Queerly Beloved

19. A Queer DJ Giving You the Best Advice

May 17, 2023 Anna Treimer Episode 19
Queerly Beloved
19. A Queer DJ Giving You the Best Advice
Show Notes Transcript

You can hire DJ for your small wedding through The Little Wedding Co OR email her directly at: nosleepmpls@gmail.com

The artist I mentioned that sings songs using they/them pronouns is Miki Ratsula on "made for them"

Here is Angie giving you some REALLY great song options:

First Dance Songs

1. Stay with you-John Legend

2. At Last-Etta James

3. Over the Rainbow-Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

4. Say you won't let go-James Arthur

5. Tender Love- Me'shell N'dgeochello

6. Love Song #1-Me'shell N'degeochello

7. Sent from Heaven-Rahsaan Patterson

8. You-Jesse Powell

9. Love me still-Chaka Khan

10. Lake by the Ocean-Maxwell

(This is one of my personal favs, because Maxwell said it's about being so happy in love, it's like being in a lake, and not even wanting to go to the ocean next to it, because you don't need anything else)

11. Latch (Acoustic)-Sam Smith

12. Only You- Parson James

13. I Choose You-Sara Bareilles


The intro and all instrumentals were written, sung and recorded by @JaynaDavisMusic

Homebody Candles MN
Homebody MN are made by a local, trans-owned small business and makes candles for your wedding!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

