DJ Highlights

WKNC Named Finalist for Multiple National Awards

WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2 has earned three nominations in College Broadcasters, Inc.’s National Student Production Awards, which were announced Aug. 22.

Rosie Rose, who graduated in August 2022 with a degree in communication media, is a finalist for Best DJ. Rose hosted “The Riot Hours” as Rainbow Riot. Rose was previously honored in the DJ personality category of the College Media Association Film and Audio Festival, earning first place in 2021 and second place in 2022.

Rose Kelley, a third-year student studying political science and the station’s content manager, is a finalist for Best Podcast for the “Lincoln and Liberty Too!” episode of the U.S. political history podcast “In the West Wing.” The episode explores the chaotic presidential election of 1860 in which Republican Abraham Lincoln defeated Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas and Constitutional Union candidate John Bell.

The third nomination is for Video Promo for Katie Quesinberry, a third-year student studying chemical engineering who worked as one of WKNC’s video content creators. The “WKNC Presents Double Barrel Benefit 19” promo was filmed using stop-monition animation, a package of cut-out stars from Target and a Scrabble tile set.

Winners will be announced at College Broadcasters, Inc.’s National Student Electronic Media Convention in Orlando on Oct. 21.

WKNC is also a finalist in the video/audio category of College Media Association’s Pinnacle awards, announced Sept. 6.

Carter Norfleet, a third-year student studying English-creative writing and one of WKNC’s video content creators, is a finalist for Best Short (sub-3 minute) Video for Entertainment, for “A Day with Art.” All finalists are in the Division I category for schools with an undergraduate enrollment of 10,000 or more.

KONDE Brown, a fourth-year student studying communication and the station’s 2022-2023 production manager, is a finalist for Best Audio Promo/PSA with Maddy Moore, a fourth-year student in textile technology. The promo is for Moore’s “The Doghouse” DJ shift, which currently airs Fridays at 11 a.m. on WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1.

The third Pinnacle nomination is for Best Audio Talk/Entertainment Program for the “On Island.” episode of “On Black.” The program, which airs every other Saturday at 11 a.m. on WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1 and is available as a podcast, is hosted by Alexis Grant, a third-year student studying material science engineering, Jeanine Ikekhua, a fourth-year student studying communication and international studies, and Hamsata Mazou, a third-year student studying business administration. In the “On Island” episode the hosts discuss how they would structure their own island, including who would be allowed in and what rules would be established.

WKNC was previously named a finalist for best radio station by College Media Association in this year’s Pinnacle awards.

Student newspaper Technician was also named a finalist for best editorial in the reporting category, for the Oct. 22 editorial “NC State’s lack of transparency surrounding campus tragedies harms us all.”

Winners will be announced at the College Media Association’s National College Media Convention in Atlanta on Oct. 31.

Along with the National Student Production Awards and Pinnacle Awards, NC State is a finalist for at least one award in the College Media Business and Advertising Managers annual contest. While no specifics were given, the award(s) will be presented Oct. 14 at the organization’s annual convention in Minneapolis.

DJ Highlights

WKNC takes top honors for design

While Student Media is often recognized for design work for its print publications, student radio station WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2 is also winning awards.

Ray Ray, a rising third-year student studying chemistry, earned first place in the promotions and advertising category in the Edmund C. Arnold Chapter of the Society for News Design at Michigan State University annual student design contest. Ray, host of “Western Wednesday” on WKNC, submitted a series of three promotional designs created for the show.

Maddie Jennette, a May 2023 graduate in computer engineering and the station’s general manager from 2021-2023, took third place in the contest with a design promoting the station’s Double Barrel Benefit 19 concert.

The contest features categories such as front page and special section design, digital storytelling, alternative story format, infographics and promotions and advertising. Judges for the contest included representatives from the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Walt Disney Company.

WKNC typically fairs well in the contest, also earning honors for promotions and advertising in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2021.

DJ Highlights

WKNC raises more than $1,600 for affordable housing

Written by Eilee Centeno, WKNC Promotions Director

WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2 joined student organizations from across NC State to raise more than $1,600 for Habitat for Humanity in the annual Shack-A-Thon fundraiser.

DJ Highlights

“Geet Bazaar” is moving to RadioNyra

Beginning on Sunday, May 14, “Geet Bazaar” is officially moving from WKNC 88.1 to RadioNyra.

John Caldwell and Afroz Taj will continue hosting “Geet Bazaar” at the same time, Sunday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The long-running program plays a wide variety of South Asian music from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and beyond. Tune in for Bollywood film songs from yesterday and today, along with ghazals, qawwalis, folk tunes, and much more. They also track community events and interview celebrities from the entertainment industry.

