Lookalikes, snake milkers, mattress testers and Netflix subtitles. In this section we interview the people with a non-standard answer to the standard question: What are you actually doing? This time Edwin Rasser (33), children’s DJ.
- Who: Edwin Rasser
- What: children’s dj
- Favorite thing at work: “That children are still so open to new experiences and also new types of music. And that you can act crazy.”
Children’s DJ Edwin Rasser feels at home among the children. “Maybe it’s because I like to be silly myself,” he says. And that, according to him, is also necessary in his profession. “To get the children out of their shell a bit and let them dance, you have to dare to be the craziest of everyone yourself. Then you create a safe atmosphere in which no one has to feel embarrassed.”
Rasser has always had an affinity with youth. From the age of eighteen he did summer animation work on campsites in France. He continued to do this for a long time in addition to his full-time job as a web developer. Later he set up a company for children’s disco parties.
Rasser: “It was a logical step for me, because I’ve been DJing myself since I was five.” When that demanded more and more attention from him, Rasser quit his salaried job. He has now been able to call himself a full-time children’s DJ for seven years.
Introducing new styles of music
Every week he sometimes goes to dozens of birthday parties, group eight proms and performances in shopping centers and children’s play parks. The children for whom he turns are of primary school age.
What makes it so much fun to play for children? “Children are still very receptive. You can really take them into a show and let them discover new things. Adults have sophisticated tastes and often react negatively to a style of music they don’t already like.”
According to Rasser, some parents tend to direct a children’s party altogether. “Then it says on the schedule: ‘At 8:20 the birthday boy is lifted up in a chair’.” He chuckles: “You can’t direct something like that at all!” According to Rasser, the atmosphere at a children’s disco party must be created. The first five minutes he mainly looks at what kind of meat he has in the tub, after which he slowly builds up the party.
“In my own algorithm, I obviously don’t come across the dances and music that are hip with children.”
In his show, Rasser uses playful elements to bring a group of children closer together. “Recently I had a child who really liked a very specific rock band,” he says. “By adding an air guitar competition to this, I was also able to get the other children involved in this music style.”
Rehearsing TikTok dances
Rasser also responds to TikTok hits. In his spare hours, he follows the latest trends on the social media platform. “In my own algorithm I obviously don’t come across the dances and music that are hip with children.” That is why – with special permission – he follows several children on TikTok. From them he learns what is hip and happening at the moment.
He also tries to rehearse the TikTok dances himself, as best he can. Laughing: “But I’m a really bad dancer!” At a disco party, he therefore regularly lets children who can dance well demonstrate the TikTok dance on stage to the others.
What Rasser likes most is that he can also organize parties for children who feel ‘different from the rest’. “That can vary from a child who likes a completely different kind of music than her friends to a transgender child,” says Rasser. He recognizes himself in these children. Because he too, thanks to his childlike enthusiasm, has always felt a bit different.