Center Stage on Live365 this week is BLAX Radio - "Power 2 the People, and the Beats!" We spoke with station manager DJ Rage about their history with radio, their station's programming, and we got some music recommendations. Check out the interview below!
What made you get started in radio?
I first started in radio in 1991. I went to San Jose State University, and worked with the community and other students to battle to get air time on the school's FM station. Through protest, meetings, and organizational support from other groups, we gained a "format" of 20 hours a week on the radio station. Our work helped get the station, KSJS, "best college radio station" in the nation a few years in a row. We started a flagship talk show "Race for the Times" about race and diversity in America, which will soon be a documentary. We broke ground with Project Sound Hip Hop, which aired uncensored music all night Friday.
What brought you to Live365?
When we first left radio, right before the first iteration of Live365, we started a streaming station and website prior to the rules and regulations on streaming now. That only lasted until laws were put into place. Then, when Live365 came back, we decided it was time for our radio work to come back, and start a station of our own.
What's your favorite part about running your own radio station?
The content, the music, the ideas are all ours. Working at different radio stations in my career, there is oftentimes a lot of red tape by PDs and the like. Meanwhile, the ones who know music the best, in our opinion, are the deejays.
Tell us about your station's programming. What can listeners expect when they tune in to your station?
A salute to all genres of Black music. Hip Hop, funk, soul, and more. Our mission is to increase and cultivate great Black music old and new. As much of traditional radio dies, the early casualties have been Black radio. Many of the stations that played, soul, quiet storm, hip hop, etc. have become cookie cutter stations with the same songs played all day.
Name one artist that you play on your station that is underrated in your opinion.
What's your favorite music memory/moment?
I went to the Fresh Festival Concert in 1985, featuring Run DMC, Fat Boys, Whodini, and many of the best Golden Age artists.
Please list your top 5 or 10 songs, with a brief reason why the songs made your list.
"Got to Give It Up" - Marvin Gaye
Classic party song, so good it was copied.
"Higher Ground" - Stevie Wonder
Such a statement with one song, one of the most talented artists of our time!
"Temptations" - Tupac
Amazing artist, gone too soon. This song always gets our head noddin'!
"Jamming" - Bob Marley & The Wailers
One of the most important artists of our time.
"Sacrifices" - Dreamville feat. EARTHGANG, J. Cole, Smino, & Saba
Amazing sound. Dreamville, J. Cole's label, is doing great things, bringing soul back to music!!
These 5 are not my all time favs, but a sample of what Blax Radio plays on the daily!
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