10 Questions with ... DJ Buck
March 31, 2015
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 work 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.
1. What got you into radio?
WXIN at Rhode Island College is where it began. After that I began helping other colleges with their shows. It was WBRU, WDOM and WRIU. I still have a lot of vinyl albums with those call letters on them. I'm just borrowing them. While doing all that, I was one of the local DJs in Providence that was doing every basement party, birthday party, cookout and everything else you could think of. At the same time I was working at a local record store called Skippy Whites. During my Skippy White days I got the call from Jerry Mckenna from WWKX Hot 106 to do a weekend mix show and I haven't stopped.
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was growing up I wanted to be part of a funk band. I played the bass and admired Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins. That lasted for a little while until I heard this thing called Hip Hop. Started producing and had a rap group. I always knew it would have something to do with music. I wondered as a kid what the music would sound like in the future.
3. What's been the most rewarding aspect of your radio career, so far?
I think the most rewarding aspect of radio to me is the effect radio can have on people; the ability to reach out of that small thing that we call a radio and touch so many people. Sometimes radio makes you laugh, sometimes it makes you think and sometimes it makes you cry. Making people feel comfortable listening to you and becoming part of their lives is very important.
4. As a grizzled radio veteran, what advice would you give a radio newbie?
I would say be patient. Nothing happens overnight and sometimes it seems like your standing still but use that time to absorb everything around you. Learn everything you can learn about radio. These days you have a lot more time to be creative on the air. I remember editing calls on the reel to reel and making sure the carts with the commercials on them ran in the right order. These days we have programs that will do all that for you. That gives you more time to do nothing or be more creative and entertaining.
Find someone in the station that is the pro and watch them and learn but be patient your time will come.
5. You do mornings and you are the PD at Hot. What's the key to doing it all?
I wish I had the answer because people think I'm crazy because I still don't sleep. I think the thing that drives me is the passion and the morning show does help me understand my listeners. I answer the phones, I hear their requests. I know phone calls are a very small percentage of your audience but I use that little bit of information as part of my puzzle. I can't lie, the days are long and there are days when I get in when it's dark and leave when it's dark. The key for me is passion. I wish I could say, 'rest' but I can't say that. Excuse me while I take this nap in my office.
6. What's your favorite song on the station right now?
Lol! That damn Fetty Wap "Trap Queen" but my alter ego loves Sam Smith "Lay De Down" with John Legend. I have a split personality when it comes down to music.
7. If you weren't in radio, what do you think you'd be doing for a living?
I would probably be working with kids trying to keep them off the streets and helping bring kids closer to their fathers who may not be in their lives for whatever reason. I see too many kids without dads and I know how important that is to have. .
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I still like to listen to music a lot. Lately I've been riding my bike a lot when the weather permits. I also hit up the gym a few times a week to play basketball unless there's a party somewhere. I've been known to go to NYC for a party and drive right into the station for my morning show.
9. What would you like to hear more of on the radio?
I would like to hear more personality on the radio. Radio can be a juke box if we allow it to be. I would like to hear realness and personalities who really live the lifestyle of the station. The listeners can easily pick up on a jock that's just winging it. More personality and creativity.
10. What would you like to do better as a programmer or air personality?
I could be better at time management and being better organized. I seem to work better under pressure as far as on the air I need to slow down a little. People still laugh at my so called Rhode Island accent.
If you had to eat one type of meal everyday for a month, what would it be?
I could eat soul food everyday if I had to do it and a pack of Oreos.
If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
Name That Tune. I have all sorts of useless information about music in my head but don't ask me who the Secretary of State is or what the capitol of Colorado is. My brain doesn't work like that. Ask me who produced Janet Jackson's Control record and I'll take your money all day.