Conversations with DJ Mo’rad

WEQX radio personality Jeff Mo’rad was interviewed via Zoom by the Intro to Media and Communication class.

Jeff Mo’rad, a 17-year program director and on-air Host of WEQX’s Jam N Toast, recently visited with a group of students from a Communications class at Vermont State University Castleton.

Mo’rad, who told student he basically lives for radio and new music, joined a group of Intro to Media and Communications students via Zoom from his Manchester office in an old Victorian house. And he explained that his job is more than playing music.

Listening to over 300 live bands each year, Mo’rad and the WEQX radio show staff are always seeking new bands to create long-term relationships with help build their career.

Mo’rad views music as a sentimental, emotional attachment.

“I love music because it can bring you anywhere at any time, and brings people together,” Mo’rad said.

He was asked by a student to tell his favorite part of what he does.

“That’s a hard question, because it’s really everything put together. There’s just something so satisfying about the full circle of a band’s success,” he said.

Mo’rad describes the full circle as the “we made it moment,” when everyone in the crowd is singing lyrics word for word to one of the band’s songs. He explained how this is what motivates him to continue to do what he does in finding bands, exposing them to his listeners and then having them play locally.

Mimi Brown is the owner of the almost 40-year-old WEQX radio station, whose now-deceased husband built it from scratch.

Although the band-searching, career-making and music-playing opportunities are great, Mo’rad said one of the best perks of the job are the specialized birthday meals made by Mimi Brown. Every time a member in the radio station has a birthday, Brown will make them whatever meal their heart desires.

Mo’rad’s favorite is her Pizza Casserole.

“Oh yeah, and she makes a pretty mean fried chicken,” Mo’rad said.

Mo’rad was asked for his “aha” moment from all the years of working in the WEQX radio station. He said that it had to be the time he met Diana Ross.

“I was working overnight in Denver, and got the opportunity to hang out backstage with Ross the whole night,” Mo’rad said.

However, it doesn’t stop there. The story gets better.

“The dangerous snowstorm that had come our way that night, led to Ross inviting all the crew members to stay at her hotel room until the storm passed over,” he said.

Mo’rad also shared how an intended pop-in-and-out concert turned out to be the best of his life.

David Burns’ American Utopia was playing on Mo’rads way home from a long day. He and his wife decided they would stay for a song or two, but soon decided to stay as the former Talking Heads leader wowed them in what he called the greatest concert he had ever seen.

Mo’rad also explained the concern about the declining interest in radio these days and tried hard to convince students radio is a viable, fun career.

“We welcome interns with open arms,” Mo’rad said with a big smile.

But despite his love for radio, he told students he too was stuck at one point.

After Mo’rad found himself working at a job in Colorado that involved all talk and no music, he realized that he made a mistake and needed to stick with what he truly dreamed of.

“Follow your dreams and you will end up in the right place, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment,” Mo’rad said in an inspirational end his chat.

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