DJ Name: Undecided DJ Shift: Breakfast For Beatlovers (9AM to 12PM) on Thursdays Exec Position: Live Music Director Major: Journalism (Strategic Communications) Year: Senior Favorite Color: Green or Black Hobbies: Skateboarding, enjoying live music
Mason Kilpatrick: How does music motivate you on a daily basis? Austin Ellington: I want to be in the music industry after I graduate. So music is my goal. I want a career involved with music but I still love to listen to music all the time. For some people, music is just background noise. Not for me. I have to listen to it and hear it. I am a pretty easygoing guy and I like most genres in music. Because of that, I am influenced in a lot of ways.
MK: When and how did you first join KJHK? AE: I have a pretty interesting story with that. I first joined my freshman year and I was an overnight DJ. I was doing a 3AM to 6AM shift. And this was live too, before it was prerecorded. I did that and I obviously really liked it. The shift was still pretty brutal. The next semester I had a midnight to 3AM shift. The third semester I DJ’d though, was different. I couldn’t get into it. I left and I fell off the KJHK map. That was just a really weird year for me too. I was going through an existential crisis and had no idea what to do with my life. I abandoned everything I was involved in. That was not the right decision. If I could do college all over again, I would have stayed with KJHK from the start. I am kicking myself for doing that. I got really involved with music after I came back from Australia. I applied for Live Music Committee, not really knowing what to expect. I applied because of Mitch. MK: Mitchell Raznick? AE: Yeah! He was a huge influence on my life, probably more than he even knows. I learned so much through him last year and he gave me so many opportunities. The first committee meeting I went to, he announced that an assistant director spot was open. I applied and got it.
MK: Can you describe what all you do at KJHK? AE: It is really cool being in charge of curating what music we get into town. I help decide what artists KJHK brings here. But there is so much to it. There are a lot of logistics and coordinating between the venue and all parties involved. I do a lot of emailing for this. I also work on creative promotional strategies for every concert we put on. We try to do a major promotional push for every show, from Tunes @ Night to major, national artist shows like Vic Mensa. It is a lot of promotion and logistics too. Overall, it is fun.
MK: What was the cause of your life crisis years ago? AE: It was during my sophomore summer, I believe. MK: So around the time when you realize that you really need to start getting your life together. AE: Yeah, that is basically what hit me. I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of college at the time. I wasn’t learning what I was interested in and I wasn’t evolving the way I wanted to. I set goals for the person that I wanted to become. I wanted to work in the music industry. If it wasn’t for realizing my passion, and having KJHK here for me to do this, I probably wouldn’t even be in school right now. I was going to drop out of school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Two factors kept me in college. Those factors were my mom and KJHK. I am now on a path I enjoy. I am feeling pretty good about it now. MK: Wow, I never even knew of this story. AE: I am incredibly fortunate to be working with Live Music for the past two years of my life. I say that, not because of my future career, but also for how shy and timid I used to be. I am now able to branch out and meet people with similar interests to me. Music isn’t everyone’s interest. In the Journalism School, no one takes a career with music seriously. Except for the small group of KJHK, you are kind of on your own in that sense.
MK:Earlier you mentioned that you had goals set for who you want to be. Who do you want to be? What is the “Ideal Austin Ellington?” No one achieves perfection so you will be chasing this your entire life. AE: I know that I want to be involved in music. That is really important to me because I can’t do something everyday that does not motivate me to give it my all. I used to struggle with apathy and not caring enough about things. When I find something I care about, I go for it at 100%. I am not really into praise but I am into being proud of something I did, for the sake of myself. I definitely look into keeping an open mind. I hate denial. I don’t like the idea of people thinking that they are better than others. I don’t ever want to be like that. I don’t ever want someone to feel that I am putting them down. Everybody knows how it feels to be disrespected. Those who are disrespected usually feel that they are bad. For example, their taste in music could be disrespected. People could be told that their music taste is bad. Music is subjective but these people were told that their taste is bad. There is not right or wrong. That is beauty of music though.