Music is my life. Music makes me think and dream in ways I’ve never thought possible. Music conveys emotions that I cannot put into words. Music has made me laugh, cry, dance, and feel good effortlessly. I wanted to revolve my future and career around music. This is why I am currently majoring in Television/Radio at Ithaca College to pursue a dream in radio as an on-air disc jockey.
The dream of radio had to wait, for Northern Burlington County Regional High School in central Jersey did not have a radio station. Instead, I took advantage of it’s newly formed television station and it’s highly-acclaimed video production department. I started in the department my sophomore year working behind the scenes on numerous stories for Northern News, the station’s signature feature which focuses on the events and news going on in the school district. My junior year leaded to more of the same, although I had scored some opportunities to work in front of the camera on various stories for the news show. However, I had bigger ambitions, and I introduced the concept of an in-depth sports segment to be featured on the program. Feeling sports is an important tool to bring the community together, I strived to show a deep look into the school’s sports teams, including their records, key games, key players, and highlights. Soon enough, after the idea was approved, I served as the lead writer and anchor for the sports segment, which garnered great acclaim. Northern TV now has a separate show dedicated to the high-profiling of the school’s sports teams thanks to my initial segment. My senior year brought new horizons as I was awarded the honor of being lead anchor of Northern News, a feat only matched by a few students before me. I was the voice of Northern TV, in a sense, appearing at all it’s major events and hosting all of the sporting events and speciality shows it aired. It was an honor to be at the position and I couldn’t thank my teachers enough for selecting me. I won numerous awards and acclaim working with the video production department and Northern TV, including two Scholar’s Night Awards (2009-2010), rewarded to one student in each grade in a respective department (video production).
After leaving high school, I went back to pursuing my career in music, and quickly landed a spot on Ithaca College’s award-winning radio station 92 WICB. In retrospective, it’s amazing that I have the opportunity to be a disc jockey on one of the country’s best college radio stations, but I rarely have time to reflect on that due to me being so busy working on my next set. I am a DJ on the City Rhythms speciality show, which focuses on hip-hop, R&B, and urban music. I am on air Sunday morning from 2-4 AM. I also fill in for other shifts at earlier times throughout the week.
The music industry is ever-changing. In the past ten years we’ve seen formats such as the album all but disintegrate and be replaced with CDs record companies spew out worthy of a few singles and “filler” songs. The creativity of artists has waned to a point where good quality and though-provoking music is extremely hard to come by, when it was once the only thing that dominated the airwaves. As a main player in the music industry, the DJ has complete control to play whatever they want. I’ll play music that I feel deserves airtime. Hopefully, the music I feel that is good will have the same impact on other people, and give more exposure to the artist and their work.
With music streaming sites such as Spotify and Pandora, there is a perception that the radio industry is dying as well. I beg to differ. From where I am from, radio dominates music. Philadelphia is renown for having some of the best radio stations in the country, and I’m blessed I was able to listen to them for many years of my life, albeit naive to the impact is gave me until a few years ago. I will look to strong radio stations and fabulous disc jockeys to further enhance my own talents and WICB.
The process of advertising has moved swiftly to social media, from Facebook and all the way to, yes, Myspace. Artists and bands use the Internet to spread their music, with Twitter being one of the biggest players. As a man in radio, I see the effect that Twitter and the Internet has on WICB. WICB’s flagship station and most of its speciality shows have their own Twitter account, along with most of the DJs and station managers. They use it to promote giveaways, special guests in the studio, and the music their spinning. Their website is second-to-none, featuring everything from the weather to a webcam look inside the studio. WICB knows what it’s doing, and I hope to learn a lot about the different types of advertising that can be achieved thanks to the Internet and how to make a radio station keep going strong.
Listening to a radio station on a radio seems so logical. Yet, many people listen to radio stations through their computers, either streaming through iTunes or right from the station’s website. Indeed, WICB uses streaming to full effect; most of its viewers come from people listening online. As a DJ who is interested in listeners, I use my Facebook and Twitter account to endlessly promote my set, hopefully gaining some listeners through streaming.
Communications technology is changing, and thanks to the things I’m learning at Ithaca College, I will be on top of the game.