May MD of the Month:
KAOS 89.3FM Olympia, WA
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How long have you been involved with KAOS and how did you first hear about the station?
I’ve been at KAOS since October 2017. I first heard about the station when I visited the Evergreen State College (KAOS’s home) a couple years prior for a tour. I remember thinking that the station looked really cool, and once it came time to apply for colleges, I found myself applying at the station, too. I guess you could call it love at first sight (or first listen). I spent all of my teen years involved in the music scene of my hometown, Portland, OR, so it just made sense to continue with the thing I love most – music – and to get myself into the Olympia music scene by working at a radio station.
How long have you been at KAOS? What is your history there?
I’ve been with KAOS for three years or so. I started out as a library aide, helping organize the CD’s in our basement crypt. I wanted to do more, though, so after volunteering to help out the then-Music-Director Nikole, I ended up getting promoted to Assistant Music Director when that position opened up. I finished up my Freshman year of college like that, and from my Sophomore year through ‘til now, I’ve been the Music Director for KAOS, a position that I love dearly.
What sorts of things do you do as music director to encourage DJs to play the new music you are sent by labels and promoters during their shows?
I have two main methods for this, although I’m always trying to find more ways to get our DJ’s interested in the new music sent to us. The first method is our tried and true ‘Music Department Favorite’ sticker. On albums that I find particularly great, I put a sticker on the side to let DJ’s know that it really deserves some spins! Secondly, I try to get creative with some of the sub-genres I label our submissions with, in hopes that it’ll pique the interest of some of the DJ’s. Sometimes I include notes about the album or artist on the label, as well. Bonus: We have a local section that our DJ’s adore, so we pay special attention to where an artist/band is from, in hopes we can put them into the local section!
Is there any music slated for release in 2020 that you are most excited about?
Hayley Williams is releasing the rest of her Petals For Armor album in early May, which I’m definitely excited for. I’ve been listening to Hayley’s band Paramore since their first album came out, so I’ve always got my eye on their, or their members, releases.
Do you have a favorite artist or album you never get tired of listening to?
Well, I never get tired of Paramore! I’m also always listening to All Time Low, and some pop from my childhood is still enjoyable most of the time, like N’Sync and Jesse McCartney. Most artists or albums I get really into, I never get tired of.
Which artist/band has put on the best show you’ve ever seen live?
Woah, that’s a hard one! I saw the Jonas Brothers in the fall, and that was an amazing show. I’ve seen All Time Low a couple times, and they always kill it. I saw Frank Iero a couple times this past summer, which was more amazing than I could’ve imagined.
Who is an artist or band totally outside the realm of the music you play on KAOS that people might be surprised to know you love?
I’m pretty sure that no one has played the Jonas Brothers on KAOS… but as most of my coworkers know, they’re one of my favorites.
What is your best childhood memory?
My first ever show was Warped Tour ‘11 when I was… 12, I think. I stumbled across it and decided to check out some of the bands that would be on the lineup. After falling in love with a few of them, I told my parents about it. My stepdad, who is also really into music, decided to take me because he’d gone a lot in his teen years, too. After that, my love of shows couldn’t be stopped, and I go to as many as I can (at least, when there isn’t a pandemic).
What event in your life would you say has shaped you the most as a person?
In 2014 or 2015, I think, I decided at random to apply for a photo pass of a show coming up. By some luck, they actually gave it to me! It was for a tour that Four Year Strong and Defeater did together, and all my photos came out blue, but it was a life changing moment. I loved the feeling of running around one of my favorite Portland venues (Hawthorne Theater), and taking photos with time and movement working against me. I’d always loved photography, but this was new. It was hard but invigorating. I loved it, and continued doing concert photography during high school, I worked for a few online publications and even started my own. I think that led me toward the decision to apply for KAOS, and that experience in the music world has helped me with my ability to do the job.
If you could choose, what time period in the past would you most want to travel back to and visit?
The 1920’s! Obviously, I’m thinking of a romanticized version, but I would love to be able to go to a party in the 1920’s, preferably in New York or Paris. I love so many artists, writers, etc., from that time, and absolutely adore the outfits. It wouldn’t be the best era to stay in long term, but it’d be great for a night or two.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in Olympia that you always made sure to take guests/visitors to when we were all allowed to still eat at restaurants?
Cascadia Grill, definitely! It is my favorite restaurant in the world. The folks that own the place, as well as everyone who works there, are incredibly kind, sweet and funny people. They have a regular menu and a vegan/vegetarian menu, with the best Impossible Burger I have ever had. My fiancé and I go there (or, well, went there) as often as we can. Anytime we have visitors in town, or our friends want to go out to eat, we go there!
What in your life brings you the most joy?
My fiancé! He’s my favorite person in the world, and he’s my best friend. We’re that cliché couple that hates to spend even one night apart. We do everything together cause we prefer it that way. We’ve been together for about as long as I’ve been at KAOS and engaged for a year this month! I never thought I’d love anything more than music, but here we are.
Dog or Cat? Cat. Though dogs are a close second.
Morning Person or Night Owl? Night owl. Practically nocturnal at this point.
City or Country? City. I love the night life.
Beach or Mountains? Beach! Beach towns, cute fish… warmth. Definitely beach.
Watch TV or Read A Book? Watch TV. I used to prefer reading a book, but my need to multitask is stronger than my love of the written word, and TV allows me to multitask.
Sunny or Rainy? Sunny. I’ve spent my whole life in a place that rains most of the time.
Dine (when it was a thing) or Delivery? Dine. I enjoy dressing up and going out. I sure miss it.
Pants or Shorts? Pants, probably.
Warm or Cold drinks? Cold, generally.
Given all of our time now spent at home, do you have any current favorite shows you’re enjoying/binging? How about a movie (new or old) that you’ve watched recently that you loved?
My fiancé and my best friend (who I live with) and I have been binge watching Criminal Minds, Psych and Archer. Shows that most of us have already seen, but we all rewatch things a lot. We’re also watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (my fiancé’s favorite) and are considering starting Lucifer. I saw Birds of Prey right before theater’s started to close down, I’ve rented it once since they started allowing that, and my fiancé pre-ordered the DVD for me for my birthday. It’s hands down one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. By far my favorite superhero (or supervillain?) movie I’ve ever seen. It’s also the best movie soundtrack I’ve ever heard, and I’ve had it on loop since it came out!
Finally, and most importantly… where is the first place you want to go again that is currently closed due to the pandemic?
I turned 21 this month, and I really want to be able to go out somewhere that I couldn’t have gone to before, like a bar. Or even just go to a restaurant I love (like Cascadia Grill, or maybe Red Robin) and be able to order a drink there.