UMass-Amherst graduate DJ Lindsay Luv has turned tables for some of the most stylish clients in the business -- from Victoria's Secret to NYLON Magazine -- and even lent her mug to campaigns for Andrew Marc and Boston's own Miss KL, the girly counterpart of streetwear e-comm giant, Karmaloop.com. Now she's returning to her Boston roots to step into the DJ booth at the Revere Hotel's swanky Emerald Affair on New Year's Eve, but if you can't make her gig, Miss Luv shared her tips for how to make a party playlist and even created an exclusive mix for Boston.com and The Globe. (We're pretty cool, in case you didn't know already.)
First of all -- what do you listen to when you're getting ready to go out?
When I want to get pumped I listen to a lot of Madonna. I'm known to play her CDs on repeat but something I'll listen to my own mixes, which I know sounds horrible but when I make mixes I know I put stuff I love on it.
If I don't have my own personal DJ, what are my options?
Try finding a pre-mixed playlist. I do mixes for TheFuture.fm, a streaming website with mixes from a variety of DJs around the world. It can be anyone like Tiesto and Avicii to someone local like me. So whenever people are having a party of their own, I just tell them to stream the mixes.
But what if I want my own music?
Ultimately the problem starts when people don't pre-sync their music and create playlists to go with the ambiance of their party. If you haven't sorted through your music or plan to use a pre-made streaming playlist, and you just say, 'OK, play whatever is on my iTunes,' you're going to end up with Barry White one second and Britney Spears the next. It just won't make sense. I like to set up different playlists that go with the mood of the event -- chill out music for a dinner party, maybe some Johnny Cash for a barbeque, and stick with those.
Will a change in music actually change the mood of a party?
The ultimate goal of music at a party is to keep people's senses up. As a DJ, you want to build the night and keep people going. You don't want them to feel like it's time to leave until the very last song. I'll usually start with hip-hop and pop for the first two hours and then move to house and heavier dance music for the last two. Around the last song, when you're ready to get everybody out, that's when you can take it down a notch.
What do you consider to be a good ratio of top 40 and pop music to more indie tracks?
I personally use the two-to-one rule for myself, which means for every one really off-the-wall unknown song that I play, I play two songs everyone is going to recognize after that. You want to mix in those tracks that you think the crowd is going to love and be inspired by so it's not regurgitating the radio. Otherwise what are you doing as a DJ, you know?
EXCLUSIVE -- Lindsay Luv's New Year Eve Playlist
Scream & Shout: Will.i.am & Britney Spears
Midnight City Diamonds (Rihanna x M83) - Mada Remix
Die Young- Ke$ha
We Run the Night - Havana Brown feat. Pitbull
Your Body- Christina Aguilera- The Dirty Tees Remix
We Own the Night- Tiesto & Wolfgang feat. Luciana
Finally Found You- Enrique Iglesias feat. Sammy Adams
Lights (Chase Apollo Mix)- Ellie Goulding
Bright Lights Bigger City- Cee Lo Green
Last Dance- The Raveonettes (DJ Lindsay Luv and DJ D-Major Reflip)
Catch DJ Lindsay Luv at the Revere Hotel's Emerald Lounge for the Emerald Affair New Year's Eve party on Dec. 31. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event.
[Photo by Shannon Cottrell]