Get some real job when you need money
Job on radio station was never paid enough, all I got is recognition and some fame but I never earned some normal salary. And, working as a rookie DJ in a club wasn’t much better. It's the old DJ problem. When you are new in the business, you can't complain much since you're not big enough to complain and ask for more money, and I needed money to buy new records and become more independent. I decided to find some daytime job that will bring me some steady cash flow. At that time my night DJ residency gig earnings was only enough to cover my daily basic needs and that would be food and cigarettes. To cut the story short, I became a manager in TV/HiFi retail store. And it was a good job, sometimes it was very interesting, but mostly boring. Still, it was much easier for me to buy new music now when money is not an issue anymore.
After few years of successful business store closes due to very high rent expenses (we were located downtown), and I was offered job with the same company at different location. But, I decided to focus more on my DJ career, and yes, I was sick explaining things to people who can’t or won't read user manual for tv or whatever. I used all my savings to buy bunch of new vinyls, as always, I had to travel to Hungary for that since closest music shops for vinyls were in Budapest. Soon after that, I was getting more calls and I started to perform outside Novi Sad. You could tell that I was a DJing much more.
THIRD RADIO > IN RADIO
In 1997, I decided to accept an offered position for a Head Music Editor at freshly opened Radio IN (106.3 MHz), where I will stay until the year of 2000. What I found there was the same old story with stale radios: uninformed music editors, uneducated people in marketing, and a lots of prejudice. Before new crew arrived you would hear bad old music selection served by lazy music editors, and we had only old and broken equipment. The only good thing was working internet connection, so there was no excuse for music editors to ignore newest music trends and to follow current hits charts. When you're running commercial radio your daily music has to be more commercial, period. What you do at night, that's how you keep young hip crowd there.
As a head music editor I immediately gathered group of people that were capable of creating a very unique radio identity, and capable of showing the Novi Sad's audience what an urban radio really is. It was the first radio whose team of music editors successfully managed to play only top quality music at the day; good funk, some popular jazzy tracks and some pop rock gems and newest hits. You could also hear commercial house hits at the day shifts, but the real program would start usually after 4pm and it would go crazy until the morning shift. Night shifts were reserved for latest and best electronic music radio shows, live DJ sets, guests, party promotion etc. Every local DJ was doing their own show, and listeners would hear unique selection almost every night. It was a great time for NS radio, IN RADIO ruled.
Along with my team, I kept presenting and defending the electronic music that was already accepted around; everybody started listening to it more and more, recognizing it and loving it. At the time this was the first radio station in the city that were broadcasting the latest of current world music production. Equipment was very bad and old, but luckily we still managed to make good program with a few working computers. I was also a Head Technical Manager since no one else knew or wanted to fix stuff and use electronics properly. Let me put it clearly, it was no money = no people situation. Nobody works for free. Sometimes I would have a feeling like I was some stupid little enthusiast who couldn't stop working for free, but something inside of me didn’t want me to quit with this radio station, yet.
I remember when I used to work 16-20 hours shift, I was practically living on the radio and fixing it.
There was a lack of staff due to the fact that simply there was no money for the salaries, and some people simply didn't have time to waste and they wouldn't show up for the work. Maybe they didn't loved music as I did, or they were not serious about the job, but I knew that I have to keep it on. After all, I didn't have anything else to do in this country and this city, we were in the war. I remember that day when NATO air strikes started and when we heard first bombs around us, I didn’t want to stop with the program even when other radio stations were shut down already. I knew it, if we would stay on the air and work until this shit clears (NATO bombarding), our days would come, and they did!
NATO strikes, radio is keep going on
Having great motivation to continue with the program during NATO air raids, part of the crew have managed to do transform clubbing in the city. With no electrical power, we organized (with the help of generators) a serial of successful parties at the local warehouse/club, which despite catastrophic situation in the country and every day bombardment, achieved its main goal - the celebration of life and music. After end of the war IN radio enjoyed great popularity and more and more advertising clients wanted to get on the air with their products and commercials. We knew at that moment that we have big success with our new radio, we used that moment to elevate to the next level.
Besides great music and solid radio program, we realized that we need to work more on our radio station to keep the momentum going, and management put big effort to make informative program more professional and gave the city most objective news and fresh service information. Music editors would complain at the beginning, but after boost of their salaries, they realized that you have to compromise in your life. You don't want to be an starving artist.
SECOND CLUB RESIDENCY > DISCOTHEQUE PARADISO
Great success that IN Radio enjoyed right after the war has partly contributed to better status for DJs who worked on radio. As I was one of them, I finally got my residency at the best equipped clubbing space in the country at that time, discotheque Paradiso. I played throughout the season every Friday night the most progressive sounds, together with my friend Zlatan. After this residency and endless number of crowded venues, I needed another kind of recognition to convince myself once again that I'm on the right track.