Each week The Mac Weekly speaks with a DJ on Macalester’s radio station, 91.7 WMCN. This week we sat down with Alia Baitie ’18 and Miriam Osman ’18. Tune in on Sundays from 10 to 11pm.
What is your show and what can a listener expect when tuning in?
Miriam Osman: Our show is called “Sampled.” It’s an entire hour of songs paired with the songs that they are sampling. Expect unexpected samples—some of it is crazy stuff you would never expect.
Alia Baitie: We find that hip-hop samples very well; it takes something out of the original and makes it a story.
What do you try to accomplish with having a radio show?
AB: Bringing in new sounds to Mac, definitely. The radio is pretty white and we want to bring in more diversity in content for shows. We know there’s a couple more shows that are doing this too, but music of color that I can really vibe to—that’s what we want to get on the air. We also delve deeper into hip-hop.
MO: Yeah, lots of the songs are written off as mainstream, but there’s really so much depth in the songs. It’s so creative. People just write it off as mainstream because they hear it on the radio, when it’s much more than that.
How do you select your music?
AB: On the fly. Whatever takes our fancy that night. It’s a good pick-me-up because it’s something we look forward to just before Monday.
MO: We use an app—Who Samples. You can put in any song and it will find songs that sample that song. We cheat (laughs).
AB: But we always pick songs that we like and then find what they sample.
What was the last song you listened to? Does this reflect what you play on your show?
AB: “Sealed with a Kiss.” It’s an old ’60s song by Bobby Vinton. I love ’60s music.
MO: The last song I listened to today … it was an Egyptian folk love song, “Lally.”
Any new music obsessions you’ve just discovered?
MO: Solange’s new album. I’m also really into the videos. I like her better than Beyoncé. She’s a lot more relatable; she talks about realer problems. Just listen to the songs and you’ll hear it, you’ll get it. Pay attention to the interludes on the album, that’s where a lot of the real talk happens, like about racism. AB: (laughs) I don’t like Solange—she’s more of a bitch.
MO: But maybe that’s what’s so great about her. ‘Cause she’s black, indie and alternative. And you don’t see that.
AB: So recently I found three female artists randomly on Youtube—Jorja Smith, Mabel and ABRA. I was going down the rabbit hole of YouTube-related music, and came across them.
MO: We both love lounge music. It’s so underrated.
AB: It’s great when you just need something quiet and chill to listen to on the way to class.
Worst things you’ve heard recently?
MO: I don’t listen to bad music (laughs).
AB: I also don’t really consider it listening to bad music. There’s no music critiquing, because every song brings something to the table, to adapt a quote from Michael Griffin, a Media and Cultural Studies prof who said something similar on film critiquing.
MO: Yeah, everything has its own merit.