DJ Mariscos // Marissa Aurora

What is your name and DJ name?

My name is Marissa Aurora and my DJ name is DJ Mariscos.

What is the name of your show and when is it on?

The name of my show is ¿Qué Onda? and it’s on Sundays from 6 to 7pm.

Please describe your show. What is its format?

My show strives to be a mix of interviews and collaborative musical playlists with people from around the world. So it’s a bilingual show – I try to do most of the interviews in Spanish – and then collaborate with the person I’m interviewing on a musical playlist for the other half of the show. That what it strives to be, but sometimes it just kind of is music, and vinyl from the radio library, and whatever feels good!

What drew you to participate in KMRD?

One is that it’s actually just a really amazing radio station, like I really love listening to it, and all the different things that people do with their slot, and just seeing what a creative outlet it is for so many different people. I had never really experienced community radio before, and just listening to it and knowing what it was about made me really want to be a part of it.

What is the appeal of doing a radio show? How does it fit into the rest of your life?

The appeal of doing a radio show for me I think has a few different layers to it. For the interviews, it’s a really fun way to get to know people, both people I already know – I’ve interviewed some really good friends and learned more about them – and also strangers running different organizations and doing different things with their lives. It’s been a cool way to get kind of intimate with people through interviews. And then the music – it’s a great reason to seek out and discover new music. And it is a really fun creative outlet in a way I’ve never been creative before. So it fits into my life in that way, that throughout the week I’m either talking to people or listening to music and thinking about how I’m going to fit it into my little show on Sundays. Being in the studio is just so fun, and it ends up being one of my favorite parts of the week.

What difference has being a DJ made in your life?

I think people have a misconception that I’m cooler than I am when they find out I’m a radio DJ! It’s a funny thing that I never thought I would be, and I feel like every time people find out they think it’s really cool, and I’m not used to being thought of in that way – so it’s really funny to me!

It’s just like a fun opportunity to take an hour and move into a different kind of headspace – ok this is DJ time, this is DJ Mariscos. Almost like escapism, in a really positive way.

What are your hopes for your show?

My hopes for my show are to demonstrate to listeners the different ways that people are living their lives around the world, and kind of offer a glimpse into normal people’s lives, on a level that we don’t always get to connect with strangers. And to also expose people to different types of music from the Americas that don’t get played on the Top 40, or aren’t popular artists around here. I’ve discovered a lot of new artists throughout Latin America that have been fun to share with folks here. I love getting a call when I’m in the studio and playing new music that I just discovered and having people excited about it, and getting to pass that along – it’s like a little present to the community, which is fun.

What are your hopes for the station?

My hopes for the station are to have a stable physical location, and to continue being this multigenerational hub that brings people from disparate cultures – like subcultures – together. Like people that normally wouldn’t hang out together or be involved in the same kind of project – I feel like anybody with any kind of beliefs that are involved in a wide range of different activities can be involved in the station, and I think it’s a really cool way to bring people together in the community that normally wouldn’t be partaking in the same activity. And so for that to continue to grow.

James the Music Man // James Mann

What is your name and DJ name?

My name James Mann. 

My DJ name is James the Music Man, in honor of my father, who was an actor and an incredible vocalist and played show tunes while I grew up. And he was a DJ. 

What is the name of your show and when is it on?

Southern Accents, Thursday nights 6 to 7. 

Please describe your show. What is its format?

I am a transplanted Southerner, and my show is pretty much all Southern artists, or Southern songs, or Southern locales, and I want to show that not all Southern music is hillbilly or Southern rock. I think it kind of surprises people when they think, “Oh wow, I didn’t know that was so-and-so.” I’ve kept pretty much to that; I sometimes play different artists because of the studio they recorded it in or something like that. I make the rules, so if I want to play somebody during Stax that wasn’t a Southern artist then, you know, sue me.

What drew you to participate in KMRD?

We’ve owned property out here for ten years, and we didn’t live here until about a year ago. My wife and I were always saying, “When we get out here and retire, you gotta get on that station.” We would listen and everything, and I’m not normally a radio listener, but I did because it’s so much a part of this area. I wanted to be a part of it all the time, since we moved out here.

What is the appeal of doing a radio show? How does it fit into the rest of your life?

