The Sounds of State-Michael Maverick

Thursday night before Spring Break I traveled to the KCR studio to meet up with Michael Maverick. It was a couple minutes before 10 o’ clock, which is when he had his show. We said hi and chatted for a short while and once it was time for him to hit the air, Michael let his mix fly and we were able to sit down and have our interview.

Cameron Satterlee: Alright so I’m sitting down in the KCR studio with Michael Maverick, thanks for sitting down with me, man.

Michael Maverick: No problem.

CS: Alright so, easy question for you here, tell us your radio slot.

MM: Ten to eleven p.m. every Thursday.

CS: Every Thursday, and you said earlier Thursday nights are Thirsty Thursday?

MM: Thirsty Thursday mix, that’s right.

CS: Alright, and so what do you play for the Thirsty Thursday mix?

MM: I do Top 40, EDM, try to mix it up a little bit. Every now and then, throw in a little of that Throwback Thursday. Just mix it up, keep it fresh.

CS: And so how long have you been with KCR?

MM: I was here last semester and now this semester so I’m going for one year, two semesters.

CS: Alright cool. Well welcome, it’s always great to have I guess sort of new DJ’s. You’ve had a semester under your belt so you know all the trick so far.

MM: Yeah.

CS: So I guess, it’s sort of popular music with the top 40, but with the throwbacks and the electronic music, EDM, you got this whole kinda scene behind that. What makes you want to play music from this group of genres?

MM: Sort of mixing it up?

CS: Yeah.

MM: It’s just this evolution of music. Electronic music is really going into the mainstream. Not in a bad way, but in a way that it’s a mixture. A lot of hip hop is picking up EDM and a lot of EDM is picking up hip hop and it’s kinda fusing. So it’s only right to pay due diligence and say “okay they comes with this background and hip hop comes with this background” so when you play it you know what’s going on.

CS: Oh yeah totally. I think you hit the nail right on the head there. EDM and hip hop are fusing to form this really popular music right now. But with your throwbacks, what do you play for that? Any other genres?

MM: I can go from R&B to super old 80’s roller blading songs like that kinda old. I don’t think I would go beyond the 80’s. Yeah 80’s or 90’s.

CS: Yeah so you’re basically sticking to the roots of EDM and hip hop.

MM: Yeah.

CS: Well that’s a good theme I guess.

MM: Foundation.

CS: Yeah foundation for the current music, you’re right. So this is a more out there question, so I want to know why this music is important to you. Why did you get into it? Why do you think “this is the music I need to play on KCR?”

MM: It’s just how I grew up. My community, every day, friends, family. Hip hop is a culture and it is the culture that embraced me, you know? And EDM is kinda just barely getting into it cause at the club you could only play hip hop so much. You gotta play the EDM too, you gotta dance. So it’s kinda that give and take of both genres. But as for getting into it, it’s just environment. Environment and content, how back in the day it was really about having a voice and rap music did that and allowed people to express themselves when they didn’t have that opportunity to do so and that’s what made it attractive.

CS: Alright cool, well thanks that was a great answer. So as a Top 40, EDM, rap guy, you got your ear to the ground. You know what’s hot right now, I guess more than most of the people I interview. So what is the big hot song right now that you’ve been just really wanting to play lately?

MM: There is this song that I’m pretty sure is gonna be a summer hit. The song is by Eric Bellinger and I think it’s called Focused On You. It’s a sample of an older song and it’s got Two Chainz on it. And I think in the summer if it get a lot of play on the radio it’s gonna be a hit.

CS: It’s gonna be a big club party jam or something?

MM: Yeah yeah.

CS: Alright, so last question. I always like to end on this one, it’s a fun one. So you’ve got your one hour of Thirsty Thursday, how would your perfect show go?

MM: My perfect show. Mix it all up. If I could get a good amount of hip hop, a good amount of EDM, and a good amount of throwback and rap, and fresh songs that just came out and kinda put them out there and make someone say “hey I never heard that song before and I like it” then I did a good job.

CS: A little old, a little new, but all good?

MM: But all good.

CS: Alright, well thanks, man.

MM: Yeah.

And with that I left Michael to do his show. It’s great to hear our DJ’s be so passionate about the music they love, for Michael it goes back to his roots. He’s jamming out past dark on Thirsty Thursday, like a true college radio DJ. Make sure to tune in to his show, 10-11 p.m. only on KCR Radio, the Sound of State.

