College Radio Day Through the Ears of Our DJs

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Happy College Radio Day to all!

This is a holiday that should be celebrated by any person who says they love music. While we may not always realize it, or think about it, there are tons of bands that would never have gained the fame and love they deserve without college radio. Bands as big as Nirvana were originally discovered by listeners of college radio – I myself remember hearing Adele on WFUV (Fordham’s station) long before she was heard on commercial radio. 

So radio is important to music. Important to us.. As DJs, we know that’s true. So we decided to share with you our fondest radio memories, songs we’ve discovered because of radio, and other fun facts. 

DJ and E-board member Anna said, 

“A song I heard from the radio was Say You Love Me by Fleetwood Mac. I don’t entirely remember who I was listening to, it might have been the station manager during the Fall of 2017. It led me to listen to more of Fleetwood Mac, and I’ve since played them at least once per show. I love their album Tango in the Night, and I don’t think I would’ve given them a chance had I not heard them when I first became a DJ. 

My favorite part of being a DJ is how comfortable I’ve become in my own skin. Might be cheesy, but I’ve really found a voice through radio. I’m confident in my music taste, I love sharing songs I discover with other people, and I’ve become comfortable talking on air by myself or with others. It’s been such a fun journey and I’m sad it’s coming to an end once I graduate in the spring.

My go-to mic-break chit-chat is mainly stories I have about the artists I’m playing. I’ll tell stories about concerts, if I’ve met the artist, how I discovered the artist, or even what the song/album means to me. I feel it’s a great way for listeners to know who is playing these specific songs and why.”

DJ Gossamer said, “A song I discovered, discovered as in I found it while I made the playlist for my show, are Watermelon in Eastern Hay by Frank Zappa and Ja Ne Bi, Ne bi, Ne bi by Du-Du-A.”

DJ and E-board member Kirstin said, “I had heard the song Hannah Hunt by Vampire Weekend playing once, and I never really got into them before, but that was the song that made me go out and actually listen to them!

My favorite part about being a DJ is the time in the studio where it’s just you and your favorite music playing, because it’s a time where you really get to enjoy the music, rather than using it as background noise for work or something else. 

Sometimes I have songs that I randomly associate with people, so if I play it and I know they’re listening, I talk about that, which is fun for them to hear their name on the radio. Other than that, I talk about memories with certain songs, artists that are my absolute favorite, when I don’t know any other songs by an artist, or just what happened to me that day.”

DJ and Programming Director Marie said, “A song I discovered while being a DJ is “Agitations tropicales” by L’impératrice on Skartly Party. 

My favorite part of being a DJ is reaching out to people through music each night and playing songs that they hopefully enjoy or even grow to love! Another great thing I love about being a DJ is playing the songs of local artists, specifically Denise T.! My favorite song of theirs is “come & go” from the album. I’m really great inside. 

During mic-breaks, I usually talk about why I chase a specific song from the playlist and what it reminds me of. It feels like it adds more to its meaning, even if it isn’t related. 

I enjoyed listening to the radio in high school, so being able to be a DJ myself and that voice someone may be listening to has always and still astonishes me. It’s an amazing feeling looking forward to hearing other DJs’ shows and anticipating what song they may play next. They have become my favorite DJs!”

DJ and E-board member Elana told us, “My favorite part of being a college DJ is sending the show to all my closest friends far away from New Paltz and having them listen. I love getting texts from them throughout the show requesting songs or answering questions that Molly and I ask viewers. I also love how excited my friends get when they ask me to give them a shoutout and then I do, I always get texts saying “AAAHHHHH” its so funny and makes me feel connected to my friends who don’t live close, it’s nice we can share our thursday nights together.

I love to rep Denise T. on the radio my first friend in New Paltz and local musician. They are so talented #1 and I just want everyone to listen to them. 

One time over radio, Molly and I had a love themed night. It was everything from platonic love, to romantic, to heart break and we asked listeners to answer questions that we could read on air. It was mostly all our friends, but we asked what is the most rewarding and subtle kind of love and what is the most painful kind of love, things like that. I loved how raw people were being with us about their answers. It was a very thoughtful night on radio indeed.”

FM DJ Alice had this to share; “Last Semester while I was listening to Ang’s show, she played the song Fantasy Movie by Lala Lala (ft.Grapetooth) and It definitely made it to my playlist last winter.  I like listening to WFNP because every DJ plays something really different.  Ang’s show specifically was a really cool introduction to more contemporary bedroom pop/ indie music for me and it was cool to experience a lot of local music with similar sounds around the same time I was getting into the genre.

My favorite part of being a DJ is when my friends and family text me that they like something I’m playing during my show.  It’s really cool to be in the studio and share music that you love with people all over the place, some who you know, some who you don’t.  I think it has become more special to me during these times because music has become even more of a safe and meaningful way to connect with those you love, one of the many reasons I love radio.

I’m still working on my mic break skills!  I usually talk about the music I just played especially if it’s local so I can plug the band but also if it has special meaning to me.  Sometimes I play specific tracks for my friends and I’ll talk about that.

I’m so happy I get to do college radio, especially at a school that has an appreciation for music the way New Paltz does.  I knew I wanted to be a radio DJ when my siblings and I used to listen to Delilah solve people’s problems on the car radio during family trips.  She would take calls from people and play music for them and give them advice and she had this nice calming voice and I just thought it was lovely.  Listening to the saga of marital problems and financial woes was entertaining and kind of odd and nice as a kid in the backseat of a Subaru outback and I thought being on the radio seemed so powerful.  I don’t give advice on WFNP but I can only hope there’s someone listening to my show on a family trip enjoying my radio show as much as I did Delilah’s.”

DJ and Station Manager Nikki said, “While making my playlists I’ve discovered Hey kids by Molina. My favorite part about being a dj is sharing my music taste and finding new music with my co-host Erin. And during our mic breaks we like to talk about fun facts about whatever our theme is for the week or personal stories we have about the music we are playing.”

I, DJ and Music Director Emma, know that radio has been my favorite part of college since I began as a freshman in Fall, 2017. I grew up listening to college radio, specifically WFUV out of Fordham, and I always dreamed of being a DJ like the ones at that station. They know music, talk music, talk live music, new music of all genres. I always felt and still feel like I’m spending time with a friend when I listen to their shows, and that’s the “vibe” I’ve tried to emulate in my own show, Off the Record. During my mic breaks, I always thank the listeners for “hanging out with me,” or “starting their weekend with me” since I’m on Friday nights. To me, it really does feel like that. Music brings people together in a way that nothing else can. 

Since my very first show, I’ve played the track “Here in Spirit” by Jim James pretty much every week. It’s a song that I personally discovered when listening to WFUV years ago. Now, it’s one of my all-time favorite songs and I like to imagine that there’s someone new out there who “discovers” it every week on my show. 

Tune into Off the Record tonight from 8-10pm with me, Emma, to hear these picks from our DJs, to discover something or to just hang out.

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