DJ Interview with Dean Ingrao in Second Life

The sun was shining as we walked across the sand, the waves lapped at the shore and there were people surfing out on the breakwater. This was the life, sitting on a beach waiting for my interviewee to turn up. There are not many jobs where your office can be such a wonderful place as Kona Beach. My interviewee today is Dean Ingrao (Dingrao Morgath) who has been a DJ in Second Life since 2007. I looked up and there he was walking out of the water, "Just been for a quick surf" he said "hope you dont mind"

"I dont mind at all" i replied "what a nice place to conduct an interview"
"Its one of my favorite places in second life, much better than being in some office" Dean replied as he sat down on the sun lounger next to the table between us.

Me - Thanks for agreeing to an interview Dean
Dean - No problem

Me - I know you have been DJing for a long time now, nearly 9 years in Second Life, how has it been since you started?
Dean - Wow yeah it really has been nearly 9 years hasnt it? I remember my first week in Second Life, nothing like it is now, Skins had only just come out and were new and everyone wanted to look the part, the music went along with that too, i remember working at a club a couple of weeks after i joined as security, i made sure that i looked the part for the job, now i look back i realise i looked terrible but at the time i felt a million dollars. After a few weeks i moved to being a DJ after watching a couple of my friends DJing and i thought if they can do it then so can i so i got a stream and i already owned a copy of SAM broadcaster so it just came naturally. My first gig was to 5 people, Best in Boots competition, i remember that clearly. Everyone turned up in those Ronja's boots, remember them? You can still get them at Freebie galaxy apparently.

Me - Wow thats a blast from the past, Ronjas boots, i hear she also made a lot of other clothes too but everyone just remembers the boots
Dean - Yeah she is still in Second Life now if you search her you can find her, i think she still makes clothes but im not sure but she is still there though which is good.

Me - Speaking of people still here in Second Life, what has kept you here all this time, after all a lot of the people from your generation have now left Second Life after families and other Real Life commitments take them away from being able to log in, whats your secret?
Dean - I came, i saw, i never left. Basically i love the game too much to leave, sure i have had breaks from it like a lot of people do, you have to, you cant just play it day in day out for years on end and then need something else to focus on but i have always come back to SL because of the community, its something you just dont get in other online games. You can get the creation side of SL in other games like Minecraft or other games but the community is what keeps me here

Me - So what about the clubs you have DJ'd in over the years? What was the best one and the worst?
Dean - I would say all the clubs i have played at have been the best as i choose where i DJ selectively, i dont just play anywhere as it can damage your reputation if you take jobs in clubs that only close down after a couple of weeks. I make sure the club managers have a commitment to the club they own like Dakota Neuman of the GOL clubs. He ran the GOL franchise in SL for 9 years and spent thousands of dollars in sim fees and other fees, he had commitment to the club and to the people who came to it. I like club owners like that, people who realise they dont only make a club they build a brand just like you would in real life.

Me - I remember GOL, it was a great set of clubs, so would you say it was the best club in Second Life?
Dean - It sure has to be up there in the top 10, was it the best? It could have been at the time but like everything else, things move on and there are always new and innovative clubs coming on the grid to try and take that crown. Just look at Woods which is now back, i remember them back in 2008 playing the best dance music along with GOL and others being true 24/7 clubs, you could go to them any time day or night and people would be just hanging out there even if there were no DJ's playing, such is the power of having a great club with great people behind it

Me - So whats your thoughts on how to run a good club?
Dean - Gotta have a great team. There is no point in having the best looking build if the management team behind it are no good or dont work together well. If they dont get on, the club will fall apart. You got to find people who think the same way that you do about the club. If they dont then just be honest and tell them, its better for you, them and the club if you dont employ them than if you do and it messes up as its real life money going into these clubs its not playing, there is real life commitment by the owner and the staff so if you employ the wrong staff all that goes out the window. Then the VIP notice and stop coming and your club closes. The most important thing, more than the music, building, location, is the staff and making sure they work together.

