E.V. teen DJs find the right mix on radio - East Valley Tribune: News

E.V. teen DJs find the right mix on radio

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Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2010 5:44 pm | Updated: 3:45 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A few minutes before going on air, the bantering begins. Radio DJs Jacob Driscoll of Queen Creek and Jeff Wright of Apache Junction throw verbal hooks at each other for the next hour, between songs, updates on sports and news, and their segment on upcoming professional fights.

A few minutes before going on air, the bantering begins.

Radio DJs Jacob Driscoll of Queen Creek and Jeff Wright of Apache Junction throw verbal hooks at each other for the next hour, between songs, updates on sports and news, and their segment on upcoming professional fights.

"I carry this whole show on my shoulders," Driscoll says as Wright mocks him.

They get a good round going on a recent Wii matchup.

"I got you," Wright throws out.

"Whatever," Driscoll tosses back. "I won."

"Only because you kicked me in the knee and took my controller."

Known by listeners as "DJ Hot Wheelz" and "Mr. Wright," the 18-year-old high school seniors enjoy what they have going for themselves. They produce a show twice a week for the East Valley Institute of Technology's radio station, The Goldmine, 90.7 FM.

The friendship started oddly enough: Wright pitched a pencil at Driscoll during class.

That, they said, started their connection.

They discovered a common interest in mixed martial arts, pay-per-view fight shows and an easy ability to banter back and forth.

They were teamed together by their instructor, Steve Grosz, about a year ago, and they've been a hit - and friends - since then.

"I think the chemistry between the two of them is the best I've seen in 13 years of teaching," Grosz said. "They're a handful. Creative minds tend to be. Jeff will be riding on the back of Jacob's wheelchair or them both goofing off and almost wrestling, which they shouldn't since Jacob's got brittle bone disease.

"They act like brothers."

On Mondays and Wednesdays, the "brothers" are live on the radio from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. During class the rest of the week, they learn everything from producing a show to creating commercials to developing openers and promotions and marketing.

"I've always liked music. I can't cook. I'm not good at being a nurse. I don't have the patience," Driscoll said. Always the joker, he follows his comment with a hearty laugh.

Driscoll uses a motorized wheelchair to get around. But it certainly doesn't slow him down.

During most shows, Driscoll rolls up to the microphone in one of the school's 13 studios. On days when he is the producer, the team uses a studio that's been modified to give Driscoll access to the production board.

"Jacob makes the show fun," Wright said. "If he wasn't here, I wouldn't be here."

"He does the putting together," Driscoll said. "I'll record and he'll put it together."

Driscoll and Wright both joined the radio broadcast program at EVIT last school year.

After that first year, they were honored as the school's DJs of the Year. Wright took a ride on the back of Driscoll's motorized wheelchair to accept the award.

Before a Friday broadcast begins, the two of them sing along to the music playing in the studio. They clearly have a good time.

"I like how he (Grosz) lets us be ourselves when we do it and he's not forcing us to be what we're not, like other radio stations might do," Wright said.

"We get to pick our own music, play around and joke," Driscoll said. "We just have to watch what we say. I like to hear myself talk."

Even a year into it, Wright and Driscoll are still developing new content for "The Main Event," their show. They recently rewrote the opening - incorporating Brad Pitt quotes from the movie "Fight Club." They also added a full movie trailer of the movie of the week.

"The first time we did it, all the students out there (in the class) were like 'That's awesome,'" Wright said.

In order to finish the two-year radio broadcast program, Driscoll decided to stay in high school another year. He'll graduate in May from Queen Creek High School and has plans to enroll in Mesa Community College's broadcast program.

Wright said he'll likely move to Florida with his mom after graduation from Apache Junction High School. He wants to get a part-time gig as a radio DJ and train in the mixed martial arts to be a UFC fighter.

More than 50 students are in EVIT's radio broadcast program. EVIT provides career and technical training to students from about a dozen school districts around the East Valley.

Currently, the radio show can be heard online at www.evit.com. It is funded by the school.

Grosz said for the past 10 years the department has worked to receive an FCC license for a full-power radio station. He expects it to happen this year.

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