HOW DID YOU GET INTO WORKING IN RADIO?
WHAT IS ONE CHILDHOOD MEMORY THAT HAS SHAPED YOU TODAY?
I’ve always loved radio. When I was a teenager, half the concerts I would go to were shows my friends and I won tickets to by calling into our local radio station. I remember getting autographs from a couple of my favorite DJs in the San Francisco Bay Area at one of these shows. I went to college in Santa Cruz, CA, and the campus station (KZSC) was the first station I set foot in. It was in the middle of the redwoods and I hosted a show from 2 to 6am. I played a lot of vinyl and it was your typical college station—the programming would include a jazz show, followed by a metal show, followed by an indie rock show. It was great. My first part-time radio job was at KFOG in San Francisco and that was really my first introduction to radio programming and all the moving parts of a successful radio station.
I think discovering music that went beyond what I was exposed to through my parents was a big turning point. My parents actually have pretty great taste in music that I didn’t appreciate until I got older, but discovering artists like Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana were a big turning point for me. In hindsight, I was kind of an odd-bird in that a lot of girls my age at that time were into the boy bands or new country music. I was 13 or 14 and really into Aerosmith records from the 70s and buying any music magazine with a photo of Kurt Cobain or Hole on it (yes, I was a fan of both).
I love discovering new music and have so much pride for the wonderful music community in North Texas. It’s really great being on the ground floor of a band’s career and seeing them play to 30 people at a house show in Denton or a club in Deep Ellum to selling out large venues and getting national recognition. We saw that happen with Leon Bridges a few years ago—the first time I saw him play was in front of about 20 people. Now he’s selling thousands of tickets at his shows here. It feels really good to be even a small part of that story. At KXT, we archive all of our in-studio sessions on our website and it’s so cool to go back and watch sessions from artists that have gone on to do some big things. If you dig deep enough on our website, you can find a session from Maren Morris when she was just 19 years old, and now she’s playing huge amphitheaters.
The closest I came to that was when my bandmate and I first moved to Philly from Virginia. We didn’t have full-time jobs yet and were putting all of our money back into the band. There were a couple times where we’d write each other checks to cover rent if needed, but it was more like: “Here’s a check; don’t deposit it until Friday when I get paid.” Followed by, “Cool, I’ll pay you back next week when I get paid.” That was really living paycheck-to-paycheck for a while. When you’re not playing in cover bands, you really can’t rely on music to pay your bills until you get to a certain point. And playing in cover bands never really appealed to me.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT DALLAS THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO STAY AND SEE IT THRIVE?
AS A MUSICIAN YOURSELF, WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO WRITE OR PERFORM?
WHERE ARE YOUR TWO FAVORITE DALLAS HOTSPOTS YOU FREQUENT ON THE REGULAR AND WHY?
I’ve played both guitar and keys in bands in the past and have done a little bit of touring over the years. I spent a good portion of my 20s on the East Coast playing music in bands. I still play with friends sometimes and have been writing more than anything lately. I graduated from college with a degree in classical piano/ composition, but it would be embarrassing to sit down at a piano these days and attempt to play something—plus, playing the simple stuff on guitar with your friends is just way more fun.
I live in Oak Cliff, so I spend a lot of my free time there. I’m at Spinster Records a lot—not only do they have a great vinyl selection, but their staff is really great and they have free shows all the time with touring and local bands. I like the Texas Theater a lot, too. It’s such a historic place and I love their programming with both the movies they show and the bands they book. Catch @KXTRADIO on Instagram.
Oh, I don’t like to play favorites—there’s so much talent coming out of the area, I don’t think I could pick a favorite even if I tried. A few artists I’ve been listening to a lot lately though are Acid Carousel, Danielle Grubb, Garrett Owen, Pearl Earl, and Little Image. I think Ashleigh Smith (a jazz/soul singer from Carrollton) has such a beautiful voice. And The Texas Gentlemen’s musicianship is insane—if you’ve ever seen them live, you know what I mean.
Well, I moved to Dallas to work at KXT. It was a station I admired, and it was still young enough where I could see a lot of potential for growth and opportunity. As someone who has always lived on a coast, I had a lot of stereotypes of Dallas that were just not true once I had a chance to visit. I was blown away by the music and arts scene here. I think the music scene just keeps getting stronger. Labels are starting to look at bands from the area since there have been a few major artists to break in the past few years. Sometimes, I’ll be on the phone with a label and they’ll ask me if there’s anyone they should keep an eye on or anything I’m liking. There are a ton of recording studios here producing great music, and it’s really cool seeing all these indie labels releasing solid material and doing some big things. Dreamy Life Records, Field Day Records, and Idol Records are all labels that I always keep an eye on.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL MUSICIAN/BAND RIGHT NOW?
AS A RADIO PERSONALITY FOR KXT AND THE HOST FOR THE KXT LOCAL SHOW , WHAT IS IT ABOUT HIGHLIGHTING LOCAL TALENT THAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATELY COME ALIVE?
HAVE YOU EVER FACED “STARVING ARTISTRY?”
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