Profile: Daryll Barnby
So, before I begin sharing an insight into my journey in the DJ industry, I would like to extend my gratitude to Eddie for allowing me to share my story with you, the Pro Mobile readers. This particular section of the magazine is one I always look forward to reading and I feel extremely honoured to be given the opportunity.
For me it all began back at the age of 19 (quite a late arrival on the scene compared to some). At this time I found myself attending a lot of family parties, where my curiosity was always drawn to the DJ/disco and, based on what I witnessed at many of these parties, I came to the conclusion there was no reason why I couldn’t give DJing a go myself.
However, I wanted to do things properly from the outset so did not dive straight in and buy a load of equipment and start selling myself as a DJ. With the use of the trusty Yellow Pages I selected a local disco company, based around two miles away from where I live, and nervously rang them up to see if they would be willing to let me come along and roadie for them. To my delight, the owner of the company, Steve, was more than happy to take me along as it gave him an extra pair of hands.
I soon began what could be considered my apprenticeship with Steve and quickly began to learn a great deal about the setting up of equipment and all the behind the scenes stuff. Once I’d learnt the ropes I began to cover the early part of the evening for him at the various events I was attending and my confidence soon began to grow, along with my musical knowledge. Like many people, I was nervous the first time I picked up the microphone and addressed a room. However, despite the inevitable nerves, speaking in public had never fazed me and I quickly developed a very confident manner on the microphone.
After only three months on the road with Steve, he turned round to me one night driving home and stated that he thought I was ready to go out and do my own shows under his business name. He eased me in gently, with my first complete solo gig being at his house for a family and friends BBQ. Thankfully it was a great success and from there I began covering a wide range of gigs for him at least once a week, initially using all his equipment.
As the months went on I realised that DJing wasn’t just a passing phase and was something I wanted to pursue seriously. I started re-investing all the money I earned from gigs on my own equipment, as well as building up a back catalogue of music via CD purchases and downloads. Once I reached the stage where I had a full rig of my own, I decided it was the right time to begin pursuing work under my own name. Looking back, I still cringe at the name I chose for my first business, P.I.J. Roadshow. This wasn’t an acronym, as it appears, but instead came from a nickname I’d be given due to my shoulder movement when I laughed: ‘pidge’. I did very little in the form of actual advertising, with most of my gigs coming through word of mouth or from family and friends.
The first 18 months out on my own were a huge learning curve and I will quite openly admit things didn’t always go according to plan. But during this time I also learned many valuable lessons which have had a huge bearing on my attitude and approach to my business in the present day. I covered a wide spectrum of events including birthday parties for various ages, anniversary celebrations, sixth form parties, christenings, children’s birthdays and quiz nights as well as my all-important first wedding gig, which was a great success. This experience of so many different types of booking allowed me to quickly develop a very versatile and adaptable approach to my DJing.
My DJ career took a big leap forward towards the end of 2006 when I was fortunate enough to be offered a Saturday night residency in Escapade Nightclub, Newport, which attracted over 2000 people through the doors every week! It was very much a case of being in the right place at the right time and came about whilst I was in the club as a punter one night and decided, on the spur of the moment (following a beer or six), to ask the DJ if there were any opportunities going. Much to my amazement he asked me into the DJ booth to play a few tunes and make a couple of announcements over the microphone! This was on the downstairs floor of the club which had a party and commercial R&B music policy. Despite being drunk and using someone else’s CD collection my ‘on the spot trial’ seemed to impress the manager, who was watching from the VIP area. After my little moment in the spotlight I was taken over and introduced to him, where he offered me the downstairs Saturday night residency on the provision I became the lighting jock on a Friday night. This was a win-win for me, as it not only gave me my break into club DJing, but also gave me the opportunity to become familiar with DMX programming and learn the concept and theory behind it, which proved invaluable later on in my career.
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 97, Pages 15 - 18.