All right. Clearly beloved, welcome back to this week's episode this week. I'm super excited. I am getting to chat with a dj, which I feel like, I feel like I'm not even cool enough to be here, honestly. Um, but today I have. DJ Angie, is that what you say? Uh, no. Uh, I actually, my, I say the insomnia, that's my, my special artist name, but the insomnia. Okay. Yeah. I definitely am not cool enough to be. Yes. But I'm super excited to have you here. I would love if you could, yeah, just introduce yourself, your pronouns, any, any identities that feel important to you, and we'll go from there. All right. Uh, hello. My name is, yeah, let's. I don't know officially Angela Shepherd, but I, I go by Angie. Um, her, he is fine by me. Um, I, I'm not picky about that. Um, and my artist's name is the Insomniac. Um, yeah, so I, I just name my DJ under. I also like to try to write and draw too, so if you see anything also it would be under that name. Um, yeah. So, yeah. And I'm, uh, head DJ for the little wedding company. As well. Awesome. Wow. All the creative things I try. Yeah. Super cool. I'm wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about how you got started in like the DJ space and just a little bit more about what you do. Um, so, uh, I was definitely that kid that liked to, uh, steal my parents' records. And, um, I was the, the friend that, uh, you know, was raving about the new album and did you check this out? And so I've always just been a big music fan. Um, I've always just loved music. Um, so DJing for me was just kind of a natural transition and like a dream. Um, I grew up, uh, I spent my 10 years in Chicago in the suburbs. Um, and, uh, big thing that came out of Chicago in the nineties music-wise was house music. Um, and so growing up with that and seeing DJs and the creativity and all of that just made me want to do that. So when I started DJing probably about seven, eight years ago, um, It, it really just came from a love for the music and, and sharing that and uh, and then yeah, and then started doing weddings as a part of that, and here we are. Wow. That's super fun. I love that. I love hearing like how people can tie it back so far and how it's like still showing up for you today. That's super cool. Oh yeah. Yeah. I just love, yeah. Music DJing, having a good time, being able to, You know, share that with other people is just awesome. Like, I get to do that. It's, it's a job, but it's also super fun, so, right. Yeah. I love that. Okay, so I know we were chatting about this a little bit before we started recording, but a big thing that I think that I've run into with my couples as a lot of them, Our queer couples is having concerns with vendors and, you know, interacting with them on their day and things like that. So there was this interaction I had last October when I was shooting a wedding, and like I still just feel that like kind of secondhand embarrassment thinking about it because they're. Was a DJ who called the couple up to have their first dance, and very clearly was like Mr. And Mrs. And like everyone just was like the whole room went silent. It was just so uncomfortable and like you could tell that the person they had misgendered was like very like hurt and upset and so, Yeah, just like brutal to watch. And so I'm just curious like how you as a person from the community kind of navigate that and sort of work on create, creating safe spaces for your clients. Okay. Oh yeah. Out, uh, it's, it's, for me it's um, It's always just kind of a simple respect thing. Um, when I sit down and, uh, talk with my clients, you know, um, previous to the wedding, I will ask, you know, um, especially for my queer weddings, you know, what are your pronoun preferences? Um, one of the big questions I always ask is, how do you want to be announced? How do you, mm-hmm. Want to be referred to. So like if I'm announcing the reception, you know, do you want to be Mrs. And Mrs. Mr. And Mrs. Um, our lovely couple. Um, there's a lot of non-gendered ways to refer to both your guests and to the, to the couple, you know. Um, I honestly have just tried to start making a practice of, if I'm not sure, or just in general, I just try to keep it to, um, Non-gender specific honorifics. So when I address the crowd, I'll say, you know, honored guests. Um, you know, um, you know, to the couple, our lovely couple, our newly wet, um, there are a lot of. Simple, respectful ways to keep from making those kinds of mistakes. Um, and, and just, just being respectful in general. Um, and, and also being aware of, um, your, your clients and what their needs and wants are. Um, I think that's, that's top priority for any DJ is like, you know, yes, we're there to provide music, but you're also. Um, coordinating and directing the space and the energy that's in there, everybody's going to flow off of what you're doing. So your, your, your job, your simple bottom denominator job responsibility is to, uh, you know, handle things respectfully and, and joyfully and professionally. So, yeah. Right. Like, it, it's, it's something that can definitely be. A simple change. I think there's a lot of people who are under the impression of like, oh, if I work a queer wedding or whatever, it's gonna be this whole thing. And it's like, I. Yeah. Like respecting people, talking to them. It doesn't have to be that hard. Yeah. It's not a, it's not a big change at the bottom of it, it's, it's the same, it's, it's the same as same as any other wedding. It's two people who wanna celebrate their love and enjoy their day. And, you know, you, you respect that in whatever way they wish to be respected. It's, it's simple, simple human in, I guess to me. I don't, I don't, I don't, I don't overthink it a lot, so. