Andrew Jezak: KSCU and the Evolution of Music
Andrew Jezak is a senior civil engineering major and the director of KSCU, Santa Clara’s radio station. You can tune into KSCU at 103.3 FM in the Santa Clara area.
In this conversation, we discuss the wide range of ways that KSCU promotes campus music, trends in the music industry, how Spotify is changing the way we consume music, and what it feels like to be a senior.
Gavin Cosgrave: Can you introduce yourself and your role at the campus radio station KSCU?
Andrew Jezak: I’m the general manager for KSCU this year. Our primary role is to get people to come on air and be a DJ. It’s as simple as plugging an aux cord to a laptop. It’s a fun and cathartic way to relax from the week and be in a space that loves music. We like to extend the campus love for music.
GC: What are some of the other things KSCU does?
AJ: When it comes to extracurricular music on campus, it falls to us at KSCU to make a platform for music appreciation and music love. What we want to do is make a platform for kids who play music to showcase their talents. Some of the things we’re rolling out this year are forge garden sessions on Thursdays, and we’re hoping to schedule more live open mics for kids of all ages, talents and abilities to sing in front of a live audience. It’s something that everyone, if you’re capable of it, should do. It helps us grow.
GC: How do you think the internet and streaming services are changing the way we consume music?
AJ: When we were growing up, you just listened to the radio. Because of that radio culture, we knew a very select number of songs as kids. We had a baseline foundation of radio songs that travelled through all of us.
Now as we see Spotify and streaming platforms come to be, younger kids don’t share that foundational knowledge or set of songs. I think it’s great that we can share artists who may not be known just by the radio. It’s great for discovery reasons, but it’s driving our musical tastes in a lot of different tangents.
GC: That’s one of the things the internet does. You go from everyone reading the New York Times and watching the same three channels, to everyone having niche communities and interests. There’s still at top 40 playlist, but people can have large sub-communities because of the internet.
AJ: The streaming services came out around our first year of high school, and they’ve taken the world by storm. For better or for worse, we’re here. But I think it’s great. From a discovery standpoint, the amount of music you can sift through in a day has changed drastically. It’s up to you to discover new stuff.
GC: What do you think the relationship is between live music and the ease of access of music.
AJ: I think there is a resurgence of live music. You see more bands making an album on the road and doing a ton of tours. Touring is in right now; people want to see live music. It’s a tangible feel. You go and see a live artist visually create what you hear in an album… it’s special. You’re sharing in their creation. It’s a feeling that is indescribable when it’s a band you’ve loved for a long time. It’s also a good way to discover through openers. There are some really good ones.
GC: What piece of advice would you give to a first-year student?
AJ: Do something that scares you. Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Because when you’re at your most vulnerable, you’re the most you. If that means walking into a club meeting you know no one at, you’re being vulnerable. People love authenticity and it shows.