Pitch Please: WOZQ Radio Host Emily Wilson Talks Music

Sarah Robbins '17 Assistant Features Editor 

 

WOZQ is Smith’s radio station and has been running since 1949, making it one of the oldest collegiate stations headed by women. The station runs every day from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. This week I sat down with music major and WOZQ DJ Emily Wilson ’17 to discuss her experiences with Smith radio and in the greater world of music.

 

What made you decide that you wanted to start DJ-ing for WOZQ?

I always like making playlists and making mix CDs for my friends. For our winter weekend I asked to do the music, just on my laptop, just making playlists, but I thought it’d be fun to send it out through the airwaves of Smith College.

 

Do you feel like the radio is a good outlet for people who are interested in media and communications?

Yeah. I don’t know how much people actually listen to it, especially at 8 am on a Saturday, but it’s really fun for me to just be like — hey, this is the music I like, here are upcoming concerts, here are fun facts about music and whether or not people are listening, it’s fun feeling like you are being heard. And it’s fun for me too, just to listen to other peoples’ shows and see what other kind of music interests people.

 

What kind of music do you play on your show?           

Um, its called, “Pitch Please, Sass and Folk with Hannah and Wilson,” and it’s all folk music from modern day folk, except sometimes I slip in some Cat Stevens or Simon and Garfunkel. But, we play a lot of Hannah and Maggie, the Head and the Heart, the Weepies.

 

Is that the kind of music you grew up listening to?

I grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens, and as I got older, I went back to my house and I was looking through our CDs and I started listening to that kind of music, and then I realized — there’s people doing it now. So it’s not all from the 60s and 70s. A lot of the modern stuff that I listen to now has sort of its roots in the older, traditional folk. A lot of things sort of sound like Joni Mitchell and the Indigo Girls.

 

Is there any way to know how many people are listening?

When the radio show is actually airing, you can only know how many people are listening through like the online streaming thing. The most we’ve had is four. That was the big day. It was my mom, Hannah’s mom, our friend Emma, and my aunt from Idaho. So you know, we got a big listener base. Hannah puts all of our [music] on Spotify, and so she has one huge Spotify play list. You can just shuffle it all. And I put it on 8tracks, which is really cool, because it’s free, and it doesn’t have ads that play.

 

 

Do you feel like uploading it to things like Spotify and Facebook will increase the listenership?

Yeah. I think, it hasn’t increased the listenership throughout this semester, but we have a lot of plays on the play list on 8tracks. Our most is like 160 something, so people are listening to the music, they’re just not waking up for it, which is perfectly fine because if I were in their position I probably wouldn’t either. It’s fun to see all the data- what are people’s favorite and what people listen to a lot. It’s fun to be able to put together what I like and have other people like it (laughter).