WOZQ, Mykki Blanco and the Importance of Professionalism

Jocelyn Proietti ’16
Assistant Features Editor

Saturday, April 6 was the date set for an exciting kick-off to WOZQ’s R.A.W. (Radio Awareness Week). The college’s radio station had been coordinating for almost six months to get artist Mykki Blanco to headline a concert. However, things did not work out quite so seamlessly. Unfortunately for WOZQ, Smithies, and Five College fans alike, Mykki Blanco failed to show. WOZQ released the following statement on the station’s Facebook page:

“We would like to thank everyone that came out last night and those who stayed through his cancellation. We wanted to take the opportunity to clarify what happened last night.

“Due to illness, Mykki Blanco could not perform. Unfortunately, the cancellation occurred extremely late in the night – the party was already starting up when we got word. Once we heard from Mykki’s people, we did everything in our power to try to make the show still happen, to no avail.

“We would like to thank DJ Sol Nova for playing an amazing set & for all of you that came out and had a great night, despite the cancellation.

“If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!”

Even with Mykki’s last-minute cancellation, the night was, on the whole, wildly successful. WOZQ managed to rally together and provide everyone in attendance with a fantastic party. DJ Sol Nova played a wide variety of music and the crowd kept its high energy level even through WOZQ’s announcement that Mykki would not be showing.

However, the entire event raises awareness to a larger issue of how musical artists, like any other person with a chosen career and a need to market and build upon that career, should remain professional. It is no secret that the ability to perform on college campuses and to be played on college radio stations can launch artists into popularity and create the hits of tomorrow. Many times the path to mainstream media popularity is paved by small college stations all around the country. Rappers, such as Drake, filled auditoriums at UMass Lowell long before selling out Madison Square Garden. And it is with this in mind that Mykki Blanco not only did a disservice to WOZQ but also himself.

It is worth mentioning that PRISM co-sponsored the event and rarely are queer artists of color are rarely afforded the opportunity to perform in spaces as queer-friendly as Smith College, let alone find themselves at the center of a queer-sponsored event. Capitalizing on the chance to gain queer fans would have also been ideal for Blanco, as queer fans tend to be more loyal as a whole.

The time and energy spent by WOZQ on this event can never truly be repaid. Organizing a concert requires a great deal of dedication, something that Mykki Blanco seems to lack when it comes to his fans. Notifying WOZQ in a timely manner would have been a great start; students who have taken time out of their hectic schedules should be treated with a certain level of respect and decency.

These students are not just people hoping to make a profit off of a Mykki Blanco event, but fans that wanted to put on a great show. Hopefully this will not happen in the future and events will go more smoothly.

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