Thursday, February 2, 2012

Valentine's Day Music Playlist

It's that time of the year to show love and appreciation for our significant others. In addition to the chocolates and flowers, why not present a custom Valentine's mix CD? Custom mix CDs are inexpensive, and unlike roses, will last for many years!

Listed below are 20 suggestions. For an additional enhancement, consider recording a personalized voice message and adding it as a track to your project. Ready to pop the big question and propose? Record your proposal and add it to the playlist. The following track can be the Dixie Cup's "Chapel of Love" for when she says yes!

Cupid- Johnny Nash (reggae)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face- Marcia Griffiths (reggae)
Don't Look Any Further- Dennis Edwards (R&B)
Crash Into Me- Dave Matthews Band (modern)
My Funny Valentine- Chet Baker (jazz)
I'm Yours- Jason Mraz (modern)
If I Should Fall Behind- Bruce Springsteen (rock)
Fade Into You- Mazzy Star (alternative)
Nothing Compares to You- Sinead O'Connor (80s)
Lost Without You- Robin Thicke (R&B)
The Way You Make Me Feel- Michael Jackson (pop)
Wicked Game- Chris Isaak (80s)
Lotus Flower Bomb- Wale f/Miguel (hip hop/R&B)
Lovesong- The Cure (80s)
Heaven- Bryan Adams (classic)
Wonderful Tonight- Eric Clapton (classic)
Do You Realize? The Flaming Lips (alternative)
Faithfully- Journey (classic)
Drive- The Cars (80s)
True- Spandau Ballet (80s)

For additional song ideas, see our 2011 Valentine's Day song suggestions here.

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey. We enjoy collaborating with clients to create unforgettable family celebrations. For more info, visit us on the web at

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lessons for Disc Jockeys from Steve Jobs

In 2011, the world lost a modern day pioneer and visionary, Steve Jobs. Jobs, the driving force behind Apple, fought cancer for a number of years but not before linking up with renowned biographer Walter Isaacson. The resulting biography of Steve Jobs is a riveting story about a creative genius who leaves behind an enduring legacy.

This book will appeal to many readers: to Apple fans, to those interested in business and personal success, and to those fascinated with Jobs’ intense personality that frequently clashed with those around him. This blog article explores takeaways from Steve Jobs relevant to Mobile Disc Jockeys. What can we learn from the life of Steve Jobs?

Make a Commitment to Excellence- Jobs was a perfectionist who paid great attention to details. He drove his staff extremely hard, taking them to levels of achievement they never could have imagined. Jobs is quoted as saying, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” As extremely busy working DJs, it easy to get lulled into a sense of complacency and to lose the drive for improvements in customer service, performance and innovation.

Create Products that are Intuitive, Easy to Use and Fun- As a designer, Jobs was fond of the Japanese Zen minimalist style. Despite having a simple and intuitive design, Apple products were designed to be fun, not cold. For example, Jobs was integrally involved with the intuitive jog wheel for the iPod and touch screen for the iPad. As DJs, we should strive to keep our services and planning services fun and intuitive. This is particularly the case as we are in the entertainment industry!

A Commitment to Great Products - Jobs has frequently been compared to Bill Gates of Microsoft, and the two frequently clashed before making amends later in Jobs’ life. Jobs asserted that during his tenure at Apple it was all about the product, while at Microsoft it was all about profits. Jobs believed that “You always have to keep pushing to innovate.” In the case of Apple, phenomenal products resulted in breathtaking profits and growth. As Mobile DJs, by starting with a focus on the quality of our services, profits and growth can follow.

Don’t Be a Music Pirate - Apple revolutionized the music industry with the rollout of the iTunes store in 2003, allowing consumers to legally purchase high-quality digital files of their favorite songs. The iTunes store was an alternative to the illegal filesharing sites that had proliferated. Jobs stated that “If protection of intellecutal property begins to disappear, creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there’s a simpler reason: It’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your character.”

Don’t Rely on Market Research, Innovate!- Jobs did not believe in conducting market research, instead opting to develop innovative products that met a need that he perceived. For example, Jobs and his design team were avid music lovers, and developed the iPod around features that they wanted to see in a new product. In the Mobile DJ industry, it is easy to adopt a follower mindset in terms of equipment and services. But what opportunities exist in your local market that are not currently being provided?

It’s OK to be a Little Prickly, But Not a Prick- Steve Jobs saw the world in binary terms - he either loved something or hated it. Jobs was brutally honest, to a fault. Isaacson concluded that “The nasty edge to his personality was not necessary. It hindered him more than it helped him.”

