Tuning into Radio Week with Abby Cough ’18

BY ELEANOR HARRIS ’20

This Monday, WMHC kicked off radio week. Every weekday, the radio station will DJ on Skinner Green from 4:30-6:30 p.m., culminating in live music, games and activities for the classes of 2018 and 2020 on Saturday. To celebrate this week of music and fun, we sat down with Abby Cough ’18, who hosts “Dead Air” from 12-2 a.m. on Tuesdays, to learn about her radio show, guilty pleasure songs and wild encounters with M.I.A.

Q: What kind of music do you play?

A: Rap and hip hop, just because I really like it and also because it seemed a little underrepresented. I like all types of rap, really heavy beat stuff and trap music. But because my show is so early in the morning, any of my friends who listen to the show aren’t going to be in a pump up mood, so I try to keep it really mellow. I like to call it rap that you can fall asleep to.

Q: What new music are you into?

A: I got really lucky, because the week after I started, Future dropped two albums within a week and a half of each other, and they were both perfect. They were mellow, they had really great beats ... rappers and pop artists have just been dropping these nice, mellow tracks, which is just the way things are going. Kendrick’s album dropped on Friday, which is super exciting.

 Q: What about old music?

A: I go back and forth, because I do love old school rap. I’m a little more reluctant to play it because not everyone likes it. My favorite old school rap artist is A Tribe Called Quest, they’re very easy to go with. When I’m playing my parents the rap music I like, they’re always like, “We like this!”

Q: What’s your guilty pleasure music?

A: I’d say Shakira is a guilty pleasure for me, or Shania Twain — any female with a beautiful booming voice ... Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood. That probably goes back to when I did theater. 

Q: Take us through the evolution of your taste.

A: It’s a big transformation. I listened to such s----- music when I was younger. My first concert was the Jonas Brothers. I did some theater when I was really little, so I was very into sing-songy things. I appreciate them now, but I’m not [as] into them. This girl I met in eighth grade was such an audiophile with a lot of 80s and 90s alternative rock, so I started listening to that a lot in high school. Later, I was really into Noah and the Whale, Passion Pit, Brown Bird, Tallest Man on Earth -— a lot of folky stuff. I haven’t always been into hip hop and rap. That’s just where I am right now.

Q: Do you listen to other radio shows?

A: I started listening to WMHC in the fall. I’m not a huge fan of the other [local] college radio. It’s too much — all new music, all the time. Or if it’s Hampshire radio, it’s just like, what are you playing? Is this a drum circle

Q: Favorite concert?

A: M.I.A. It was such a good concert. At the very end, she invited all the women to come up on the stage with her, so we all went up there. Any men who tried to get up, the security guards would push them back. I was so close to her. We all stood up there and hung out with her. It was a great moment. 

Q: Do you have any advice for someone starting a radio show?

A: I’m such a baby at it, it feels wrong to give advice. I guess I’m not a big fan of radio shows that talk as if they’re talking to their friends, which some people do. That seems like a big turnoff to me personally. I guess try and keep it professional. It’s college radio and I know at my time mostly only my friends are listening, but I want people to know about the songs that I’m playing.

 

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