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DJ Tips from DJ Butter

(DJ butter in the stu)

This is my third semester working for WKNC, and it’s been AMAZING. The best part of my week is ploppin’ down in the studio, playing my music, and getting on air. It’s honestly such a great feeling to share my favorite music with Raleigh. To anyone who’s considering being a DJ at WKNC: DO IT. You for sure won’t regret it, and there are tons of opportunities for paid positions too!

At the beginning, I had major imposter syndrome every time I came to do my shift. I was so scared that I was going to mess up somehow (which I did do many times in various ways). Here are some things I wish I could tell myself when I first started:

1. RELAX. Take a deep breath before you start speaking on air. It’s okay to be nervous at first, but the more you calm down, the less you’ll stutter.

2. That being said, it’s OKAY TO MESS UP. I mean, don’t say something that’ll get us fined, but if you fumble over your words or accidentally say the wrong song title, I assure you the world will not collapse and burn.

3. When you first start, write your script down. We learned this in DJ training, but a young, naïve DJ butter thought she could just go in headfirst and ended up failing miserably. Eventually, you’ll be comfortable enough to improv, but it’s always good to keep using a script if you want to!

4. Don’t be intimidated by all the technology. You’ll learn it with time, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re unsure, either from whoever’s in the office or by getting in touch with your trainer!

5. Plan ahead and know your playlist well, especially if you know your songs have a lot of curse words in them. Editing them out will take longer than you think it does.

6. The more you put into it, the better it’ll be. When you’re excited about the music you play, people can tell! One of the best feelings is having someone call in and tell you they like your set.

7. Have a friend or two listen in to your set. They can tell you if you’re too quiet or if anything sounded awkward so you can know how to improve next time. It also helps to know that someone kind is listening!

8. Draw something on the whiteboard, leave a song in the song sharing jar, and introduce the next DJ!

I hope this helps, DJs! Special shoutout to one of my favorite DJs, Midsize Joe, for helping brainstorm this advice, you rock.

– DJ butter