Student DJ among first to take dubstep to airwaves

By Sarah Wojcik

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You may have heard him on Channel 95.5 as an intern on the Bombsquad, or perhaps on OU’s own radio station, 88.3 WXOU.

DJ Alex Jahn is making a splash into the Detroit disc jockey scene starting with his dubstep show Fridays from 2-3 a.m. on WXOU and his dance and techno show, which airs Saturdays at the same time and place.

“I love the show because no other radio stations in the metro Detroit area play techno, let alone dubstep,” said listener Derek Kupisz. “What’s unique about him is that he creates a lot of the music he puts on the show, where most DJs just throw on a mix.”

Jahn’s musical career started long before he set foot on Oakland’s campus.

“I used to be in a band in high school and it was just too hard for all four of us to get together at the same time,” Jahn said.

Immediately after high school, Jahn’s music took a different direction — from creating to mixing.

“I  reconnected with an old friend of mine who showed me the ropes of DJing and I really like the independence it gave me as an artist.”

Jahn’s show on WXOU is comprised mainly of dubstep, a sub-genre of drum and bass that originated in London, England. One of the most unique and representative sounds of dubstep is the distinctive “wobble bass” heard in nearly every song of the genre. Unlike many other styles of music, in dubstep, the job of the DJ is to bring the impact of the song and experience to the listener, instead of delivering lyrical or vocal content.

Jahn said artists such as Tiësto, RUSKO and his mentor DJ Short Stop inspired him to be the DJ he is today.

He has spun at venues like Tonic, the Sky Club and Tiki Bob’s and is still continuing to expand both his portfolio and experiences as a DJ.

“I haven’t had a nine-to-five since I was 18, but there are no 401Ks for DJs, so college is my backup plan,” Jahn said.

He said he hopes to eventually become a full-time DJ at Channel 95.5 and work his way up to playing big events like the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and Electric Forest, perhaps even spinning with the MCs that drove him to become a DJ in the first place.

Although techno and dubstep are some of his favorite genres, Jahn said he thoroughly enjoys being self-employed and  able to do all sorts of music for a wide variety of events.

The sub-grenre of dubstep is starting to gain more popularity among young club-goers, so if you still want to keep up with the hype of the club and are interested in DJs like Rusko, Skrillex, and DATSIK, check out DJ Alex Jahn’s show.

Or, if this show is past your bedtime, you can check out the podcast  version of his shows off of his official Facebook,

Facebook.com/DJalexjahn, or follow him on Twitter at

Twitter.com/DJalexjahn