Meet George Hilton: The no-cheese DJ
George Hilton is well versed in the art of DJing. From clubs to weddings and corporate parties, George knows how to tailor his sets to meet his clients needs. As one of Headliner's most in-demand DJs, we thought it was well worth having a chat with him to see how he got started, why he's doing so well, and what tips he has for aspiring DJs.
For how long have you been DJing and what got you started?
I've been DJing for over 10 years. It started as a hobby and a fun way to listen to music. As I got older I started DJing at friends parties and 3 years ago I decided to DJ full time.
What do you think it takes to be a successful DJ?
A good social network and knowing the right people is huge. Everyone claims they're a DJ nowadays so you need to make sure you take your chances when DJing in a new venue. It's about standing out and making sure people remember you.
Is there a big difference between working as a club DJ and working as a DJ for weddings and corporate events?
There's usually I high standard for corporate & weddings but generally they're easier. You don't need to think to outside the box to impress the client. If the client has a good idea of what they want you can just stick to it.
Unlike working in a band, as a DJ you’re flying solo. What are the pros and cons to that?
It's a lot easier flying solo there's a lot less organisation and not as much equipment. Sometimes on larger events where there’s a lot of waiting around it can be boring. It's also helpful to get different perspectives on how gigs went, as a DJ you always have to work it out yourself.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Being able to enjoy a party and get paid for it.
When you do a gig, how long do you usually play for?
What did you find most difficult when you first started working as a DJ?
Catering to lots of different people. Before I worked full time as a DJ I only played selective gigs and only the music I liked. My first residency was a 6-month contract in Switzerland and I had to step outside my comfort zone and learn how to play sets that catered to the masses. I threw myself in at the deep end, and even though it was a stressful start it was the quickest way to become the multi-genre DJ I wanted to be.
Leading on from that. Do you remember your first professional gig and how you got it?
It was in a small pub where I grew up. Me and my friend played to a small crowd but had a great time DJing outside of our bedrooms for the first time.
Do you have any tips for aspiring DJs who are just starting out?
Always try to deliver the best sets you can. There's been countless times where I played to a room that just isn't in the party mood. You think it's been a bit of a lame gig but at the end people come up to you asking for cards because they've loved the music I've played.