Section: Features

Behind the booth: WKCO DJs share creative inspirations

Behind the booth: WKCO DJs share creative inspirations

Tali Tufeld ’24, Ella Newgarden ’25, Gracie Cameron ’24, Fowler, Lee Nah ’25 and Goodrum | COURTESY OF LANEY GOODRUM

Tucked away in a special nook of North Campus, music, creativity and fun abound at Kenyon’s student-run radio station, WKCO 91.9 FM. The station is open to everyone, and provides listeners with a wide range of musical genres, from indie to love songs. 

President of WKCO Brooke Fowler ’24 hosts her show named the Atrium on Sundays at 7 p.m. Each week, Fowler picks a distinct theme with specific songs to correspond with it. The themes range from songs Fowler would choose for a horror script to songs with locations in the title. Throughout the show, Fowler provides her audience with commentary on the songs and the artists behind them. Each on-air personality has their own unique feelings about the booth itself. “It’s definitely weird at first! You don’t get that immediate feedback from your audience — you’re essentially talking to yourself. But once you get used to that, it’s a lot of fun! You can’t help but feel like a morning show host when you’re in the booth,” Fowler wrote in a message to the Collegian.

Another member of WKCO’s executive board, Em Townsend ’26, is a Co-Webmaster for the music blog and hosts a show called “Anything Goes” on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Previously, one of Townsend’s shows revolved around jazz music and another around soundtracks to fictional film scenes. However this semester, “Anything Goes” explores a wide variety of genres. “Being a WKCO DJ is one of my absolute favorite things about Kenyon; playing music as loud as I want in the booth, and knowing my friends and family tune in to hear my setlists, is an awesome feeling,” Townsend wrote in a message to the Collegian.

Aura Barinas ’26 is new to the WKCO scene this semester. Her show, “What is What,” broadcasts on Saturdays at 4 p.m. The name of the show directly translates in Spanish to “Que lo Que,” a common phrase in Dominican slang, and is centered around different slang from a variety of places. “My favorite part is just being able to show more music to whoever is listening. Specifically, since I try to play Spanish music, it kind of just adds some diversity to what other people might be currently listening to,” she said. Barinas began the show two weeks ago because of her enthusiasm to DJ and anticipates inviting guests on the show soon.  

“Hear Me Out” is hosted by Sophia Czechowski ’26 on Mondays at 5 p.m. Last semester, she co-hosted a show “Hear Us Out” with Paloma Fernandez ’26, but this spring Czechowski is running a solo show. “Hear Me Out” is a compilation of songs that speak to Czechowski in a given week. “[Monday’s] show I played a bunch of indie pop music that I really loved when I was in high school, as well as some indie pop I like now, to kind of compare them, and also explain certain memories and associations I had with certain songs,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. For Czechowski, her comfort in the booth derives from the support of her friends and family as well as the thoughtful solitude: “I feel like it’s a form of verbal journaling, no one is really listening, and I can talk about emotional connections I have with my favorite songs.”

Along with the range of shows, WKCO expands the fun in the form of curated playlists, album reviews and a stacked list of activities this month. One program that the station runs is dedicated to the Kenyon and Gambier community. WKCO Presents is a weekly event that clubs, student organizations and interested individuals can all apply for. Once chosen, WKCO will host those groups for interviews and playlist curations on Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, WKCO encourages people to fill out a nomination form to be included on the show. 

If you want to go to a lively WKCO event this month, everyone on the Hill is welcome to attend WKCO Prom on Saturday. “We’re really embracing the funky 80s sparkly psychedelic prom theme this year, so get ready for some fun! We’ve got great bands and DJ sets lined up including Victor, All Goof No Ball, F*ck He/Him DJ Collective and more! It’s going to be a blast,” WKCO Promotions Director Laney Goodrum ’26 wrote in a message to the Collegian.

The next time you need music, podcasts, playlists and fun, head on over to WKCO for a taste of art — right in our backyard. Fowler’s favorite part of WKCO is seeing it grow and change every year. “I get to meet so many Kenyon students who are excited about college radio,” she wrote. “Meeting new people who love music and sharing music with others is the best part of my job. WKCO forever.”

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