The Sounds of State-KC Stanfield

Two weeks ago, only a couple of hours after I interviewed Camelle Sison for my post last week, I sat down with KC Stanfield for this week’s version. I could tell that he really loved music thanks to the massive headphones around his neck, and he was about to prove it to me in our interview. Let’s get right to it:

Cameron Satterlee: Hi KC, thanks for joining me here.

KC Stanfield: Oh no problem, thanks for having me.

CS: Yeah alright, well let’s get to it. What’s your radio slot?

KC: My radio slot is the lovely time of Saturday at ten pm to eleven pm.

CS: Wow.

KC: I know, it’s late.

CS: I’ve had a few Saturday morning people because that’s the alumni shows, but I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed someone who has a weekend night.

KC: It’s pretty horrible, I mean cause usually you put your weekend on pause. Especially at the night cause everyone goes out and does stuff.

CS: Oh yeah.

KC: My friends will be like “Hey KC wanna go to a bar?” And I’m like “after my radio show I will.”

CS: Oh man. I think I might know the answer to this but how long have you been with KCR?

KC: Well actually I blogged for them last semester, about the music that I actually play now. I don’t have any time to blog anymore. It’s quicker to have a one hour radio show, prepare for that, and then do everything else I need to do. So I still want to be with KCR and talk and or play music that I like, it’s just different.

CS: But so this semester is your first semester on air?

KC: Yeah it is.

CS: Yeah I think the newbies get the weekend nights for the most part.

KC: Oh yeah they do.

CS: But you blogged before so that’s cool. What was your blog by the way?

KC: I just covered some concerts that I went to, predominately, sometimes I covered underground hardcore bands or metal bands that not many people know. On top of it being metal and no one knows it to begin with. So that’s what I did. I covered some hardcore concerts and wrote about some albums. Basically I was a metal blogger.

CS: Alright well you sort of answered my question but what kind of music do you play?

KC: Metal.

CS: Metal.

KC: Yep.

CS: Saturday night metal alright.

KC: I know right? It’ll keep you awake.

CS: Get the blood flowing.

KC: Ruin a party too, if you play KCR as your background music.

CS: Yeah. Yeah I thought the scheduling blocks were supposed to put the EDM DJ’s like on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

KC: They’re after me.

CS: Alright, but you got your metal show. Clashes a bit, probably. But maybe next semester you’ll get a slot more in tune with metal.

KC: Maybe. Well actually probably not since I’m graduating.

CS: Oh, alright well never mind. I’m glad I got this interview to document this.

KS: Right?

CS: So, why metal? Why is that your scene?

KC: I dunno, I kinda got into it at an early age. I was, it’s probably not the best comparison, metal is really like drugs. You start off with some of the easier stuff, I started off with some Avenged Sevenfold, some Metallica, Disturbed. Some light hearted metal.

CS: (Laughing) my mom wouldn’t call Metallica lighthearted.

KC: And then in high school I slowly got more into metalcore stuff, post-hardcore stuff like A Day to Remember, the Devil Wears Prada, Parkway Drive. And then now, I still listen to all of that old stuff, but what I can withstand or enjoy, is a lot heavier than what I did four years ago.

CS: Oh that’s such a metal thing to say, the music you listen to is the stuff you can withstand. That’s so amusing.

KC: I know right? That’s how everyone else is, I’ll play some Whitechapel and people will just stare and me and say “you listen to this?” Because I don’t have long hair or are covered in tattoos, I don’t look really like the general metalhead so it kinda throws people off at the beginning. And a lot of them are like “oh my god this stuff uhhh ahhh” but it does grow on you. Especially my roommate, he’s gotten used to it.

CS: Alright, yeah. I know you probably wouldn’t play anything else on your show cause that wouldn’t flow together, but do you listen to any other genres of music, or mostly metal? Or different kinds of metal I guess.

KC: Yes to both. I listen to stuff you’d expect like rock, because it’s an offshoot of metal. I also listen to more indie and alternative stuff like Interpol or Modest Mouse. I listen to rap too, like Nas. I like the political stuff more, Hopsin’s pretty cool. So I listen to a little bit of everything, I listen to techno. Not so much country, can’t stand that stuff, don’t know why.

CS: You and every other DJ I’ve ever interviewed. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any metal fan have the gall to say that rock is an offshoot of metal.

KC: Well technically metal is an offshoot of rock.

