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The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

Horizon 2024
Thomas Murphy, Co-Webmaster & Photographer • Feb 20, 2024

Music to my ears: KSDT’s experience in sharing music

Photo by Michelle Deng/ UCSD Guardian

The ‘fiercely independent’ radio station KSDT aims to spread the word about their events while also sharing the music that they all love. 

While most of the student organizations in the Old Student Center sit quietly among studying students and various activities, music can be heard from one building in particular. On any given day, the DJs at KSDT Radio Station play music for those entering the Old Student Center or tuning in online. This music caught John Muir college sophomore (and now KSDT DJ) Diego Dono’s attention. 

As he passed by the station, he heard the song “Salir de La Melancolia” and became interested in where the music was coming from. He looked inside the glass, waved at the DJ, and asked if he could come inside. 

From that point on, Dono became further involved with the station. He remembered wanting to do anything music-related, and KSDT became that outlet for him. When asked if he wanted to pursue music in the future, he said it had to be an option for him.

“I have to do this. It just feels like I can’t do anything but this,” Dono said. “I love music too much.”

Even before his introduction to KSDT, Dono had a diverse upbringing in music. The name of his show, 2000 Accord Music, reflects the breadth of his music taste. Dono shared the inspiration behind this name. After hearing artist femdot.’s performance of the song “94 Camry Music,” he had the opportunity to speak to the artist and tell him how much he liked his music. Months later, he titled his show with the same idea as that song. Even with such inspiration, Dono does not stick to just one genre during his shows on Tuesdays. 

“I like to say and play things that are genreless, supposedly,” Dono said, mentioning genres including rap, bossa nova, and Brazilian funk. In the end, his objective isn’t to play any specific music, but to play music for everyone to hear. 

“The goal is just to get people to enjoy music more,” he added. 

In order to reach that goal, Dono helped with events like Hump Day, which was hosted on Dec. 29. Although the DJs do not have a hand in event planning, it’s the multiple teams within KSDT that create such opportunities. Seventh College junior Andie Metoyer, the events coordinator at KSDT, explained her role and the planning that goes into the events KSDT hosts. 

“I tend to plan events like open mics and the student performances,” Metoyer said. “We have two big events for the year, which are Battle of the Bands and the Spring Concert.”

An event, especially important ones like these two, must be solidified three weeks in advance. Metoyer said that the planning aspect is the most time consuming, followed by contacting available artists and reserving the space. 

“A lot of time goes into planning events,” she said. “We have to coordinate with the audio team for certain events and media and marketing just to make sure that things are all in place,” Metoyer said. 

Just within KSDT, there are 11 different teams to account for all the areas of planning and marketing. General manager and Eleanor Roosevelt College senior Maryam Izadshenas is one of the people who overlooks the intern applications and the new people working within KSDT. 

“We released the intern application before the beginning of the quarter or week one,” Izadshenas said. “This year we got a record of over 200 applications across all 11 departments. We finalized that number to 120 interns. Each staff member solidifies who they want on their team, and then it goes from there.”

Izadshenas also emphasized the importance of Metoyer’s role, as she has taken on new community-based events.

“I want to say that [Metoyer] also has been helping coordinate some independent events,” Izadshenas said. “So aside from our open music and live events, we also have something really unique in nature, such as the Zine Release Party and more community-based events. That’s something that hasn’t been done before.”

As for her own role, Izadshenas oversees the budget and the administrative aspects of KSDT. Apart from being student-run, KSDT is funded by Associated Students. Izadshenas works with their A.S. advisor on the budget and coordination. For her, an important aspect of her job is connecting with all the staff. 

“I just really want to build community within our staff. I want it to be like a family,” Izadshenas said. 

This community-building is not only focused on those working within KDST but also on other organizations within the Old Student Center, Metoyer added. 

“We’re also planning an event right now with the Student Sustainability Collective. We’re trying to increase our cross-collaboration across campus with different organizations,” Metoyer said. 

Along with planning those events, KSDT wishes to expand its outreach through the music played and the artists chosen. Sixth College senior Hana Tobias hopes to serve this function. As a photographer for KSDT, she is able to photograph and get in contact with various artists for a variety of events. Izadshenas talked about the important role Tobias plays at the station.

“Hana has been our connection to a lot of the concert world,” Izadshenas explained. “She has contacts everywhere. I think without Hana, we wouldn’t have been able to do as much in terms of exposure to music artists and filming our student studio session.” 

Tobias responded that her tactic is just emailing people and reaching out; the key is just to try. Though, in the future, she wishes to expand her contact list and reach out to artists who KSDT has never hosted before. She also wishes to curate artists to students’ liking. Tobias also discussed how they may go about sharing music and highlighting artists that the UC San Diego population would like, helping the station reach more people. 

Tobias explained that post-COVID, many people’s first knowledge of KSDT was through the Spring Concert. She and her coworkers want to use different marketing strategies, such as the collaborations that were mentioned before. In general, they just want to boost more music on a campus where the arts are often overlooked.

“I think there’s not, in general, a ton of music-focused programs on campus,” Tobias said. “I think we’re a big hub for that.”

Izadshenas also talked about the importance of the DJ program. 

“I feel like exposing people to the DJ program or internships has helped us,” she said. “You can come from different styles of music or art forms and mediums, but people are able to collaborate so seamlessly at the radio.” 

Izadshenas explained the importance of having an open space for all students that helps foster community. For DJ Nathan ‘Nadey’ Gomez, KSDT serves as the perfect way to express himself. He conducts his show on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., under the name ‘Can’t Put Spaces.’ He explained how his roommate, a DJ at the station, introduced him to everything.

“I got to see how he operated,” Gomez said. “It blew my mind to speak on air for the first time.”

Gomez has been a DJ at KSDT since his application was accepted at the beginning of his fourth year at UCSD. He explained how one of the main things that drew him to the station was all the different genres and shows presented there. He also talked about the inspiration behind his show name. 

“I like having that name ‘Can’t Put Spaces’ because I think there’s a lot of artists who don’t put any spaces or breaks in their creative processes,” Gomez said. 

Other than allowing him to play music, Gomez said that his time at the station has improved his creativity. Gomez’s experience is similar to DJ Mateo Ignacio, who joined his third year at UCSD and has been a DJ for a year. Ignacio had interest in mixing songs before college and later met his co-host. They decided to create their show, ‘Radio is Dead.’ What he likes about his experience at KSDT is the freedom and how he was able to make so many friends through their community. 

“I don’t think I would have had as many friends if I didn’t do the radio,” Ignacio said. “It is a chill space to get to know someone.” 

For people who are seeking a place to hang out and make friends, or for those who want to cultivate their musical creativity, KSDT is the perfect place. The station broadcasts online from its website and hosts various events, including the zine launch taking place on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m.. The last ‘tagline’ that Metoyer wanted to add is that the station will always be “fiercely independent.”

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About the Contributors
Sydney McDonald, Staff Writer
Hello! I am a second-year clinical psychology major! I hope to write quality stories and meet many interesting people through The Guardian!
Michelle Deng, Artist
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