June MD of the Month:
WRFL 88.1 FM, Radio Free Lexington
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Tell us about WRFL. How it got started and how you first heard about it.
WRFL began broadcasting way back in 1988 here at the University of Kentucky and has been going strong ever since. We just recently celebrated our 30th anniversary with a weekend of concerts featuring great acts like Washed Out and Cults. I’m sure the founders of our station are very proud of what it’s become! I first heard of the station from my older brother’s roommate my freshman year, he was a DJ at the station and trained me to be one too.
How long have you been at WRFL? What is your history there?
I have been DJing since my first semester at UK, making it almost 3 consecutive years on the air. I started off doing a 2-5am slot show with my best friend Alton Chancy. I would often take shifts DJing while Alton caught a quick nap on the on-air room’s couch, and we would switch off after a while so we could get enough sleep to make our AM classes the next day. As hard as it was, I wouldn’t change that experience for anything. After my freshman year I became the host of the show WRFL Live, which featured live acts in studio every week. Since I’m not from Lexington, this was a great way for me to get educated on the town’s local music scene. I met so many great people through this show, and learned so much about the way live concerts go down. I did WRFL Live for almost 2 years before becoming our station’s MD.
What are you most proud of accomplishing/changing at WRFL?
Becoming music director is by far my crowning achievement at WRFL. As a freshman, I knew that someday I would want to do this job and working my way up through the ranks to finally get to the goal I’ve set for myself was incredibly rewarding. It’s the best thing I’ve done in college so far and I hope to keep doing it until I graduate (hopefully) next year.
What is your favorite album of 2018 so far?
2018 has been such an interesting year in music so far. The amount of groundbreaking, original and well put together records to be released are hard to count, but if I have to pick one album I would have to say Little Dark Age by MGMT. This record is nothing but a good time, each song is masterfully crafted to be pop music genius. Seeing MGMT live on my spring break in New Orleans really sealed the deal for me on giving it this title for my album of the year, mainly since they played just about every song on the record! If you haven’t given this one a chance, do it ASAP. You won’t be able to get it out of your head.
Do you have a favorite artist or album you never get tired of listening to?
My answer will always be the Beastie Boys! Earlier this week my aux cord in my car broke, so I’ve been spinning nothing but Paul’s Boutique and Hello Nasty on my trips around town. Their style is unmatched, their production is near perfect, and their rhymes are clever as can be. What more could ya ask for?
What is your favorite live show you have ever attended?
I’ve been a huge festival goer since I was 15 years old, so this is a REALLY tough question to answer. After racking my brain for a while, I have to give it up to the time I saw Slint at Forecastle Festival when I was 17. Slint is a post-hardcore/math rock outfit from my neighborhood in Louisville that has a huge cult following for their masterpiece album Spiderland from back in 1991. Being able to see them live, which I did by myself on Louisville’s Waterfront since all my friends leaned towards seeing Jack White instead, really brought it all together for me for a musical experience. It showed me just what a kid from Louisville could be capable of in the musical world, and it’s stuck with me to this day.
Who is an artist or band outside the realm of college radio that people might be surprised to know you love?
I’m a jack of all trades when it comes to my musical preferences, but I’ve always had a sweet spot for rap music. I love old school East Coast rap the most, but lately I’ve had a huge fix on Memphis rap. Besides the original acts like Three 6 Mafia, I am head over heels for the new group $uicideboy$. Their music emulates the sound from classic Memphis producers like DJ Paul, but infuse outlandish elements like samples from Tame Impala or Metallica. While the production is top notch, the real treat is the cut throat, blisteringly fast rhyming from the New Orleans natives.
What is your best childhood memory?
Totally cliche, I know, but I have to give it up to my first trip to Disney World in fourth grade. I’m all about that Disney magic.
What event in your life would you say shaped you the most as a person?
I would have to say getting accepted to UK. Being a first generation college student makes achieving my goal of getting my degree so much more desirable. I honestly can’t wait to graduate to make my family proud and get out there into the world.
If you could choose, what time period in the past would you most want to travel back to and visit and why?
My favorite movie is Dazed and Confused, so going back to the 1970’s sounds like a dream. Being able to see all of the bands that aren’t around anymore would be amazing.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in Lexington you always make sure to take guests/visitors to?
My first stop on a Lexington culinary tour would absolutely be at Bourbon and Toulouse. Delicious (and cheap) Cajun cuisine paired with their plethora of hot sauce selection is really all a college kid like me could ask for.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
“Dance to express, not to impress.” If you’ve seen how terrible I dance, you could tell that I live by this advice.
Dog or Cat? Cat! I have 2 back at home.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. I’m a sucker for a good caramel macchiato.
Morning Person or Night Owl? Night Owl. I’m a bit of a grump in the AM.
City or Country? City. I Hope to move to a big one someday.
Watch TV or Read A Book? TV. I get way too distracted when I read.
Winter or Summer? Writing this on my front porch in an Eno, so yeah… summer 100 times over.
Dine or Delivery? Dine. I’m a bit of a penny pincher.
Beard or Clean Shaven Beard. Whenever I shave I look like I’m 12 years old again.
Pants or Shorts? Shorts. Pants are leg prisons.
Do you have any current favorite TV show obsessions? What is the best movie you’ve seen so far in 2018?
I can’t stop telling all of my friends to watch Atlanta, nothing else on TV right now matches its level of humor, creativity and artistic capability. Donald Glover is a genius. I’ve been behind on my Oscar movies this year, so I have to give it to Black Panther. The soundtrack is killer!
Finally, and most importantly: Naps… do they leave you feeling refreshed & alive or groggy & disoriented?
I always end up forgetting to set alarms for my naps, so I eventually wake up sweaty and confused in the middle of the night. Kinda hilarious, but not ideal!