“Geet Bazaar” fans can tune in online at, or by asking Google, Siri or Alexa to “Play RadioNyra.”

You can also still tune in on three new radio frequencies at WCMC-FM 99.9-HD4, W270DT 101.9 FM and WDUR 1490 AM.

If you want to know more about this change and why “Geet Bazaar” and WKNC are parting ways read about the decision to discontinue regular DJ shifts by non-NC State students.

DJ Highlights

DJ Profiles: President Shrimpo

DJ Name: President Shrimpo

Show Name: Fireside Chats

Show Description: Do you like rock and roll? Do you enjoy eating raw onions like apples? Would you vote for President Shrimpo for four nonconsecutive presidential terms? If you said yes to any of these questions you should listen to Fireside Chats with President Shrimpo! Fireside Chats is the preeminent place to find music on this hemisphere of the Earth, so listen or you’ll feel a great sense of emptiness in your life!

I know the music you grew up listening to is a big part of the music you gravitate towards… What other influences are present in your sets?

So much of my taste in music definitely comes from my parents, but I’ve been really fortunate to have a lot of friends who also loved music a lot. And so like, I have a friend who was like, super into Oingo Boingo and that got me into a new wave phase and that definitely has influenced me. I’m also watching video essays about music which has helped me broaden my horizons and pick out stuff that I don’t think I would have ever found just by, you know, listening to the music my parents do.

What is the story behind your DJ name and show name?

Okay, so there’s layers to the story. Over the pandemic, I really fixated on American, presidential, and political history. I liked the idea of theming myself around that. I also find silly little critters like shrimp and worms and stuff funny. There was a live stream series that this guy Zach Hadel did, called the very positive stream, where he would draw things and take suggestions. One of the things that he drew was the assassination of President Shrimpo Jones. And that was just such a silly thing to me that I sort of thought of that while I was coming up with my DJ name, so I pretty directly lifted that. And then Fireside Chats is a reference to FDR and his Fireside Chats because it was like, you know, that’s sort of like the most famous thing a president has ever done on the radio. And so I thought, I should have my own Fireside Chats.

What is your favorite aspect of being a DJ?

I love the sense of community that we have here that I like and like the friendships that I’ve built with other DJs. I love being around people who care about music in the same way that I do, even if it’s not the same music. That’s just something that’s very special to me. For example, young iowa has a metal show and I don’t personally like metal but I love hanging out with young iowa during his set, Feedback, just because he loves that kind of music in the same way that I love my own music. So that’s something that’s very special to me. I also love being able to share my music with complete strangers. I have a number of people who regularly call into my set. I don’t know them… I might know some of their names but they’re essentially strangers to me. But we are able to talk about something that we both really love and that’s very special to me.

Do you have a favorite phone call you’ve ever gotten?

Okay, so I have this guy who regularly calls into my set. Before I even knew his name, I always knew that it was him calling me because he would always tell me what he was doing while he was listening to my set. He would call in and say I’m doing the dishes or I’m out in my garage or whatever. Most recently, he called in and told me after we were done talking about the music, he said, I’m gonna go back to cooking my beans now, and I just thought that was a really funny moment.

How has your show evolved over time?

I would say, like, on a technical level, my show has changed because the first semester or so of me being a DJ I would always script everything I would say beforehand. I also didn’t have a good system of structuring how many songs I would put between air breaks. But I ended up doing a joint set with my friend young iowa and he does his shows very differently from how I did mine. He improvises everything he says and has a very strict pattern of blocks of three songs in between air breaks. I tried that and found that it really worked for me and I was able to have more structure to my sets and also gave me more room to improvise more and talk more naturally on air. I also changed the sort of music I play. Early on, I just wanted to exclusively play punk and post punk. But over time I have mellowed out and have been more receptive to playing more pop stuff. I think in the beginning I had some misconceptions about what was acceptable to play on college radio, and so I think my intentions of what I want to play changed over time. 

Do you have any guilty pleasure music?

I definitely have some stuff that I would not play on air, but mostly because it’s, like, more popular. Like I love Nirvana and I really enjoy The Beatles and Arctic Monkeys. But like, none of that stuff would fit in with my show and I might also get some flack for playing that on a college radio station because those aren’t like… deep cuts.  I also love really goofy old country music. I play some of that on air but that’s mostly self indulgence.

Any messages for the constituents of your nation?

My 2024 campaign trail is in full swing. I’m going to keep fighting hard to institute a shrimp backed currency. Additionally, in my second term I’m going to mandate free ponies for everybody. If I’m re-elected to a second term things are going to get way better.