The Sounds of State-Jon Yim

Last Thursday I sat down with Jon Yim, one of my coworkers at KPBS, who also just started a radio show with us here at KCR. Jon runs one of our alumni weekend shows on Sunday, though he isn’t quite an SDSU alum. To say that Jon’s been around the block in an understatement, he’s worked in radio and television his entire life. I even made the mistake of asking him to explain how he came to KCR, and to tell it properly he basically had to give me a succinct story of his entire forty or so year career. All I needed to do was ask a leading question and he delivered. With that said, this is easily my longest interview, so let’s just get right into it:

Cameron Satterlee: Okay we are rolling, I am sitting here in the KPBS Tape Op room with Jon Yim, thanks for joining me.

Jon Yim: Well I appreciate it, glad to be here talking with everyone else, my fellow KCR people and people out there too.

CS: For those who don’t know, when is your show?

JY: I do the Radioactive Retro Brunch, and I do it on Sunday mornings from 7 to 10. And actually I do get some feedback from that one cause people my age, I’m pushing my mid-50’s right now, but people my age are usually up and about on the weekends that early in the morning. Having been a twentysomething earlier in my life I understand the whole concept of staying out of those early mornings on Sundays. But I think I’m filling a needed gap that needed to be filled and that’s when Matt Hoffman came and asked me to do the slot, he offered me a slot. Sunday was the only one available, so I said “why not” and I took it. So I’ve been having fun with it ever since.

CS: Yeah I wanted to follow up with that, since this is your first semester at KCR ever, correct?

JY: Right.

CS: How did you get all the way from—well you started a while back in radio, how did you get up to the point where Matt Hoffman asked you to come fill in for us?

JY: The long story short is that Matt approached me and asked if I would like to have a slot on KCR. I was not doing anything on Sundays so I figured “why not, let’s give it a shot”. My first love, even though I work in television, my first love has always been radio. I’ve been doing radio since I was sixteen when I got my start, and transitioned in the 80’s to television for television production. And so it’s always been in the background with me, I still once in a while, when I hear a song on the radio just playing by itself I’ll see how good my DJ skills are by doing what we call walking the ramp which is when you hear DJ’s do the introductions up until the first line of the lyrics, that’s what we call walking the ramp. It’s kind of a lost skill these days but I’ve always tried that and I go “yeah, that worked”. But it’s been a long road, started at sixteen when my family was living in Okinawa, I was an army brat back then. Wasn’t very good as sports, I was heavily involved in band and theater in high school, wasn’t exactly college material at the time. There really was very little to do on the island at the time, so I signed up at the school, they had an internship program, and I got involved in that. We called it work-study. And you could work several different places, you could work at the base gas station if you were mechanically inclined. If you were administratively inclined you could have worked at the army hospital. And in my case they also had broadcast training, so I took that step, became a pest and a nuisance mostly around the station till they said “yeah we’ll go ahead and start training you”. So for two class periods a day, in lieu of social studies, that’s what I was doing. I was learning how to work in the broadcast field so I did everything. I restacked records, this is back in the days when we were doing vinyl, restacked records in the library, pull radio spots for the DJ’s, run news copy to these guys, did a whole bunch of different things. I did radio and the TV side, I did it all the way till my graduation year in high school in 1976. Then I joined the navy, I originally wanted to go into broadcasting but they didn’t have any slots available so I went to boot camp here in San Diego. That was a long trip from Okinawa to San Diego. And then after boot camp went to a technical school at Point Loma at the old Naval Training Center. And unfortunately after about three months of school, which was highly accelerated for basic electricity and electronics, I had a minor grasp but not good enough and so I flunked out and so they sent me to the fleet. I was on a ship based out of Japan for two years and I learned how to be a basic deck seaman. That’s what I did, I was driving the ship, was paining, was rigging cranes and lifts and running small boats. I was quite good at that job too. And then an opportunity came up to go into broadcasting aboard the ship. We had a small television station and also a very small radio station aboard the ship, so I volunteered to go into that. And that’s what led me to the broadcast career field in the navy, and I did for, in my seventeen years in the navy, I did that for twelve. Twelve years in different places around the world. After I left the ship I was stationed in Tokyo for four years, then I moved back down south to Okinawa. Going back home so to speak, was there for two years. I did three and a half years in Pearl Harbor, which is where I’m from, I’m from Hawaii. I actually didn’t work in broadcast there, I was in public relations for the navy when I was there. But I kinda moonlighted at two radio stations at the time. I was doing weekend fill and vacation fill whenever the regular disc jockeys were out I’d just fill in for them. It was extra cash. And then I went to Australia to be the assistant stage manager of a closed circuit television station there. So spent four years in Australia, I also moonlighted over there at a couple of radio stations. One in Perth in Australia, one in the East Coast at 2 Triple M in Sydney. Did that, again vacation fill. And I got connected through friends of friends who worked in the Australian navy who had friends in the commercial world and that’s how I got hooked up. I became basically the token Yank, so to speak, since I was the only one with an American accent working on the air. Then in 1990 I moved back here to San Diego, was stationed at Miramar, was doing public relations. I ran the base newspaper while I was over there, was also the photographer, editor, and writer, and occasionally the publisher for Miramar’s base paper. And then I retired from active duty after Desert Storm in 1993 and stayed. Worked at Time Warner Cable for a little while in their technical operations department and then did some occasional voiceover work for them  for commercials and stuff. And then moved on to KUSI, was there for four years. I joined them in 1997 and was there until I came to KPBS in 2001 and joined you guys back in February so that’s pretty fun. It’s been a pretty fun ride.

