On a typical night, you might find the Brooklyn-based DJ MICK spinning at an event hosted by an A-list celebrity or wowing a crowd of well-heeled New Yorkers at an exclusive nightclub. This Friday, though, he’s headed to Davos, Switzerland to perform at the World Economic Forum—a venue and crowd that’s atypical, to say the least. What’s it like for a high-profile DJ to spin at a party for the world’s most powerful business, political and academic leaders? Below, MICK gives us the scoop—and a sneak peek at his playlist.
Is this your first time at the World Economic Forum?
Yes, it is. I’m thrilled to be going. Anytime you can have a who’s who of business, politics and society all in the same city, let alone the same venue, it’s an amazing and rare occurrence. I’m heading there right from Sundance, so it’s going to be a fun week.
How did you get the gig?
My deejay career is built on the strength of performing at fun events for various big brands. From fashion brands like Bally and IWC to icons like Jay Z—I’m fortunate to have a really creative career. Recently, I’ve been focusing more on the business and tech sector, which is a huge passion of mine. Those connections have since led to global events for brands like Twitter, Spotify and now Yahoo.
Can you offer some details about the party you’re DJing? We’ve heard that it’s a private event for Yahoo!.
I actually really can’t, as many events there are under lock-and-key due to the high-profile nature of some of the attendees. I’m sorry for being vague, but I don’t want the snipers to get me right when I get off of the train. I can tell you it’s next Friday, January 24, and it’s in Davos.
What kind of things do you take into consideration when working at an event like this? Do you get nervous the crowd will be stuffy?
Many things factor into my performance. I’ve learned that even the most stuffy crowd (and yes, they do occasionally exist) can be moved. It just depends on how I choose to creatively approach the night.
Do you adjust your music choices accordingly?
I definitely program the music differently for a special event versus a club performance. Clubs tend to be more “in-the-scene,” so I can take a lot more risks and play tons of new music. I’m slightly more conservative at most events. That being said, I’m still me. And I think people appreciate that, which is why I’m asked to be there in the first place.
What kind of preparation is involved on your part?
I Google—or in this case, Yahoo—the event and the clientele to get a basic overview of the party. But mostly, I just show up and look around. I can usually tell within the first ten minutes of my set how I need to structure the remainder to ensure the maximum amount of people have the best time possible. It’s really about watching and interacting with your crowd.
Can you talk about the sample playlist you put together?
I try to play as many fun genres and eras as I can, and mix them together in a way that makes sense. So you might hear The Beatles and then Rihanna. You might hear Jay Z and then Coldplay. I might play some Disclosure and then play Depeche Mode. That’s a random sample idea, but I tend to be rather diverse and try to keep the fun and energy going.
The Beatles: I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Rihanna: Pour It Up (Cosmic Dawn Mix)
Jay Z and Coldplay: Back At My Place (Viva La Hova Remix)
Disclosure: When A Fire Starts To Burn
Depeche Mode: Enjoy The Silence