The Perfect Love Soundtrack
Weddings are such an amazing celebration - you and your partner in life, your family and friends beside you, delicious food, plenty of wine and a million reasons to smile, laugh, love and dance. And don’t we all just love to hit the dance floor at these special occasions? Aunties busting moves beside the kids, dad dancing seventies style with the bride, nana tapping her heels to sounds she’s only heard on the radio. You’re looking around and smiling, knowing everyone is having a great time. Yours is the wedding to end all weddings! And helping to create the party mood is the DJ playing all your party favourites. MaiLife talked to Fiji’s best known and much loved DJ, Christonite about what makes the perfect soundtrack to love.
Let’s just get straight to it - what do you love about DJing for a wedding? It’s about being part of a celebration of love and contributing to the overall atmosphere, getting everyone to fully immerse themselves in this one day when they witness the power of love; how the love between two individuals brought everyone together. The music is addressing one of the senses that as important as the others. You’ve got the beautiful sight, the sweet smell of fresh bouquets and wine, amazing food, the sun on your face and the gentle breeze in your hair, and to add to the laughter you’ve got music, which takes it to that heavenly state of mind.
So all these elements create the experience. What music tips do you have for a couple planning their wedding? I would say don’t stress the small stuff, because that’s what the wedding planner and the venue/vendors/ suppliers are for. Just focus on the day and try to immerse yourself in the moment, take your time to take it all in, smell the flowers, feel the intricate lace and embroidery on your dress, hold the ring up to the sunlight and watch it glitter, smile and think of one thing throughout the day: how much you love your other half and how happy you are about it. I kinda off-tracked and realised you were asking about the musical aspect - so yes, I try to have contact with the couple as early as possible and get them to send me snaps of songs they like which I add to the list. I would advise them to already start collecting songs they want and add them to their Shazam app or Spotify. We can collaborate on other platforms/apps that allow this type of playlist sharing.
Nice that it’s personal though, especially when everyone has a sound or a track they love. How do you deal with requests from the floor… you know, Nau loves the classics and asks for something that isn’t jelling with the bride and groom? One of the most important things is to be open and versatile, to be ready for a change with the motion of the night, keeping things interesting. So in that sense, yes, I do take requests, but I don’t just throw them in, I use them as hints and work them into my set so it fits and everyone is happy, including me because I worked it. I like being challenged like that. My number one rule is to respect the classics - there are certain songs that no matter what the age/generation, will always get everyone hyped. I try to use that when I’m stuck, but again, being versatile and playing OpenFormat style is always the best bet. There is a term I like to use, Genre Bending, which means not staying specific to one genre, rather finding the common ground and using that to crossover and keep it fresh. The only music I don’t play is when the party specifically mentions them, either for sentimental reasons, or for anti-discrimination, or for their conservative guests.
So, keeping everybody happy. You’ve done many parties and events in Fiji with a whole lot of happy people just loving you sets. What’s your most memorable experience DJing at a wedding? Every wedding has something special. I think to date the craziest one would definitely be when the entire wedding party ended up in the beachside pool and everyone partied till sunrise - I literally had to beg them to let me go, packed up my gear and hopped back onto the private plane to be flown home. I would divulge more but it was a high profile party on an exclusive private island, and I had to sign a confidentiality agreement.
So cool, a whole wedding party grooving in the pool - that’s got to be a first! But definitely expected because you have the ability to mix desi and poly and euro beats that keep the dance floor alive. How do you do it? I can’t really explain, it’s something you learn through experience and intuition. If it sounds right, it will work, and if it doesn’t, don’t force it, rather work it at a different angle. Take your time and enjoy it, if you enjoy it, chances are your party will too.
It’s a joy talking love, music and weddings with you. Just one last question before we wrap up: what are your top five tracks for love? This is tough one…. In no particular order: Shelter Of Your Love - Jimmy Cliff; My First, Last, My Everything - Barry White; Fooled Around and Fell in Love - Elvin Bishop; I’ll Be - Googoo Dolls; Marry Me - Train And a special mention for a personal one that always gets me teary eyed: Lifetime Respect - Miki Douzan (Japanese Reggae).