Off The Mic
DJ Name: DJ Baebi Brother (Professional Pancake Flipper)
Exec Position: Applied Sciences Director
DJ Shift: Radio Afrika, Tuesdays 9PM to 10PM (Part of International Night)
Major: Electrical Engineering
Favorite Color: Grey
Favorite Word: “wet”
Hobbies: Drawing, watercoloring, making beats, CAD, eating wings
Mason Kilpatrick: When and why did you join KJHK?
Erick Oduniyi: I went to a magnet high school and they had three concentrations: art, science and law. I was in the art magnet. I did a lot of creative stuff like drawing. But I always had a hobby of recording and working with sound. I didn’t think I would get a degree in art. I thought it would be more practical to get an engineering degree and try to make the connection between art and music within engineering. I also knew that I needed to get more experience so I knew I should volunteer with KJHK.
MK: What were your first experiences like at KJHK?
EO: We had DJ training and I was like, “Woah.” I was going to be on the radio but I was scared by all the rules. But everyone is so welcoming and cool. Even if your music tastes don’t line up, it is always about music appreciation in general. Everyone here is nice and cool.
MK: Do you consider yourself to be nice and cool?
EO: I do, actually. I could be better at it. I want to work on to be nicer. But I am as cool as I will ever be though.
MK: What qualities do you need to get better at that KJHK is helping you with?
EO: DJing has taught me how to think about what I am saying before I say it. We should do our best to communicate in an effective way. I don’t talk much and I only talk when something interests me. KJHK is teaching me to be more open and to be more extroverted.
MK: So you are a naturally introverted person?
EO: Yeah, I am. But I also think I am a show pony, you know?
MK: What do you mean by that?
EO: So ever since I was a young kid, I really liked to entertain people. I liked to entertain people through art, poetry or music. There is something about having the time to entertain people with your ideas. It is so important to me. But it is only when I want to share things. However, I still need that time and space alone.
MK: How important is that time and space to you?
EO: It is super important. Although due to various activities, I am with people all the time. So I try to set a part half of my day alone.
MK: What are the benefits for you of being alone and having your own space? Because being alone affects people in different ways and some can’t be alone at all.
EO: I feel like things move too fast when people are involved. And it might be because of the culture we live in. But I feel like when I am alone, I feel like I have time to process things properly. And I never get bored. Everything in my head keeps me going. I am already taking in so much and trying to process it all. Taking in more people is sometimes not the best for me.
MK: When did you realize this? Did you know this inherently? Or were there experiences that taught you the importance of this over time?
EO: Looking back at my life, there were numerous occasions where people were out doing something and I had the option to be with them. But I didn’t want to be with them because I felt that I had no contribution to give to the group. So I would tell them no. And I have been doing that since I was eight or ten. I can only be around people when I have a sufficient amount of information to share. That is when I feel valuable to the group.
MK: There is a quote you said a long time ago that I think of on an almost daily basis. “You can’t download a DJ.” That was a home run quote for a lot of people. In your opinion, what presence does a DJ have in their local community?
EO: Radio is super important. It is one of the ways we get information out. We want to feel connected. We want to hear stories from people who have an interesting perspective. It is the job of a DJ to have those stores and to inspire people. I think it is our job to showcase our communities in a way that we believe it to be seen. If you agree, nice! If not, please come to us and we can talk about it.
MK: The quote you said reminds me of technological determinism. Hard technological determinism kinda says that technology chokes and limits how people communicate and interact with each other. How do you feel about that? How does technology bring people together positively, in your opinion?
EO: The cool thing about the Internet is that it effectively created a place where we are all connected. Information is dispersed on a rapid and global scale. We are all one being. My idea is that in the future, the lines will be blurred somewhere. Humans and technology will all be a more cohesive organism. I think the job of technology is to provide opportunities for people to do what they really want to do.
MK: When you talk about cohesiveness between people and technology in the future, what do you want to see? Are you referencing that we will all be cyborgs?
EO: I thought the movie “Her” did a really good job of presenting artificial intelligence in a really smart manner. Wait, what is her name?
MK: Scarlett Johansson?
EO: Yeah! She was software that had the ability to learn on the fly. She was basically a human being without a body. And at the end of the movie, all the AI leave. I see that as a possibility. I don’t think that will be in my lifetime. I think multi-planetary exploration will be in my lifetime. But not where we are the Matrix and we upload yet.
MK: I would probably have less anxiety over asking out a robot rather than a human being.