I am a walking Amazon algorithm for music – when somebody tells me, “Well, I like so-and-so,” I say, “Oh you’ll like this,” and “Have you heard this yet?” and “You oughta go see this person.” It’s just one of my true joys in life to turn people onto something that they might not have heard before. 

I think in the last year or so music has become far more important to our inner space and our soul than it previously had been. Certainly in my life, it’s moved from being soundtrack or a wallpaper to really integral. And I think that’s true of a lot of people. I don’t know if this whole Covid thing or Trump thing is going to produce any great art, but it potentially could. 

What difference has being a DJ made in your life?

I’m normally very antisocial. At least I was in Georgia, that does not seem to be the case out here so much. It’s given me something to focus on. My wife and I used to have a food blog. She would write the recipes, I would give music suggestions, and she would take photographs. Now she’s my producer, and it’s a way for us to do something together. She texts me through the entire show: “No music!” “Don’t say ‘uh’ again!” or “Ok ok ok, you’re not Matthew McConaughey.” And that’s great. Being able to talk, freelance, has given me a lot more self-confidence which I did not have before. So that’s cool.

What are your hopes for your show?

I hope it enlightens people, makes them get a smile. I’m the biggest naysayer of the South, especially after having been there recently, but have them look at it in a different way – I don’t think a lot of people out here know what it is, so much. 

Hopefully when I retire maybe I could get another hour or something and do a different kind of format, because I just love it.

What are your hopes for the station?

I hope we find someplace permanent. I’d like it when we can have music here, when we can host things, because I know that that was a part of this community – I can look at the pictures and see sixty people in this room, or so-and-so played here. I’ve only been in here most likely with Amy and I’ve met other people, but I’d love to be part of the family. Because this whole area is so connected, which is not something I really had in Decatur.

DJ IDK // Amanda

What is your name and DJ name?

My name is Amanda, and I am DJ IDK.

What is the name of your show and when is it on?

My show is The People’s Harvest, and it is on Wednesdays from 2 to 4pm.

Please describe your show. What is its format?

Well, we’ve got lots of music, focused on bluegrass, western, folk, and Americana, and talk segments focused on food, farm, and future.

What drew you to participate in KMRD?

I was really bored during Covid lockdown!

What is the appeal of doing a radio show? How does it fit into the rest of your life?

I love it. I get to be part of a community, I get to meet lots of other cool DJs… I love the power of the airwaves. 

I’m kind of on my little journey of growing things and starting a farm and homesteading, so it’s fun to get to share all the updates with everyone, like tips and tricks we learn along the way.

What difference has being a DJ made in your life?

I definitely feel way more connected with the community down in Madrid. I definitely have a lot more appreciation for music, like I’ve explored music and new artists and things a lot more than I ever did before.

What are your hopes for your show?

I hope it’ll continue, I hope people enjoy it, I hope people learn something from it.

What are your hopes for the station?

I hope that we are the greatest radio station in the world one day! Of course.

I hope the station keeps on keeping on, I hope we stay freeform, noncommercial. I would love to experience the KMRD of social interaction. I’ve heard, in the past, we had guests? And more than two people? And we could touch things, without sanitizing everything every fifteen minutes? So, I look forward to that! 

DJ Post Meridian // Paris Mancini

What is your name and DJ name?

My name is Paris Mancini, and my DJ name is DJ Post Meridian.

What is the name of your show and when is it on?

It’s called Where Is My Mind? after the Pixies song, and it’s on Tuesdays from 3 to 5pm.

Please describe your show. What is its format?

It’s as freeform as it gets. I basically DJ everything live, to suit my whims in that moment. And if people call in I’ll take requests, and I kind of treat it like the way someone would during a dance party, where you’re doing everything in the moment.

What drew you to participate in KMRD?

I was in a band with Lilia, who is a DJ, and she said it was so awesome. And I was a DJ in New Haven, Connecticut, where I’m from.

What is the appeal of doing a radio show? How does it fit into the rest of your life?

In pandemic times, it’s certainly the highlight of every week. It also anchors my week, which is very nebulous. In regular times… I’ve always been a radio listener – as a really little kid, and my whole life – and I love being able to control a broadcast, and add to the collective broadcast that’s out there. Musically, I am a big music nerd so I love playing stuff you probably wouldn’t hear on the radio. More local bands, underground things, stuff I wish I could hear on the radio. 

