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DJ of The Week: DJ Fresco & Jess from Ask a Punk
by Katie Brownlie

This DJ of the Week is featuring DJ Fresco & Jess from Ask A Punk! They host a talk show that features local bands and artists from the New Brunswick music scene. They are both graduating seniors, so tune in for their LAST SHOW THIS FRIDAY May 4th at 6pm! Keep scrolling to learn their secrets to getting guests on the air. (Spoiler alert: it's easier than you think!) 


Names: Suraj Ganguly & Jess Munzial

DJ Names: DJ Fresco & Jess

Show Name: Ask A Punk

Show Genre: Talk/Local

Major/Year: Suraj: ITI & Cognitive Science/Senior

     Jess: Marketing and Digital Communication & Information Media/Senior

Hometown: Millstone, NJ & Whippany, NJ



How long have you been at 90.3 The Core?

Jess: 2 years

Suraj: I've been at The Core since my freshman year, so 4 years.


What made you want to join The Core?

S: My friend was a radio DJ during high school, and he invited me onto his show one time. I loved DJing the music and just shooting the breeze on air, and The Core was the most interesting station at Rutgers to me. So I joined and I've loved it ever since!

J: I had friends who were DJs. I had sat in on their shows and was all like, "Wow! This is pretty cool! College radio man!!". Also, being able to play what you're currently listening to out to an audience of people besides your roommates telling you to turn it down - SICK. Beyond having a show, though, I really saw The Core as an opportunity to meet more people in the scene, and some of the best connections and friendships I have made at Rutgers have been through The Core.


You have a specialty show. Tell us about your show's creation and concept.

S: The show name originally came from a previous show here at The Core, which is a commonly used term in the DIY scene in New Brunswick. I loved the name and wanted to bring back the idea of talking to the great bands in New Brunswick, so I decided to revive it.

J: Suraj asked me over winter break if I wanted to bring Ask A Punk back with him & evidently I agreed! Every week, we bring in a local band and interview them/just have casual banter from 6-7pm. Intermittently, we play select songs of the band's and incorporate live acoustic performances. I felt like The Core was beginning to lose its connections with the local scene, and Ask A Punk is definitely a great way to bring those back.


How to do you decide on who to interview, and do you ever disagree?

S: Usually it's whoever we manage to get our hands on, and whoever gets to them first. Jess has been the main booker for bands thus far, and I've been working on getting more bands in as of late. We don't disagree, as we're pretty cool with the talent we get in.

J: Most of the bands towards the beginning honestly reached out to us. We already had about 2 months booked within a week or two! From there we'll take turns or just mutually agree on an artist to bring in.


What has influenced your tastes in music?

S: It's really varied over the years, and mostly been whatever artists have piqued my interest over time. I really enjoy experimental music which breaks the ideas of what most people consider to be music.

J: Friends and musicians I look up to are the biggest influencers of what I listen to.


What has been your coolest experience as a Core DJ?

J: Being able to discover a lot of great, independent music, sometimes even before it's released!

S: Meeting a lot of people with similar mentalities towards music and a lot of other topics in general.


How else are you involved with The Core?

J: I am the Production Director of the station/hype girl. Almost anything that you hear on the air that's not music, I made and/or added.

S: I have been Tech Director for the past 2 year. I try to help out however I can, whether it's helping out fellow DJ's, or talking about music, or giving new DJ's some guidance for the future!


Any advice to new/prospective DJs?

S: Talk to everyone!!! I promise you, everyone is there for the same reasons, and you can definitely find a veteran DJ with the same tastes as you!

J: DO A SHOW! It may seem intimidating at first, but there are so many people who care to help you & make your experience great.