Off The Mic
Name: Miao Miao (Flammy) Huo
Major: Journalism, International Studies
Notable KJHK Contributions: Content Staff, Production Staff, records promos, Off The Mic interviewee, social media video editing
Favorite Color: Violet, Red
Hobbies: playing music, listening to music, Tennis, traveling, writing down lyrics, watching Tennis
Ellie Fehlig: Since you said you play music, what instruments do you play?
Flammy Huo: I play a Chinese instrument called Guzheng. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s really traditional. I really like the sound of it and I’ve been playing it since third grade. I love it a lot and I never quit. But the sad part is, because I moved to America, you can’t bring the instrument with you because it’s super large so I haven’t been playing for two years. I really miss it a lot. And then I learned a little bit of piano when I was little so I’m still kind of playing by myself just for fun. I’m not really good but I really like it. I enjoy playing some pop music or just the old classical music. I also play guitar. I started with classical guitar and I really enjoy it because it just gives me time to zone out. I don’t know why. I love classical music. Then I started going into acoustic by myself and I’m still doing that.
EF: Who, would you say, is your favorite artist?
FH: This is kind of tricky because I’ve been in China for 17 years so all my music foundation is back in China. I have a couple favorite artists. One is called Jay Zhou. He’s a singer/songwriter and his music incorporates a lot of traditional elements into pop music. It doesn’t only talk about love or sentimental stuff. It talks about life in general. It talks about family, hobbies. and really random weird things.
Since I came to America, I always feel like I’m ignorant about a lot of music in America, especially when people ask me if I know Frank Sinatra and I don’t know who that is. Then my friend is just like, “You don’t know who Frank Sinatra is? You’ve got to be kidding me,” so they got me into some music. I learned who Frank Sinatra is. I got into really old music around Frank Sinatra’s age. It just makes me super relaxed. I got into alternative a lot because my best friend is into alternative and electronic music so I started out with Vampire Weekend and explored a lot more in that genre. Then I did an Off The Mic interview and someone introduced me to metal and I’ve never heard that kind of music so I’m like, “Wow, this is so different.” I’m just learning a lot because I don’t know a lot about American music.
EF: That’s so cool that you can come in from a different standpoint than people who’ve just grown up with their music. Have you heard about the Frank Sinatra tribute that’s coming up on TV? There’s going to be a bunch of artists covering his songs, I guess.
FH: Aw, he’s my bae.
EF: He’s a cool dude. What was the first album you bought?
FH: It was from my dad. I haven’t really bought an album yet by myself because albums in China – how do you say the right of people, like patent?
EF: Oh yeah, copyright?
FH: Copyright, exactly. That’s the word I’m looking for. So the copyright was not as important in China. People can listen to music and download music whenever they want so it’s not a big thing in China. Albums are not important in China so I didn’t really buy anything but my dad went to America one time and I used to really like Taylor Swift because that’s all I know about American music. The first album my dad bought me was Taylor Swift’s, “Red.”
EF: Yeah, that’s really good. I can definitely see that. What made you decide to come to KU and join KJHK?
FH: I never considered KU before, actually. The Chinese mentality is people don’t know any school other than Ivy League. I was thinking about applying for my dream school, Northwestern. They offered me in-state tuition because other than that, I’d have to pay for international student tuition which is skyrocketing. Then I got some scholarships and I got into the honor’s program so I just decided to come to KU. I did not expect it to be this fun, accepting and welcoming. It makes me feel like I’m home.
EF: Aw, that’s so cool.
FH: Yeah, like I’m not excluded. When I first came to America I had this fear of being the outsider and of being the foreigner. I’m like, “I don’t know anything about anything!” I really like the environment here. People are really nice. I came to KJ because I did an internship when I was in China at a radio station and I hated it. I hated the environment there. People don’t care about media; people don’t care about what they’re doing. They don’t put a lot of work in it. They only started preparing for their shows or programs 30 minutes ahead and they don’t really care about it because in the Chinese media environment there’s a lot of censorship. Even though it’s a sport radio station, they still censor a lot of things and people are not motivated to do stuff and I really wanted to see how different it is in America, especially in a college setting. I kind of just heard it from orientation and I liked the KJHK sign, so I’m like, “I’ll do it!”
EF: Wow, that is deep. What app do you use the most on your phone?
FH: I just started using Vine. I stayed up until three because of it and my friends say, “You need to control yourself because it’s addicting,” and I’m like, “Yeah, you’re right about it.” Other than that, probably Snapchat because we didn’t have Snapchat in China.
EF: Cool. What’s the most random thing that you’ve watched on Netflix?
FH: “Happy Tree Friends.” Do you know that?
EF: That sounds familiar.
FH: It’s like a show for children but not. There’s a character that’s going to die, or close to dying, in each episode. It’s super cute characters but they die all the time. They cut their legs or their eyeballs come out and stuff like that. It’s the most random thing I’ve watched on Netflix. It scared me really badly.