SHOW SPOTLIGHT: Stay WOC
by Emily Becker on April 11, 2016
Posted in: Hip Hop, Pop, R&B / Soul, Rock, Show Review
Arianna Reyes hosts Stay WOC, an R&B/Soul show, focusing on music made by women of color. Over spring break, I sat down with Arianna to talk about her show, underrepresentation, and guilty pleasures.
WRMC: How would you describe your show?
Arianna Reyes: I play music exclusively written, performed, created by women of color. And also help people stay woke.
WRMC: How and when did you get involved with WRMC?
AR: Actually I just started my sophomore year. I feel like I should’ve done it my freshman year but, I was just scared of getting involved in anything but most of my friends had radio shows and I did one during J-Term freshman year… Then I was like “OK I should probably have my own show”. I like listening to music, I like sharing music with other people so this is probably a good platform.
WRMC: So how’d you come up with the idea for your show?
AR: I had recently started trying to listen to more women of color artists and I [thought that] one way that I can force myself to explore more of this and get really into it is holding myself accountable [by] having a show. I could play the same things, but usually I do research and find a new person I’ve never heard before and play them. It was kind of a selfish thing for me because I wanted to learn more about a really underrepresented group in music. They don’t get a lot of credit. Especially in music history. Black women created rock and that’s something that’s not talked about that much. Even in hip-hop women are super underrepresented. So all the genres that I love have some really incredible contributions that I wanted to find and share with other people.
WRMC: You seem to primarily play hip-hop but you often have a really eclectic mix of genres and influences beyond rap and R&B. How do you go about curating what’s going to go on your show?
AR: I just listen to a lot of different types of music. I listen to punk but I also listen to hip-hop and a mix of a lot of different [things], like jazz and Billie Holiday. My dad was really into Earth Wind and Fire. I just have a really wide range of music tastes and internal music library and so that kind of comes out in the show because that’s what I like, and I hope that other people like it too. I think that the work people are doing across genres is really awesome
I work so hard to make the transitions work because I play so many different types of music, it’s really important [to have everything come together]…I try to have a loose theme and figure out who I’m going to highlight. Just trying to make sure that all sounds make sense together and it all seems cohesive. If you wanted to, you could make it an album, that kind of cohesion is good.
WRMC:What’s your prep process like? Do you have a favorite part of doing your show?
AR: I have to do so much research. For me it would be so incredibly stressful to do a show without any type of playlist or trajectory… I guess my favorite part is finding the artists and being like “Holy shit, this is incredible! Other people need to hear this!”. The most fun part for me is finding someone [new].
WRMC: Is there anyone you’ve been listening to for a while who you were really excited to turn people onto?
AR: I really like turning people onto OSHUN, they’re a New York City rap duo. They’re really awesome, they both go to NYU. I think they’re our age. They’re starting to get big…it’s so exciting. I have a new person I like to turn people onto—her name is Kali Uchis. She’s Columbian. She did a song with Tyler the Creator recently which was awesome. I also really like “Loner” and she also does a good cover of “Sabor A Mi”.
WRMC: Do you have a guilty pleasure artist?
AR: Maybe Bright Eyes. It’s guilty now, but it’s never been guilty before. Like I went to a Bright Eyes concert. It’s such an angsty band, but it definitely was my life for like 6 years. It definitely was my band… I actually low-key did like Macklemore in 9th grade–“Same Love” was a good song!
WRMC: Who are your top five artists right now?
AR: Right now, at this very moment, I would say today I’ve been really into Leon Bridges. He’s so cute. Chance the Rapper, really into him this week. Definitely Kali Uchis. Always Alabama Shakes. And J.Cole.
WRMC: OK one last question: has anything particularly weird every happened to you on air?
AR: One time the guy who sells vintage clothes called into my show and was like “I just wanted to tell you, you’re a rock and roll queen”–thank you, guy who sells records and vintage clothes. That was definitely a good time.
You can tune in to Stay WOC every Monday evening 6-7PM on WRMC and you can find a sample playlist below.