Me - So what about you and DJing? How do you do it? Are you a live mixer or do you use a program like SAM Broadcaster all the time?
Dean - I do use SAM a lot but i also do like to live mix now and again. I like the fact there are clubs like Energy that insist on live mixing by their DJs and dont have playlist DJ's. If i am playing at a club where they want requests to be taken then a lot of the time i will use SAM just because its easier to slot in the requests into the set but if i can play a 2 hour set or whatever and play what i want then i might live mix and see what peoples reactions are to it and adjust it accordingly. Having a playlist ready made for your set is just being lazy. I know people go "but i researched all the music and i made the songs so they flow into one another" yes you might have done all that but its still push buttons and your done. I treat SAM like i am live mixing and will search for the next song while the current one is playing depending on what the crowd are like. If they want more of one genre then i will get that on next, i always read the crowd and play stuff accordingly

Me - So what advice would you give to new DJ's or people wanting to DJ in Second Life?
Dean - Make sure you have a big variety of music in your collection, you never can tell what kind of requests you will get. Also when you first start out, find a genre of music you like and are passionate about and stick to it. If you like rock and you have a lot of rock music in your collection then be a rock DJ, if you like house then be a house DJ. There is no point trying to be a house DJ if you are really into rock in real life as it will show when you play your DJ set and you will get caught out by the VIP. When you start out its best to just stick to one style and be good at that rather than a mediocre jack of all trades DJ. Once you are more established then you can branch out but to start with just stick with one style until you are confident with your equipment and the clubs you play at. Also make sure you have a good host/hostess. A good host/hostess will keep the party going for you while you concentrate on the music, if they do their job right then you dont have to worry as much about the crowd, you should make sure your music is top rate so the VIPs enjoy their time at the club and come back again when you DJ next. Its all well and good having a top class looking avie, great skin, hair, mesh clothes, 100 listener 320kbps stream if you mess up your music or play styles that they dont want to hear. Make sure you play what the club wants you to.

Me - Good advice there for anyone starting out, so lastly where do you see the Second Life music scene going in the next few years?
Dean - I have noticed the trend of moving away from the traditional "best in" competition events to just having a party with a DJ and host/hostess where people come to listen to the music and hang out with their friends and chat. While this is a good thing for club owners, they dont have to spend the money on prizes, it also means you get a lot of more empty clubs. I would like to see a return of some kind of competition events at clubs, it makes it fun if you have a theme and people want to get involved along with you. I know this can be costly though having to buy a costume you might only use once so maybe they wont be coming back any time soon but having fun competitions again would be good. Also maybe clubs sharing buildings and land to reduce the cost on the owners, like have rezzable clubs so that say 4 clubs share 1 plot of land, club A has it for 6 hours, club B for 6 hours, club C for 6 hours and club D for 6 hours. When your events are over your club derezzes and the next one rezzes in its place. This would mean that club owners could share land and the tier which would make it so much cheaper and you could then have more clubs maybe?

Me - That would actually be a good idea, maybe you should try and build one that does that? Like an auto rezzer for clubs?
Dean - Yeah i might have to look into it lol

Me - Well thank you Dean for your time and for your insight into the SL club scene, i really enjoyed listening to your thoughts
Dean - No problem, i am always up for chatting with people about the club scene as its been part of my gaming life for so long now i feel its part of me, its what defines my SL time so thanks for inviting me to come on here.

So what were your thoughts on this interview? What do you think about the Second Life club scene? What clubs do you like or dislike? What do you think would make the club scene better? Do you agree with Dean or what are your thoughts. Let me know in the comments box below, thank you for joining us for this interview and i will see you next time

Credits - Outside broadcast facility provided by Beardmore Entertainment
Transcription service provided by PoweredBy Diesel
This interview and its contents are © 2016 Legendary Productions SL

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