Q&A with DJ “Dr. Jay”
Dr. Jeremy Houska is the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment at Centenary University. In this role, he provides data support for the executive team, oversees Centenary’s institution-wide assessment plan, contributes to strategic planning efforts and accreditation, and serves campus units and academic programs as they plan effectiveness studies. When he is not working on campus, you can find him in the WNTI Studio on Fridays from 5-8 p.m. and Sundays 12 to 3 a.m. hosting the popular, “Move Somethin’ Mixshow.” We recently caught up with “DJ Doctor Jay” to see what the WNTI Internet Radio experience is like for him.
- How did you become involved with WNTI?
When I came out to New Jersey back in 2013, I became a WNTI listener – Melanie and Johnny D in the morning, jazz on Sundays was part of my routine, and whenever else I could tune in. I really liked the eclectic programming and variety of music. WNTI was my introduction to the area and for that I am grateful. Given the events that transpired with the station, I wanted to be part of the newly redesigned WNTI if I could. And I will admit, I was a Communications major for a semester way back when. I never got to fully scratch that itch for radio. I dabbled with DJ’ing fraternity parties and other events back in college. So one day back in June 2017, I hit the “Get Involved” tab and pitched a show. Soon after, Richard Hinchliffe and John Del Re got me linked up with other DJ’s so I could sit in on a show and learn the ropes in the studio. I enjoyed Stew Liebman’s open-format freestyle approach on Down In Front, and he was a great mentor for what I had up my sleeve musically. On July 4, 2017, I stood in for Stew and debuted what would eventually become the Move Somethin’ Mixshow.
- Tell us a little bit about your show?
The original Move Somethin’ Mixshow, airing on Fridays from 5 – 8pm Eastern, is a live freestyle mixshow. It’s really an homage to the radio show I grew up listening to in the late ‘90s – early 2000’s back in Southern California – PowerTools hosted by Richard Vission and Swedish Egil (http://powertoolsmixshow.podomatic.com). I bring in my CDJ and spin hip hop in the first hour. Hour 2 is typically mainstream EDM, mashups, Top 40 remixes. The third hour usually gets eclectic with nu disco, deep house, funk, and R&B to set up Lloyd’s Global Mix at 8. So, it’s a roller coaster – hour 1 is to set off the “just got out of work, let’s kick off the weekend” vibe, hour 2 is peak hour energy much like what you will hear on Afterhours (which I’ll mention in a minute), and the third hour is about calming back down a bit – leaving something in the tank for Saturday. Late Saturday nights (actually Sunday 12 midnight – 3am Eastern) is the Afterhours edition of Move Somethin’. There I am really playing underground stuff you would hear in the club: tech house, tribal, electro, trance, deep house. It’s like going to Output (http://outputclub.com) without all the tolls!
- What do you do outside of WNTI?
I used to be a professor. Hence, the “Doctor” in my stage name — DJ Doctor Jay.
- What is your favorite part about being involved with WNTI?
Of course I enjoy performance DJing. I look forward to every Friday. I have a lot of fun in the studio! But the most rewarding part of being on WNTI, is playing a part in building up student radio and getting Centenary’s name out there. WNTI has been an opportunity for me to hone a productive hobby and serve the institution in a different, and VERY fun, way.
- What future visions do you have for WNTI?
WNTI is really taking off! It’s great to see the student leadership doing their thing, learning, developing as professionals – no matter their major or career path. And, full radio meetings, a full slate of programming, and the wide breadth of genres represented on the schedule! It’s very exciting to see it all taking shape, and I’m happy to play a little role behind the scenes on Fridays and Saturdays as that crazy dance show DJ with the lights and all that. Well, as for the future… college radio isn’t what it was in the 90’s… there’s never going to be another Stretch and Bobbito show (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/09/movies/stretch-armstrong-and-bobbito-hip-hop-heralds-are-saluted-in-a-film.html). Lots of reasons for that. But that’s okay. There is so much that can be done on Internet radio relative to terrestrial radio… the international reach. That’s what I think of being familiar with the dance music scene. Streaming on the Internet means many more people will hear about WNTI and learn how to pronounce Centenary than ever before. That’s if we keep promoting the station, archiving shows and putting them out there, and getting more active on social media. But at the same time thinking about our community and backyard. WNTI really could be the nucleus of life at Centenary – everything from hearing WNTI in every building across campus, streaming live music at events, Communication majors calling sporting events, student and volunteer DJs doing remote shows at Move-In Day, Commencement, Greek Week – there’s just so much that could be done! And, we could undertake a similar effort in our neighborhood. I could see connecting with venues in downtown Hackettstown – not just for commercials – but live remotes, getting WNTI playing on their speakers, putting up our stickers, show schedules… really bringing them into the fold. I also look forward to the day when I’m making way for student DJs who want to get on the decks!