Meet WRAS’s DJs

Meet the faces behind one of the highest operating college radio stations in the U.S. PHOTO BY RALPH HERNANDEZ| THE SIGNAL
Meet the faces behind one of the highest operating college radio stations in the U.S. PHOTO BY RALPH HERNANDEZ| THE SIGNAL
Meet the faces behind one of the highest operating college radio stations in the U.S.
PHOTO BY RALPH HERNANDEZ| THE SIGNAL

Since 1971, the DJs at WRAS have operated Georgia State’s premiere student-run radio station, exposing new artists to thousands of listeners across the Southeastern United States thanks to the station’s 100,000 watt broadcast.

Artists such as OutKast, Deerhunter and R.E.M. have all received breaks from the radio station, going on to hugely successful careers in their respective genres and there’s no signs of WRAS slowing down their mission of music exposure any time soon.

That’s all thanks to Radio DJs, who despite their abundance of personality, often remain intangible, invisible figures existing only as personable voices in the ears of the audience. They don’t have to be, and at Georgia State’s WRAS Album 88.5 FM, they aren’t.

Alayna Fabricius

When Alayna Fabricius, senior Studio Art major, isn’t busy inside the print-making studio, she can often be found inside WRAS’s office at University Center room 220. She hosts four radio programs including ‘I Don’t Care,’ ‘Synthiside,’ ‘Velvet Morning’ and ‘Mighty Aphrodite.’

Fabricius’s numerous shows speak to the diversity of musical perspectives found in WRAS, with ‘I Don’t Care’ focusing primarily on punk rock and the ‘Mighty Aphrodite’ exclusively featuring female vocalists, regardless of genre.

Genre certainly isn’t something that’s held Fabricius’s music taste captive. While she doesn’t restrict herself to just a handful of styles, she does name a few of her recent favorites.

“I know it’s cliche to say I love everything, but I have a strong influence from my dad,” Fabricius said. “Now I try to listen to a lot of local stuff. There’s been a big revival of shoegaze and the 90s style of early pop. I started listening to more new-wave and synth-pop.”

Fabricius’s love of music isn’t new, however. She found it to be an integral part of her life ever since she was a child and that love has grown over the years thanks to her friends and family.

“I remember my parents playing certain songs and my dad listening to a certain style of music,” she said. “I was definitely influenced by my dad and what he listened to, and then coming into school I did find a group of friends who that really was their passion.”

More than just a deep appreciation, however, Fabricius says that music has the ability to amplify the importance of relatively unimportant memories.

“Some memories become more significant because a certain song was playing. It could’ve been a time during the winter driving in my car,” she said. “Remembering that time being associated with a certain song makes it more memorable.”

Favorite Bands

  • Slowdive
  • Zounds
  • Gary Newman

Plans for the Future

  • Working for a record label
  • Working for music publications
  • Continuing her studio art work

Ben Braunstein

Ben Braunstein, 22 year old junior Sociology major, has been a DJ at Album 88.5 since May 2013. His love of music, however, doesn’t have a date attached to it. It’s been with him since his childhood.

Like most children, Braunstein’s earliest music experiences came from his parents, namely his father who introduced him to his first tastes of music through classic rock and roll such as Tom Petty.

“I remember the first concert I went to was Tom Petty who I liked at the time. My dad played him a lot,” Braunstein said.

Braunstein’s father didn’t just impart music onto his son, though. He recognized a unique gift in his son as well.

“Even now I remember my dad saying I have the best memory for music. I’d hear a song one time and a month later I’d know immediately who it is,” Braunstein said.

When Braunstein first began finding his own music in middle school, he gravitated towards the metallic, aggressive sounds of Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and other ’90s radio metal bands. Since that time, however, Braunstein’s tastes have expanded greatly.

Although Braunstein, like many of WRAS’s DJs, said he listens to every genre of music, he does admit that he has his particular favorites.

“I listen to noise rock, math rock and emo stuff. I still listen to a lot metal, but for a few years I stopped as much,” Braunstein said.

As a college freshman, Braunstein attended the University of Vermont where he attempted to make his start in radio. Although it didn’t work out, Braunstein would eventually become a DJ at Georgia State’s own WRAS.

“I transferred here in my sophomore year. I didn’t even know we had a radio station until my second semester when I discovered I was listening to it on the radio and they said they were accepting applications,” Braunstein said.

In addition to running regular rotation, Braunstein currently hosts the radio program ‘Manic Compression,’ which caters to his interests in the math rock, post hardcore and experimental punk music. Additionally, he also co-hosts the late-night metal show ‘Into the Void.’

“Ever since high school when I really started listening to metal, it was always a dream of mine to host a metal show on radio,” Braunstein said.

Now that dream is a reality and Braunstein couldn’t be happier with the opportunity he’s secured for himself.

“It feels like I’m living my life for something,” he said. “It gives my life some kind of meaning. It feels like a part of what my life should be. Music is such an integral part of who I am.”

Regarding his plans for the future, Braunstein believes in his career as DJ but with one important caveat.

“I think non-commercial radio DJs is really the way to go,” Braunstein said. “You get more freedom. It’s more about the love of the music. Whenever you start making your hobbies about money, they’re not as fun anymore.”

Favorite Bands

  • Joy Division
  • Unwound
  • Songs: Ohia
  • Modest Mouse

Plans for the Future

  • Non-commercial DJ
  • Music Promoter
  • Booker

 

1 Comment

  1. We are obvously proud of our daughter’s contributions not only to WRAS but to campus life at GSU as Captain of the Women’s Rowing Team and President of the GSU rowing club in the past. We’re also proud of the commitment made by volunteer student DJ’s who could be working for pay elsewhere but generously contribute their time to realize their passion. I recognize this has come full circle as Alayna and the other DJ’s now influence my listening choices. I’m hopeful that the students will get their daytime broadcasting time back in the near future. We urge students to fight for the return of their airwaves #savewras.

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