mailife - - Contents - By CHRIS­TINE EVANS DJ Chris­tonite is avail­able on email at [email protected]

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).

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