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Do you know the origin of the DJ?

On March 9, World DJ Day is celebrated, thanks to the initiative of the ‘Worl DJ Fund’ and the NGO ‘Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy’. But do you really know the history of these music mixing artists?

For 16 years this day has been celebrated as a tribute to this sector of music that is so in vogue in our time, who take advantage of their ‘birthday’ to donate what they charge these days to charitable causes.

The initiative was carried out in 2002 by the foundation ‘Worl DJ Fund’ and the NGO ‘Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy’ and has been active for more than a decade. But the history of DJs is a few years older.

For those who still do not know what is behind the acronym DJ, a ‘disc-jockey’ is a musician who creates, selects, and plays his own music or composed by other artists before an audience. There are several types, including radio and club DJs.

The first DJ in history

It was Ron Diggins, a British radio engineer who in 1947 built the famous Diggola, considered the first “mixing console” in the history of music. This homemade portable table included two turntables, lights, microphones, an amplifier, and a dozen speakers. And it was made on a coffin wood base.

On his 90th birthday, the first disc jockey confessed that, when he started touring cities and towns with his invention, he received hundreds of criticisms from musicians who did not see with good eyes that he mixed his songs without their consent. Diggins retired in 1995 after DJing at 20,000 parties.

The Big Bang DJ

In the 60s and 70s, with the expansion of nightclubs in Europe and the US, the creation of a specific technology for this figure of music began, such as the ‘CMA-10-2DL mixer’. It is also the time of the birth of ‘hip-hop’ and ‘disco’ music.

In the 80s, the first big names, considered cult DJs, came to us, such as Larry Levan who played at the ‘Paradise Garage’ in New York, or Frankie Knuckles, who with his mixes of ‘disco’ and ‘synth pop’ gave rise to ‘house’ music at the ‘Warehouse Club’ in Chicago. At the same time, in Detroit, ‘techno’ was born.

These were years of great repercussion for DJs, who saw the birth of their first specific magazine for professionals in the sector, the ‘DJ Times’ in 1988 and held for the first time an exclusive event for DJs of electronic dance music, the’ Winter Music Conference ‘at 85 in Florida.

DJs of the digital age

The arrival of the ‘rave’ movement in the 90s radically changed the image of DJs and these artists began to project themselves as superstars or ‘Diva DJs’ who establish particular sounds and brands.

These new ‘Pinchas’ have survived to this day, taking advantage of the technological innovations of the digital age, and there we have such famous names as the French David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, or Bob Sinclar, who travel the world with their mixes.