Going Underground with the Cypher

By Andronica Owens
Blog Content Contributor

In celebration of College Radio Day, local DJs share their experiences with music and how it has impacted their lives leading to them wanting to inspire others.

College Radio Day was founded in 2010, and is an event dedicated to high school and college radio stations around the world. KTSW, the official radio station of Texas State, has joined the festivities and is doing a 24-hour broadcast with ticket giveaways.

Daniel Richter, DJ Dirty Dan, and Mariah Whitley, DJ EyeQ, are the hosts of The Cypher, an underground hip-hop and rhythm and blues (r&b) specialty show that plays on KTSW. The show focuses on current trends, events in hip-hop and interviews with artists on air.

“Hip hop is in a really cool spot in pop culture right now,” Richter said. “It’s the new rock ‘n’ roll.”

The DJs are using hip-hop, with its upbeat rhythm and poetic lyrics, as a tool to connect with their audience in order to influence them in ways that only music can.

“I’ve always liked the idea of being able to influence people’s mood with music, “Whitley said. “I saw that a DJ could do this and that’s what pulled me into the craft.”

With other radio personalities as their inspiration, finding their voice and being on the air was a natural step for the DJs. They had a history with music and The Cypher was an opportunity for them to help listeners experience the same feelings they had when listening to good music.

“I want the audience to be thrilled when we play an amazing artist they have never heard before,” Richter said. “I’ve discovered a lot of great artists through radio and YouTube personalities and I want to be that for someone else.”

The goal of College Radio Day is to encourage students all over to tune in to their local radio station and see what it is they have to offer. Richter and Whitley are proving to be beneficial to the cause, drawing listeners in with their charisma on air.

“They’re very energetic and interactive with the listeners on air,” Program Director, Sami Dugdale, said. “Before I hired them I could tell this would be a good duo.”

The Cypher airs on Mondays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. KTSW also offers a variety of other shows students are able to tune into. For more information on specialty shows and College Radio Day, visit KTSW’s website.

“What do you have to lose by listening to us?” Richter said. “Nothing. We play the songs most stations are too lame to play.”

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