It does tie into my life, because normally my life is pretty full-time to half-time musician. So it gave me a great excuse to listen actively to music that’s not just what I’m playing and what people I know are playing, but kind of looking for new things and gathering them each week. Kind of harvesting, and then putting them back out there. It ties into my life as a loudmouth, a creative person, someone who is interested in current events. I feel like people who do the radio kind of are at the forefront – it’s kind of journalism, in a way, although what we’re doing is more art-focused. It’s definitely a necessary ingredient.

What difference has being a DJ made in your life?

It definitely gives music listening more significance, because I can then share it. I think being an extrovert, I don’t do a lot of stuff if it’s just for me, but if there’s other people in my mind – so if I hear something great and “ooh, I can share it” that week, that’s really nice. The radio community is amazing, and meeting lots of different people, but likeminded in that we love the radio, is wonderful. I think in Madrid in particular, is extremely unique, because it’s such a strange, tiny place. And we’re broadcasting out of it! So that’s very cool. Madrid having a voice is very cool.

What are your hopes for your show?

I hope some people listen to it! I hope people enjoy it. I like to take an Afrika Bambaataa approach, which to me means hitting people with really disjointed songs, things they wouldn’t expect, lots of deep cuts, lots of songs that may not flow together at all. So I’m trying to educate people, find lots of new tunes for myself to keep myself interested… I hope people leave surprised, even a little disturbed is ok. I think if they’re moved in some way or touched in some way, that makes me happy.

What are your hopes for the station?

I hope it, obviously, continues. I hope that in the “after times” of pandemic, that we can start to bring people in again and have interviews and have live shows and live recordings, and more interaction with the station, like we were before. It’s kicking ass. We have so many DJs! I guess I would say I hope it keeps growing, but I also love that it’s so local, and I don’t think it could become like a corporate-ish monster-ish horrible thing. I really like how it is! I hope it stays the same, kind of. 

Sometimes I’ll be in here, and I think especially during the pandemic, I’ll be like, “IS ANYONE OUT THERE??” and I had a lot of callers last week, and someone even said, “Hey, long-time listener, first-time caller”! My take-away, or my message to leave with people is that, and the radio reminds us of this: even though you might feel so alone and like no one is hearing you, your existence, and certainly your radio existence, ripples through the world. Literally, theoretically, figuratively, whatever. That’s my takeaway from the radio experience. 

DJ Raindrop // Gaby

What is your name and DJ name?

My name is Gaby, my DJ name is DJ Raindrop.

What is the name of your show and when is it on?

Foggy Morning Portals, it’s on Sundays from 9 to 10 in the morning.

Please describe your show. What is its format?

My show is – I wake up really early in the morning, and I try to absorb whatever the vibes I’m feeling or I feel like the community might be feeling, and I kind of let that resonate for me. I wake up at like 5 and I do that all the way until like 10 sometimes, if I have the opportunity. And then usually that’s how my playlist looks. That’s why it can look anywhere from pop music to psychedelic to all kinds of stuff. It’s been really fun to take those quiet hours and transmute it into something. 

What drew you to participate in KMRD?

I loved it and was really impressed with it and the format and the history of it. We moved here five years ago now, and I just really wanted to get my talons into a little and feel it, and I’m so happy I did.

What is the appeal of doing a radio show? How does it fit into the rest of your life?

It really has gotten me back into music, in ways that I didn’t know was missing until I was doing it again. The communal love note that music and art and spoken word transcends, I really appreciate that. It’s been a really good destressor to a lot of parts of my life, and then a really good creative source to other parts of my life. 

What difference has being a DJ made in your life?

It’s reminded me of a voice that I thought I didn’t have any more, but it’s given me that voice again. And then given me a voice to kind of say things to people, when I probably don’t put myself in a situation to say them. I’m awkward, and very grateful of my awkwardness, but the DJ show has kind of given me a place to be like, “I just want to hug you all!” 

What are your hopes for your show?

My hope is to get more spoken word poetry in there, to amplify artists that I’m really impressed by and that I think would resonate with the culture and community that’s around. And maybe bring a good shift to my world and maybe, in a cool way, someone else’s.

What are your hopes for the station?

My hope for the station is that it grows – or stays exactly the same. It does what it wants. I hope the station stays, and does what it wants. Which is a radical notion in itself these days, no?