CS: Wow. That’s an incredible story. I mean obviously radio, and I suppose all these forms of media, television, newspaper, it’s been pretty much your entire life’s work.

JY: Working in the media yeah.

CS: Pretty much. Boy this is something I really don’t encounter often. Definitely a first time for my little interview segment here. Wow so that’s very interesting. Wow that’s great. It’s clearly something you’ve dedicated a lot of passion and your energy into. It’s your life’s work I suppose.

JY: I kinda look at it from the point of view of if I can make one person’s day a little bit better then I’ve done my job. But that’s it, and that’s always been the attitude I’ve taken from people I’ve worked with in this business, in this industry over the years. Like you said, it’s been a long 40-plus years of working in this business. But it’s been fun. There have been great times and then not so great times. But in most cases it’s always just been a fun ride.

CS: Yeah so—

JK: What kind of music do I play? (laughs)

CS: Yeah I did want to get back to KCR, cause you have a three hour show—I’ve interviewed Clint Beachwood and Joe Shrin who also have the longer alumni shows—and they have different segments of music that they play, all within a certain theme. So I wanted to know what you’re all about.

JY: I call it mixed bag because I tend to go with my music format, well I like to say that I have no format and no rules.

CS: It is college radio.

JY: It is college radio. But technically I play everything from the mid-60’s to the mid-80’s, some 90’s in there, and some current tunes. Not a lot. I tend to focus on stuff that were pop hits from yeah the 60’s to about the 90’s and anything that really catches my ear. I also play a lot of classic album cuts from that general time period also. I’ll even throw in some Hawaiian, cause I’m from Hawaii, so I’ll throw in some Hawaiian music. I have friends of mine who have cd’s out there. I have several friends of mine out there who are working musicians. One’s a blues musician who’s based out of Okinawa, his name is David Ralston. I have another friend of mine who was my high school classmate and she’s a working jazz singer in the Netherlands, and she travels the world and she has some tracks that I have also been playing on the air. And also the local guys, Sure Fire Soul Ensemble with Tim Felton and Nicholas Costa. In fact their single City Heights is my show outro theme. They’ve been jazzed about that for a while now. If local artists have cd’s or tracks that are interesting, and like I said it’s pretty much free form, my mixed bag format is pretty much something for everyone. I even play country, not necessarily the new stuff that’s out there but the old stuff, the classic country from the 50’s-60’s-70s and 80’s. It all kind of works together. The greatest thing I like about KCR is you have this blank canvas you’re given for three hours and how you paint it is completely up to you. So that’s what I enjoy about it. It’s kind of catharsis for me too, I’m able to play Ronnie Radio for a little while. Just keeping my skills up in speaking and communicating, that’s it. And also having a little bit of fun, and If somebody has fun that’s great.

CS: Yeah you also mentioned the other day that as part of your mixed bag that you play comedian sets right?