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And to your point too, that's, Honestly, a huge reason why I wanted to hear your perspective is because I don't think sometimes, I don't think people realize like how much work that DJs do to make sure that the reception and evening goes well of like keeping things flowing, keeping things happy. Like you all do a ton of work and you also are like literally the one holding the microphone for a lot of the night. So I think. That the more positive influence like we can have on DJs that will like, that'll be huge because yeah, it's really important. Yeah. Yeah. So kind of on that same note of, you know, you having a lot of say in how the evening goes and things like that. Do you feel like you ever play a role in. Letting either couples or guests know, like maybe a certain song or something like that is not the vibe, if that makes sense. Uh, yes. I, I definitely, um, in different ways, uh, try to make sure I check in, um, with certain things or maybe certain, um, songs that the couple. Maybe looking at like, uh, I was at a, uh, one wedding and um, uh, the couple had, uh, their older relatives like to do stepping and um, and as many people may or may not know, one of the best like stepping artists out there is made an actual album for it as R Kelly and I was like, we're gonna kind of, maybe. Yeah. And I was like, if you really, really, but I'm, I'm going to Not unless somebody specifically requested. And if there's songs that like Yeah. That are just, I, I, I, you know, you want to, um, once again, keeping the positive vibe. You wanna make sure that you, uh, pick out songs, be thorough about what you're picking out. Also, um, with keeping the vibe going. Um, if like I have a, you know, pop mix going and, you know, upbeat temple pop mix and somebody comes over and asks for. Death metal. So that's, it happens, you know, that happens. Somebody comes over and is like, requests something and it's just like, that's not quite it. Um, so I, I definitely, uh, ask the couples what they want, what maybe they don't want. Um, you know, if there's something that's, um, like you said, a sensitive subject or, you know, maybe. Country music makes them cry or something. Um, you know, you could definitely tailor the music cuz once again at the, the end of the day it's all about what they want and having a good time, so. Right. Yeah, I can imagine that being tricky at times. Just of like, it, I mean, it could just be as simple as like, someone is unaware that something is, Problematic or what have you. But also, you know, I'm sure there's times where it's kind of like, oh well, like it's just a song or whatever. So I can imagine that being somewhat tricky at times, but Oh yeah. Yeah, it's definitely, um, I think one of the things that's also kind of hard sometimes is that, uh, there's some really great love songs out there, but a lot of them sometimes are about like, breaking up or heartbreak. This is a really sweet love song, but then you like listen to the lyrics and you're like, I don't think I wanna play that one at a wedding. Like, that's so, yeah. It's, it is a thing like sometimes some of the songs, um, I, I believe there was a one horror story I heard about where, um, I believe one of the, uh, one of the couple was either, um, uh, disabled. And the love song that they picked out. I think the first line was something about like, when your legs don't work anymore. Oh, yes. And it's, it's, it's, it was the, the, the, the point of the song was like, I will love you through everything. Mm-hmm. But I don't think the DJ just kind of thought about that when they were picking out, you know, So, yeah, grooming the music is definitely one of the bigger parts of DJing. And it is, it is a task. It's, it's something to be cautious of. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And you're sort of letting people know, like, hey, like we stand for, for good things around here too. Like, you're not, so that's, that's huge I think. Yeah. Um, okay. So then, yeah. Now talking about, Music specifics. Another big question that I get from couples is like, hey, we're, you know, getting to that point where we're starting to wanna pick a first dance song or whatever, but like a lot of the songs we're thinking of are actually a lot more like, you know, male female language. Then we realized, or this just feels like so straight or something like that. Um, Do you have any advice for folks in the community when they're kind of like entering that realm of looking for songs? Um, I would say one of the main things I always try to tell my couples to remember, um, is that at the bottom of it, it is your day. Um, I think a lot of times couples get really caught up in, oh, I gotta make sure my mom likes this, or My auntie likes this, or grandpa wants this. Um, and it kind of, Gets, um, derailed from focusing on the couple and more focusing on what the family wants. So as far as your first dance selection goes, I say, you know, whatever makes the couple happy is paramount. Um, so if you wanna do the chicken dance for your first one and you wanna fla your arms at each other and laugh, and that's, you do that, that's one of the main things, first of all. And, and as far as second is, uh, gender