CS: Yeah they’re related, but rock came first.

KC: But if you compare—I’m trying to think of a rock band—Nirvana.

CS: Yeah they were influenced by metal.

KC: If you compare them to—any metal band, I’m trying to think—Parkway Drive, it sounds nothing alike. Anything that screams, it just doesn’t sound like rock anymore, it just sounds like metal.

CS: Oh yeah they’re totally related but not close.

KC: They’re oceans apart now. It’s like the continental drift of music. That is the nerdiest thing I could have said, too.

CS: Hey whatever, that’s fine. So I guess you sorta explained it, but I kinda wanted to go a bit deeper. You grew up listening to metal, but I know people who did that and sorta phased out of it, but it seems like you went deeper into it. So I assume the music is pretty important to you, why it that?

KC: Well I do like quicker tempo music to begin with, and that’s metal right there. It’s always fast. And the thing I love about metal is that there’s usually just a ton of passion into it. I mean these people are screaming their voices out, they’re breaking their vocals essentially because they love the genre. They’re not getting paid much, it’s metal, they’re not making—well some of them are—but most of them aren’t making millions and millions of dollars. They’re doing it because they love the music. What more can you ask when it comes to music because they’re artists who are passionate about the music and just about the music.

CS: Yeah, that’s a great response. So is there any new metal band out there that you’ve been listening to lately? Or an old one that you just discovered?

KC: Yeah, I mentioned this on my last week’s show but the band is called Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza. Deathcore. I know that is the most ridiculous name for a metal band in the world and I love it so much just because it’s so ridiculous and out there.

CS: I think I’ve actually heard about them once or twice in high school. Just cause of the name probably.

KC: And I’m waiting for new stuff from a band, probably not many people know them, they’re called My Heart to Fear. They’re really metalcore if you want to define them exactly but they sorta have their own unique sound. They scream to be heard rather than to be loud. So you can understand them a bit better and the lyrics are really well written.

CS: Alright, so I always like to end on this one, what would be your ideal show? The perfect show for you.

KC: I don’t know that would have to be an all day festival of just bands that I love just back to back to back. Because there’s so many bands that I’d love to see live.

CS: Oh no I mean your radio show, your one hour block, like if you could do it really well how would that go? My bad I didn’t word it well.

KC: I do it when my iPod didn’t have technical difficulties. I have a lot of music on this, I have over 8,000 songs on the now discontinued 160 gig iPod. So it froze on me one show!

CS: Oh no!

KC: Oh my god. So I was just trying to ramble and restart it and come up with a story because I totally didn’t expect this since I’m new and didn’t have a set story like “oh technical difficulties, here’s a little bit about me.” Because no one wants to listen to that, when I listen to the radio I always hate when the DJ talks too much. So they’ll explain a little bit about the band or an upcoming concert or a new album and then go straight into the music. I hate when they just talk and talk and talk.

CS: Yeah.

KC: I don’t listen to radio for AM like programming.

Cs: Yeah when your iPod fails you that’s something you don’t plan on.

KC: Oh it was fun, it was a fun day.

CS: So I usually end on the last question, but I want to know, Black Sabbath, are they metal?

KC: They’re like the founders of metal.

CS: Alright but they’re not fast though and you said that was a core component of metal.

KC: True, but I am of the mind that if it was metal it still is, for the most part unless it’s a new album then it’s more rock. But they basically founded it, because Led Zeppelin was kinda like the transitioning period. I think Black Sabbath was the definitive “these guys: metal, yes” band. And I still think that is because think of some of the 80’s music, a lot of it was metal but now it’s classic rock. So our standards of genres have changed and that somehow changed what they were but I still consider them, what they were originally meant to be. That’s just me.

CS: Well thank for sitting down with me, it was a great interview.

KC: No problem.

After the interview, we chatted for a few more minutes, but unfortunately my small metal knowledge was rapidly running dry. I had to get to work so we parted ways soon after. Be sure to check out KC’s show every Saturday from 10-11 pm, only on KCR College Radio, the Sound of State.

The Sounds of State-Amor Castro and Frida Ocadiz-Ortega

It was a beautiful November morning in San Diego when I hopped on the trolly to meet Amor Castro and her cohost Frida Ocadiz-Ortega. She told me we could meet in the Communications building so I sat in one of the chairs outside of KCR’s studio waiting for the pair. I unknowingly and embarrassingly stayed in my seat as I saw Frida walk in and sit down. I had only corresponded with Amor so I didn’t know who Frida was or what she looked like. When Amor walked in I also wasn’t sure if it was her until she mentioned that she was looking for me. Such is the extent of online conversation I suppose.

