DJ Diana Sarabia makes KPOET her home

DJ Diana Sarabia makes KPOET her home

Ky Watnick

HEAD COPY EDITOR

   Music lovers of all types unite at KPOET Radio, Whittier College’s own live stream radio station. Second-year Diana Sarabia has worked at KPOET since her first year on campus. Over the last year, she has earned herself the titles of DJ Manager, Album Review Manager, and General Manager of KPOET. 

   Sarabia said she found KPOET at last year’s Activities Fair. Admittedly, KPOET had not yet taken off as a group on campus. “I saw this one lonely guy sitting there at KPOET’s booth, which only had a couple papers and the KPOET sign,” said Sarabia. “I then got a job as an album reviewer, and then slowly moved up the ranks.”

   With all of her responsibilities at KPOET, Sarabia has struggled to find time to DJ this year, but she is making her comeback. “Since management is doing a lot of other things, I haven’t really had the opportunity to [DJ], but I have been putting on playlists. Now, I have a set time . . . on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 – 5:00 where I’ll be DJing,” she said. Sarabia was able to get back into the groove, so to speak, at Poetpalooza, too. “That was interesting, because even sometimes DJing inside the DJ booth and then having people walk by and just start, like, dancing or even shaking their heads — it makes my day because I know that people are enjoying the music that I’m playing.”

  As far as what music that is, Sarabia has her own distinct DJ flavor. “I want to say, more or less, my style is mainly alternative rock, so it could just be rock, it could be going into the subgenres of punk rock — I think those are, like, the main ones — as well as indie.” However, Sarabia is not the only decider of KPOET’s music, even if she is General Manager. “Everybody has a different set of music styles, or even sometimes similar ones, but it always gives us, as I was coming in here, that purpose of, [we are] all different, but, yet, [we are] all the same. We all come from different paths, but we [are] all united here.”

  KPOET has had a dramatic increase in numbers since last year. “Right now, we have a handful of DJs. I think at this current moment we have up to 15 [or] 16 of them,” said Sarabia. “We are always looking for album reviewers, though.” Album-reviewing is one of Sarabia’s specialties. “[It is] fairly easy. You only get one album to review a week, unless you want more. You can always request what album you want to review, and you get paid four hours for each album. Since that one doesn’t have a limited cut-off of people, we are always hiring.”

   KPOET workers have nothing but good to say about their workplace. “[It is] basically my second home because I do live off-campus. So, if I’m not in classes, I’m mainly in there all the time,” said Sarabia. To those that work there, KPOET is more than just a job. It is a place for friendship and for acceptance, all based around a common love of music. “[It is] always an open space for almost anybody and everyone. I remember last year, when KPOET was kind of in its slump, and it was very quiet,” said Sarabia. “Now [it is] getting very rowdy, very noisy, but in a good way . . . everybody is okay with one another, and [we are] just creating bonds.”

   The bonds Sarabia talks about go deeper than just colleague to colleague. “When it comes to experiences, I think, with the people I’ve . . . managed with, they are my closest friends because this is the main way I have connected [to the] campus,” said Sarabia. “I got to meet so many amazing people either at the Activities Fair — wanting to DJ or write album reviews — [or while] DJing at the Poetpalooza.” 

   According to Sarabia, KPOET is looking to rebrand a little. “This year, [we are] mainly recovering everything we had lost and rebuilding everything up. For example, the website that we have right now, which is kpoet.com, [we are] shutting that down and getting a Whittier domain one,” said Sarabia. “[We are] also trying to really up our ante on social media and things like that, as well as, you know, connecting with QC and with . . . getting the student body to know our DJs and our album reviewers.”

   One of the ways that KPOET is bringing more attention to themselves is through their events on campus. Poetpalooza has already passed, as has their first Open Mic Night of the year, but that will not be all for KPOET. “We are really trying to go for Open Mic Nights every single month. Mainly, [it is] going to be on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday basis and, to make it easier on other people, we do want to keep it in school. So, [it is] going to be at Club 88,” said Sarabia. “Our next one is going to be Nov. [9 from 7 – 9 p.m.], and there will be refreshments and goodies, so that will be fun.” 

  Outside of the Open Mic Nights, there is little that has been confirmed. However, there is one large event on the horizon. “Later on in the Spring, we are going to have KFest with local bands, local people, [and] even students who really want to promote themselves and the music that they make — they could always sign up for that as well,” said Sarabia. “[It is] all in the works. Slowly but surely, people are noticing us, and [they are] like, ‘Wait, where do I listen to you?’ Soon enough, I . . . or another person will be creating a flyer saying all our social media [and] sites where you can listen to us at, and all that stuff.”

    If you want to learn more about KPOET, consider dropping by their studio under the Campus Inn and across the hall from the QC office. With their new site currently in the works, KPOET Radio can be found primarily through their live streams. There is a YouTube channel, but it is not the most reliable. According to Sarabia, “the best place to listen to right now is livestream.com/kpoetradio.”