(EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is the first in the Sun-Gazette's series about WXPI 88.5-FM on-air personalities. Each week, a disc jockey who hosts a regularly scheduled radio program will be featured.)
WXPI 88.5-FM radio disc jockey Jeremy Hiserman hosts "In the Mix with AJ" from 5 to 6 p.m. Sundays. Hiserman is a 15-year-old freshman at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, a cyber school.
LAURA KNAUR: What lead you to a career in radio?
JEREMY HISERMAN: Well I know that I want to work in radio and the music industry when I am older.
When I was a kid, I would always fall asleep to the radio and I was entranced by the pictures that the DJs painted in my head of the musicians, their music and stories in the news. My family is very musical, so there is music always playing in the house. This musical aspect also led me to want to be in radio.
LK: How would you describe your first radio gig?
JH: Well, since I am only 15, this is my first radio gig, but in the future, I would like to go to college for audio production and work in the music industry or be a producer on the radio.
LK: Do you have a radio name? If so, where did it come from?
JH: My radio name is AJ. I could never think of the perfect radio name until I thought of my middle name, which starts with an A, so I thought I would just go with AJ and see how it works out.
LK: What was your favorite station to listen to as a kid?
JH: My favorite station to listen to as a kid was probably Oldiez 93 but I also listened to KISS-FM.
LK: How did you get involved with WXPI initially?
JH: I got involved with WXPI initially through hearing about it through a mutual friend of my dad's. From there, I started DJing and then later on, I acquired several other jobs at the station.
LK: Do you play a particular genre of music?
JH: On my show, I play Top 40 format with an emphasis on hip-hop and dance music.
LK: What's your favorite part of the job?
JH: My favorite part of the job would have to be getting to meet many different people and having the privilege to work with some of the area's top entertainers and DJs.
LK: What's the most challenging part of the job?
JH: The most challenging part of the job is probably putting together the perfect show. I am working with limited resources right now, so I can only do so much.
LK: Do you use on-air staff? If so, could you give a little insight about them?
JH: No, I do not use an on-air staff, currently, but I would like to in the future. I have always wanted to co-host the show but since the hosts come and go, I took over the hosting duties for now.
LK: What type of music do you listen to when you're not working?
JH: When I'm not working, I usually listen to hip-hop, soul, jazz and a little bit of rock and local musicians.
LK: What advice would you give people interested in becoming a radio DJ?
JH: I would tell them to learn the basic skills needed to be on the radio, but also learn HTML, social media management and sound-editing. It is key to know a little bit about each of these if you are going to work at a community station like WXPI.
LK: What is one thing that would surprise people to know about you?
JH: I am fifteen, already have a gig in radio and I am making my way in the music industry.
Hiserman's Top Ten Favorite Albums:
1. Queen Greatest Hits collection.
2. "Songs in the Key of Life" by Stevie Wonder.
3. The Roots "Things Fall Apart."
4. Michael Jackson "Thriller."
5. Jay-Z "The Blueprint."
6. The Roots "Illadelph Halflife.
7. Beach Boys "Sounds of Summer."
8. Kylie Minogue "Fever."
9. Journey's Greatest Hit's.
10. Gnarls Barkley "St. Elsewhere."