JY: Oh yeah, I have a segment called the Sunday funnies. And yeah I try to play some great and classic comedy tracks from records, from comedians like Robert Klein. Robin Williams, you’ve got to clean him up a little bit, but it makes it to air. Also classic comedy bits from Abbot and Costello, from Hudson and Landry, and little bits and pieces from people who you never thought would do comedy cuts. I mean Cheech and Chong fit into that comedy category. So I spend maybe five, eight minutes, and that’s always at the bottom of the hour every hour when I play it. So at least you have something to have a laugh to in the morning. I kinda look at it like I’m right next to you with the coffee, the croissant, and the Sunday paper. So I’m just in the background getting stupid I guess at times. But I have a lot of great tracks to pull from. I like that I do have access to the vinyl library, I’m still digging through that and I’m still being amazed by what’s in there. But yeah that’s a resource that KCR is very blessed to have, is all that vinyl there inside those lockers outside of the hallway. Last I remember, somebody was saying there’s roughly between 120 to 135,000, and that’s a lot of vinyl. And that stretches back to when the station signed on in the 70’s or the 70’s, and so there’s a lot of vinyl inside there. So I haven’t even scratched the surface yet, but I have a general idea of what’s in there.

CS: Well we hope you’ll be able to play as much as you can moving forward.

JY: I’m certainly looking forward to it. The reach, what amazes me about KCR is the reach. I have my own Facebook page dedicated to the show. I also have an email address, and that is I always recommend email and I always promote that too. Not so much on the Twitter. I’m not exactly too much of a fan of that, but maybe I might expand to that. But right now I’m sticking with Facebook and Gmail as for promotion. And so I always try to archive and link my shows so everybody can listen in if they can’t catch it when it’s on live. To show you the amount of reach KCR has, back when I first did my first show back in mid-February, my bother texted me, who lives in Honolulu, texted me that he was hearing me loud and clear when he was going out for his jog on the Ala Wai Canal. So yeah that kinda blew my head away. And then some other friends of mine who live in Australia stayed up, cause it hits them at 2 o’clock in the morning live. But they stayed up to listen and they were quite impressed. These guys were old friends of mine from years past, and so they were talking to me. And a couple of friends from the UK also talked to me and emailed me that they caught my show. And so they were pretty impressed too and glad to hear me back on the air even though it’s online. People should realize that KCR has reach, it really does. Every time I crack that mike in the studio I think “okay, we’re going flying around the world via online. So keep that in mind.” I mean when I was stationed in Tokyo it was pretty much the same way. KCR has a global reach if anyone hasn’t realized it by now. Even though you may think we’re doing funny stuff and having a great time here in San Diego, which is what we’re aiming for. But we’ve got folks that do tune in around the world. So I hope people keep that in mind too, that we’ve got that.

CS: Alright, well, it seems like KCR is very lucky to have you. Thanks for sitting down and sharing your story with me.

JY: I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me.

There he is folks, Jon Yim. It’s clear that he is a great asset to our station and a wonderful addition to the team. Normally I say that I chat with the DJ’s I just interviewed for a bit then part ways, but for Jon and I it was simply back to work. Jon’s been working in radio for all of his life, and he has the craft honed to perfection. At KCR we’ve given him a space to do whatever he wants, and it seems like he’s taking full advantage of the opportunity that is college radio.

Check out the RadioActive Retro Brunch Facebook Page

And check out his archive of old shows on Google Drive

And be sure to tune in to his show, Sunday mornings from 7-10 only on KCR Radio, the Sound of State.

The Sounds of State-Jasmine Ho and Nathan Yick

It was a sunny Friday morning in March when I sat down with Jasmine and Nathan for the latest edition of The Sounds of State. I met Jasmine outside the studio and we talked for a few minutes before being joined by her cohost. This was one of the longest interviews I’ve ever done for the KCR blog, so I’m just going to let the two of them speak for themselves. I’m sure you’ll be as impressed with their passion and dedication to their show and with KCR as I was.

Cameron Satterlee: Alright I am sitting down with Jasmine and Nathan on this beautiful Friday morning, welcome. So let’s begin by having you guys say your radio slot and if you have any DJ names.

