthems”. But what is Old School nowadays? For people of my age (47, don’t remind me) it could be dipping back in to the 80’s for the likes of Jocelyn Brown or Luther Vandross or even some classic 90’s such as Mark Morrison or TLC.
But to your younger crowd, a ‘throwback’ could be something from 10 years ago. Considering that we are one year away from the new Roaring Twenties this blog is going to look back at 10 urban tracks from the 00s that still provoke a big reaction today, even when some are nearly 20 years old.
- Kevin Lyttle – Turn Me On
Instant hook with the strings, uplifting intro and smooth vocals. This record is one that you will hear a least once a night if you are out regardless if it was an Urban night or just a commercial venue. Great R’n’B record which spent nearly half a year in the charts. It seems strange though that he only had one other minor hit in 2004 and hasn’t been in the charts since. But at least he charted, unlike…
- Serani – No Games
Released in 2009, this record has never been in the UK top 75, yet it is one of the most well-known urban records of the decade and one that is certain to fill any floor. A true “sleeper” track with a distinctive intro and smooth dancehall appeal, No Games is a great record.
- Beyoncé feat Jay-Z – Crazy In Love
Alongside Turn Me On, this record is 16 years old in 2019, unlike Kevin Lyttle, Beyoncé announced her departure from Destiny’s Child with a horn filled stomper of an anthem designed to make you strut onto the dancefloor and show the world just how fabulous you are. The only down point to this
track, for me, is the Jay-Z rap section which slows the track down a little but, taking that aside, Crazy In Love is a track which will always get reaction (unlike Single Ladies which is sounding dated now)
- Usher – Yeah!
The song is too long, it has no real outro point to cut it down if you want to mix out of it early and it isn’t even Usher’s best song (U Remind Me). But, Yeah! Is his biggest hit and one that has stood the test of time with regards to filling a floor. A shorter version or one with a break in the middle would
make it better for DJ’s to work with but, as long as it makes people dance, I’ll keep playing it.
- Black Eyed Peas – Where Is the Love
After 2 minor hits in the UK and as the first track released from their 3rd album. Where Is The Love exploded onto the scene and went straight to No.1 across the world with its message of peace and love that still resonates today. An end of night anthem certain to make people throw their hands up at the chorus and one for the ages.
- Sean Paul – Temperature
Moving from the harder edge of Gimme The Light to a more commercial style of dancehall Sean-A-Paul found the formula to success and this track, along with Get Busy or Like Glue, will still work 13 years after it was first released and is one of the most requested records I get asked when working.
- Mary J Blige – Family Affair
No list of 00’s Urban anthems would be complete without Mary J Blige and this string inspired anthem still holds up as a pure hip hop/soul fusion that tells you what to do. When she says “get you’re a** on the dancefloor” then you have to obey the queen.
- 50 Cent – Candy Shop
This could have been “In Da Club” and if I was working a commercial venue then I would be more likely to play that than Candy Shop, but if you were doing a night more dedicated to urban music then Candy Shop would be the de-facto choice for a 50 Cent track. Heavy driving bass and powerful suggestive lyrics makes this a track for couples to “enjoy”.
- Nelly – Hot In Herre
“OH!” and with that vocal we are off on a 3:47 masterpiece of r’n’b dance music. A catchy chorus designed to evoke loud voices, and also the occasional shirt off combined with a funky back beat makes Hot In Herre a record that will ignite a dancefloor when dropped. Even though Dilemma was a bigger hit, this record still has the bigger crowd appeal
- Eminem – Without Me
By the time Without Me was released, Eminem was already established as one of the most successful rappers in the world. Without Me managed to combine the lyrical fun of Real Slim Shady with a more commercial beat giving him his 3rd UK No.1, and a song that still works in both a commercial venue and a more specialised night with its bouncy chorus and strong lyrics.
In compiling this there are so many artists such as Rihanna, Notorious B.I.G, Missy Elliot, Akon and others that could quite easily have made the list. But this blog should give you a guide to tracks that for me, still fill a floor in 2019.
Need some more bursts of floorfilling inspiration? Check out our Top Tens for 90s Dance, 80s and Soul & Motown!
