Inside the mind of a DJ on The Vibe

Shelby Snigar, Staff Writer

A piece of art in the studio. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

A piece of art in the studio. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

Being a DJ on a college radio station is not only fun, but an experience of a lifetime.

North Greenville University offers students of all majors a chance to participate as a DJ on 95.5 The Vibe if interested.  Juniors John Peardon and Victor Chasteen are only two of many DJs at North Greenville University with an insight of what the job is like.

There are two parts to becoming a DJ on The Vibe.  First, a student of any major must have an interest in being a DJ or having their own show on the radio.

Second, the student must complete the Radio Practicum I class; otherwise he or she will only be a guest on a show. This goes for any student, a mass communication major or not, who has interest in being a DJ.

Victor Chasteen (left) and John Peardon (right). Two North Greenville University Junior DJs. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

Victor Chasteen (left) and John Peardon (right). Two North Greenville University Junior DJs. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

After completing the practicum, the student must talk with Media Instructor Andrew Stevens about having his or her own show.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Peardon said, “Victor and I are currently in Radio Practicum III and are required to do at least an hour a week of show time. It’s kind of cool knowing that you get the opportunity to be a voice for the campus,” he added. 

Most shows only last an hour, but some have gone twice as long.

In prepping for a show, Peardon and Chasteen gave some insight.

“Thankfully with being a DJ here on WNGR, it doesn’t require a lot of preparation,” said Peardon. “But it does take a lot of focus when you’re on your show," he added.

Describing how he and Peardon prep for their show, Chasten explained, “John and I run over ideas usually a few hours before or the day before to bring up new ideas and new concepts we could do in between songs.”

Along with throwing around ideas, picking music is just as easy.

John Peardon (left) and Victor Chasteen (right) prepping for their next show. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

John Peardon (left) and Victor Chasteen (right) prepping for their next show. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

“Obviously The Vibe has a specific audience we’re catering to, which is a Christian audience here on campus,” said Chasteen.  “So we want to make sure the music represents that message.  We do have a wide variety of Christian music.”

Peardon and Chasteen try to play rock Christian music on their show.

When picking music, Chasteen advised, “Get familiar with what music you’re playing and what your style is going to be.  You don’t want to go on there and pick a song that you thought was rock and have it be rap. It can mess up the style you’re going for. Be consistent in what you’re playing, but keep a little bit of variety. You don’t want to play the same band.  That’s how you lose audiences.”

Victor Chasteen (right) and John Peardon (left) prepping for their next show. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

Victor Chasteen (right) and John Peardon (left) prepping for their next show. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

Speaking of audiences, a DJ caters to what the audience wants.

When choosing guests to speak on the show, Peardon and Chasteen prefer to pick a person who is about to be in something or has been in something important and can give a first person account of their experience.

The two DJs also like to bring on their shows some Radio Practicum I students as the students in the practicum are required to shadow a DJ.  Peardon and Chasteen love helping other students gain experience in the radio business.

The technical aspects behind the scene in the studio. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

The technical aspects behind the scene in the studio. Photo courtesy of Shelby Snigar.

Two of the biggest mistakes most DJs make are letting their audiences listen to dead air and being boring.

Peardon advised, “Make sure you’re either talking or have music playing.”

“Don’t talk monotone; share your personality,” Chasteen added. 

Even with a mistake, brush it off and continue on in a professional manner, they said. Being professional is key in a studio whether the mic is on or off.; however, at NGU, being professional still encourages having fun.

Victor Chasteen (left) and John Peardon (right) advertising their show. Photo courtesy of Shelby. 

Victor Chasteen (left) and John Peardon (right) advertising their show. Photo courtesy of Shelby. 

“Yesterday I was on a show where we did a mash-up," Chasteen said. "These guys played a backing track to one song and sang the lyrics to a different song and made a mash-up."

“There were about eight people in the studio with their flashlight apps out waving their arms and singing along.  That was pretty fun -- odd, but fun,” he said. 

“Sometimes, occasionally, a DJ will go off on a random tangent and it can get kind of lost, but at the same time it can get really funny,” Peardon said. 

The Vibe can be a memorable time.  

“If you’re interested in giving radio a try, give The Vibe a try and enroll in the Radio Practicum I.  See if you enjoy it," Peardon added. 

“It’s easy and it's fun," Chasteen said. "The biggest pay off is getting hands-on experience to put on a resumé. It’s a chance for you to hear your personality over the air,” he added.

If you’re interested in The Vibe, tune in on 95.5 FM or on the Mixlr app at WNGR.  You can join Chasteen and Peardon on their Instagrams; CrusaderCrossFire2.0 and JohnPeardon.  Lastly, check out the studio’s Facebook page, WNGR 95.5 The Vibe.