Wednesday, December 24, 2008

WICB College Radio DJ's Journey into the Music Biz

A couple of pieces in Ithaca College student publication The Fuse, share the story of one college radio DJ and his journey into the music industry. In the article "Adventures in College Radio", recent college graduate and former WICB DJ and Assistant Music Director John-Severin Napolillo talks about his love for radio and how his job in college radio has opened doors for his future career. (Another article gives a run-down of his daily tasks when he was WICB Assistant Music Director). He writes:

"...Impressed by my hard work, the music director offered me the assistant music director’s position...As assistant I hosted a weekly show premiering new music. I picked and monitored the new music that was played and reported it to the College Music Journal as a contributor to their weekly charts. I attended concerts for free and got to interview the bands. I had to pinch myself halfway through sophomore year when I found myself hanging out backstage with the Walkmen, one of my favorite bands. I also talked to radio promoters across the country on a weekly basis, tracking the success of hot new bands not only on WICB but at stations across the country."

He eventually spent a semester in Los Angeles doing an internship at Capitol Records. Following that he was granted a paid summer radio internship in New York at commercial station WLTW. John adds that none of this would have been possible without college radio:

"As a recent graduate I'm currently pursuing a career in radio while performing with my bands. When I look back on the great experiences I’ve had in the entertainment industry I’m reminded of the doors that college radio has opened for me. I’m sure they will continue to open for years to come."

In my experience, a pretty small number of college radio DJs have dreams of working in the industry, either in commercial radio, at a record label, or in music promotions. Personally, I cherish the freedom of college radio, and could not imagine having to play someone else's playlist at a commercial station. I also feared that working in music as a career would destroy my love for it. However, I spent one year working at an Internet music company, and it was actually the best job I've ever had. Working with music every day only enhanced my love for it and I couldn't believe that I was being paid to write about music and interview bands.

How about your station, do many of the DJs and staff members hope to work in the music biz?

No comments: