One of the more personally entertaining bits of 2020 for me was resurrecting–to a certain extent, at least–my DJ Wüdi alter-ego. Aside from a few appearances at some Rodeo City Rollergirls derby matches in 2012, and a couple Thursday night dances for Norwescon, my DJing endeavors have been mostly a fond memory since I moved down to Seattle in 2001.
I’d been missing the DJing, and so at the start of 2020, I’d decided to start playing with using the game streaming service Twitch for broadcasting DJ sets, which I’d seen a few other DJs experimenting with. I got started, got a few weeks in…and then COVID hit. And suddenly there was an explosion of DJs showing up on Twitch, as clubs worldwide shut down and DJs and club goers scrambled to find a way to keep going, even if only from our homes.
So, as it turns out, in a sea of hundreds (at least) of DJs around the world using Twitch to broadcast sets, keep their friends and fans happy, and make a name for themselves…well, I’m one of them, but I can’t really say much more than that. Which is fine, as even pre-pandemic, this whole thing was basically a vanity hobby that I just wanted to do for fun. And in that respect, this project has been a resounding success! Some days it’s just me broadcasting to no-one, but some days there are a few people who pop in, and I even have a few regular listeners, so I’m happy with how it’s going.
In 2020, I posted 38 sets (aiming for one a week, with occasional weeks off when I had other obligations that took priority). Most of the time, I just wing it, with no set plan, just grabbing whatever I feel like at the moment. Some weeks, though, I took the time to play with a particular idea, put a set of tracks together, set them in order, and plan and practice the transitions.
I also had fun working on evolving my Twitch display as the year went on. While I can’t do many of the fancier tricks that many DJs do, with “emote” graphics dancing across the screen (things like that are reserved for streamers who broadcast more regularly and have built up enough of an audience to actually work on earning money; I’m nowhere near that level), I do like where I’ve ended up.
The cute little avatar version of me was originally artwork by Sharii, and I’ve set it so that the graphic on the t-shirt changes every 30 seconds. The background is a motion video loop, and can be swapped out with other loops. The text overlay is just a text file that I keep open and update as I go with whatever track is currently playing. At the top, the waveforms and decks are clipped out of the djay Pro AI window. And finally, of course, there’s that goofy guy in the middle of the screen generally making a fool of himself. :)
I broadcast on my Twitch channel, and then later (usually the next day) upload the audio recording of the mix to my MixCloud account for listening at any time, and organize the mixes into playlists. Once uploaded, I posts links to the mixes along with the final track lists to my DJ Wüdi blog.
Here’s one playlist with all 38 of my 2020 mixes…
…but if you just want to sample some of the highlights, here’s a playlist with just the “theme” weeks:
For 2021? I’m just going to keep going and see how long I can keep this project going. At the very least, I figure I’ll be going until we start emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and actually want to go places and do things with our Saturdays once it’s safe to do so again. In other words, I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon.
If you listen, thanks, and I hope you continue to do so, whether live on Twitch or later on MixCloud!