Local Current Blog

Greg ‘The Mellow Motivator’ Grease signs off as May DJ in Residence

Nate Ryan/MPR

First and foremost, I’d like to thank The Current for the opportunity to be part of the Local Current DJ in Residence project. Thanks Kelsey for guiding me through the process smoothly. Throughout the four weeks I transformed from Greg Grease to the Mellow Motivator, playing only the best local jams!

When asked to do the project, I thought to myself that this would be a great opportunity to play some of my friends’ new music. I must admit that outside of my knowledge of the local rap scene I didn’t really know too much about other genres of local music. With an exception of a few bands I may have shared show bills with, I didn’t truly grasp the incredible amount of quality music that comes from Minnesota — so I decided to challenge myself and listen to unfamiliar sounds and names when deciding what to play, curating a diverse and quality show. Although I consider myself a “sound selector” rather than a DJ, in the past I’ve fancied myself someone who can make a pretty decent playlist. I had to live up to my middle-school-girlfriend mixtape rep, right?

Starting, one thing I didn’t expect was the challenge of listening back to my speaking voice. I kept thinking, “why do you keep repeating yourself!?” Kelsey gave me some great tips to try and introduce things differently; this opened my eyes to the fact that a radio DJ doesn’t just spin records but pilots you through a sonic journey. By the third week I embraced my radio voice and decided to just enjoy my access to the vast Current library to extend my knowledge of local music and have some fun with it.

Coming into my last week, I’m thinking my feet are really just getting wet and this last week will be a blast. At first six hours seemed like forever, but I still was only able to play a portion of the local artists I wanted to bless the airwaves with! This whole process has definitely given me an even greater appreciation for what radio show hosts and programmers do every day to make our radio listening experience a pleasurable one.

My most exciting moments:
• playing my manager Jon Jon’s band from the ’90s, Cold Front — specifically, their song “Beyond the Beat”
• bragging about my Uncle Troy and playing his band Mind and Matters’ music
• playing tons of Prince!

Also, I never realized how often I say “so yeah man” or “that’s a beautiful thing” until I listened to the show. Ha!
So, yeah man, that’s a beautiful thing that I was able to be a part of this project.

Thanks, Peace and Love
Greg “The Mellow Motivator” Grease

Listen to Greg Grease’s last shift as our May (and one week of June) DJ in Residence on Local Current from noon to 6 p.m. today. Local Current’s DJ in Residence project is supported by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.