specifics and, and, and, um, and there's a lot more, um, queer artists out here. And so there's a lot of really good music. And then there are some, I think artists are also trying to do more love songs that just don't have. Um, any type of reference in it. Um, so it might take a little more digging, but there's definitely some good ones out there. Um, I think Mary Lambert has some really good, um, like girl orientated songs, uh, or female orientated songs. Um, say you Won't Let Go by James Arthur, art Arthur James, right. Is a willing one. That's a nice one. Um, and then there's a whole bunch of other. Queer artist, um, uh, michan de, um, GaN, Sarah, um, oh shoot. Sam Smith, Elton John. Um, there's a lot of really good songs out there, so it might take a little more digging to really find what you want, but if you know, if, if it's important to you and then. Pick your song, pick it with confidence. If you and your partner feel good about that and everybody else can, you know, kick rocks, they'd be all right. Yes. I love that. Kick rocks, so yeah, yeah, yeah. I love that. And yeah, I know there's an artist now too, I can't remember their name, but I'll put their name in all of the ones you just said in the show notes. But they're actually going through and like picking out really popular songs and. Turning all of the gendered lyrics into like they, them pronouns. Wow. Which I just think is so beautiful. So Yes. That's awesome. Yeah. I'll put them in the show notes, but I'm gonna throw in, um, just cuz DJ moment. Um, yeah, there's some good classics too that are, are just really good and everybody loves them. So, like at Last by Ed James. Classic. Um, you know, you can't go wrong with that. There's some, yeah. Some really good classics like that. Or maybe even, um, as a suggestion, uh, an instrumental version maybe of something. So maybe you really like that song and it's not rerecorded. Find an really nice instrumental version of it and that way you can just kind of take the words out, but still have the song that you want. Yeah, that's genius. Okay. Wow. I think you just made everybody's life so much easier, so thank you. Yeah. Okay. And then so I know I'm, I feel like I'm going all over the place cuz I just asked about fair dances, but um, like even thinking about my, my own potential future wedding, I know my parents won't be there. And so like thinking about. First dance is sort of like a weird idea for me. Mm-hmm. So like, In the event that parents aren't there or parents are choosing not to come and support or something like that, um, or maybe it honestly just doesn't feel right to the couple, like it feels old school or what have you. Have you seen or have ideas for kind of alternatives to that? Oh yeah. Um, I've definitely, I, I, I wanna honestly say it's been a minute since I've done like a full fledged, everything is super traditional kind of wedding. Um, couples from what I'm seeing are definitely, I. Taking, taking the format and just kind of chopping it up to what they want. Um, so I, I have a couple weddings I've booked right now that there's no formal dances at all. They have maybe, um, dinner toasts and, uh, a couple little games, and that's about it. The rest of the night is dancing. Um, as far as the parent dancing go, once again, I, I kind of defer back to it's your day. Um, so if, if, if parent dance doesn't feel. Like what you want. You don't have to have a parent dance. It's your day. It's whatever you want. Um, I've had some of the awesome alternatives I've had as, uh, one couple, um, their parents were not coming, um, but they did a, a family dance, so they had their kids come up and they just danced with their kids and had a good time. Um, I have had, um, Uh, one of the brides did a, uh, her and, um, all of her bridesmaid, um, did a, uh, like a hip hop choreographed dance for fun. Um, thank, yes, it's, it's whatever you want it to be. Um, And, and yeah, you can dance with your kids, dance with a grandparent or you know, whomever you want. You, you pick what you want for your day. And, um, like I said, once again, it's, it's your choice and make it what you want it to be. Make it your special day. Um, create the memories that you want for that day. Um, and so yeah, if your parents aren't or can't be there, um, Then you, you maneuver it however you want and make it, make it beautiful, make it special, and dance with whoever you want to. I mean, I know life is short. True. I love this energy. Yeah. I hope everybody listening, you're all really touching the theme here that Angie's putting down because Yeah, it's. I feel like that's a lot of what I try to convey in this podcast too, is like literally do whatever the heck you want. Yes. But it's also, it can still be sometimes like easier said than done, right? Like, yeah. If you like always hear people talking about this thing or like grew up thinking this is what you were gonna do, and then, you know, suddenly you're like, oh, you know, Now I gotta do something different. It can feel a little bit harder, I think. Yeah. But like, exactly like you said at the end of the day, like, find something that makes you happy. Like Yeah. That's, that's definitely it. It's, it's. It is your day. It is, it is. I I, I always tell my couples that it is your day. It is what makes you happy. Um, you know, your guests will enjoy it, but they're not the ones who are gonna be looking at the, the memory, the photo book and be like, oh man, do you remember? You know, so, so make