Rachel Benefiel KJHK

Off The Mic: Rachel Benefiel

Off the Mic

Rachel Benefiel KJHKDJ: Rachel Benefiel
DJ Shift: Breakfast for Beatlovers on Fridays, 9am-12pm
Major: Double Majoring in Film and Media Studies/American Studies
Biggest Fear: Failure
Favorite TV Shows: Bob’s Burger
Hobbies: Watching movies, listening to music, crafts (knitting, crochet, crosstitch), photography
Pet Peeves: People watching Netflix in class

Flammy Huo: What made you want to join KJHK?
Rachel Benefiel: I’m a townie so I’ve been listening to KJHK for quite a while. There was also the opportunity to play weird music that I like but can’t hear on the radio anywhere else. It really was a no brainer for me to apply.

Rachel Benefiel KJHKFH: What kind of music do you play and why do you like it?
RB: With Breakfast for Beatlovers, I focus mostly on electronic. I don’t remember how I got into it but I just like it. Over the summer, I had a show where I played 50s’ and 60s’ pop music, which is kind of what I grew up listening to. My parents never listen to the modern music so I listen to the oldies station. When I’ve done rotation shifts, I like the sort of stuff KJHK plays but I also like drilling in older stuff from 70s and 80s.

FH: So do you have a couple bands or artists that you like a lot?
RB: I do. I really like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode and The Replacements. Those are probably the big ones. I really like Cat Stevens and his mellow but emotional mood too.

FH: Do you remember how you got into them? Is there anyone who influenced you on your music choice?
RB: When I was little, my best friend and I listened to the Beatles all the time and that came from her dad. I would TiVo Vh1 Classic and I was recording old popular songs on the program, “120 Minutes.” That’s how I discovered bands like Depeche Mode. I would be reading about them and then the other bands would be mentioned. It’s just like going down a rabbit hole.

FH: What role does music play in your life?
RB: Music, to me, is so great because of the emotion it can cue, like sadness and happiness. It’s really cliché but it’s like the soundtrack to life. There are songs that become associated with one moment and time so whenever I hear them it’s like, “Oh yeah, I remember this.”

Rachel Benefiel KJHKFH: Do you have anything else you want to share with me about music?
RB: I have a really weird story but it’s about the musical “Grease,” which I liked as a kid and would watch. However, I was too young to fully understand everything. So there’s the song called, “Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee”, and there’s the line, “She won’t go to bed ’til she’s legally wed.” When I was little, I thought, “Oh jeez, she’s going to stay up all night to find a husband. She is just not going to get any rest.”

FH: That’s so funny. When you joined KJ, were you just being a DJ or have you been on other staffs?
RB: I have been on the Production staff, which makes the on-air promos, and right now I’m on Arts and Culture staff, which makes content for Ad Astra Radio. Working on the production staff was fun and it helped me. I’d be driving along, listening to KJ, and then I would hear my voice during the break. With Arts and Culture, I’m more aware of what’s going on with KU now, looking for stories not just on campus but for other stuff that’s in the community. It’s just a nice community to be a part of.

FH: What’s your favorite memory at KJ?
RB: It’s the phone call. It’s that drunk one. I accidentally misread the time on-air so I was just like, “Ugh, I’m tired,” and someone called in and said, “Thank you for doing this. It’s early in the morning but thank you.” Recently, someone had requested music and I found it. However, I wasn’t entirely sure if it was the right band. Then I said over the air, “Oh, I’m not cool enough to know. I’m not with the kids,” and then immediately I got a phone call saying, “ Never let anyone tell you you’re not cool. You’re cool!” It was really sweet and funny.

Rachel Benefiel KJHKFH: If you could travel back in time, which year would you go to?
RB: I’ll go with 1920s. I like the pictures of it. It’s so fun and jazzy with the sparkly dresses and lots of great movies coming out of Germany. I like German expression of films, which there are a really thick amount of them in the 1920s and into the 30s. There were also German writers like Kafka and Thomas Mann, which are probably my two favorites. My family is Jewish and my grandfather comes from Brooklyn so there’s just all this Yiddish in his speech. Yiddish is a Germanic language so it was like, “Oh, this word corresponds to this.” So that was fun and it made it really interesting.

FH: Where do you see yourself in five years?
RB: I want to be working in film. I’m very interested in cinematography and I would like to be doing something like that or on the path to that. Cinematography is the art of photography so there’s the lights, camera, lenses, and film stocks. I’m probably not going to learn about film stocks so it will really be more about creating the visual environment. When I watch movies, that has the greatest impact on me. It’s like it can suck me into the movie and make it feel like a real world.