Campus Celebrity: DJ Manny

Class Year: 2018

Major (s): As of right now... Psychology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Favorite food: Crispy chicken sandwiches at Douglass, and authentic Krabby Patties. 

Secret superpower: Uh, I can take a shower in under 35 seconds.

Campus activities: I love to volunteer, exercise and play sports. I also deejay.

Where do you deejay? The Sting, University of Rochester’s online radio, funded by WRUR.


What is your show’s name? 1 1 Six X Unashamed Alternative.

How did you get involved with deejaying? It’s actually a really funny story. I’ve always had a love for music, always listening to the radio, checking out new stuff. Last summer I was playing XBOX with my little brother Nathan while listening to my iTunes playlist. After this one song finished, I pretended to be a DJ, announcing the song and the artist. And that was fun, I mean, I was just joking around like, “and that was ‘All I need is you’, by Lecrae, off of his new album: Anomaly.” And right after I said that, it hit me like, “yo, Nathan, what if I just became a Deejay?”  It was just nonsensical adlib, I wasn’t thinking anything of it, but apparently it wasn’t a coincidence because when the school year started, I was on my way out of Todd Union when I passed the WRUR studio door -the one covered in cool stickers- and I told myself I was gonna do it, I was gonna become a DJ. I emailed the supervisor, they booked me an appointment to do my demo, and I was given a show. The rest is History. 

What does the name mean? The significance of the name? Well, the significance is pretty deep, it might go over the heads of some people, but I’ll give it a shot. The first part, 1 1 Six , stand for one of my favorite bible verses, I’m gonna try and quote it verbatim, but I’ll probably mess up, so I’m gonna get out my bible. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”  It stand for Romans chapter 1 verse 16, and the reason that it’s in my show is because that is my life mantra, and everything I do as a result is what I believe and what I hold to be true. Consequently, you will hear about my faith while listening to the radio show and I am not ashamed because I hope that what I believe can change your life, as it did mine. Nevertheless, my show isn't a soap-box to preach because no one should be forced to believe something they don’t.  And the ‘Alternative’ part is not because it’s alternative rock- it’s alternative to the mainstream music you hear on the radio. The music you typically hear on the radio is about pre-marital sex, objectifying women, unrealistically portraying relationships, drug use, making thugs look cool, stuff like that, you know? And all those things don’t matter in the long run and to live for all those things would be to live for nothing at all. So, on the show I play music that matters to me, and will hopefully be able to help you during hard situations, or allow you the celebrate the small things in everyday life.  

How do you prepare for a show? When I started off, I would turn on my iTunes and shuffle until I found an hour’s worth of songs that I liked. I would mix them for a smooth flow and then write my script. I present what I have afterwards to my team and they give me feedback. I feel that if I want to give quality music, I can’t do it by myself. I need the listener’s input. Right before the show, I dedicate time to pray about my hopes for the night’s show and for my listeners. 

What is your favorite song? Ugh! Man, my favorite song, geez. Asking me what my favorite song is, is like proving if a scientific theory is true- you can’t. My favorite song oscillates from day to day and I love too many songs to just pick one- it might hurt the other songs’ feelings if I did.  

Do you plan to do anything with deejaying in the future? I'd love to keep doing it as a hobby or a part time gig.

What artists do you typically play? I play everything, so no artist is excluded. The only criteria is that the song has to uplift, encourage, and edify the listener. It cannot be obscene or full of hatred because that’s not what the show’s about. It’s about hope and comfort. Artists I play include: Kelly Clarkson, Lecrae, Eminem, Blake Shelton, Deadmau5, Chevelle, Relient K, Family Force 5, Logic, Coldplay, Taylor Swift and Tori Kelly.

Catch DJ Manny’s show every Tuesday at 7pm Eastern Time on WRUR’s The Sting Online Radio.