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Catherine Vianale: V89 DJ and DIY Musician

Name: Catherine Vianale

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Boca Raton, Florida

Major: English Literature and Philosophy

Relationship Status: Taken 

Courtesy: Catherine Vianale

Her Campus (HC): How did you become involved in V89?

Catherine Vianale (CV): I attended the V89 cattle call my second semester at FSU because a great deal of my friends were involved at the station already. I was really eager to join one of the departments, really any department, so I applied to almost every one that was accepting new people. I was “that kid that signed up for everything”. I had absolutely no experience with radio before, but decided to interview for a positon as a disc jockey just to see how it would go, and it’s been the most rewarding experience of my college involvement so far. I’m also a member of the lovely department of continuity, who are responsible for writing all the catchy public service announcements played or announced in between songs.

HC: What is a typical day like at V89?

CV: The radio station is always a high traffic area. Between DJs coming and going to and from their shifts, department heads working office hours, and various department meetings, something is always happening. For me, my regular shift is Thursday at 6-10 am, so for that time I play music in rotation of my choice and announce! V89 is pretty much the only reason I would ever wake up at 5:30 am at this point in my life. Every Sunday, all the DJs gather for our weekly meeting in which we fill shifts, discuss new music, and go over upcoming events.

HC: How do you choose which songs get played on the radio?

CV: Choosing songs for airplay is a process that involves a few considerations. Firstly, DJs are required to play 4 songs from albums that are in what is called medium rotation, and 3 songs from albums that are in heavy rotation per hour of their shift. The albums that are placed into rotation are sent to and screened by the music department, a group of DJs who are minions of the powerful and mysterious David Wolfson, the music director. These albums are all very new, usually having been released by the respective record labels/bands the same week they are placed in rotation. The DJ is free to pick any music from the enormous catalog of CDs and vinyl albums from the rotation! There are over 60,000 CDs and vinyl in the catalog at the station, so there’s always new and great music to experiment with. Also, any listeners are always welcome to call for requests during the DJs shift! Requests always rule!

HC: Do you plan on becoming a DJ at a professional radio station in the future?

CV: I’d absolutely love to have a career in the radio, but I’m not setting my hopes on one thing just yet! Getting hired as a DJ was one of the most surprising experiences in my life as a student, and it’s taught me more than I could have imagined about the music industry and the filed of radio communications. I definitely would love to pursue a career in the music industry of some sort, but as far as specifics go, I’m still working on it. I’m going to stick around at V89 as long as I can, and I guess I’ll see where it lands me!

HC: What’s your favorite part about being a DJ at V89?

CV: Being a DJ helped me find a community of friends that I really love and who have helped me discover amazing things about music that I don’t think I ever would have found if it weren’t for my positon here. Everyone is extremely welcoming and enthusiastic about new DJs and helping each other out. In short, I found my people. I also absolutely love getting to discover new bands that I love and getting to show them to the general public. It’s weird maybe, but it’s fun to think that I could be a part of someone’s day for a moment, whether they’re driving home from work or hanging out at home. Whenever someone calls asking “What is this song? I love it!”, I always get pretty stoked. As a kid I loved listening to the local radio stations and calling the DJs for trivia and song requests, so getting to be the person to choose what goes on air is a novelty that will never lose it’s magic.

HC: Who is your favorite band/musician at the moment?

CV: Ah, that’s always that hardest question! Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of lo-fi artists like Alex G, Kurt Vile, and also I’ve been super stuck on the new Speedy Ortiz and Sufjan Stevens albums. I also love this hardcore band from Sacramento called So Stressed, that I swear will be a national sensation one day. I’m eagerly awaiting the newest Foxing album which comes out right after my birthday, so that’s a beautiful feeling.

HC: Are you involved with any other music related things on or off campus?

CV: Yes! This year will be my second year volunteering at Club Downunder, FSU’s student run concert venue, which I am extremely excited about and love very much. I recently made a transition to the programming department, which is responsible for planning all the events, and I’m very excited to get started! I also play in a band called Lingua Franca with my friend Luke Cyr, and I’ve booked local DIY shows here and there. The music scene in Tallahassee is a wonderful place and I’m excited to see it become stronger with fantastic organizations like V89 and Club Downunder.

If you’re interested in joining V89 they do cattle calls once each semester and Club Downunder does volunteer interviews once each fall. Check out Catherine’s band here

Sophomore computer science major at Florida State University that loves everything fashionable, yoga, food, art, and technology related. Originally from Boca Raton, Florida but currently residing in Tallahassee attending the best school in the nation!
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