WRMC Meet Your DJ: Mikaela Chang

Student DJ Mikaela Chang discusses what makes radio special and shares her recent picks of  music and campus events.

“I didn’t know anything about college radio,” Chang says about her introduction to WRMC four years ago. It was all word of mouth, and she and a friend decided to sign up without any prior opinions. Chang calls her first show kind of embarrassing. The idea was to pick songs in relative major and minor key signatures each week, and the show’s description earnestly encouraged the intended audience: “Confuzzled? Tune in, you’ll get it.”

As for Chang’s  current show: “It’s called ‘ho hum,’” she smiles, “kind of like a sigh, but also like you’re in thought.” It airs Thursday nights from 10  to 11 p.m., and it is Chang’s musical diary. 

“I wanted the solo space to flesh out my own thoughts.” ho hum’s stream of consciousness style allows Chang to actively analyze her current music choices. The show’s content has changed notably since its beginning in Fall of 2016, but she still enjoys the personal, sometimes scary experience of sharing her ideas on air. “They’re thoughts you would write in a journal,” she says, not necessarily things one would easily tell the listening public face-to-face.

The show also revolves around her desire to share meaningful discussions with other Middlebury students. “Hey stranger  — it’s been a minute! Let’s talk,” the description reads. Chang describes the experience of seeing people around campus and feeling the impossibility of holding a long conversation. Radio, she finds, is an effective medium to make those exchanges happen. 

Additionally, Mikaela is on WRMC’s executive board as part of the concerts committee. She enjoys working behind the scenes and, “hearing about what the audience wants.” She also acknowledges the unfortunate enduring image of WRMC as an exclusive organization and considers part of her role to be working to dispel that. “I hate that there are still people who are scared of [WRMC].” She recognizes some competing visions for the station and varying levels of perceived inclusivity from different students. “Straight up, explicitly, I wanted to be a representative of Middlebury’s POC community.” Chang hopes that the future of Middlebury college radio continues to involve diverse participation and creativity from a wide range of students.

To find new music and updates, “I heavily, heavily depend on Spotify,” Chang admits. She uses the Release Radar and genre categories. “R&B Soul is something I listen to a lot.” Inevitably, though, she still misses many exciting releases. “It’s awesome and also the most stressful thing ever.”

Chang’s recent music picks include a new album, “sleepless in ______” by Epik High (Chang describes them as “an old Korean hip-hop group”) and the music video for Doja Cat and Rico Nasty’s collaboration, “Tia Tamera.” 

“Tierra Whack just came out with a couple singles, too,” she suggests.

Asked to put together a spring break playlist, Chang had a hard time narrowing it down. 

“When I think about going home, for some reason I play a lot of Frank Ocean…I don’t know why, but I’d probably just be listening to anything by him.” Also on the list were Latin trap artist Bad Bunny and some reggaetón, along with a nod to her mom’s music taste: “My mom really likes K-pop, and so I’d probably be listening to a lot of BTS. She’s a hardcore fan.”

Chang also stressed exploring the events happening right on campus. “If there’s anything that four years at Midd has taught me, it’s that there is always something cool happening.” She highlights WRMC’s annual spring concert, Sepomana, this April and the Korean Culture Show on May 3. She also recommends checking out arts events in the Gamut Room, at the Mill, and at the MAC.

WRMC has just released an app to make listening even easier — search WRMC Radio on the App Store or Google Play to keep up with Mikaela’s show and explore the others happening almost all day, every day.