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How To Make The Perfect Party Playlist, According To A DJ

When it comes to getting people on the dance floor, we've got you covered.

We're still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so please check and follow the latest government rules and advice around the easing of lockdown restrictions.

With the further easing of lockdown restrictions*, you might be thinking of throwing a party or two.

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*Government guidelines around meeting up vary across the UK. You should check and follow the government advice specific to your local area.

So we thought it would be a good idea to sit down with a professional DJ to find out everything you'd need to know about making the perfect party playlist.

Meet JFB, one of Monkey Shoulder's resident DJ and your guide to making the perfect party playlist that'll keep the party going all night long.

JFB, who has worked with Monkey Shoulder for three years, is the DMC World Champion and has lit up parties all over the world — from Amsterdam to Singapore.

Whether it’s hip-hop or drum and bass, he knows exactly what to play to get people dancing and he does it well; his remixes have had millions of views.

Hope you've got a pen and paper ready because you're gonna want to take notes!

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1. If you're going for a specific theme or vibe for your party, make sure your playlist reflects this.

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It's important that your playlist matches the kind of party you're having. Is it festival-themed? Fancy dress? A classy brunch? When JFB is preparing for sets in particular locations, he looks at DJs they’ve booked before to give him an indication of what kind of vibe they’re going for at the venue. A premade playlist may have worked for your bedroom discos over lockdown but a proper party needs a bespoke playlist.

2. Get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere.

3. It's not an option to run out of options. Make sure you have lots of different tracks so you can adjust the music to the party's changing vibes.

4. But always know your crowd-pleasers.

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That being said, there are a number of hits that everyone and their mum love. You want to have a few of these instant dance floor fillers up your sleeve for when you feel the energy starting to take a dip.

A top tip from JFB: If you're hosting your party on a Friday or Saturday night, pick a couple of tracks that actually have lyrics that say Friday or Saturday. People love when songs relate to their surroundings and if you're looking for a sing-along, this is the way to go.

5. Take requests but don't take every request.

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JFB isn't the kind of guy who's opposed to taking requests but he has some rules. According to him, "it’s fine to take crowd requests if It fits with the vibe that’s already being played, but you can’t sacrifice the vibe because of one person." Words to live by.

6. Always follow your instincts and don't take things personally if every single track doesn't get everyone on the dance floor.

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As JFB puts it, “You can never please everyone,” and those are words to live by. You can be as prepared as possible but you never really know what direction the night will take. If a song you thought would get everyone dancing turns out to be a floor clearer, don't worry; put on a crowd-pleaser next and keep the party going!

7. Don't forget to man the decks.

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“One to watch out for is drinks near the laptop” says JFB, who always ensures equipment is well away from the splash zone of his Monkey Colada and protected from anyone who's had a few drinks. That doesn't mean you have to be stuck in one place the whole night. Ask a friend to be your sous-DJ so you get to have your moment on the dance floor too!

8. And last but definitely not least, make sure you’re having a good time!

Monkey Shoulder

Working with Monkey Shoulder for the last three years has taught JFB everything he needs to know about when it comes to this tip: "They genuinely really enjoy what they do, which makes it really fun for me basically.” If you're having a great time, it'll translate to your playlist and that can only mean one thing: a great night.

Now that you have the inside info, why don't you check out JFB on Mixcloud and get planning your own playlist! For even more party inspiration, visit the Monkey Shoulder website.