Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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DJ dance revolution

Despite its nationwide reputation as a top college radio station, WNUR and its DJs often feel as though they go unnoticed on Northwestern’s campus.

Now DJs will get a chance to display the skills they’ve spent countless hours developing when they perform live as part of “Eat It 2,” a dance party and DJ showcase taking place at Shanley Pavilion Friday at 8 p.m.

DJs from WNUR’s (89.3 FM) Streetbeat, who spin live in the studio during the radio show, will attempt to expose NU students to a diverse array of music, as well as promulgate the idea that being a DJ is about more than taking listener’s favorite song requests.

“(‘Eat It 2’) will be focused entirely on the dance floor,” said event coordinator Joseph Zynda, a Weinberg junior.

According to Zynda the party will resemble a club atmosphere rather than the typical house party, which is often broken up before the DJ can get started. Using a professional lighting and sound system, the event will play music ranging from hip-hop to trance.

“It will be one hell of a party,” said Rahul Ketkar, a Weinberg freshman, also known as DJ Razzi.

Over the phone Ketkar’s voice was peppered with an enthusiasm for music that will undoubtedly shine through in the showcase.

“I just really enjoy doing it,” said Ketkar, who has four years of DJing experience under his belt. Though he is only a college freshman in the heart of the Midwest, he has seen his fair share of clubs and shows first as a DJ in India and then on the club circuit in Thailand.

“(‘Eat It 2’ is) a great way to show the diversity of the station,” said Roy Shay, a senior in the School of Continuing Studies, who began to DJ 12 years ago on pirate radio in Israel.

The diversity he speaks of is not only cultural. Streetbeat’s DJs have varying years of experience and specialize in different types of music. And though they differ in many ways, they are connected by a passion for spinning.

“(It’s) almost like a mission,” Shay said. “We need to expose people to the music.”

James Hassel, known on stage and on the airwaves as DJ Jaims, is from New York, where he feels that DJs get more respect than is offered to them at NU. Others on campus have noticed the second-class status of DJs as well.

“(Usually at parties) there will just be someone playing a mix-tape,” said Dexter Hill, a Medill freshman, who was pleased to hear of the upcoming WNUR-sponsored event.

“I want everyone to come and listen to what we have to offer,” said Hassel, a freshman in Weinberg. “Eat It 2” will introduce attendees to people who they have probably never seen in person, but have heard on the radio. The DJs will mix and match beats, offering up new material to party-goers. Even if one isn’t familiar with the type of music played at “Eat It 2,” the event will be enlightening, at the very least.

“It will be entertaining either way, being exposed to something that you don’t really know about,” said Weinberg freshman Emma Cuciurean-Zapan, an apprentice at WNUR.

In addition to providing new music through creative mixes, “Eat It 2” will provide an environment uncommon to typical NU parties. Instead of handing out beer and awkwardly standing about, DJs will foster a club-like experience. For most underage students — at least those who lack a fake ID — this will be a relatively new experience.

“No one at our age knows clubbing,” Ketkar said. “We miss out due to clubs in America usually being (for those who are) 21 and over.”

Even though they tried to avoid the frustration of a house party being broken up or an ID being rejected, the organizers almost ran into similar troubles when planning the event.

While some DJs had begun to pick the songs they would be using for their 45-minute sets, they received the bad word: The show had been indefinitely postponed due to scheduling issues. The DJs winced at the idea of not being able to share the music they are so passionate about performing for an audience in a party setting.

Since then, the scheduling conflicts have been worked out, and the party’s on-campus locale will indeed make it easy for anyone interested to take part in its festivities.

“The school should do more things like that,” said Erica Schlaikjer, a Medill sophomore. “(Especially if) they are so concerned with fostering a sense of community.”4

Medill freshman Niema Jordan is a PLAY writer. He can be reached at [email protected].

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DJ dance revolution