Each quarter KDVS, Davis’ student-run radio station, initiates a new batch of DJs into the KDVS family. The volunteers go through multiple weeks of training and are offered time slots between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The early morning work hours are considered a rite of passage for all KDVS DJs.
New DJs are placed in the early morning when the smallest audience tunes in to allow room for amateur mistakes. The time slot is meant for the new DJs to become comfortable with the station and get a feel for what music they wish to play.
Third-year evolutionary anthropology major Emily Jones — aka DJ Feels — works the Friday 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift and has found the early mornings a worthy challenge.
“Initially it was difficult because it puts a limit to the amount of sleep I have for that day full of work and classes,” Jones said. “However, after a couple of weeks I adjusted, and although it is never easy to go into a job at 3 a.m., it’s become less of a struggle; plus DJing is loads of fun, so that makes it more enjoyable.”
Like many of the DJs, Emily co-hosts with a friend, allowing them to learn about the station together. The co-hosting arrangement cuts down the work for the new students so they aren’t too overwhelmed with having to get up early while simultaneously learning the ins and outs of DJing.
One of the perks for the new DJs is getting to discover music in KDVS’s vinyl library. During training the students take classes in musicology where they learn about the variety of music KDVS has to offer. The music covered is mostly twentieth century and beyond.
Fourth-year international relations major Adrian Glass-Moore was a new DJ Fall Quarter and enjoyed having KDVS’s vinyl library at his disposal.
“The library we have of music is one of the biggest libraries of vinyl records around; as a new DJ you can really only play music from the KDVS library,” Glass-Moore said. “You have to wait before you get to play your own music.”
New DJs have the choice to experiment with genres of music before deciding the theme of their show. With early time slots and a small audience, the students can play mixes of music that might not go together in order to see what they like broadcasting most. They play everything from ’60s rock to Hawaiian music to modern R&B.
Even though the audiences are smaller in the early morning than during other time slots, the DJs still have a fan base who calls in with requests and comments.
“I loved when we got callers,” said fourth-year microbiology major Brittney Anderson, who worked as an early morning DJ Fall Quarter. “You think people aren’t listening, but we usually got one or two calls a week. More people are listening than you think during that time.”
Students who wish to DJ at KDVS are cautioned that the early mornings are a commitment they must be passionate about.
“Know that it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s very rewarding to be a DJ. School should come first, so make sure it’s something you have time to do before you commit,” Anderson said.
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering and/or DJing at KDVS, volunteer information meetings will be held Monday, Jan. 13 and Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Wellman 106.