Peter Rosenberg: "If You Don't Have Turntables You're Not a DJ" [Interview]

Sorry guy with a laptop and a Spotify account, you're not a DJ.
Publish date:
Social count:
Sorry guy with a laptop and a Spotify account, you're not a DJ.

Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Peter Rosenberg has strong opinions and, no surprise, some of his strongest opinions revolve around  DJs. 

In a continuation of our previous interview with the NYC radio personality, Rosenberg shared with us that he doesn't consider someone a DJ unless they're spinning on turntables. At a time when just about everyone is making appearances on weekend DJ jaunts, the debate over what one considers a DJ has been raging for some time.

The EDM wave brought with it a slew of new innovations and digitized maneuverability that crested with the Swedish House Mafia incident of 2012 when Steve Angello was videotaped casually walking around behind the boards, smoking a cigarette and occasionally hitting a button or two. Simply put, it's gotten too easy, and Peter's not impressed.

Speaking on the basic differences between DJ'ing with turntables and vinyl vs. using a playlist on a Macbook, Rosenberg mentions how people often are able to have conversations while they mix songs, whereas he is fully tuned in when blending the sounds of vinyl over one another because it's a skill that requires real attention. While some may take it as old-headedness on the Hot97 personality's behalf, it bears a lot of truth. As things get easier due to technology we have to start realizing that easier doesn't always equate to better, as anyone who has seen both an average DJ set juxtaposed against the four turntable whirlwind that is an RJD2 performance. Go ahead, play some great music to an adoring crowd, but save the "DJ" title for the actual DJs.

The whole thing actually reminds me of some tweets I recently saw from writer turned party-starter Ernest Baker who was talking up his use of Spotify the night before he went to "DJ" a party. Maybe that's the future, but if so it seems like one I'd rather not RSVP for. 

[by Jake Krez, who's never claimed to be a DJ. You can follow him on Twitter.]