DJ Highlights

The Seven Year DJ, Spaceman Spiff

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Jeremy Leonard, also known as DJ Spaceman Spiff, who was a WKNC DJ for seven years between 2008 and 2015. Jeremy fulfilled a variety of roles within his time at WKNC including Station Librarian and Daytime Assistant Music Director. 

Within his time at NC State, he received his Bachelor of Architecture within the College of Design, receiving numerous awards and recognition. Jeremy later went on to receive his Master of Architecture from Yale University.

 I met Jeremy last semester, who at the time was my architecture studio professor. Upon learning of his involvement with WKNC earlier this semester, it was only fitting to set up an interview.

I would like to highlight, there are very few students that have the opportunity to be involved with WKNC for such a long period of time, let alone the sheer drive and love for it.

It was clear in our interview that Jeremy has a profound passion for local and underexposed music, a love that was curated throughout his life and prospered within WKNC. 

My discussion with him really opened my eyes to how passionate DJs can be about the music they put on the air. Radio is so much more than music– it is an outreach, a platform for underexposed music and a powerful form of self expression. 

Our discussion also introduced me to some absolutely phenomenal bands. If you are interested in hearing some of DJ Spaceman Spiff’s picks, he created a playlist of some of his favorite and nostalgic tracks from his time at WKNC. You can find his playlist on Spotify.

Below are some of the highlights from our discussion.

Read more: The Seven Year DJ, Spaceman Spiff

How did you get involved with WKNC?

I grew up in Raleigh and went to high school in Garner. I used to listen to WKNC in high school and my older sister listened to it too. I very much looked up to my sister so I gravitated towards WKNC to be more like her in a way…. also the show The OC. My sister bought the show soundtrack which had some awesome indie rock songs featured on the show, and I was craving more of that style. I started listening to WKNC to find more bands that had that sound.  I used to listen to WKNC on the way to my high school. My favorite DJ was Rochester, who had a show called “Carpooling with Rochester”.  He had a great personality and played killer music. 

I knew as soon as I became a NC State student I wanted to be a DJ. In my first week of school, I attended Welcome Week and signed up for a training session… DJ Sweet Annie Rich was my trainer. She had an Americana show but I ended up going the  daytime rock route. 

The coolest thing about WKNC is that they play everything.  I’m not into Chainsaw Rock, but I love that they play metal and have a devoted audience.  I wouldn’t have heard great electronic music if not for Afterhours.

Can you describe your involvement with WKNC? What year did you start and what roles did you fulfill in your time at the station?

I started in 2008 when I was a freshman. I graduated in 2013, but Jamie let me continue my show into 2015.

During my freshman year, I was the librarian and I helped organize the CD collection.  I was also an assistant daytime music director for my first couple years at the station.  In that role, I would review five to ten albums a week.

There is an unbelievable amount of music released every month.I had to open my mind and expand my taste so that I could be better at my job.  Between me and the other music directors, we would select the songs that would be put into rotation–I wanted to make sure that our selections were catchy but also boundary-pushing. By reviewing so much music, I listened to albums I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Are there any artists or albums that you found during your time at WKNC that you still listen to? If not, what do you find yourself gravitating toward today?

I still listen to many of the albums I discovered at WKNC. There is this band called Royal Bangs, whose music is unbelievably rambunctious and infectious.  Their second album, called “Let It Beep“, I thought was just f—ing awesome.

Another was Casiotone For The Painfully Alone. He makes these melancholy, two-minute pop songs built around warbly synths and lo-fi percussion.  Throw Me The Statue and Portland Cello Project are two others that I particularly liked from my time reviewing albums. 

All just really good music that I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.

My musical interests are still focused around sad people with guitars, but  I’m a musical omnivore, and listen to a little of everything. I listen to bluegrass and Robyn… I still love indie music and I love a good pop song. 

What was the origin of your DJ name?

My DJ name was Spaceman Spiff, which is an alter-ego of Calvin from the comic Calvin and Hobbes.  He would daydream being a lonely space explorer when he was supposed to be paying attention at school. I’d like to think my time as a DJ was my escape from the intensity of my college classes.

Are there any particular artists or songs that motivated you to join WKNC?

The station’s support of the Triangle’s music scene is what I found most appealing.

I remember being blown away when I heard Hammer No More The Fingers song “Vodka Grasshopper” on the airwaves.  This was music you could only hear on WKNC–no one else was covering it, except for the Independent. 

I also love Double Barrel Benefit. Max Indian’s set in 2010 was a major highlight for me.  On their album, their songs sound lo-fi, but on stage, it sounded like blistering, stone cold classic rock.  They’re a band that I think should have been huge.  

