On the decks with DUDJ

In an interview with Rob Fitzpatrick, Chair of DUDJ, he discusses the perks of being a member, the rise of techno music and the perseverance required to be a successful DJ


For those of us not in the know, who are DUDJ, what exactly do they do, and how can you get involved? I spoke with the society’s chairperson, Rob Fitzpatrick, in an attempt to answer these essential questions and ultimately get the inside scoop on DUDJ.

Speaking about how he first became involved with the society, Fitzpatrick shared that he “took an interest in [DUDJ] four years ago. When I was in first year they were doing Surf, Sail, Salmon with the Fishing Soc”. Originally known as the Digital Arts Society, they later changed their name to the DUDJ we know today. For a society centred around such a specific interest, DUDJ have gathered a notable following, as Fitzpatrick revealed: “We have around 200 members, which has been growing year after year. When I first started, we had 110 members.”

DUDJ are much more than a strictly music-oriented society, according to Fitzpatrick: “It’s a lot more than DJing,” he noted. “For instance, I’ve gotten loads of experience in planning events [through the society]. We’ve done lots of events with DU Snowsports in recent years, with Snow & Spin taking place last Freshers’ Week and then House of Hatters this year. We plan what equipment we need. We had live rappers for House of Hatters, so [we] had to do soundchecks with them. [We are] coming up with new ideas to make events that are unique and fresh that are actually fun for people.”

“I think it’s harder than ever to be a DJ”

On the society’s greatest successes, Fitzpatrick mentioned the role they played in Wind, Wave, Rave this year along with the Sailing Society, Surf Society, and Windsurfing Society. “We essentially had to fund the whole thing ourselves which meant organising a dance tent with speakers, lights, et cetera as well as transporting students to the other side of Ireland. It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding.”

Joining DUDJ has many benefits whereby you’ll likely end up attending a variety of events, allowing you to experience a side of society life that you may not have otherwise been involved in, and often for free. “I often joke to people saying I joined every society without spending a penny,” Fitzpatrick highlighted. “Getting involved with DUDJ has let me see so much more of College than I thought I would. I’ve also been lucky enough to play at many events.”

“Getting involved with DUDJ has let me see so much more of College than I thought I would. I’ve also been lucky enough to play at many events”

Fitzpatrick argued that as a society, DUDJ are “kind of a mini Ents society where we get to do more niche [events]. We aim to do tutorials and teach people to DJ/produce, and then showcase their talents at events”. In doing so, they provide a fantastic opportunity to those who may wish to pursue music as a potential occupation.

The increasing popularity of DJ nights has seen DUDJ members go on to run club nights such as Zodiac and Malibu. On the question of whether it’s becoming easier to break into DJing, Fitzpatrick is opposed: “I think it’s harder than ever to be a DJ. If you don’t keep practicing and tune hunting, you’ll be left behind.” Being a part of a society like DUDJ can help you become part of a community that may offer you a platform to break into the profession. Fitzpatrick also believes that although DJ nights have become more popular, “the scene won’t ever die, [it’s] just inflated at the moment”.

Clubs in Dublin have been reasonable in offering chances to young DJs according to Fitzpatrick, though it’s up to the DJ to work hard and push to get exposure. “Really it’s just about wanting to get your name out there. If you mix regularly and make the effort, your chance will come.” DUDJ has been supported in their ventures by “big name companies such as Bedlam [and] Abstract & Sense”, companies that have influence on the nightlife scene in Dublin which in turn contributes to the society’s ability to provide a platform to young DJs in developing their talents.

“The man makes some serious tunes”

On the topic of prominent artists on the scene at the moment, Fitzpatrick emphasised that your favourite artists can be important in influencing your style and for making playlists for the best nights out. “Certainly one of my favorite DJs and producers is Claude Von Stroke, his music got me into the whole DJing thing. Jamie XX is a big mention; the man makes some serious tunes.”
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more events hosted by the ever-growing DUDJ. You can check out their Soundcloud, Facebook page or simply visit their society’s room in House 6.

Maeve Harris

Maeve Harris is the Life Editor of Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature.