Spotlight: Smith’s “Halloween Queen,” DJ Mara Keledei ’16

Zane Razzaq ’15
Arts Editor

What is your role in WOZQ?

I am a music director and I also have [a] specialties show called “The Graveyard Shift.” I work with promo companies, and they send us new music every week. They’ll send us about 20 physical albums and a bunch of downloads. We work with them and College Music Journal and chart what songs are getting plays. So, off the top of my head, Frank Ocean, Tegan and Sara and STRFKR are doing well. We just got new albums by Devendra Banhart, David Bowie and They Might be Giants, too.

[W]e tell [the promo companies] the new releases that are getting plays. Every [WOZQ] DJ is supposed to log their shows and tell us what they are playing; from those logs, we chart the top songs for CMJ and the promo companies.

Has WOZQ been doing anything new recently?

We now have web-streaming so now anybody can listen! We are working on improvements, like having pre-recorded shows and better automation. That way, we can be on air 24/7.

What does WOZQ play?

We’re free-form, not a commercial radio station, meaning the students are in charge. We can play anything we want within FCC regulations. We have a female-rap show, a Motown show, a science show and a show called “Songs Your Mom Listened To.” We have “Oasis,” which plays Arabic music. We have Black Barbie Radio – they play “the best of the best rap, reggae, and hip hop music” and have discussions about issues important to the black community. I think it’s really cool, since that show’s been passed down from DJ to DJ over the years, to have it continue. We have a few news shows that have general current events and “Popped Off,” which features stories about celebrities behaving badly.

Does WOZQ have events coming up?

We have RAW – Radio Awareness Week. It happens twice a semester; this time it will be April 6 to the 13. We’re planning on having [poet, rapper, actor] Mykki Blanco come and do a concert to kick off RAW. There’ll be different crafts that people can do. Last semester, we had a vinyl melting event. We’ll also be doing an event with the Archives on the history of WOZQ and zine culture. We’ll have an open house for WOZQ, where you can check out the station.

How would you describe your show?

My show is “The Graveyard Shift,” on Mondays from 10 p.m. to midnight. I mostly play rockabilly, horror punk, goth, anything spooky. Bands you’ll usually hear are The Creepshow, Stray Cats, Creature Feature, The Ventures and Koffin Kats. The show is inspired by horror movies, so I talk about what’s new in the genre and review movies, books and comics. I’ll be reviewing Evil Dead next Monday.

What themes has your show used?

Back in February, I did a show for Women in Horror Month and featured 27 different female musicians. Because most horror films are directed by men or star mostly men, it’s difficult for women to have a main role in the genre that isn’t exploitative. So recently the Viscera Organization, a non-profit, put together Women in Horror Month in support of any female-identified genre artists. I also talked about my idea of “feminine horror” and movies like Ginger Snaps and May. I’ve also had a Night of the Living Dead theme, and I’m planning a mad scientist theme for the anniversary of the premiere of Bride of Frankenstein, on April 22.

Where do you find your music?

I look for the soundtracks from some of my favorite films and then most bands I listen to tend to write music about horror films, which fits my theme. I’m ridiculously stubborn about having physical copies of my music, too, so I rarely download anything and am always looking for used music shops.

What music do you like to listen to?

Personally, I’ve been listening to a lot of witch house and grave wave [genre music] lately. I would love to do a show featuring just that. Just glitchy, creepy, dark, industrial! Really different than what I typically play.

Outside of music, what are your interests?

I knit a lot. I’m opening an Etsy shop soon called “Something Spooky! by MaraLikesRobots.” And then I alter clothing, paint and make jewelry. I also really love learning how to do special monster make-up effects, if that counts.

How will music continue to fit into your life after graduation?

I’m interested in audio-engineering. I would love to be a Foley artist; they make the sound effects in films, like glass-breaking and footsteps. I plan to learn upright bass and to continue making and sharing music in some way or another.

For more information on Keledei’s show “The Graveyard Shift,” visit: http://wozqgraveyardshift.tumblr.com/. The show broadcasts Mondays from 10 p.m. to midnight.

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