Jasmine Ho: Well our show is called Sunset Vibrations and we’re on every Wednesday night from 9 to 10, and I’m known as Jazzy-Fe.

Nathan Yick: And I’m known as Yick.

CS: I guess you already told me earlier Jasmine, but how long have the both of you been with KCR?

JH: Well I’m a freshman so I started first semester of this year.

NY: Yeah same here, but last semester we had different shows. Last semester I had a talk show before I got into DJing with Jasmine. It was pretty interesting going through that transition, but I definitely like DJing better. I don’t know, it’s easier you know? Last semester for my talk show I’d always find myself and my cohost improving the whole thing because you never had a set strategy. Cause it’s really hard coming up with an hour’s worth of content for just talking.

CS: Oh I know what you mean. Yeah DJing is a lot easier and it can be a lot more fun. So what kind of music do you play?

NY: We play electronic music but I guess me and Jasmine determined it was more alternative.

JH: It’s kind of chill, mellow, mid-tempo music. So not quite like EDM you’d hear at big raves. I mean first semester that’s what I’d play when I had a show with other people but this semester I wanted to change it up because I was kinda getting bored of mainstream electronic music. So yeah our show is really chill, I mean it’s called Sunset Vibrations so we try to find music that you’d want to listen to when watching sunsets or something.

NY: Definitely.

CS: Well you’ve got a whole theme going, that’s cool.

JH: Really laid back and chill and relaxed.

CS: Awesome. Yeah I really dig that stuff right now, but not that much of it. Maybe I should listen to your show!

JH: You should!

CS: So I guess you kind of answered this question already, but if you want to go deeper that’s also cool. So why did you get into this kind of music specifically?

JH: Well I’ve always been into electronic music. I started out listening when I was in seventh grade and that progressed into me becoming a little raver in high school. At the time not a lot of my friends were into it, but I was so into it that I kind of converted all of my friends into liking EDM.

NY: Oh yeah, you sure did,

JH: And then I’d go to raves with my friends and then now my taste in electronic music has progressed. I like new sounds which is why I like the genre we play because it’s really trendy right now. All the artists who are making music and in the genre are that we play, they use really new sounds. It sounds unlike anything I’ve heard before and that’s what I like about it.

NY: The music we play is so unique, there’s no set trend, cause every song we play is so dynamic, so different. Because that’s the beauty of alternative EDM, but it still maintains that consistent theme of being chill and danceable yeah.

JH: It’s still danceable and steady and rhythmic.

NY: They use sounds that mainstream DJ’s don’t normally use, and they really explore the horizon of sounds across the board and it’s just really interesting because you never know what they’ll come up with next.

JH: And I think what’s also great with the genre is that there’s so many new artists that are coming out, making music in this genre,  every time I go on Soundcloud or something I discover somebody new. There seems to be no end to all the people who make it. I guess most of the music we play we would consider future—I think that’s what it’s called, I think people refer to it as future music, future bass, future chill. It’s kind of got really super electronic sounds and yeah there’s so many new artists that I’ve never heard before but they all make really good music and that’s what I like about it. We’re always discovering new people.

CS: So you could go the entire semester without playing the same person twice?

NY: Yeah, definitely. We’ve been doing that so far.

JH: Yeah it’s been so diverse.

CS: Wow. Alright so I guess this is sort of a related question but why is this music important to you? Or important to play in general?

JH: I think it’s a step away from the really popular electro-house music that’s all over the radio nowadays. I feel like the electronic music that’s really popular right now is really repetitive and predictable. It’s like build up, drop, build up, drop. But with the music that we’ve been playing, they cater to a wide range of emotions. And that’s why I call it alternative, cause when you listen to alternative rock music it’s kind of like you can get a whole range of emotions like happy, uplifting songs to really sad songs. It’s the same way with the music that we play, not just party music. Music that you can actually enjoy just listening to on a daily basis.

NY: Yeah pretty similar to her. I think with the stuff we play it’s a breath of fresh air. I feel like with the mainstream medium genre it’s really easy to get burnt out and get sick of the same drop. It’s pretty predictable you know? But with alternative EDM it’s like what Jasmine said, it caters to a whole wider range of emotions. You surprise yourself with the music, and then some songs, they’re so dynamic that it sounds like you’re listening to electronic for the first time. Every single week when we make our own mixes for our shows there have been moments where me and Jasmine have been like “woah this song is so good”. A new song each week.