Without WKNC’s guiding light,  I never would have heard the album  “Antarctica” by The Never.  Their lush pop-rock soundtracked an exquisitely illustrated storybook by singer Noah Smith.    WKNC is so important in my life for introducing me to this music and a multitude of phenomenal NC-based artists.

Given your experience as an Assistant Music Director and DJ, where do you recommend finding artists that don’t get a lot of exposure?

The radio, of course!  I’m always jotting down songs that I liked on WKNC.  I used to have a piece of paper in my car where I would log the times to look up when I got back to my computer, but now the station provides scrolling text that displays directly on my dashboard!  . 

When I was in high school my options to discover music were the radio or I would go to and listen to 30 second clips of songs. This around 2004 to 2006 when I was first finding music on my own and platforms like Spotify were not around.

These days, YouTube and Spotify have good algorithms. If you listen to things a little off the radar they will feed you things similar to that. I know I’m praising the dark side.  Although these platforms can be the enemies of smaller artists, they also provide a good platform to discover them.

In my experience, Bandcamp is the best platform for discovery.  I’ll click around on people’s pages and find what they’re enthusiastic about. 

One band that I found this way is default genders.  They make really emotional  synth pop music.  Their album “Main Pop Girl 2019” is jaw-dropping.  It was only after I heard that album that I realized  I heard of them originally on WKNC, back when they made music as Elite Gymnastics Bandcamp + WKNC for the win.

How did WKNC benefit or influence your college career?

Finding all this new music was incredible, but I also became really good friends with my co-DJs. I had a show with my friend Kirsten (DJ Vice) and Justin (J Town) for a couple years called the “After School Special”, which usually was Wednesdays from 5 to 7pm. The three of us would push each other really well. We would bring in music the others didn’t know, and we would all bring different music together and suggest things that the others would like. 

It was also nice to get out of the College of Design for a bit. I would  go to the literal opposite side of campus and engage with the broader college. WKNC allowed me to get outside of the bubble. I love architecture but I love music just as much if not more. I would say more.

Concluding Thoughts

If you are interested in reading up more on Jeremy and his architectural work, you can explore his online portfolio. Beyond having a large array of musical knowledge and DJ experience, he has a stunning array of architectural work.

It was a treat to interview DJ Spaceman Spiff and get another perspective into the WKNC experience.

Stay tuned for more DJ interviews in the near future.

DJ Highlights

WKNC wins Spirit of College Radio award

Written by Grant Eubanks, WKNC promotions director

Student radio station WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2 is one of 10 winners of the Spirit of College Radio Awards 2021.

WKNC celebrated World College Radio Day on Oct. 1, 2021 with a 24-hour lock-in in their studios in Witherspoon Student Center, complete with a 24-hour YouTube live stream, 24 one-hour DJ sets on WKNC’s HD-1 channel, 16 hours of live DJs on WKNC HD-2, live posting on social media and a documentary-style recap.

Produced by WKNC video content creator Elle Bonet, a third-year student studying communication-media, “WKNC 24 HOUR LOCK IN RECAP” documented DJs and staff celebrating the day and hosting NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson on an episode of Three Bears In a Coat’s radio block “Ride Along” all while fighting off sleep deprivation.

“This was the first time WKNC has ever done a 24 hour event to celebrate World College Radio Day,” said Maddie Jennette, a fourth-year computer engineering student and WKNC general manager. “To have planned all of this only a few days before it happened, and then win a Spirit of College Radio award for everything we did, is such an honor.”

More than 600 college radio stations in 40 countries participated in World College Radio Day, founded in 2010 to highlight the importance of student-run college radio. The Spirit of College Radio Awards are presented annually by the College Radio Foundation to “shine a spotlight on stations that not only go above and beyond to celebrate the annual [World College Radio Day] event but also embody the passion and mission of college radio.”

Below is the complete list of the Spirit of College Radio Award 2021 winners.

  • Aggie Radio 92.3 KBLU LP Logan — Utah State University (USA)
  • RADIO-E — Universidad de Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
  • The Revolution, Rev 89 — Colorado State University- Pueblo (USA)
  • UPFM — University of Patras Radio (Greece)
  • UST Tiger Radio — University of Santo Tomas (Philippines)
  • WKNC 88.1 HD-1/HD-2 — North Carolina State University (USA)
  • WLMC Landmark College Radio — Landmark College (USA)
  • WMSC 90.3 FM — Montclair State University (USA)
  • WOLF Radio — University of West Georgia (USA)
  • WWSU 106.9 FM — Wright State University (USA)
DJ Highlights

Set Highlight: Liminal Spaces with cow ball, “Warm Rain at Night”

A liminal space is: “a location which is a transition between two other locations, or states of being.” Liminal spaces like airports or staircases are fascinating to conceptualize and a DJ at WKNC, cow ball, has a new show dedicated to putting a soundtrack to these kinds of spaces. So far, she has done a set about art museums, sparse snow, twilight, and this past week she did a set about warm rain at night. 