In the final chapter of the book “Legacy,” Isaacson writes about Jobs, “Steve Jobs thus became the greatest business executive of our era, the one most certain to be remembered a century from now. History will place him in the pantheon right next to Edison and Ford. More than anyone else of his time, he made products that were completely innovative, combining the power of poetry and processors. With a ferocity that could make working with him as unsettling as it was inspiring, he also built the world’s most creative company. And he was able to infuse into its DNA the design sensibilities, perfectionism, and imagination that make it likely to be, even decades from now, the company that thrives best at the intersection of artistry and technology.” As Disc Jockeys, we also exist at this intersection, and how well we balance artistry and technology will determine the long-term success of our businesses.

Chapter 32, “Music Man,” is a must-read for DJs, as Jobs revealed which songs are on his iPod! He was particularly fond of Bob Dylan, as well as of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey. We enjoy collaborating with clients to create unforgettable family celebrations. From time to time, we also are industry innovators! For more info, visit us on the web at

Sunday, January 29, 2012

5 Tips to Avoid Spoiling a Teen Dance Party

A teen dance party such as a Sweet 16 is a highly anticipated life event. Unfortunately, these parties can be spoiled by the unfortunate actions of a few. Left unchecked, these negative elements can result in a party being shut down early by the banquet staff (or police). Below, we offer five tips to ensure that your party is a stunning success!

Here are five party planning tips to ensure a smooth evening:

Tip #1- Acknowledge that teenagers are growing up fast, and that some may be experimenting with alcohol. Both the party celebrant and their parents must make it clear from the get-go that alcohol will not be tolerated at the party.

Tip #2- Regulate your guest list by quantity and quality. Often times it is the "fringe" friends, and not the inner circle, who cause trouble. That is because the inner circle realizes how special this day is, and would never ruin the evening for their friend.

Tip #3- Make it clear that no water bottles will be allowed to the party, as these are probably vodka-waters in disguise! Teenage guests should also not be allowed to leave the building until the party is over.
Tip #4 - If your banquet hall does not require you to utilize one of their security officers, consider hiring a security officer to police the event. Or, have a family member or friend serve as a vigilant chaperone. If anything, their presence may serve as a deterrent.

Tip #5 - Dance styles have evolved, and hip hop-style "bumping and grinding" is popular among some teens. Discuss in advance to what extent you will or will not allow a little bump and grind. Left unchecked, the dance floor could come to resemble a circus freak show that reflects poorly upon the family.

Keep it safe, keep it classy, and you will have an unforgettable Teen Dance Party!

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey. We enjoy collaborating with clients to create unforgettable family celebrations. For more info, visit us on the web at

Thursday, January 19, 2012

25 Recommended Songs for a Video Slideshow Presentation

One of our most popular upgrades is the "Video Slideshow." A slideshow of 5-7 minutes long (recommended length) is projected onto a large screen, with the audio for the presentation run through our professional sound system.  To maximize the emotional impact of a slideshow, you will need to select the perfect accompanying music.  

Listed below are 25 suggestions for songs to be played during a video slideshow that will emotionally move the celebrant and guests - perhaps to tears.  In parentheses, we have listed what type of party the song would be best suited for.  Note that songs that typically are "over the top" for  general party music (think Celine Dion), are often excellent candidates for slideshows!  Please comment with your own song suggestions.

1) 100 Years - Five for Fighting (weddings)
2) Marry Me - Train (weddings)
3) The Graduation Song - Vitamin C (graduations)
4) In My Daughter's Eyes - Martina McBride (coming of age, girl)
5) Daughters - John Mayer (coming of age, girl)
6) Through the Years - Kenny Rogers (milestone birthday or anniversary)
7) The Times of Your Life - Paul Anka (milestone birthday or anniversary)
8) What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong (milestone birthday or anniversary)
9) Memories - Elvis Presley (milestone birthday or anniversary)
10) Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney (milestone anniversary)
11) As Time Goes By - Frank Sinatra (milestone anniversary)
12) My Baby You - Marc Anthony (wedding or child)
13) A Whole New World - Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle (child)
14) Secret Garden - Bruce Springsteen (multi-purpose)
15) I Will Be Here - Steven Curtis Chapman (multi-purpose)
16) Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion (multi-purpose)
17) Hero - Mariah Carey (multi-purpose)
18) Longer - Dan Fogelberg (anniversary)
19) I'll Always Love You - Taylor Dayne (anniversary)
20) Only Time - Enya (multi-purpose)
21) Forever Young - Rod Stewart/Alphaville/Jay-Z (coming of age)
22) The Best is Yet to Come - Tony Bennett (coming of age)
23) The Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) - Green Day (multi-purpose)
24) Time - Alan Parson Project (in memoriam)
25) Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton (in memoriam)

In a future episode of the Ambient DJ blog, we will offer tips for maximizing the success of your Video Slideshow.

