10 Questions with ... DJ Buck
October 25, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started in college doing a small campus only station WXIN with a buddy. After that worked with various other college station WBRU, WDOM and did worked for Skippy Whites for years. Did clubs for years and that's what got the attention of my former PD Jerry McKenna at WWKX. He brought me in to do a weekly hip hop mix show and from there I had to sacrifice a lot but at the end of that run I was the PD. I don't know why but I caught the attention of Steve Salhany, OM of the CBS cluster in Hartford and he sent the boys down to get me and twisted my arm to take the job. Oh yeah and you're doing mornings too. lol
1. You're not only the PD at WZMX, you are the morning host. How do you get it all done in a day that starts at 3 am?
Well I have a great team around me and it takes a lot off my plate. From Jason Ricketts, my Promotions Director to David Simpson, the station guru. I think a great team makes it easier. My Morning team knows my crazy schedule and always keep me on my toes. Nancy Barrow and Money Mike are my jumper cables when I have the allnighter coming from NY.
2. Your story in radio is like others in the biz. You've worked your way up from an entry level to PD. Got any quick advice for someone who might be at that entry level now?
I would say be willing to learn every aspect of radio. From website to PPM to sales. Maybe even some janitorial work as well. You never know. Lol. Sacrifice is a huge part of this job and make sure the people around you understand that your always working even when you're not behind that desk. At times, I find myself thinking about my job all the time.
3. Your morning co-host, Nancy Barrow, puts up with you, in studio for 4 hours a day. How does she manage?
Nancy does have to deal with me acting like a complete fool sometimes but that's ok because she's not right either. Seriously I can say that Nancy has my back all the time. She has done mornings a lot longer than me and even thou I'm her boss I understand that in the mornings it's her thing. We connected from day one and that's rare but so important when you're doing mornings. It's funny because when we do our talk breaks I forget that the on air light is on because the conversation is so natural. Eye to eye conversation that involves the listeners can deliver great radio.
4. With Rhythmic radio leaning so Pop and dance, has it been tough finding great hip hop records in 2011?
It's become harder to find monster hip hop records, yes, but if you pay attention to what's going on around you and take the time to listen to records as opposed to looking at charts to find hits. Things that fit your station could slip right by you.
5. Do you feel like things are swinging back with some great hip hop for radio?
Records like the J Cole, Fabolous, Rick Ross, Drake and even Chris Brown are helping to keep Hip Hop in the light. Stations like mine will always need hip hop because that's part of our brand. Hip Hop has changed a little because now you have rappers who sing and singers who rap along with both doing dance music at times. That line between genres is getting blurry but if you really want Hip Hop...it's there.
6. What do you like to do with your down time?
This radio thing has had me so tied up that I don't know what down time is. I leave work and go home and jump online to listen to new music or I leave the office and relax for a few and then go spin at a club. When I'm not doing that I like the movies and going to my kids practices and games. I do want to travel more.
7. Who do you consider to be your mentor(s)?
I would have to say Jerry McKenna and Bonnie Gomes for seeing something in me that I didn't think I had. Steve Salhany, Jay Stevens and Suzanne McDonald for helping me get to the next level. I would also say there's a guy that you may have never heard of but he hired me to work for him at Skippy White's record store in Providence. His name is Marc Seigal and he taught me the retail side of this music biz. I owe this guy everything. Thanks Marc.
8. What are you feeling when you see a former WZMX staffer like Vezzy doing mornings at WWKX/Providence?
I feel like there are people who still love radio. Vezzy worked hard and he wasn't afraid to except the challenge of change. The biggest part of success is being able to take on challenges and doing whatever it takes to win and if you lose at least you learned something that you can use in your next challenge. Vezzy did that, Kendra G did that, Tarsha Makia did that and even Clinton Sparks who was one of our original mixers here did that. I'm proud of these people and proud of my staff here now. WZMX is a family .
9. Are you still spinning in clubs? What's the hottest club record in Hartford today?
Yes, I'm still spinning in the clubs. It's funny because I went from carrying record crates to just my laptop. Thank God for that. Some of my big records in the club are Meek Mills I'm a Boss, Drake I'm On One, Waca has a few records that work. It also depends on the crowd you're playing for. As a dj you can't always walk in a club with your playlist already set. I can read a crowd pretty good. Gotta keep that LMFAO and David Guetta on hand at all times.
10. If you were to leave Radio today and you could choose any other occupation, what would it be?
I would go in my basement and polish of my keyboard and MPC and start creating music again. That was my first love as a kid producing music and collecting records. Believe it or not I still have all my records. Wayyyyyyyy to many to count.
If you were going to roll with an artist on tour, who would you want that artist to be?
I would roll with Prince....I've seen his female fans. Oh damn, my wife might read this huh?
If you could be on any reality TV show, which would you want to be on?