Characters on Campus: Kezley Joseph – The WPAW DJ

Characters on Campus: Kezley Joseph - The WPAW DJ

Cecilia Levine, Managing Editor

Originally popularized by The Notorious B-I-G and Pac’s freestyle collaboration, “Where Brooklyn At?”, the borough has manifested its legacy in many popular hip-hop, rap and R&B songs. In addition to Pac and Biggie, Brooklyn has fostered other talented artists such as Biggie, Fabolous, DJ Mister Cee, Jay-Z and Pace’s own Kezley Joseph.

“People say they know me,” laughed senior business marketing major and President of Pace’s radio station, WPAW, Kezley Joseph. “They’ll say things like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve heard of you!’”

Joseph, a humble exception to the slew of haughty DJs and emcees, is seemingly unaware of his own popularity that often goes hand-in-hand with the profession. While many may partake in the rapidly booming industry, Kezley’s humility only further demonstrates his true passion for spinning.

“Anyone can buy the equipment and call himself a DJ or music producer,” said Joseph, who prefers the traditional vinyl record to technologically enhanced turn-tables. “So many DJs these days have no idea how to use a vinyl turntable.”

While the advancement of technology definitely has improved the field in many ways, some “DJs” have started to take advantage of the practicality. The thin line between knowledge and laziness makes all the difference in the world when it comes to being proficient at anything.

“Knowing how to blend the records, how to drop a track on the 1 or the 2 and understanding song technicalities are among many important aspects of being a DJ,” said Kezley. “At the end of the day, being able to spin an actual record is what real DJing is all about. Modern DJs have too much of a focus on their computer screen that they forget about the crowd and anything else going on around them.”

The tendency to lose site of what’s around you has a technical term in the DJ world, Serato Face. Sync buttons, and other short cuts to tricks of the trade strip the art of what it is. Brooklyn’s old-school ways have instilled themselves into Joseph, allowing him to embrace the hip-hop roots, even during a technological revolution which has managed to sneak itself into our ear buds. Before coming to Pace, the radio personality had little experience with spinning Latin, Rock and Roll, and even mainstream tracks!

“When I started to DJ I did songs with Hip-Hop or Reggae beats” said Joseph. “I played the piano so I had some sense of music.”

When Joseph went to his first WPAW meeting in 2010, the spring semester of his sophomore year, the organization was on its last leg. At that time WPAW was only a radio station.  He introduced the idea of implementing self-provided DJ services, initially with his personal equipment, which later brought money and publicity to the club. Although Joseph claims all it took was a new look and a bit of remodeling here and there, his skills and expertise were what revived the dying organization. He has since held the position of President and taken on a concentration in advertising and promotion.

“None of what has been done and anything that continues to happen could have been accomplished alone,” said the DJ. “The WPAW e-board, advisor and SDCA have all played vital roles throughout the process,” said Joseph, who has since started at WPAW performed at different colleges and has been the main source of music at almost every Pace event. “I’ve learned so much about audio-engineering and to take care of what’s mine through the responsibilities of maintaining the expensive equipment.”

Kezley ultimately wants to be a full-time Disc Jockey after his expected graduation this May. Based on the rave reviews he gets from Pace students and the parties that he’s kept alive until well into the early morning, he certainly has the potential to do so.