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey.  We enjoy collaborating with clients to create unforgettable family celebrations.  For more info, visit us on the web at

Old School Hip Hop - Playlist

As per Wikipedia, "Old school hip hop (also spelled "old skool") describes the earliest commercially recorded hip hop music (approximately from 1979–1984), and the music in the period preceding it from which it was directly descended. Old school hip hop is said to end around 1983 or 1984 with the emergence of Run–D.M.C., the first new school hip hop group.  However, some old school rap stations cover 1980s hip hop in general, occasionally extending even into the mid 1990s.  The image, styles and sounds of the old school were exemplified by figures like Afrika Bambaataa, The Sugarhill Gang, Spoonie Gee, Treacherous Three, Funky Four Plus One, Kurtis Blow, Fab Five Freddy, Busy Bee Starski, Lovebug Starski, Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, The Fat Boys, The Cold Crush Brothers, Kool Kyle, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five,and it is characterized by the simpler rapping techniques of the time and the general focus on party related subject matter."

Below we list some of our favorite "old skool" party jams (defined as 80s hip hop), but paying particular homage to the early 80s.  Please leave comments with our own favorite selections!

Rapper's Delight - The Sugarhill Gang

Fat Boys - Fat Boys

Beat Street - Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five

Rockin' It - Fearless Four

Rockit - Herbie Hancock

The Message - Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

That's the Joint - The Funky 4 + 1 (the first hip hop group to appear on Saturday Night Live!)

Rappin' & Rocking the House" - The Funky 4 + 1

Sucker M.C.'s - Run-D.M.C.

Roxanne - U.T.F.O.

Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force

Hard Times - Run-D.M.C.

The Breaks - Kurtis Blow

At the Dixie - Cold Crush Brothers

Paul Revere - The Beastie Boys

Warm it Up, Kane - Big Daddy Kane

The Bridge - MC Shan

The Show - Doug E. Fresh

Mona Lisa - Slick Rick

The Whodini Mega-Mix (5 Minutes of Funk/Friends/Freaks Come Out at Night) - Whodini

Larry's Dance Theme - Grandmaster Flash

One For the Treble - Davy DMX

Breakers Revenge - Arthur Baker (featured in breakdance battle from Beat Street in video below!)

Al Naafijsh - Kashim

Freedom - Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five

Adventures of Rhyme - Jimmy Spicer

Wild, Wild West - Kool Moe Dee

The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel - Grandmaster Flash

Rapture - Blondie (her rap verse payed deference to Grandmaster Flash and Francois K.!) (sure, the record doesn't fall exactly into the genre, but does capture the feeling of the time!)

I Can't Live Without My Radio - LL Cool J

White Lines (Don't Do It) - Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel

Don't Believe the Hype - Public Enemy

Basketball - Kurtis Blow

8th Wonder - The Sugarhill Gang

Brass Monkey - The Beastie Boys

It's Like That - Run-D.M.C.

Jam Master Jay - Run-D.M.C.

Iron Mike and I catch up with the Cold Crush Crew!
Catching up with the legendary Grandmaster Flash!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ideas for Wedding Cocktail Hour Music

A wedding cocktail hour is a time to set the mood.  It is a transition point between the formal ceremony and the convivial wedding reception party that is to follow.  Ingredients for a winning cocktail hour mix include:  1) atmospheric selections that put guests in a great mood,  2) a mix of current and classic music appropriate for guests of all ages, 3) an increasing energy level as the cocktail hour progresses (and the drinks kick in!);  and 4) intelligent song selections that include re-inventions of classics and some international spice.

At Ambient DJ, we do not use stock cocktail hour mixes, but rather custom program each set to reflect the unique style of the event.  The list below is organized into mini-sets by genres, that can be mixed and matched to reflect your own tastes in music.  Thematically, no 'breakup songs' are allowed, but the most important factor is the "feel" of the song, so even if there are occasionally "bittersweet lyrics," these tracks are fine.  This track list would also work well for the softer moments of a wedding reception while guests are eating and conversing.

Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
The Best is Yet to Come - Tony Bennett
You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You - Dean Martin
Quando, Quando - Michael Buble w/Nelly Furtado

Peel Me a Grape - Ramsey Lewis w/Nancy Wilson
Speak Low - Cybill Shepherd with Stan Getz
Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson
I Put a Spell on You - Queen Latifah
Besame Mucho - Diana Krall

The Promise - When in Rome
Take My Breath Away - Berlin
Drive - The Cars
Eyes Without a Face - Billy Idol
You Get What You Give - New Radicals

My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
Valerie - Amy Winehouse
P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care) - John Legend
Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys
Cherish the Day - Sade
Set Fire to the Rain (Moto Blanc Dance Remix) - Adele 

All I Need - Air
I Only Have Eyes for You (cover) - Jamie Cullum
Whatever Lola Wants (Verve Remixed) - Sara Vaughan
So Come Voce - Thievery Corporation
Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun
54B - Mudd

The Girl From Ipanema - Bebel Gilberto with Kenny G.
Aganju (Latin Project Remix) - Bebel Gilberto
Mas Que Nada - Sergio Mendes f/The Black Eyed Peas
Un Simple Histoire - Thievery Corporation

Classics (Oldies)
Best of My Love - The Eagles
Crazy Love - Van Morrison
Michelle - The Beatles
Love's Theme - The Love Unlimited Orchestra
Rise - Herb Alpert
Feels So Good - Chuck Mangione

Alternative Rock
Awake My Soul - Mumford & Sons
Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg
Marry Me (First Dance Mix) - Train
Baby I'm Yours - Arctic Monkeys
First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine
Thank You Too - My Morning Jacket

If I Should Fall Behind - Bruce Springsteen
Walking on the Moon - The Police
The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix
One - U2 f/Mary J. Blige
Low Light - Pearl Jam
The Pump - Jeff Beck
Big Yellow Taxi - The Counting Crows f/Vanessa Carlton

New Age
Paint the Sky With Stars - Enya
Only Time - Enya
Bellissimo - Ilya

No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley
Close to You - Maxxi Priest
Red, Red Wine - UB40
Never Ever Worry - Lord Pretender
Jump in the Line - Harry Belafonte

Why Don't We Just Dance - Josh Turner
People are Crazy - Billy Currington
Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not - Thompson Square
Highway 20 Ride - Zac Brown Band
Lost in This Moment - Big & Rich


Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ service based in Central New Jersey.  Our company prides itself on its deep musical knowledge and programming skills.  To learn more about our wedding, corporate and private party services, visit our website at

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DJ Gregg Ambient's Top 25 Dance Tracks - Winter 2012

A regular feature of the Ambient DJ blog is the submission of quarterly playlists.  These songs reflect selections that a particular DJ is currently using in his party sets. To kick off the New Year right, Ambient DJ's head honcho "DJ Gregg Ambient" chimes in with his Top 25 favorites!  They are listed in no particular order:

1) Dance (A*$) (Nicki Minaj) - Big Sean f/Nicki Minaj (hip hop)
2) T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever) - with J. Lo and Mick Jagger (dance) 
3) I'm Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO (Dance)
4) Rack City - Tyga (Hip Hop)
5) The Motto - Drake f/Lil Wayne (Hip Hop)
6) Good Feeling - Flo Rida (dance)
7) Moves Like Jagger - Maroon Five (Pop/Dance)
8) Ladi Dadi - Steve Aoki with Wynter Gordon (electro)
9) Set Fire to the Rain (Moto Blanc Remix) - Adele (dance)
10) Lotus Flower Bomb - Wale w/Miguel (R&B)
11) Lovumba - Daddy Yankee (Reggaeton)
12) Take Over Control - Afrojack f/Eva Simons (dance)
13) Shuri Shuri (Crazy) (Bodybangers Remix) - Denis Naidanow w/Juan Nagan (Latin Dance)
14) Turn Me On - David Guetta w/Nicki Minaj (dance)
15) Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull w/Ne-Yo and Nayer (dance)
16) Love You Like a Love Song - Selena Gomez (dance)
17) You Da One - Rihanna (dance)
18) Lick It - Kaskade & Skrillex (dance/dubstep)
19) Levels - Avicii (dance)
20) The One That Got Away - Katy Perry (dance)
21) It Will Rain - Bruno Mars (dance)
22) Young, Wild & Free (f/Bruno Mars) - Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa (hip hop)
23) Paris - Jay-Z and Kanye West (hip hop)
24) Don't Stop (Color on the Walls) - Foster the People (alternative)
25) Una Vaina Loca - Fuego (Latin)


1) I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) - Hall & Oates (80s) 
2) Don't Stop Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson (80s)
3) Just a Friend - Biz Markie (90s)
4) Heaven Scent - Bedrock (raver music)
5) Fat Boys - Fat Boys (Old Skool Hip Hop)

To book DJ Gregg Ambient for your next party, visit our new and improved website at  One love!