Behind the Mic: Joseph & Nyssa Gill

Joseph and Nyssa Gill are a dynamic sibling duo that brings lots of energy and fun to KCR’s sound waves. Every Thursday night, their show, “The Gill Gamut,” features the music they love and want to share with others.

Joseph is a fifth year, double majoring in marine biology and rhetorical writing studies, who has been a member of KCR since 2015. At the time, he was part of another show in which he also played his favorite music. After his first co-host graduated, he convinced his little sister, Nyssa who is a second year student double majoring in history and sociology, to join KCR with him. Together, they have been hosting “The Gill Gamut,” since spring semester of 2017. What they like most about having their own music show is that they get a two hour break from school, life and other things, every week. They also think that being siblings adds to their chemistry on air because they can easily have meaningful conversations with one another about any topic.

While speaking to them, they told me about how their show works. The siblings are very structured and detailed with the preparation of their show every week. Nyssa told me that they have a Google Docs form where they compile a list of 26 songs, split between the two of them. She also says that it takes her all week to make her playlist, because they never repeat the same songs. Joseph explained that once a song has been played, it is “off the table.” They also try not to use the same artists more than once per show, so that they play a variety. The songs that they play go with a specific theme. In the past they have had themes such as fierce females, love songs during the week of Valentine’s Day, break up songs the week after Valentine’s Day, road trips songs before Spring Break, pump up songs for Finals Wee, and empowerment songs. Also, they have weeks where they just play songs they want to listen to.

When they are not playing songs, they fill up the rest of the two hours of their show by talking about various topics. They told me that they usually always start off talking about music, and expand from there to talk about something else, once they become engaged in conversation.

Often times, they also have guests on their show. They have had anywhere from avid listeners, to family members, to friends on their show. They also frequently accept song requests through Snapchat, Facebook or text message, in order to stay connected to their listeners.

One of the struggles Joseph and Nyssa face is that nobody understands the meaning of their name. Last semester, they were having a difficult time deciding what the name of their show was going to be, or if they even wanted to have name. If they had a name, Joseph wanted it to have alliteration with their last name, Gill. The night before their first show, as Nyssa was going through a thesaurus trying to find words that started with a G, she came across the word gamut, which means the range of music. So, they decided to name the show “The Gill Gamut,” despite knowing that people will probably not understand the meaning of their name.

You can catch “The Gill Gamut,” every Thursday night from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Behind the Mic: Tisha Mora

Every Friday night from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tisha Mora, a fourth year student majoring in rhetorical writing studies, hosts an entertainment show called “Tish Talk.” I sat down with her this week to get to know her and her show.

Tisha describes her hour as similar to a talk show. Every week, she brings in guests to discuss a certain topic in entertainment: anything from food to the newest blockbuster movie, such as “It.” Even though she likes to keep the topics more light-hearted than serious, her and her guests have touched on subjects like the lack of representation of minorities in the media and the wide representation of women in entertainment.

As this is her second year in KCR, Tisha talked about her show’s evolution. She said that the biggest change from her first show, “Bing-worthy,” to now was learning how to run a show by herself, after realizing that she wanted to approach different topics within entertainment.

Another big change for her was joining KCR management and becoming Promotions Director. As Promotions Director, Tisha connects the station with outside venues, such as the House of Blues and the Observatory in North Park, to provide KCR with giveaway tickets and to give members the opportunity to cover events.

After speaking about her show’s dynamic, Tisha told me about the title and logo of her show. The inspiration for the name came from the Netflix series, “Jessica Jones,” in which one of the characters, Trish, has a radio show named “Trish Talk.” As for the logo of the show, at first glance, it just looks like a blue circle with a star. However, she told me that it is a reference to a nickname her friend gave her in high school that she says she has come to embrace. They were comparing each other to fruit, and if you look at the logo as a whole, you’ll be able to make out the shape of a tiny blue fruit. She told me that her friends decided to call her a blueberry, because it’s the smallest fruit they know of and she was the smallest friend.

Outside of KCR, Tisha works in the National Guard and runs the social media for Barnes and Noble.

You can catch Tisha Mora’s show “Tish Talk,” on Friday nights from  8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Behind the Mic: Matt Hoffman & Anthony Reclusado

Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado pose in the Student Union at SDSU.

When people hear “the face of KCR,” they might think of KCR’s logo or the events KCR takes part in or puts on. But, members of KCR, some who have been around for years, probably think of General Manager Matt Hoffman and Programming Director Anthony Reclusado as the face of the organization. Members of KCR for nearly four years now, the roommates have held their management positions for half of that time and have greatly contributed to the radio station. I caught up with Matt and Anthony before their graduation for the last Behind the Mic of the spring semester. 

The pair made their debut on KCR in spring 2014 with “Delay of Game,” a show they have had on-air up to their final days as seniors. Anthony told me that during the fall semester of 2013, they contributed to “Aztec Circle,” a group sports show on KCR, because the two joined halfway through the semester and weren’t given their own time on-air.

