Why you find yourself singing songs you don’t really like…

For event DJs in training, understanding the “mere exposure phenomenon” can revolutionize the way you approach music selection and audience engagement. When a song comes on and immediately strikes a chord with you, it’s not just about the song’s quality or your impeccable taste in music. It’s often about a psychological concept known as the “mere exposure phenomenon,” which suggests that our preferences are significantly influenced by our familiarity with certain stimuli, including music.

This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to tunes. It spans across various facets of our lives, from the artworks we admire to the brands we trust. For instance, when choosing between two companies for investment, you’re more likely to pick the one you’re more familiar with, regardless of its actual financial standing. This concept is deeply rooted in our subconscious and plays a critical role in shaping our likes and dislikes.

In the realm of music, this explains the widespread appeal of pop songs with similar chord progressions. Our brains, attuned to these familiar patterns, signal a sense of enjoyment, even if it’s a song we’re hearing for the first time. This understanding is crucial for DJs, as it highlights the power of familiar elements in creating engaging and enjoyable playlists for your audience.

Moreover, the “mere exposure phenomenon” can be a tool for broadening your musical horizons. Just as our taste buds adapt to enjoy new flavors over time, so can our musical tastes evolve. Gradually incorporating new genres into your listening repertoire can lead to an appreciation for music styles you might have previously disregarded.

As a DJ, embracing the mere exposure phenomenon offers two important insights:

  1. Your musical preferences are shaped by exposure, not just by objective standards of good or bad music.
  2. The tastes of your audience are influenced by their experiences and exposure, and not necessarily a definitive measure of musical quality.

Understanding and utilizing the mere exposure phenomenon can elevate your DJing skills, allowing you to connect more deeply with your audience and explore a richer tapestry of musical genres. Remember, whether it’s mainstream pop or an obscure genre, the key to appreciation might just be a few more listens away.