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The DJ phenomenon of Paris Hilton, and why it doesn’t matter


Paris Hilton’s ability to rake in millions while knob twiddling an S4 (and now the S8) is always an easy target for writers, and is a subject I’ve drafted posts about but never published. This week however, she only went and won a Female Breakthrough Artist of the Year award (not best female DJ – that was DJ Oriska), thus making it harder than ever not to craft some words. These words however are not what everyone might expect as I don’t walk the easy path of hating, but instead have put it all into context, and I have one overwhelming opinion…


You really need to keep this front and centre in your mind when dealing with the Paris Hilton DJ phenomenon. Her ability to demand insane loot per gig and win awards is bugger all to do with DJing, but everything to do with being Paris Hilton. It’s all about pulling power and celebrity.


Like oh so many awards and top whatevers, they’re valueless popularity contests. It’s all about the VIPs working their PR machines night and day in turbo mode to whip up as many public votes as is humanly possible. It’s not as if there is a panel of respected elder DJs who honour worthy recipents with things that actually mean something. No, this is a numbers game and nothing more. In this respect, Paris Hilton could win the best anything and everything award, because it’s all about fans pressing a vote button. Remember, it is not “best”, but is “most voted for”.

So treat this and any other popularity contest with the… I was going to say contempt, but even that’s an emotion wasted on something with zero value. Well to us anyway – each one does mean she gets yet more money per gig though.


Again, you really need to remember that this isn’t about Paris Hilton’s DJ skills, but is all about her ability to fill a club. In fairness to her, having watched a video (which has now gone), it does appear like she can actually blend one track into another. But that isn’t why punters are dropping £70 for VIP entry. Those people want to see Paris Hilton, but not to see Paris Hilton DJ. It is the experience, the atmosphere, and being able to get utterly mullered in the process.


Of course you are, but you’re a DJ, and you’re the worst critic of other DJs, and by far the worst person to go into a club. But once again, when you keep in mind that this is about the celebrity of Paris Hilton and not the DJ skills, it becomes much easier to let go.

Let’s do a test — which of you considers yourself to be a better DJ than Paris Hilton? Woah — I’m not counting all those hands. But could any of you walk into Amnesia and pitch a four night residency based on your most awesome mixtape and doubtlessly glossy press pack, and expect to get £1.6m? You could even offer to go head to head in a DJ showcase with Paris Hilton to hammer home your superior abilities. “But I have no idea who you are” says the promoter, “and neither will the crowd”.

So yes you have the skills, and you could doubtlessly rock the crowd. But you were never getting that gig because you are not Paris Hilton.


If you want to be angry at anyone, vent your spleen at the crowd, who will pay insane amounts of cash for entry, drinks, and anything else that might be on offer. Be angry at the way that in the eyes of that crowd, celebrity trumps ability and quality. Nobody is making them go though — it is entirely their choice.

That crowd, even knowing that she’s merely adequate at beatmatching WANTS the full Paris Hilton experience. And given the huge payout, she’s more than happy to be centre of attention, do her thing, and drench the crowd in foam, a crowd that loves every minute and staggers away happy and wet. And you would as well if offered mad loot and an Ibiza residency. But you are not Paris Hilton.


In the whole scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter at all. Paris Hilton operates in her own sphere of DJing that has no impact on yours whatsoever. You were never getting that gig, because it was only ever going to be hers and created specially for her anyway.

For me it’s a matter of “don’t hate the player, hate the game”. The Urban dictionary states it in terms more suitable of my prosaic style:

“Do not fault the successful participant in a flawed system; try instead to discern and rebuke that aspect of its organization which allows or encourages the behavior that has provoked your displeasure.”

I guess that’s the Urban Dickensian English Dictionary then.

To wrap up, quoting an article from Complex describing her audience and where you should really be targeting your displeasure:

“The crowds do seem to enjoy it but most are too off their faces to care that she’s simply pressed play on a Beyoncé megamix.”

So the crowd is to blame, because they don’t want your awesome skills. They care not for the time and effort that went into custom edits, amazing multi-layered four deck mixes, or your own expertly crafted productions. Simply put — they are not the discerning crowd you’re looking for. Instead they want to be crammed sardine style into Amnesia, buy ridiculously overpriced drinks, and be sprayed with a foam canon while dancing to any old EDM top 40 guff. Why? Because she is Paris Hilton.


As a DJ hack, it was probably expected that I write a story about Paris Hilton. I apologise in advance if this offends, but I had to get it out of my system. But unless she wins DMC or makes a Kontrol S8 promo video for NI, I won’t be doing it again.

Original image © BRYAN VAN DER BEEK.