Disc Jockeys like Josh Nass have been able to successfully employ the advancements and developments of mobile technology to enhance their ability to spin records in a way that appeals to their audiences. The disc jockeys of today’s day and age are approaching the industry in a far more contemporary fashion than the old ones that we all know of.
Josh Nass is just a small example of a whole new generation of disc jockeys that have emerged in recent years, seeking to innovate the disc jockey business. As terrestrial radio has increasingly become a dying breed (no different than the way print media has continued diminishing in terms of its power and authority), it’s become clearer as can be that there is a need among disc jockeys to mix things up.
When evaluating and assessing the popularity and successes of past disc jockeys of the last generation, who succeeded beyond measure, the one ingredient that was consistent among them, was the ability to do things differently. When they sought to challenge conformity, success indeed followed them like a shadow.
The late Don Imus is of course a prime illustration of this. Imus, or the I-Man as he was affectionately known was coarse; but he had an ability to speak with candor that was unrivaled by any of his competitors – perhaps with the exception of Howard Stern, who continues succeeding beyond measure in terms of entirely revolutionizing the medium. Imus would say things that people may have thought; but due to constraints imposed by politically correct culture or other restrictions and “norms,” they felt ashamed and embarassed of saying.
In some cases, people may have even felt concerned and frightened to say some of the things Imus would routinely say on his program. Alas, Imus himself was fired several times for going over board in some of his rhetoric and monologues from over the years. But nonetheless, the audience never left him; nor did its size and scope ever diminish. On the contrary, the more controversial his material got, the more interest developed among his audience.
The loyalty his audience afforded him was also unrivaled. You look at Howard Stern; and he is an excellent representation of this model that continues developing and innovating over time, among disc jockeys. Indeed, the younger generation of disc jockeys look up-to folks like Stern and Imus. And they do so for good reason.
But ultimately, as Josh Nass has been clear, you need to stay true to yourself. The audience is smarter than one might imagine. They can sense even the smallest taste of disingenuousness; and they do not respond well to it. In fact, they’ll often turn off the program or the station; and in some cases, never return.
The key to success (if the tales of Imus and Stern can teach us anything), is for a disc jockey to be sure to stay true to him or herself. Make sure that you never stray from what your identity is. Say what’s on your mind (with some level of intelligence; and within some sort of bounds). But do so with the same level of enthusiasm and excitement you would in every day life. Radio is an intimate medium; and the audience is there with you. They’re waiting for more disc jockeys that can speak to them in the ways Imus and Stern mastered.