OPINION: You too can become a college radio | Opinion


This Friday is a special day for music and radio lovers. October 1 notes University radio day, a moment “to raise more international awareness of the many college and high school radio stations that operate around the world”. As a rave girl and DJ who describes herself almost at the end of training on student radio WKNC (of which I’m not officially a part, so it’s not an insider’s endorsement), I’m here to lobby by my peers and tell you everything to start listening to college radio.

Radio was not something I grew up on. Back when I was a toddler living in Nicaragua my family tended to stick to used CDs and TV shows, and by the time I moved to the United States and started listening to music religiously, streaming services were becoming a thing. It wasn’t until three things happened in the past year: I got down to mixing electronic music with DJs from Brooklyn that I’m in common with, I downloaded a free trial of Ableton over the summer and I went as a guest to WXYC, UNC – Chapel Hill Student Radio – I know, I know, I’m slanderous enough to start my radio journey there.

No matter where I started my DJ career, if you’re tired of the Billboard 100, college radio is the place to go. While large commercial radio stations are limited to playing the same popular songs in order to hook listeners and make a profit, most student radio stations tend to be less concerned with money. For this reason, the music played by student radio stations tends to be much more diverse. And while yes, you’re right that college radios probably won’t play your favorite top hits from Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, or Tame Impala (even if you’d be. surprised), you are also very likely to find smaller, equally captivating artists.

I would go so far as to say that university radio is an integral part of the music industry. This is where many local and unsigned artists make their debut, as well as where many independent and upcoming artists are set up as well. Student DJs, likewise, are some of the best curators you will ever meet, featuring a variety of both popular and niche artists from almost every musical genre imaginable.

Suffice it to say that every student DJ has different tastes and musical inclinations when creating a setlist. For NC State and Triangle area listeners, WKNC has its genres broken down into different blocks – you can listen to most indie rock afternoons and most electronics nights – except Friday nights, well. sure, because it is reserved for metalheads. There are also various specialty shows, including K-pop, traditional Indian music, and even sailors’ songs. Suffice to say that there is something for everyone on university radio.

The radio scene is not perfect, of course. Since broadcasters are still subject to very archaic content guidelines due to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), radio stations have certain limits on what they can broadcast on the radio. Getting caught saying or playing a song with the word “f —“, for example, will get you a fine of at least $ 320,000, which will prevent many artists from being put on the plate. -shape, regardless of how they use “obscene” words. . That and, let’s be honest, no one is up against any clean changes.

But if you’re really looking to spice up your music, college radio is a great way to introduce yourself to new artists. As someone who gravitates mainly towards house and techno, I have entered artists like Mall Grab, Terrence Dixon and FJAAK through student DJ sets, and outside of my general musical tastes, I have entered artists like Machine Girl and Oneohtrix Point Never.

If you would like to support your local college radio stations on College Radio Day, WKNC is hosting a “24 hour lockingWhere a different student DJ will play every hour, starting at midnight. You can tune in either to the radio station at 88.1 FM, online at wknc.org or via the WKNC YouTube channel live stream. If you’re one of our secret readers in the Chapel Hill area (because I know you exist), tune into WXYC at 89.3 FM or online at wxyc.org. Durham readers can also connect to WXDU at 88.7 FM or online at wxdu.org.

But seriously, tune in to “WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1 Raleigh” this Friday. I memorized it during training so that you could tune in to the good music.


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