With that mix up resolved, we went to leave and find a quiet space where we could record our interview without bothering anybody’s studies. We walked outside and settled on the area behind the Comm building and sat down. I could already tell that Frida and Amor would give me a good interview. Once we began, it was immediately apparent how friendly the two were and how well they played off each other when speaking. Frida suggested that I get that speech recognition software, which I agreed would clearly help with my transcription process. Ironically, because the pair are so close and comfortable with each other, I think they would have given the software trouble because they kept talking right after each other. Even going so far as to finish each others sentences at some points. It was clear that they certainly had good cohost chemistry.

I’ll let them do the talking for now, so without further ado, here’s our interview:

Cameron: Okay we are recording. I’m with Frida and Amor, and so let’s start off with an easy question. What is your radio slot with KCR?

Amor: It’s entertainment.

Frida: Mondays at nine.

CS: Mondays at nine?

FO: To ten.

CS: Nine to ten? Alright.

FO: Yes.

CS: And I heard you two have your DJ names, what are those?

FO: Mine’s MC Fridalicious.

AC: And I’m DJcito.

CS: Alright cool, so how long have the two of you been with KCR?

AC: Well this is my second semester.

FO: And this is my first semester.

CS: Welcome, welcome to KCR.

FO: Thank you.

CS: It’s good to have you here. And so another easy question, what is the type of music that the two of you normally play?

AC: Hip hop.

FO: Yeah, and top 40 music.

AC: Yeah.

CS: The hot 40? Alright. Do you play hip hop cause normally that’s what you like, or are there any other genres that the two of you, you know, like to play?

AC: We like to play upbeat music. Stuff that kinda gets you moving.

FO: Yeah. We also like Latin music. And we’re thinking about incorporating some of that sometimes.

AC: Yeah. Last show we did two songs that were in Spanish but they’re those party Spanish-

FO: Yeah, like Reggaeton songs.

AC: Yeah, or some Bachata.

CS: Alright cool, well so how come this music is important to you? Why do you like to play hip hop and this other Latin music? Do you have a personal kinda connection to it?

AC: Yes I do. Growing up I was the youngest girl, and I have two older brothers and they always listened to hip hop. So I kinda grew up with this mixture of, I dunno, Tupac, Biggie, Jay Z, Common Sense, Nas, you know all the old school hip hop songs out there. And then also some reggae and then the Spanish of course cause I’m Hispanic so, so that’s kind of like how I grew up, with all that music, so that’s what I like to play. We play throw backs too, so it’s kinda like the feel good music. So sometimes when you’re out and you hear a song and you’re like “oh my god, this reminds me of high school” or “this reminds me of this one time when I turned seventeen” or something you know?

FO: And we’re students so we understand that students are not just students but they have families and friends, personal lives, and work and so our show really is meant to be upbeat and just relaxed. Something that somebody can just listen to while doing homework or on their car ride home. Something relaxing and fun, and so that’s why we like to play upbeat music.

CS: That’s awesome. You’ve got a theme behind it.

FO: Yeah.

AC: Yeah and we do mention some school stuff, but it’s mainly kinda like, you know, after school and you kinda wanna tune out a little bit and not think about so much about school and all that. We do mention like “oh my god midterms are coming” or “finals are coming” but we also say “let’s enjoy some music and just kinda chill for a little bit.”

CS: That’s awesome, you got a whole idea behind your DJ block, that’s sweet. So how did the two of you become cohosts? How did you partner up?

FO: Well we’re actually soulmates—just kidding.

AC: (Laughs)

FO: But we’re both Communications majors and we met in a class. 300?

AC: Yeah Comm 300 or something.

FO: Yeah or 350, and we’re like “oh my gosh” and we just hit it off. We became friends fast.

AC: And then, I don’t know how, I think you have a friend that was in KCR and I was like “what’s that?” and you were like “there’s a radio show here.”

FO: Oh yeah.

AC: And I got really interested and we got information from there. And I actually got the chance to DJ last semester so I told her about it and she-

FO: Yeah I blew her off. I was like “yeah” but I didn’t pursue it and she ended up just doing it by herself. But now I’m doing it with her and I’m like “man I should’ve done this last semester, it’s so much fun.”

