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DJ of the Month: DJ Mike
by Elizabeth Bui

As the school year rolls around, get to know our August DJ of the Month, Mike Sabatella! Mike joined The Core this past semester and has been interning at the station this past summer; check out his interview below as he discusses his Core internship participation, favorite artists of the season, and more! 

Name: Mike Sabatella

DJ Name: DJ Mike

Show Name: Never a Dull Moment

Show Genre: Mainly rock but sometimes electronic and on a blue moon some jazz, too.

Year/Major: Sophomore majoring in business

What made you want to join The Core? 

I've always been super passionate about music and wanted to explore that interest with other individuals at Rutgers.  It's also a really cool opportunity to show your music taste to open-minded radio listeners, so I feel like it's a way to express yourself and hopefully help people find new music.

What has your experience been like interning at The Core this summer? 

It's been really great getting to know some of the staff at The Core and representing the station when approaching businesses.  Doing something to more deeply involve myself with the station has been really rewarding and is something I definitely recommend.  I feel like I took more pride in The Core and grew as a person putting myself in new situations and really assuming an identity as a member of our team here.

Tell us a little about what artists/bands you've been listening to recently.

I've been really into Springsteen's catalog recently as I feel like it's pretty essential music for driving down the shore and exploring New Jersey.  I've also been pretty interested in house music from people like Anthony Naples and Mall Grab. There's a french DJ that goes by the name Jacques who’s extremely good and I was bumping that for a good portion of June.  I'm also excited for Four Tet's new EP which just came out last week.

What kind of music do you like to play during a show? Why?

I like to break up my selections after mic breaks so that I'm always forcing myself to get creative and come up with different sets.  I usually start off with classic rock and transition into different genres or focus on specific time periods so that the music has a sense of cohesion and synergy.  Sometimes I abandon that strategy entirely though, and I really love the freedom we have as DJ's here being able to change our show on the fly. I try to play lesser-known songs hoping that someone really enjoys the track and gets interested in deeper cuts.  I think a lot of people skip through albums these days, so I try to pick songs that most people didn't have the patience to discover when they first started listening to an album or an artist.

What has been your favorite experience as a DJ?

My favorite experience so far as a DJ has been watching bands perform and record in our studio.  On several occasions, I was able to watch some really talented bands play right in the station and it's always such an enjoyable experience as it feels special and exclusive.  You get to enjoy some really talented artists and feel a sense of their passion as you feed off their energy and love for creating music.

Any advice to new/prospective DJ’s?

I'd say try to experiment with new genres and artists and find ways of implementing a new element into your show.  It's a nice personal challenge and it can lead to inspiration so that you don't rely on the same basic setlists every week.  Also, try to engage with other DJ's and ask for recommendations on music that you might not know too well. Every DJ at the Core has some personal favorites that are super interesting and worth a listen.  Sometimes liking music is a case of understanding it from a new perspective, and I think the opportunity to connect with people who are super passionate about their favorite genres can be an awesome resource to expand your personal catalog.