An Interview with a Teen DJ on KDNK

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Aspen Public Radio Teen DJ
An Interview with a Teen DJ on KDNK

As the silver sliver of a moon cradled itself between the twilight silhouetted hilltops, I switched on Aspen Public Radio to accompany me as I drove down the dark country highway. I was rewarded, as usual, with a melodious stream of music that complimented my state of mind. As if he knew not to break the spell, the DJ slipped in occasionally with a voice as velvety as the music he was playing to give brief poetic descriptions of the artists.

When I pulled up to my house, I remained in the car until the show was over and discovered that the name behind the voice was Will Kahn. I was listening to the Friday night, 10pm, “Will Kahn Show”. Since I know Will’s parents, I reached out.

It’s been about three years since my last interview but I have had a strong desire to reach out to the cool children of our valley and show the diversity and talent that living in a mountain community breeds, as well as close the gap between generations. Will seemed like the perfect segue into a new series on Aspen Real Life.

While it is true that I am digitally connected, my search for good music online has wavered a bit, which is a pity because at this moment in time, music is the one place where I find complete solace from the shit that I am needing to plow through lately. So yes, this was also a selfish act to seek out Will in the hopes of also expanding my music library.

From the moment I met Will, I saw that his voice matched his entire demeanor as he moved with a silky calmness and grace, welcoming a slightly scattered, disheveled mom into his life without question.

We conducted a double interview, which means that our conversation was also recorded live on Periscope (if you are on Periscope, join my AspenRealLife feed). As comments came in about Will’s cool low voice he just smiled, non-plussed by the compliments, very comfortable in his own skin (I attribute that to his parents).

Where most kids dive into their computer to find games, at the age of 10 Will began scouring music blogs to find new artists. Now, a Senior in High School he mostly uses Pitchfork to find new music, the essential guide to independent music and beyond. He also works with his two brothers to expand their musical horizons.

When asked what his favorite genre was, Will preferred to not pigeon hole himself, but leaned toward alternative rock and”Bedroom Pop”, Indie-rock, hip hop, electronica and, “maybe some early country music”. Since I need a little help understanding the lingo of an age that I do not encounter enough, I looked up what “Bedroom Pop” is in the Urban Dictionary and it described it as, “A genre DIY indie music, bedroom pop is characterized by its lo-fi quality and often contemplative lyrics. Bedroom pop share elements with other indie genres including shoegaze, dream pop, jangle pop, and emo. Guitars and vocals often feature heavy use of reverb or delay.” These are words that I need to add to my limited vocabulary.

The interview that I edited for you begins in Will’s studio, his room. If you are anything like me, you will be wanting more and luckily for all of us, you can listen to him tonight on Aspen Public Radio at 10:00pm, and every Friday night after that, at least until he gets too busy with college applications. And if you feel, as I know you will, that you want more, don’t worry, we have already talked about a sequel.

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