Top Ten 90s Dance Floorfillers
With this list of the top ten 90s Dance floorfillers, Mastermix DJ Dave Evans takes us on a trip down memory lane into the world of 90s Dance…
What records do you still play from the 90’s that are certain dance anthems which people still love to jump onto the floor to? In no particular order, any of these would get a good reaction if you were asked to play some 90s Dance!
SL2 – On A Ragga Tip
Come on admit it, just reading the title already has you hearing the intro in your head. Infectious beat. Some partisans would say DJs Take Control is the better track but you can play this at any event and someone will start to dance to it. This should have been Number 1 instead of Deeply Dippy.
Robin S – Show Me Love
When Robin Stone first released this track (Montego Mix, big hints of Jocelyn Brown to it) in 1990 there was no indication that it would become one of the most successful and remixed dance records of all time. Whether you go for the classic Stonebridge mix or one of the 100’s of remixes of it, you can find a version for virtually any genre. One that will never die.
N-Trance – Set You Free
Hands in the air! While it may not have had the commercial success of Baby D – Let Me Be Your Fantasy, this rave anthem has certainly outlived its rival on the dancefloor. With its uplifting vocal intro and big beats, this track is a sure-fire winner for the dancefloor.
Livin’ Joy – Don’t Stop Movin’
Yes, not Dreamer. For me this is the better record, it’s tighter and compact, plus it has a better outro point if you don’t wish to use the entire track. Dreamer is an anthem but lingers a bit too long for me. A good alternative to have from the same group.
Deee-Lite – Groove Is in The Heart
Released in 1990, this is my joint single of the decade along with Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy. It’s everything a dance record should be, great vibe, funky beats, sing-a-long vocals, Bootsy Collins and it makes you smile. What more could you want from a dance song?
Nightcrawlers – Push The Feeling On
For me, this and the next track sum up the mid 90’s dance scene. The Balearic scene was really blowing up commercially and this track captures more of the fluid side of the dancefloor. Instead of being a “hands up” (see the next track) belter, The Nightcrawlers gently ease you onto the floor without you knowing it and will not let you go till it’s finished…
The Original – I Luv U Baby
By comparison, The Original comes screeching out of the speakers within the first 5 seconds, hits the strings and picks you up by the hands throwing you onto the floor. A true house record with an almost gospel chorus to it. This records still sounds fresh even 24 years after it was first released.
M People – Moving On Up
Taking away the “are they a pop or dance band” debate (they had Hacienda’s Mick Pickering, they are a dance group), M People made some brilliant records. Elegant Slumming contained some cultured tracks and none more than Moving On Up. Heather Small’s vocal is instantly recognisable and the horns are crisp. This may be one more for the over 30s than the teen market nowadays but it is a top ten 90s Dance floorfiller for those who know it.
Faithless – Insomnia
I have one DJ bucket list item; to play Insomnia at St Pauls Cathedral in the dark with a laser show. As a dance anthem though, this record is a bit of an oddity; the first minute you can’t really use as it has no beat. The main verse is quite slow but…
Nothing else needs saying.
Vengaboys – We Like To Party!
Is this a 90s dance record or cheese? Depends how you look at it. Up and Down was a dance record and in Europe the Vengaboys are treated as a dance group so it goes in the list. Don’t believe me that it’s a dance tune? Put it on, watch your audience and tell me after that it isn’t. It’s deserving of a place in the top ten 90s dance floorfillers!
It’s hard to pick out 10 from a decade where there was so many great dance records but hopefully this list of my top ten 90s Dance floorfillers is a sure fire quick win.
Now where are my glow sticks, I’ve got a Vengabus to catch to get to an S Club Party…
The 100 Collection: 90s
This premium collection contains the biggest hits of a chosen genre in one DJ friendly package.
The 100 Collection 90s / 00s Dance features a Warm Up, Main Party & End Of Night section that includes the right balance of songs for the perfect night.
DJ Beats Collection 90s Dance
For the full set of 90s Dance DJ Beats, check out the Collection!
Featuring 50 of the best Dance tracks of the 90s with added 8 bar intro and outro beats, for a bargain price!
The collection includes tracks from Adamski, Brainbug, Da Hool, Chad Jackson, JX, Nightcrawlers, Run DMC, Strike, Wamdue Project and loads more.