Major: Political Science and Journalism
KJHK Position: Programming Director
Lindley: What do you want to do with your current majors?
Dylan: You know, probably something extraneous. I would love to work on a campaign, like on a political campaign, preferably doing PR or something like that. But I also would love to work for Radio Free Europe out in, I think it’s the Czech Republic. So I would love to live overseas too a lot, so I guess we’re just going to see.
L: So, explain to me what you do at KJHK?
D: So, I’m the programming director. I facilitate all on-air operations as well as manage the DJ staff and advise the live music and music directors, which isn’t too hard since they do a great job.
L: How did you originally get involved with KJHK?
D: My freshman year, it was like the first week of class, and I came to the Unionfest that was out here in the back parking lot by the Union, and I met Mason Kilpatrick who I think was the Content Director at the time, and John Dillingham, who was the Station Manager. I was just interested, I toured the station sometime later and that was really, really cool at Unionfest and I just decided to DJ. Rachel, who was the Programming Director at the time, who’s now the Station Manager, invited me to come do a DJ training with her and I was doing pre-programming overnight and then live-DJing later on that next semester. I got involved with Music staff and loved what I was doing, loved reviewing music, that sort of thing. I actually switched my major from Biology to Journalism.
L: What hobbies do you have?
D: I like reading a lot. I love listening to music, I love it. I’m always keeping up with music news. I also like playing guitar, I’m really bad at it, but I like it. I like making art. I’m not great at doing that either, but I like it. And then, when it’s warmer out, I like to run a lot too, so that’s when I’ll listen to a lot of my podcasts or albums.
L: What’s your favorite podcast?
D: Favorite podcast, I’m kind of torn between, there was this one called 5432Fun and it’s a music podcast. All Songs Considered is another one I like a lot, it’s done by NPR. Then there is The Last Podcast On The Left which is just… stupid. It’s just dumb, but it’s a lot of fun.
L: What’s your favorite thing or place about Lawrence?
D: Oh man, there’s just so much I love about Lawrence. I think my favorite thing about Lawrence is the music scene just because it’s undying so I think, man that’s a big question. Arts in general are just really big to me. Lawrence Arts Center is really cool. I really love a lot of the music venues here, I think the Bottleneck is one of my favorite music venues of all time just because it’s so personal and up close and I love that a lot. I think that as I’ve gotten older at KU and made more friends around the Lawrence community I was able to go to more house shows and stuff like that. So, a lot of my favorite places are those houses where you can go see a concert and it’s really kind of up-close and it’s just a lot of, you know, everyone’s having fun.
L: What’s a typical day as the Programming Director like?
D: It’s pretty comprehensive, so it’s just depending on whatever I need to be doing for that that day, so there’s not too much of a set schedule. Generally, I’m in class from around 10 to noon, but before that I usually come in and check in on the station and make sure that the programming’s up to date and everything’s going well. Then I’m generally here until about anywhere from 9 pm to midnight. So, I’ll just come back to the Union and I’ll either be in the marketing office working or I’ll be down here (the studio) just making sure everything’s running smoothly. I try to give myself some time off to just get out of the Union, but I love it. I wouldn’t be doing so much if I didn’t like it.
L: What genre of music has had the greatest influence on you or impacted you the most?
D: That’s a hard question, I would want to say Indie Rock, or the stuff that I group up with. The stuff my parents are big fans of, so like New Wave or something like that that I just really love a lot. But if I were to speak honestly and just really think about it I think the music that’s had the biggest impact on me was honestly hip hop. I think before my sophomore year of high school I didn’t listen to hip hop at all, and then I started listening to Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar and then I fell further into all sorts of artists like MF Doom and Freddie Gibbs. I just kept going further and further and I started opening myself up to and branching out from just rock and electronic to the stuff that was more. I started opening myself up to jazz. The other side to that too is I started feeling a lot more empathy for a lot of social movements that were happening, especially at the time. So this was like 2012, I was 13 when the Black Lives Matter movement was just starting, and I think that was the first time I really started getting involved with what was happening in the news and being interested in it. So yeah, I think hip hop would has had the greatest impact so far. I hope there’s something else too.
L: What do you think is in store for KJHK in the future?
D: Statistically, really big things. We’ve always just been on this upward climb since we moved into the Union. I don’t really know where we were before then, it seems like it was pretty much the same thing, so. If I were joking, I’d say that we’re going to be taking over the entire third floor of the Union and taking over the Market and Panda Express. I think what I see KJHK doing in the future is taking on a whole host of new students year after year and developing them to be adaptive to whatever job they want to go into. One of our music directors is a Biology major, and that job doesn’t have anything to do with Biology, right? But the skills that he’s learning right now are imperative to being able to adapt to any new technology or any new progress in any field that he’s going into. I think that, and communication in general, is a really big skill that any student could pick up here, so I just hope that is what continues at KJHK and I don’t see it being any different to be honest.
L: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
D: I think I would love to see myself, this is going to completely go against what I told you earlier, I would love to see myself in the music industry or in the journalism industry. I think it’s what I’m aiming for. I would really love to live overseas, I would love to be, as far as my dreams go, in Amsterdam or New York City or Berlin. Maybe Moscow, so we’re going to see. I’d say for now New York City is where I want to be but that always changes.