JH: Yeah if a song catches up off guard we’ll be like “woah that was really cool”, we totally did not see what the artist did there, we did not see that coming.

NY: Yeah and then adding onto catering to different emotions, this music makes you feel a certain way. It puts you in certain settings and then we talk about on our show, some of the EDM we play really has Asian/oriental chime-y sounds, you just feel like you’re in Japan or something. So I think that’s really unique mainstream media doesn’t do a good job of doing.

JH: Yeah our genre has a really diverse set of sounds. The artists are always inventing new computerized sounds to add into their songs. It’s a fun genre to listen to.

CS: Always something different.

JH: Yeah.

CS: That’s cool. So I guess you already answered this question but I wonder if I can get any DJ names out from you. Is there anybody specifically that’s just awesome in your opinion?

JH: I want to say that probably the most famous person that fits into our category is Flume, I think a lot of people know him. Um maybe Giraffage, he’s a big one.

NY: Yeah those are pretty much the two top guys.

JH: Honestly we listen to so many different artists it’s hard to pick out one.

CS: Yeah that’s fine.

JH: But Flume, Giraffage, Glass Animals has been my favorite recently.

NY: ODESZA has been pretty classic for alternative EDM. Djemba Djemba is pretty good, he’s been rising recently. I don’t know this music is just so unique.

JH: Yeah that’s pretty good.

NY: It’s funny because all these DJ’s are from what we would consider the same genre, but if you break down their music and compare technicalities it’s completely different.

JH: Yeah with a lot of these artists it’s really hard to describe what their music even is like. You can’t place them in a category.

CS: Alright thanks, I’ll ask you for some links later to put up. So you weren’t cohosts last year, what made you want to partner up?

JH: Well last year Nathan was doing a totally different thing. I was doing music but he was doing a talk show. So our show categories weren’t really together.

NY: Two different things yeah.

JH: So I I ended up partnering up with people I had just met only through KCR and that was nice cause they were chill and it was fun, but when we have to start off partnering up with people we don’t know, I kind of realized that my tastes in music and what I wanted to play didn’t really line up with what my cohosts wanted to play on the air all the time. So I was like “I kinda want to make my show my own and I know Nathan has really similar music tastes as me” and we’ve been friends since middle school so I know he was a guy I’d want to have a show with. And it’s been working out really well. I really like all the music that we play.

NY: I think that yeah that’s the big thing, I think we’re both lucky to have each other be on the same page with music tastes, so you can actually take the show seriously. And we have been actually this semester and it’s been really good. It’s been going pretty good.

JH: Yeah I’ve definitely been doing a lot more work trying to publicize our show, getting us out there on social media and stuff.

NY: I’m just excited to see where we go cause I feel like our show has so much potential. The genre has so much potential.

JH: I feel like my first semester was my practice with it, to just see what having a show was like, figuring out exactly what I wanted to do. And then this semester I know what I want to do and we’ve been doing it.

CS: Yeah, I mean you could probably even do a two hour show next semester.

JH: I would. I was considering it for this semester but with school and work it’s hard to make time for it. One hour definitely does go by pretty quick but in the future when we have more time for it.

NY: Yeah in the future when we have more time for it then definitely.

CS: Alright, so how would a perfect show go for you?

JH: My ideal show. I love the shows where we do giveaways, especially big giveaways. We recently just did a giveaway for CRSSD Festival and we had so many people calling in trying to win it. We try to be really smooth with our transitions, fading in and out of songs. I don’t know, our perfect show would have a really good playlist that flows and really flows well with emotions and sound after each other. And we always talk on our show, every one or two songs we’ll take a break or pause to tell everybody what we just played and what’s coming up next. If we have guests we’ll have a one or two minute convo with them in the middle.

NY: Yeah to spice up the show.

JH: Yeah we’d ask them about the music we’re playing and see what they think.

NY: Offer a new perspective.

JH: Talk about just random stuff. If we do a giveaway, the last giveaway we chose a specific song on our playlist, we told everybody what the song was and when it came on, we didn’t tell them when it would come on in our hour, but when it came on—

NY: That was their time period to call in.

JH: And the first one that called in got it. I don’t know why it’s so fun for us to do. We don’t know who’s gonna call in, they don’t know. We’re excited to make somebody a winner.

