Austin may be sleeping, but KVRX student DJs are busy entertaining the city armed with coffee and a passion for their radio show.
KVRX is UT’s student-run radio station dedicated to playing “none of the hits, all of the time.” The station airs on 91.7 FM from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays and from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. on weekends. It also streams 24/7 on kvrx.org.
Radio-television-film junior Joe Wallace hosts the show “Die Nachfahrt” on Thursdays at 3 a.m. “Die Nachfahrt” is a free-form show that plays German music alongside new music curated for the station.
“In German, (‘Die Nachfahrt’) means night drive,” Wallace said. “I play techno German music that’s fun to drive to at night.” Wallace began learning German in middle school and found music helped with his studies, which led him to explore genres of German music.
“I got opened up to this whole new world,” Wallace said. “I just realized that German techno is fun, but not a lot of people listened to it.”
As a new member to the station, Wallace said his favorite thing about having a show is making it his own.
“It’s very me because it’s all done by me,” Wallace said. “It’s expression through curation.”
However, the late time slot that new DJs are assigned to can be difficult to work with.
“(DJing so late has) been brutal but definitely worth losing the sleep,” Wallace said. “It’s a grind that pays off.”
Wallace wakes up 2:30 a.m. after having sleeping 3 hours and drives to the station. After streaming his playlist, he heads back home at 4:15 a.m. to nap before his 9 a.m. class.
“Having a late show is comforting, though,” Wallace said. “The studio is peacefully dark and cozy. Also, my friends who study abroad can listen.”
Public health sophomore Abby Escobar hosts the indie radio show “Sounds Like a Fever Dream” at 5 a.m. on Mondays. Escobar said she enjoys working at the station with a community of people dedicated to finding new artists and listening to people who haven’t gotten the airtime they deserve, including student artists.
“People can learn about new artists and hear really great unknown music,” Escobar said. “Maybe I’ll say something profound, too.”
Radio-television-film sophomore Luke Hooten hosts the sports talk show “Riding the Pine” at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays. He’s in his fourth semester hosting the show after going on the airwaves at 5, 6, 7 and 8 a.m. in the past.
Hooten hosts a basketball and sports talk show with an unofficial co-host and weekly guest speakers. He said it covers on- and off-the-court information for both the NBA and NCAA.
“If you’re interested in the basketball world and you don’t know where to start, we’re a good place for that,” Hootsen said. “I like to rotate guests with different favorite teams to bring in different opinions.”
However, Hooten said finding guest speakers for a 5 a.m. show has been difficult.
“The challenge of getting someone to come on with me every week was a lot of fun the first semester,” Hooten said. “I would say, ‘Oh, I’ll buy you coffee or something.’ And then the coffee shops are still closed.”
Hooten said working at a station where a UT student can have their own radio show is cool and fulfilling.
“If you put in the time, you’ll be rewarded for it,” Hooten said. “I’ve seen the numbers of listeners grow exponentially for my show.”
Wallace encourages people to listen to the station and said it’s worth sacrificing a few hours of shuteye for both parties involved.
“People should listen,” Wallace said.