Since beginning “Delay of Game,” Anthony explained that they have localized their sports coverage to San Diego. Listeners would have heard nearly an hour of Padres, Chargers, Gulls and Aztecs coverage every week. Matt described a headline segment, “Quick Shots,” that concluded each show. During this short period, Matt and Anthony would bring up national sports headlines and break them down, giving their opinions.

Prior to the move, each show began with the Chargers, with Aztec Football quickly following. Game recaps, injury reports and other player news all made up the usual discussions.

“We shoot for quality and consistency — that’s why the show is still here seven semesters later,” Matt explained. Anthony added that dedication made their show stand out, with Matt giving an example of a basketball ticket giveaway they conducted on-air a few years ago, requiring the two to wake up at 4 a.m. to stand in line for the tickets.

Matt and Anthony holding awards in the KCR studio.

KCR has won an array of awards while Matt and Anthony have served on management. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Matt has served as General Manager of KCR for two years, and prior to that (as a sophomore) he was Program Director. According to Matt, he spent the summer between management positions renovating the KCR studio. He collaborated with iHeartMedia to construct the current studio, which has professional equipment and safer furniture. “It all helps with the professionalism,” Anthony added.

The following summer, Matt worked to open a second studio: the production studio in the basement of EBA.

The culture of KCR has totally changed since their freshman year, according to both Anthony and Matt. “As soon as that studio changed, everything else changed,” added Anthony.

“It’s a lot bigger than it probably has ever been,” said Matt, referencing the sheer size of KCR’s current membership.

Matt described how amazing it is to see members of KCR, past and present, earn internships and obtain positions in the media industry, noting that KCR was the starting point for many. Getting people interested in radio has been one of Matt’s responsibilities. He mentioned current Production Director at KCR, Jack Sellas, as an example. Jack became an active member, obtained a management position and is now looking at radio as a potential career.

“KCR will always be a part of my life,” said Anthony.

Matt currently works as a news assistant at KPBS, where he also covers on-air stories. Additionally, Matt is a writer and producer for the morning shows at NBC 7 San Diego. After his upcoming graduation in May, Matt plans on working full-time at NBC.

Anthony has worked with Matt as Program Director for two years. During his senior year, Anthony served as Sports Editor for The Daily Aztec. He currently interns at FOX 5 San Diego, and will move back to the Bay Area after graduation to continue his media career. 

Featured Image: Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado are preparing for their graduation in May and departure from KCR. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Behind the Mic: Brandon Battaglia

Brandon Battaglia in front of some shrubs by West Commons.

Listeners and fans of KCR College Radio know of the variety shows broadcast on-air. But, what some are not aware of is KCR’s coverage of Aztec Baseball. During the season, commentators, such as Brandon Battaglia, take to the airwaves from Tony Gwynn Stadium. I sat down with Brandon for a special edition of Behind the Mic.

As a new member of KCR, Brandon went ahead and auditioned for baseball commentating at the beginning of this spring semester. First, Brandon was assigned to two games in the beginning of the season – and his performance warranted more appearances. Since then, Brandon has commentated nearly 10 games for KCR.

To get a better understanding of what it’s like to commentate, I had Brandon walk me through a typical game. He and his partner, Sean Nichols, arrive to the stadium about an hour prior to the first pitch. During this time, statistics and information, including topics like “who’s gonna be big in the game” and “players’ backgrounds,” are gathered about the opposing team.

Going into the commentating gig, Brandon told me he didn’t have many expectations. However, he now believes it will all work out.

An avid fan of the sport, Brandon told me, “Watching baseball non-stop is finally paying off with [commentating].” He added that he “just has a really good time doing it.”

In addition to KCR’s live broadcast of baseball games, Brandon has begun covering games for the Mountain West Conference. According to Brandon, he got a call from KCR’s General Manager, Matt Hoffman, to fill in for a game. After a successful broadcast, Brandon and his partner Sean were signed on with the network for the remainder of the season.

Brandon, an international security major, joined KCR in January 2017 as a sports talk show host for “Diamond Sports.” He and Michael Quinn host the show every Saturday at 2 p.m. They equally cover San Diego State teams and professional sports. During the season, the SDSU basketball team was the trending topic on each show. Brandon told me he addresses current player moves, playoffs and other headlines for the NBA and NFL.

Listeners can expect to hear a lighthearted debate about sports between Brandon and Michael. Brandon mentioned that the two try to make the show sound like a normal conversation, adding that “it’s a people’s sports show.”

Brandon has hopes to resume commentating for both KCR and the Mountain West in the 2018 season.

You can catch some of Brandon’s written commentary on Aztec baseball games, and listen to his show, on KCR’s website. For the other games, Brandon’s coverage can be viewed on the Mountain West website.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Brandon Battaglia, a sophomore at SDSU, is optimistic about his future in commentary. Photo by Sumner Shorey.