NY: And then before the giveaway on last week’s show we hyped it up, told them about the song to look out for, and then we also made fliers too for the giveaway.

JH: Yeah we made fliers and passed them out around campus to people walking.

NY: It really paid off. We had a lot of callers.

JH: Yeah usually we don’t expect that many people are listening but we had a surprising amount of callers. Not even when they were supposed to call, people we just calling in. There were probably a lot of people listening in.

NY: Yeah and that was the most we’ve had, not gonna lie. So yeah I mean I guess that would be a perfect show.

JH: If we had lots of listeners, people calling in. We put people on air too, maybe give a shout out, say a few words. Cause the last person we put on air really complemented our show and that was sweet.

CS: Yeah well that sounds awesome. So I guess you’ve only been doing this show for a few weeks but sounds like you’ve all got it down. That’s awesome. Alright well thanks for joining me, this has been a great interview.

Both: Thank you.

I had to run back to get ready to head out to Mission Bay, so I couldn’t chat too long. Later on, they sent me files of their recorded shows so you can listen to them any time! Check out their mixes and be sure to check out their regular show Wednesday nights from 9-10, only on KCR radio, the Sound of State.

The Sounds of State-Kiana Malekzadeh, Renee Ramirez, and Kiersten Sukert

Hello and welcome to another week of The Sounds of State. This week, I interviewed a trio of new KCR DJ’s from our Indie Invasion block. I was late on Wednesday afternoon when we met in the studio and walked out to Campanile and sat right down on the grass in a circle for our discussion. Here’s how it all went down:

Cameron Satterlee: Okay, so I’m here with Kiana, Kiersten, and Renee. Alright so let’s start off with an easy question, so what is your radio show and do you have any DJ names?

Renee Ramirez: You want to start?

Kiersten Sukert: Okay our radio show is called KRK, it’s pretty simple, it just stands for Kiersten, Renee, and Kiana. And we have the title of Indie Invasion, we didn’t come up with that though, that was just given to us. But yeah we basically play genres of indie music, we kinda play EDM-based too.

Kiana Malekzadeh: Alternative, kind of.

KS: Yeah, it’s just very different music.

CS: Okay, and your show is when?

KS: It’s on Wednesdays at 4, so listen.

RR: 4 to 5.

CS: 4 to 5 alright, yeah yeah the Indie Invasion block I think is for everyone who has shows at that time of the week. So you said you play indie music but also a bit of EDM, do you all personally sort of have your own niches that you like to play?

RR: I don’t play that much EDM.

KS: That’s kinda my thing. I wouldn’t really categorize it as EDM though.

KM: It’s really hard to describe.

RR: EDM-indie, is that a thing?

KS: Yeah if I had to describe it in one way it would be EDM indie.

RR: Laid back but still upbeat I guess.

KS: Electronic based indie.

KM: Yeah. Also I feel that you like to put slower songs and then, me, I don’t know, I can be all over the place. I just know that you like the slower, more mellow stuff.

KS: Yeah.

CS: Alright, so I’ve been trying to get into this music, cause I’ve found it more interesting as I’ve been in college and I guess exposed to new things, so that’s a more recent interest for me. But what’s the back story for the three of you, how did you get into this sort of music?

RR: I just started to listen to it my senior year, that’s when I got into indie because I started going to more concerts. Because they were cheap tickets, they were fifteen dollars, twenty dollars, and my friends would be like “let’s go see it” and I don’t know who they are but okay. And then as I went to more shows, on Spotify, I put them in the radio section, I would type in Young the Giant and I would see all these related artists and new songs would come up and it kind of just filled my playlists. And that’s how I started liking it.

KM: For me, I guess I’ve just had an interest in bands my whole life, just from my parents too. And I remember in fourth grade I liked bands, that was my thing. But then as I got older, I’ve always been prone to trying to find new stuff to listen to, it’s just fun, cause I get sick of skipping songs and you want to find new stuff. So Spotify definitely helped me too, plus it’s updated now, you can go and discover and things like that. And me and my friends from back home have the same taste in music too and we’d go to shows as we got older and could drive. You’d end up liking the opening band and stuff like that. Yeah, it just grows and grows I guess, I would say.

KS: Am I doing this one too?