AC: It’s so much fun.

FO: So much fun.

CS: That’s funny how things work out.

FO: That’s why I think our radio name should be the Comm Comms, but DJcita still is kind of-

AC: Iffy about it.

FO: Iffy about it.

AC: But it’s a good one.

FO: Like you know the can can and then pom poms, I dunno.

AC: (Laughs)

CS: Yeah (laughs) that’s funny. So as cohosts would you say that you two have good chemistry on air?

FO: Definitely.

AC: Yeah. Cause we talk how we would talk off air.

FO: Yeah, and off air we have good—we just flow naturally, play off each other’s emotions and what we say, and it’s just positive vibes.

CS: That’s awesome. So is there anything—this is sort of another bit out there question—is there anything that the two of you have been listening to lately or just obsessing about, just a great song or great artist?

(FO and AC pause and laugh)

CS: You don’t need to be shy about it.

AC: I’m trying to think.

FO: I dunno. My favorite songs right now on the radio are 2 On by Tina Shay—Tinay Shay-

AC: Tinashe!

FO: Tinashe! Her name is so-

AC: Different.

FO: Yeah different.

AC: Okay I love that song. I’m obsessed with that.

FO: Yeah and then Don’t Tell Them and then the-

AC: The “about a week ago

FO: I don’t know, that’s you, that’s you.

AC: Oh (laughs) sorry.

FO: But I also like that song, that “put your knees to your elbows” song.

AC: Oh yeah.

FO: What is that called?

AC: I think Knees Touch Your Elbows or something—

FO: Yeah the one that’s like Turn Down For What, that artist I think, yeah.

AC: Sorry.

FO: I’m not that obsessed with that song.

AC: You like to dance to it.

FO: But Don’t Tell Them and 2 On yeah.

AC: Tinashe.

FO: I like to shake my butt to music so-

AC: She does it in the studio!

FO: Yeah.

AC: And sometimes we put it on Instagram and then we tell people go on her Instagram or she records me dancing.

FO: Yeah! And my Instagram is _Freeduhh.

AC: (Laughs) and mine’s Loveyaswagga.

CS: Alright, I’ll be sure to link that up.

AC: Okay.

FO: Yeah.

CS: Alright so, this has been a great interview so far thanks. You’ve been great. One last question and here’s a fun one, so could you please describe your perfect show on air? Like how would it go?

AC: Yesterday was pretty fun.

FO: Yeah yesterday we had two callers, which is really good.

AC: Or on Monday, sorry.

FO: Yeah, oh yeah on Monday. And so I think my perfect show would be to play the songs that I want, that I like, and for people to call in and, at least five callers to call in.

AC: (Laughs)

FO: And just talk to them about whatever topic we’re talking about that day and just good feedback from callers.

AC: Okay one of my favorite shows was when someone called me from a classroom and said that the whole class was listening to me, and then one of them played the ukulele and they got it on air.

FO: Awww.

AC: And it was really fun and everyone was like “yeah we always listen to you.”

FO: Last semester?

AC: I think so. And they were all happy and I was happy and that’s a perfect show, if everyone’s happy then that’s great.

FO: Yeah.

CS: That’s awesome. I really gotta say that’s really cool to have that kind of feedback.

AC: Yeah it was really cool.

CS: Alright I think we’re gonna wrap it up there. Thanks for being on.

AC: Thank you.

FO: Thanks Cameron.

Alright I lied about linking the Instagrams because I don’t have one so I couldn’t find them, but I’m sure you readers can do it if you’re curious. Also beware, the songs that I linked are rather explicit for the sensitive listener.

I couldn’t stick around and talk to Amor and Frida afterwards because I had to go to work, so we went our own ways after we had a few words. I left the interview feeling good about the state of KCR Radio. I’ve only done this for 3 weeks but I’ve already met some fantastic DJ’s who all are very dedicated to their work. I know what they meant when they said how much fin they had being on air, although personally I’m a bit jealous of the number of callers they get. I’m sure if they were writing this interview, Frida and Amor would tell you and I to remember to relax and have fun every once in a while in our hectic lives here at San Diego State.

That’s does it for this week on Sounds of State. Check in next week for my first interview with a pair of DJ’s from our very own Sports Department!

Thanks for reading.