Alan Robb aka Scottish DJ is a professional DJ from Milwaukee, Wis., who owns Accent Events, a company aimed at offering affordable entertainment. Scottish DJ has more than 20 years experience DJ-ing and is passionate about music and parties.
We asked him these six questions for our DJ profile.
1. How and when did you get started as a DJ? What types of events do you do?
I started DJ-ing in college, back in 1984, in part because it was something I wanted to learn how to do. I wasn’t paid for it, all of us were volunteering. About seven years later a buddy of mine was doing karaoke for a company and I went along with him. I had some experience so he threw me into things and got me some bookings. So, I started getting paid for it. Another couple of years down the road he sold me his business.
I came to the United States in 2002 (from Scotland). I love it here, but I didn’t start DJ-ing for about five years [after arriving]. I needed to find a job with health insurance. I did three to four weddings over the years, but I realized I was unhappy. I was happy living here, but I wasn’t doing the job I wanted. So, we’re coming to four years in business here. And in August will be 20 years since I did my first wedding, in 1991.
2. Is this a full-time job or something you do on the side? If it’s a side job, please let us know what you do full-time.
It’s been my full-time business for four years, and it’s a little more of a struggle, compared to how it is for other people who just do DJ-ing over the weekends. When you don’t have to live on what you earn as a DJ, it’s a little different. I’m not saying it makes you less professional, but you don’t have to deal with the running of a business and to survive.
3. What fixtures are included in your setup? What are you looking to add?
The majority of what I use is LED. I have a Vue 3.1, my favorite light ever. Almost every wedding I’ve done I’ve used a Vue 3.1; also the COLORstrips, Min Spots, the COLORpalettes. I have COLORdash Accents for uplighting. Also, for some of the uplighting I use the LEDrain 38 and 56.
I’m always looking into what is new on the market and I buy things that have multiple uses. Most of the things I am considering buying soon are for uplighting, because that’s an area I’m looking to expand. The lights pay for themselves every time I use them. I tend to buy only when something significantly new comes along. I think the next novelty will be the wireless fixtures. I will buy them when they get to the point where they’re affordable, when you can buy more of them, not just one or two.
4. What is your favorite fixture and why?
The Vue 3.1 for me has been one of my favorites. It always has a role to play and I tend to shine it on the ceiling. The COLORstrips are incredible versatile. I’ve been able to use them for uplighting, for dance floor, for different applications. And people love the Eclipse.
5. Best advice you can give someone just getting started in the DJ industry?
Don’t think that your equipment makes you a DJ. Just because you’ve bought the equipment and you’ve been able to master how to it works, doesn’t mean you’re a true DJ. People skills will take you much further in DJ-ing than technical DJ-ing. You can do a good job, but you need the social skills.
I’m a marketing major and I believe in marketing. The problem with a lot of DJs is that they’re not business people. They don’t know how to set pricing and how to market themselves. The thing that always disappoints me is people who get into DJ-ing and spend their time complaining. I think I have the greatest job in the world. If you can’t love doing this, step aside and let someone else do it. I do this every single week, if you don’t love this, go and do something else.
6. What are your top three most requested songs?
That can change month to month. Ninety-five percent of what I do is weddings, so people ask for wedding songs.