CS: Yeah, sure.

KS: Okay. I think it started when I found my parent’s vinyl collection. They had a lot of 80’s, so I started getting slowly into the 80’s, and I think I kind of just worked up the decades. And I kind of realized that when I met people who liked the same music as I did, we had the same or similar personality traits. And it’s kind of like its own culture within society. You know you meet cool people, you listen to the same music.

RR: That’s how we met.

KS: That’s how we met. Yeah and these girls are awesome.

CS: Great! That’s sort of a Segway to my next question, I’m interested how the three of you partnered up at KCR.

RR: It was very random.

KS: We were just talking about that.

RR: We all just went in solo, we just wanted to make friends, wanted to get involved in school, I’m a freshman and they’re both sophomores and so I was like “KCR, might as well get involved”. And they were like “yeah get involved now” and then I met Kiana first, the very first night they were signing up for what show you wanted to do and she actually thought I didn’t like her first. Because I was in a rush to go somewhere and she was trying to get to know me and I was like “yeah where’s the paper, where’s the pen, let’s sign up, let’s go”. And then, the next day, we meet Kiersten the next day randomly and she’s like “what kind of show are you guys doing” and we say indie and that’s how music brought us together because she was like “oh I listen to that too, we should all be cohosts together” and I was like “okay I guess three makes it easier if I had to back out on one day” (all laugh).

KS: (laughs) You were thinking about backing out?

RR: No I just was thinking if I couldn’t make it to a show (all laugh). But yeah it was fate.

KM: Yeah.

CS: Alright anyone can answer this question, would you say that you have good chemistry on the air.

KM: Yeah. I can stumble on my words but for the most part they make me feel more comfortable by talking as if I was talking to anyone else.

KS: We’ve got our own movement too, Kiana’s always usually on the laptop playing songs and she usually introduces them too. And Renee and I switch off controlling the laptop and talking. But we usually do the intro or closing. We have our own system going (“yeah”’s all around).

RR: “Kiana, what song’s next?” (laughs).

KM: And we try to talk about upcoming shows with artists who are playing and stuff like that.

KS: Right now our big thing is Coachella.

KM: Cause it’s in a month.

CS: Alright, so are there any songs or bands or albums that you really like to play on the air right now? What’s the new big deal for the three of you?

KS: I don’t know. We don’t have a specific person that we always play.

KM: We played a few alt-J songs, I’ve noticed. I’m the one that puts the songs on so I can remember more than you guys.

RR: Oh yeah.

KM: But definitely alt-J, I’m trying to think.

RR: San Cisco.

KS: I’ve seen a lot of Glass Animals.

KM: Oh yeah, definitely.

RR: But I guess with indie, there are so many indie bands that we don’t really stick to one artist.

CS: Alright, so last question, I always think it’s a fun one to end with, I want to know how your perfect show would go. Just if everything was awesome and you left the studio just thinking ah yeah we nailed it! How would that be?

KS: Honestly, we talk a lot while our music is playing.

KM: On accident.

KS: No I mean about our personal lives, and you can definitely tell we each have a different personality. And I feel if we put that personality on air that would be a perfect show. Just be comfortable in the studio and talk with each other like we normally do.

RR: Well we don’t really talk much on our show because it’s music so I don’t know if the audience really gets to see our personality. Cause we just kind of introduce a song and talk a little bit about the artist or their show, so I guess they don’t really know our personalities yet. And I don’t want to talk too much cause it’s a music show.

KS: We kind of established that in the beginning too, to not talk that much.

KM: But the perfect show would just be us not messing up. We get some technical difficulties sometimes.

KS: We’ll be giving away tickets and getting the people who call on the air is hard.

CS: Oh, we’ve all been there. Alright well, thanks, this has been a great interview.

All: Thanks.

Afterwards, I had to go do my own radio show so I stayed in the studio for that while the girls walked off, hopefully to reward themselves for a job well done. Kiana later messaged me a few songs to give you readers a sampling of what they play on their show, check them out:

Spoon-Do You

ODESZA-Say My Name

Blind Pilot-One Red Thread

Bahamas-All The Time

If you liked any of those songs, be sure to check out KRK, Wednesdays from 4-5 pm on KCR Radio, the Sound of State.

(Also maybe stick around till 6pm cause that’s when I’m on air!)