These sets truly transcend you into another space, and for an hour bring an otherworldly sense of peace. And cow ball is truly dedicated to bringing listeners to this world with her: finding images every week that correspond with the theme and uploading them to her Spinitron. She describes these sets as “​​an exploration into various moods and atmospheres, often ones best described by images.” On Liminal Spaces, you can expect to hear artists like Broadcast, Hop Along, Stereolab and Sylvan Esso  (although it varies from week to week).

If you missed her “Warm Rain at Night”  set, you can find it on Spinitron, and the songs are also listed below.

  • “Apartment Song” – Really From
  • “Al oeste” – Juana Molina
  • “Yonder Blue” – Tortoise 
  • “Chegada” – Joyce, Baba Vasconcelos & Mauricio Maestro
  • “Find It” – L’Rain
  • “Trouble Found Me” – Hop Along
  • “Hey, Who Really Cares” – Linda Perhacs
  • “You Are Not an Island” – Vanishing Twin
  • “Midnight, The Stars and You” – Deerhoof
  • “Poly Blue” – Jessica Pratt
  • “Orange Moon” – Erykah Badu
  • “Run” – Andie
  • “I Found the End” – Broadcast

You can listen to Liminal Spaces with cow ball every Wednesday at 5 p.m. 

Happy listening,


DJ Highlights

2010s Indie-Pop: Set Highlight

Remember 2013? Packaging yourselves into Tumblr aesthetics, extremely synthy indie-pop music and “The Fault In Our Stars” being the biggest novel. I long for that simpler time, and have been thinking about it recently. So, naturally, I decided to do a set revolving around the music of the early 2010s indie-pop including all of the usual suspects: MGMT, STRFKR, Passion Pit, Phoenix, HAIM and more. 

Making and airing the set filled me with a warm nostalgia to the Nth degree, and I figured I would share it with the blog. Without further ado, here are the songs I chose to include in my 2010s indie-pop set. You can find this set on Spinitron or as a Spotify playlist.

  • “Intro” – M83
  • “Follow You (pangea version)” – Future Islands
  • “Honey & I” – HAIM
  • “Ready, Able” – Grizzly Bear
  • “Myke Ptyson” – STRFKR
  • “It’s Working” – MGMT
  • “It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy” – Passion Pit
  • “Love Like A Sunset, Pt. 1” – Phoenix
  • “Obvious Bicycle” – Vampire Weekend
  • “Transpose” – Bad Suns
  • “Paris” – Geographer
  • “Atop A Cake” – Alvvays
  • “The World Is Watching” – Two Door Cinema Club, Valentina Pappalardo
  • “Lately” – Washed Out

Until next time,


DJ Highlights

Thanksgiving Dinner Set w/ carbon copy

A few months ago, my family came to visit me, and it was then the idea was born that me and my father should do a radio set together. I figured the Tuesday before Thanksgiving would be a good time for that (for travel reasons), and I gave my dad free reign on what to put on the set. He decided to make a set themed around Thanksgiving dinner and the progression of the night and foods you might eat. I love how creative he was with it and was very impressed with how all of the songs mesh together perfectly.

Without further ado, here is DJ GCarr’s Thanksgiving playlist:

  • “I Thank You – LP/Single Version” — Sam & Dave
  • “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf)” — Sly & The Family Stone
  • “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got” — William DeVaughn
  • “Save The Bones for Henry Jones” — Nat King Cole
  • “(Do The) Mashed Potatoes” — James Brown
  • “Mashed Potato Time” — Dee Dee Sharp
  • “My Sweet Potato” — Booker T. & the M.G.’s 
  • “Sweet Pea” — Tommy Roe
  • “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” — Ohio Express
  • “Cold Turkey” — Lenny Kravitz
  • “Mother Freedom” — Bread
  • “Long Tall Glasses” — Leo Sayer
  • “Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” — Jay & The Techniques
  • “Pecan Pie” — Golden Smog
  • “One More Cup Of Coffee” — Bob Dylan
  • “Goodbye” — Mary Hopkin
  • “Leaving on a Jet Plane” — Peter, Paul and Mary
  • “Take Me Home Country Roads” — Ray Charles

It was very fun to switch up what I normally play on my sets, and it really renewed my creative interest in what is possible for future sets of mine. The set is on Spinitron and Spotify.

Until next time,