KPOET DJ Kris Berardi rocks the campus with funk

KPOET DJ Kris Berardi rocks the campus with funk

WC radio station seeks music diversity within Poet community

Ky Watnick

HEAD COPY EDITOR

   All throughout the Whittier College campus, students produce a variety of different and original media. KPOET Radio focuses on musical media. DJs at KPOET make playlists that are broadcasted onto the KPOET Radio station and serve as on-air personalities. They also help plan and carry out on-campus events. It is both a creative and professional job for students. Second-year Kris Berardi is one such DJ.

     Berardi stumbled upon KPOET almost by accident. “I performed at one of their Open Mic Nights last year, and they were looking for DJs. I was like ‘Hey, that sounds really dope. I have a weird music taste; I would love to share it with the world,’” said Berardi. “I love talking music. It brings people together. So, I became a DJ, and then, this year, I got a little bit of a promotion. Now I am the DJ Manager, along with second-year Diana Serabia. I am also the Event Coordinator this year.”

       Each DJ brings their own style to KPOET. Berardi describes her music taste as ‘a bit strange.’ “It is like space pop and jazzpunk, I guess,” said Berardi. “That is what I have heard people describe it as. It is more like a lot of funky-weird music that not a lot of people have heard of.” Berardi was quick to note that her music taste is not dominant at KPOET. In fact, no one DJ style dominates. “We have people that do all sorts of things. We have jazz and R&B DJs; rap and pop DJs; rock and alternative DJs. Some people are doing cultural music — getting music from all across the world.”

  KPOET has been recruiting more DJs to create a more diverse station. “We are currently hiring DJs of a lot of varieties to try and cover as many genres and cultures of music as we can,” said Berardi. “I think we currently have three returning DJs. We have gotten a lot of really good applications and interviews so far — basically as many as we need to fill our time slots.” DJs do not have to major in music or even want to go into the music industry to work at KPOET. Students of all walks are welcome.

       “I love Whittier because you do not have to just be one thing. I am actually a 3-2 Engineering major,” said Berardi. “[Music] is more of just a pretty big influence in my life. Especially in high school, all my friends, we all listened to the same bands. We would share artists and music [and] go to concerts together all the time. So, it was a huge social aspect of my life in high school, and now it is something that I love.”

  Berardi was asked about the work environment at KPOET and all she could do was smile. “We have a very chill environment. If you were going to picture a radio station environment, we have it. We are very business. We get a lot of work done, but it is a very fun atmosphere. We all get along very well,” said Berardi. “It is a great, positive atmosphere. Once we get up and on the air this year, I hope it is a good place or site that people turn on when they are in a mood to dance, or in a low, or want to study. I just hope that we are a good partner in everybody’s everyday life, I guess, like music has always been a part of mine. Mostly, we just try and spread music around the college campus.” 

  However, producing a live-stream takes a lot of work, especially when there are only a few DJs returning to help make it happen. “We are currently getting a new live-stream service,” said Berardi, “so nothing is up-and-running yet, but we are hoping to get up-and-running by mid-October. We will probably send out a Student-L then and put up flyers telling people to tune in and listen.” KPOET also has not completed work on their new website. “You should be able to find it through the Whittier website (whittier.edu),” said Berardi. “We will get the word out about that when we get it up-and-running.”

 Even without their site, KPOET is staying active on campus. “We [just did] DJing for Poetpalooza. There will be some Open Mic Nights as well,” said Berardi. Open Mic Nights have diverse groups of students perform various original works and covers. “I feel like we get a lot of [music and poetry],” said Berardi. “There are a lot of singer-songwriter types . . . who come out. I have heard some pretty good spoken word. We are hoping to find a few cool bands. I was checking the sign-ups for the next Open Mic Night, and someone signed up for stand-up, which I love. I wish we could have more comedians — that is so cool,” said Berardi. 

   Further regarding Open Mic Night, Berardi said, “We will be trying to do Open Mic at least once a month because I know Whittier has a lot of talented people. I have met a lot of them, so I want to create a really creative space where they can really show off their talents.” 

    Those at KPOET are looking to foster creativity in the students of Whittier College, whether their interest is in music, poetry, or even comedy. This year, they hope to build on the legacy of years past and become a more impressive, more diverse team. Luckily, they have help. “Our faculty advisor is [Assistant Director of Residential Life] Tea Bogue,” said Berardi. “[Bogue] has been literally the most helpful person ever. She is really there for whatever we need, so we have definitely been working very closely with [her].”

  Berardi promises that there are great things to come. “Lots of things are in the works. Just keep your eye out — you will be hearing more from us.” For now, check out kpoetradio.org to see what KPOET has done in the past, and keep an eye out for information on the new website and live-stream service as they are perfected.