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Year in Review: Fall 2017-Spring 2018

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by Myka Kielbon.

It was a big year at KOXY – maybe our biggest yet. We came back from the summer of 2017 worn out from internships and research, rejuvenated from our travels, and ready to share our opinions on new releases. In September we were short staffed and had high hopes. Only five of us remained from the reaping of 2017’s graduation ceremony: Grace Haggerty (events director), Yinbo Gao (web developer), Izzy Thomas (tech director), Rosie Yasukochi (co-station manager), and myself, Myka Kielbon (co-station manager). By the end of the month we’d hired four new staff members, Luis Arias (events staff), Natalie Martinez (tech staff), Jackson Munn (tech staff), and Dahlia Theriault (promotions staff).

We also launched our Fall radio programming, with 67 unique radio shows and 96 DJs. Every year our new hires and DJs breathe fresh life into the KOXY community, and with it new music, new art, new enthusiasm to jump in the pit at live shows or tie dye a t-shirt on the quad.

Whenever we run surveys, the most common thing we hear is that people love when we quadsit with our DJ setup. This year we played music for over fifty hours under the oak trees during lunch. Those quadsits are the first thing we rolled out, trying to lure first-years (and everyone else, for that matter) into applying for a spot in the DJ booth, and the last thing we closed out the year with. Generally, this meant avoiding sunburn while we ate Marketplace pizza, but at the final quadsit, on the final day of classes, it started to drizzle as Mariana (Martinez, programming director) and I sat on the benches.

We hoisted the cart up the stairs and set up shop on Branca Patio. The staff slowly filed in, sipping coffee and working on finals. We slipped from playing radio friendly alternative neo-soul into experimental jazz – new Kamasi Washington, anyone? – then we looked around and laughed. What else would let us geek out like that? Only KOXY.

In the fall we had two high energy shows. First was dedicated DIY rapper Antwon, supported by Wavy Baby, a DJ who’s set got everyone dancing. In December we welcomed Oakland based punk/metal/hip-hop outfit War of Icaza, who describe themselves as “ancient indigenous vibrations with modern appeal” and local ragers Agency (f.k.a. Escandalo) to the wooden interiors of the Tiger Cooler.



Antwon, photo by Cleo Charpantier.


In the beginning of Spring, we said farewell to our tech director, Izzy Thomas, who moved on to study more technical engineering. Izzy was first noticed out of the applicant pool for his love of soldering cables after all. This meant we had the space to hire one more tech staff member. Despite Izzy’s departure, we were happy to welcome Adnan Shihabi onto the staff. We also welcomed 21 new DJs to the roster, launching our Spring programming with 72 shows and 95 DJs.

In 2018 we buckled down on live events and brought more artists to campus with an expanded focus on gender diversity. To start off the semester, we co-hosted an open mic with the Black Student Alliance, RAW Records, and Feast Magazine to highlight student artists during Black History Month. March was busy for us: we opened themonth with a loud, rainy night in the party room of All Star Lanes, the hidden gem of Eagle Rock, featuring Jillian Medford of Ian Sweet and Girl Friday, a band recommended to us by our friends at UCLA Radio.


Jillian Medford of IAN SWEET, photo by Willie Siau.


Sex positive, feminist rapper and internet sensation CupcakKe closed out the month, supported by LeIf and Apollo Night winner Chance Ward. This event marked KOXY’s highest turnout since we started keeping record, and probably highest in history: over 500 students attended this event. There were technical difficulties but we pushed on and made it happen – we’ll never be grateful enough for everyone who stuck around and trusted us.


CupcakKe, photo by Sam Orlin.


As is now tradition, we collaborated with Programming Board to present Springfest Pre-Show and had a stage running all day with four student DJs and LA local house musician Tek.lun. Over the course of the year, we collaborated with many other clubs and organizations, including Hawai’i Club, TedX, OxyArts, Black Student Alliance, Feast Magazine, RAW Records, and more. We also launched our boiler room-style series, Bengal Room, featuring KOXY staff DJs. In the future, this will expand and be open to the campus DJ community, serving as a space to test out sets and turn the volume up where people in the dorm next door won’t get upset.


Mariana Martinez during Jackson Munn’s set at Springfest Preshow, photo by Sam Orlin.


Speaking of, we closed out the semester by adding our own addition to Spring formal season: KOXY Prom in Sycamore Glen, featuring LA supergroup Upset and up-and-comers Color TV. When we ran the stats, the attendees were all returning. You could feel it at the show, too. Dancing under the lights and balloons to eighties prom hits, I looked around and only saw friendly faces. Mine hurt from smiling.


Rachel Hayes (left) and Sandy Nguyen (right), photo by Harrison Kallner.


It was a good three-year run on staff for myself, Bo and Rosie. We’re moving on, but to sustain the station we brought on three bright new faces – Julia Viola Tello (events staff), Sandy Nguyen (promotions staff), and Enrique Goudet (web developer). We’ll be off-air for the summer, but stay tuned for announcements about events and opportunities in the fall with KOXY.


Art by Dahlia Theriault.

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