April 2, 2016
Ctrl + Alt+ Del is not just the combination of computer keys to quit a non-responding program. This is the inspiration behind the name of University at Albany’s WCDB fm radio DJ Laura Buskey’s show.
She explained, “I’m an alternative rock radio DJ and like I’m kind of controlling the music and I want my listeners to have a say in what they’re listening to,” and so Ctrl + Alternative + Del was born.
Buskey is a 20-year-old UAlbany sophomore from – air quotes – Plattsburgh, NY. “I’m from such a small town that Plattsburgh is like the closest thing anybody would be able to identify me by,” she said. She’s actually from a town called West Chazy, where she graduated with a class of 58 people.
“See that’s funny, that’s one of the reasons why I chose a big school like this,” Buskey laughed. In seventh grade, Buskey’s class went on a tour of the UAlbany campus: “Little me who hasn’t been to New York City…seeing the towers for the dorms I was like ‘these are skyscrapers!’”
UAlbany kept a special place in her heart since that trip, and she said “I’m a firm believer in following your instinct, if I had that feeling after visiting for a day in seventh grade I was like maybe I’ll like it here.” Buskey applied to a few other schools, but knew in her heart Albany was her place.
Buskey has been a DJ for WCDB for about a year and a half, and although the atmosphere of the school clicked with her immediately, her experience with the radio station wasn’t quite the same.
“When I first heard of the radio station, I definitely didn’t think it was for me,” she said, “I can’t even usually have a conversation let alone like be on air!” What really got her into it were the people. When she met some of the DJs, she felt she had so much in common with them, and decided it might be worth starting the training process to become a DJ herself.
“I fell in love with just like being able to express yourself over airways and I’ve been in love ever since. I met some really great people here,” Buskey said, “but like my passion, I definitely found it.”
Surrounded by people who inspire her and enhance her love of DJing, Buskey has spread the love herself. A fellow DJ with a news show, Connor Murphy, said about Buskey, “one only needs to look at the WCDB superlative she got.” Buskey was awarded “Station Sweetheart.”
Her favorite part about being a DJ is connecting, with fellow DJs and music enthusiasts as well as with her listeners. A man from Clifton Park called into her show one night to tell her he loved listening, listens every week and would continue to tune in. It was exciting and heartwarming for Buskey to know people are listening and that they come from all over.
Now, Buskey is passing on the inspiration to a close friend of hers, Andy Araya, who is currently training to be a DJ. He said they met last year, and when he saw how much she enjoyed being a DJ and how it shaped her personality, he wanted to give it a try too.
Buskey’s favorite band is called Modest Mouse. It’s a band she’s listened to since she was younger that stuck with her, as things often do for Buskey: “I love experiences like that.” She cited Float On as her favorite song, and Araya shook his head in disapproval saying, “that’s like their biggest song.” At WCDB, a motto to live by is nothing from the top 40.
Every now and then, Buskey will play a song she really likes, and then notice that some listeners have tuned out. She said, “its like aah, a little shot,” but she tries to learn from those experiences, and build her show for her audience and what they do like.
Right now, being a DJ is just a hobby for Buskey- in addition to her love of drawing and working two jobs. She balances it all with an overarching desire to succeed. “I’m very motivated to get my life together,” she said.
If she stays in the Albany area after school, she said she’d love to keep up her show because WCDB is a place she feels truly happy and comfortable. But for the future as a DJ, she said, “I’m not going to rule it out.”
Buskey is majoring in psychology and English with a minor in education.
“A lot of people judge you when you say psychology major.” Buskey joked, saying everyone told her she would change it and that everyone majors in that at first. However, her plans with psychology are so close to her heart that she is determined to be successful with it.
“In my family, my mom has some mental illnesses so it like kind of inspired me from a young age to want to help people like her.” Her mom has Dissociative Identity Disorder, or multiple personality disorder. “She’s not always her and it was like that thought always interests me…growing up I was always like ‘I want to learn more about this.’”
Although Buskey feels she has had a lot happen in life that could have been setbacks, she has always made it a point to persevere. She put herself in an unusual position by going to a big school like UAlbany, and joining the radio when she was shy to speak, but the uncomfortable experiences are proving to be the most rewarding.
Doing things you aren’t used to is tough, but Buskey loves the experience. Now she proudly says, “I’m willing to fearlessly be myself.”