the, the memories and the opportunities and the, the things that you're going to be able to look back at. You know, hopefully in your renewals in 20 years and say, oh man, you remember Uncle Dan got out there and we were doing the chicken dance and mm-hmm. You know, make it, make it fun, make it, make it your day and um, and, you know, take the things that make your relationship. Um, special that you and your partner share. Mm-hmm. And you know, if you wanna share that with your family, like, this is our thing, share that, you know, or if you just wanna have your little special moment on the side, or however you wanna do it, really it's your day and there are. Um, so many vendors out here and the businesses, you have the room to make choices. Pick the vendors that feel good and work for you. Um, take that time and make sure that you're working with people who feel good, who feel right, um, get the things that you want and need. It is your day, it is your money, it is your choice. Um, Take advantage of all of that. Don't feel pressured or rushed. Don't feel you know that you have to follow this format or this. It's your day at the bottom of it. I, I, I, I can't emphasize that enough. It is your day and your guests are there to, um, enjoy and celebrate you. It is not for them. It's for them, but it's not for them. It is for them to have a space to celebrate you and your partner. Yes. Yes, I'm just gonna like copy that clip and just like play it seven times over and over again in the podcast cuz. Yes. That's so good. Yeah, and I should also note too, there has been a handful of times too where I've photographed couples doing like a private first stance too. Um, which I think definitely did, like you said, it did make. Some guests a little bit upset or like, you know, why are we here if we can't see that? But it's sort of like, if, if that feels more authentic to them. Mm-hmm. Because yeah, how many times you really dance in front of a hundred people, right? Um, yeah. Right. Yeah. And, and you know, and it depends on, like I said, you and your partner, some couples want more attention. They like the glam and the glitz and everybody around there with the cameras and ah, and some couples like to be very low key. They just, you know, I wanna come here, I wanna be able to walk around the room and talk and see everybody together. But I don't want, you know, other than the ceremony and being there, I don't want a lot of attention. They don't want a lot of attention. And that's, and that's okay. You know, it's okay. It can be as low key or high key as you want it, you know, make exactly. Make it what you want. Yes. I love it. Well, you have given us such amazing ideas and advice and everything so far, so thank you so much. Thank you for having me to do that. I appreciate it. Yeah, and I would love to really give you the mic cuz you're, you're great at, I have in the mic, um, if. Either to couples or vendors or both to like really have the opportunity to like, say anything you want to them. What would you say? Um, I would say, like I said, bottom line, it's your day, it's your day. Take the time. There are, and, and I, I've seen a lot more emphasis now, especially, uh, for, for queer couples and families. There's, um, A lot more, uh, queer friendly, open, happy vendors that will be more than, more than willing to respect you and cater to whatever you want for your wedding. Um, and there's a lot, there's a, the wedding industry has a lot of vendors, a lot of people. So take your time, make a choice. Um, You know, make it your day, make it special. Um, and if you, you know, uh, I guess I would say if you're, you want a small, happy wedding, I guess you could start with a little wedding company. I'll shameless plug that, but yeah, love it a little bit. But, uh, you know, it's, um, there's, there's a lot of queer businesses, DJs. So do, do. Yeah. Take, take the time, get it right. Make your day special. Remember, it's about you. Um, and, and just enjoy it. It's, it's the one special day that you're supposed to enjoy and look back on for the next 20 years. Make it yours. Make it special. Take the time, ask for help. Ask for advice. A lot of people in the industry are more than happy to, you know, give advice. It should not be overwhelming. It should be a fun process. Um, And it, it, you just enjoy it. It should be, it should be a good, fun-loving process. Bottom line, basically. Yeah. Yes, very much so. All right. So the very last question I have for you is kind of what this podcast is all based on. Um, just kind of open-ended up for your interpretation. It's something I do for. Almost every guest I have on here, so I'm curious if I were to ask you why every wedding should be a little queer, What would you say? Um, variety is a spice of life and everything is better under the rainbow. Just period. Just period. Yes. Uh, yeah, definitely. Definitely. Like outside the box though. Yes, everything should be just a little more queer. Oh my gosh, yes. Yeah, that's one of my favorite answers so far, for sure. Oh my gosh. Well, Angie, again, thank you so very much for sharing your time and your insight and your wisdom with me, with us, so appreciated. Um, I will definitely make sure to put all of your info in the show notes so people can find you and. Yeah. Just thank you so much. Thank you for having me. Um, it's been a pleasure. I hope that this was helpful and, uh, yeah. All right. Clearly Beloved, thanks for listening and we will see you here next week.