Photo courtesy of Lily Andrey.
Radio not only lives, it thrives on our campus this semester. Although they all share the same title of radio DJ, each one provides a unique experience for their listeners. This series aims to spotlight the various radio shows available to everyone on campus and perhaps persuade you to switch up the Spotify shuffle and try a new method of listening to music.
Sofia Portillo ‘25 and Angie Peña ‘26
Name of Show(s): Blasted Beats Radio
Radio Hour(s): Wednesday 8 -9 p.m.
It’s goofy. It’s dubious. It’s expeditious. It’s chill. It’s an empirical experience. It’s Blasted Beats Radio. Portillo and Peña will bring you Jazz, R&B, Motown, Alternative, Indie Fall, and anything but Country on Wednesday evenings. For them, it’s less about genre and more about the feeling music evokes on a deeper level. They ask themselves how they can enhance the vibe through music. The theme shifts weekly. Each session may bounce around genres however they believe the atmosphere to be cohesive. Inspired by their friend’s radio hour at Bowdoin, they decided they wanted their own. After all, music is what brought them together.
The two best friends have a slightly different motivation for being in the booth than other DJs–
Their hour is mostly about spending time with one another. Although they joke that “one could not exist without the other”, their contradicting schedules limit their time together. Their hour is a space during the week to hang out, snack, take pictures, listen, and connect through music. Blasted Beats is a glimpse into the friendship of Portillo and Peña.
It may come as no surprise that their favorite part about their show is being with each other. It’s never been about the listeners for them. Between every few songs, the two like to personalize the listening experience. They believe sharing why a song is significant to them adds a level of interest to their show. The anecdotes shared remain truly random. For example, Portillo has shared a song that reminds her of summer camp and therefore started sharing memories about her time there.
Like many DJs, operating the landline remains to be the biggest unexpected experience. The landline is there so people can call in to suggest songs, however, DJs are often left with dial tones. The two girls eventually figured out how to pick up the phone because Peña’s father always makes sure to call in every week.
If you are considering joining WFNM Portillo and Peña would tell you to join for the fun of it. They’d encourage you to do an hour with your friends because it is better that way. Otherwise, you might be “wallowing in the musk” of the booth. Musk or no musk, it remains their favorite place on campus.
You can follow @blastedbeatsradio on Instagram for more updates.
Gabriel Rampp ‘27
Name of Show(s): On the Corner with Jeff Daruki
Radio Hour(s): Wednesday 2 -3 p.m.
If you’re looking for a cohesive jumble of Rock and Jazz, you can stop your search with “On the Corner with Jeff Daruki.” Bringing artists like Pink Floyd, Bad Company, and Soft Machine, Rampp shares music that ultimately feels like a reflection of himself. Each song brings out a different aspect of his personality; Older Pink Floyd brings out a “silly, whimsical, and absurdist” side. He hopes that through this expression his listeners can discover not only new music but another side of themselves.
The process of crafting his hour changes weekly. For some shows a playlist is crafted beforehand, while others are created in the booth. Ultimately everything is determined by emotion. Rampp knows his songs – details about the artist, release year, fun facts – but keeps it to the basics. His goal is to start sharing this knowledge with his listeners.
If you’re curious about who Jeff Daruki is, it was a pseudonym his dad used on Facebook. His father evaded the name from a band in a videogame “Mafia.” There is a family appreciation for Jeff Daruki.
Rampp’s favorite part of hosting is “showing off the music that he likes.” His hour is his time to sit and listen to music. He would encourage you to join WFNM if you’re apprehensive because the “difficulty is not as high as he would have expected.” It’s only an hour once a week and not difficult to learn.
Lexi Weaver ‘24
Name of Show(s): Left of the Dial
Radio Hour(s): Friday 2 -4 p.m.
“Left of the Dial” is an umbrella for all indie and alternative rock varieties, although many genres live under this umbrella – Midwest Emo, Second Wave Emo, Post Hardcore, Experimental Pop, Art Pop, and broadly 90’s Alternative. Weaver will make sure her listeners have a true indie radio experience. She enjoys acknowledging bands that did not get much attention when they were active, up-and-coming bands, and bands that don’t currently receive much radio time. The Replacements song inspires Weaver’s title – which is dedicated to college and alternative radio. She will share information about the artists’ live performances, the context of the music, the album, or anything else worth sharing sporadically during her hour.
A special detail about Weaver’s show is that she has never repeated a song. A truly impressive feat considering this is her fourth semester of radio and has shared over 600 songs. She enjoys programming this way because it forces her to find new music. Weaver grew up listening to 70s and 80s music because of her parents and is a classically trained cellist. She only truly started exploring different genres in high school, her first influence being early 2000s Indie Pop.
With her show on Friday, she uses this time to relax and text friends who are listening in. Although in the past she has brought friends into the booth, she currently prefers to be alone during this time. “Left of the Dial” is the product of having multiple semesters of experience. Weaver has learned how to adapt her music to fit the time of day and also how to make her hour more cohesive.
Her favorite part of hosting a radio show is having the opportunity to share her music with other people. Weavers is extremely passionate about music and many of her friends and family have different tastes, therefore, this is a time to share something new with them. She loves getting texts from her Dad such as, “This isn’t bad,” “Alex G does have a good sound,” or “Who is Modern Baseball?”
When someone calls in, flashing lights flood the booth. The startle of this occurrence appears to be a common unexpected experience for many WFNM DJs. Luckily for Weaver, it was someone attempting to call in to praise her show.
If you are thinking of joining WFNM Weaver would tell you to “Definitely do it and don’t feel like you need to play certain stuff to deserve a show. The point is that everyone brings something different to it.” Her favorite shows are the ones that expose her to music she would not have otherwise heard, like her friend’s Classical Hour. She was introduced to the radio because of her friends. Weaver was unaware of WFNM for some time and now it is her favorite part of her F&M experience. She would tell you if you’re passionate about music then bring what you love.
Berkeley Frost ‘25
Name of Show(s): World’s Most Average DJ (WMADJ)
Radio Hour(s): Sunday 6 -7 p.m.
Frost decided there were too many genres to pick just one, so she didn’t. With the World’s Most Average DJ, you will be exposed to a different theme each week: Rock, Techno, Electroclash, Instrumentals, Wintery, Love Songs, Remixes, songs that start with the letter B, and more. Frost views her selection of vastly different genres as her gimmick – choosing just one would be constricting to the wide variety of music she wants to share. Originally WMAJ was simply a name for a playlist and then it blossomed into something more. Before her time as a host, she regularly created these thematic playlists. She then decided she both had the catalog and title to create her show.
WMAJ is just about the tunes. Frost does not like to speak during songs because she finds it to be too much pressure. She lets the music speak for itself. Her time in the booth is also not a social hour, as she prefers just being alone, listening to the music.
All DJs have to catalog what songs they are playing on the air at a specific time. This spreadsheet is her favorite part about hosting a show. During her hour she will also find herself cleaning up the booth out of the kindness of her heart. In the past Lysol wipes have been brought to wipe off the keyboard. She also enjoys sitting and listening to the DJs who have time before her, “Bring Back to Basics.” They play 40s Blues and she always finds something new during their hour.
Like most DJs at WFNM, her biggest challenge hosting is figuring out how to answer the landline. It’s often just a dial tone when the phone is picked up. Apologies have been issued on air to the callers whose phone calls went unanswered.
Frost would tell those considering joining WNFM to do it because “It’s not super high commitment and you’re not doing something crazy.” She loves the creativity that comes from being able to share fun music with her listeners.
Freshman Lily Andrey is a Staff Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.