Meet Your Programming Director: Wes Simms

Meet Your Programming Director: Wes Simms

December 30, 2021 in Features

by Wes Simms

Major and year?
Radio-Television-Film - Senior

Which song, album, or artist initiated your love of music?
Last time I did one of these, I said Billy Joel, which is true, but this time, I'll say Houndmouth to add some variety. The first genuine concert experience I remember having at a proper venue rather than an arena was seeing Houndmouth at the Granada Theater in Dallas in 2018. I only knew a few of their songs, so I don't really know what drove me to go to a show like that for the first time. I've seen them a few more times since then, and they're still one of my favorite live bands. My love for Houndmouth sent me down a long rabbit hole that has greatly affected my music taste today.

How did you first hear about or get involved with KVRX?
I heard about KVRX at summer orientation before coming to UT in the fall. I don't think I even knew college radio existed until then. It sounded right up my alley. When I got here for my first semester, I saw KVRX tabling at the union and signed up for the first training session available with Evan Stack and Taylor Sprinkle. I was hooked from there!

What is your first KVRX memory?
I guess I just gave it away, so I'll think of another one. Before starting Green Onions, I shadowed Ben Kelder's show at the time: The Waiting Room, which I think was a freeform show playing music you might expect to hear in a waiting room. It got me really excited to start my own show, and I'll always remember sitting in with him! When I started Green Onions, I brought in my other friend Ben and we just talked about movies, coffee, etc. in between songs haha. It was really fun, but I'd like to think my show has come a long way since then.

Which shows have you had on KVRX?
Green Onions: Fall 2018 - Present, Freeform

Which KVRX staff positions have you held?
Programming Director: Spring 2020 - Present

How has KVRX affected your interaction with music?
It's difficult to describe the scale by which the station has changed my relationship to music. It has opened many doors for me professionally and interpersonally that I've realized I want to work in music. I love music so much, and I want to help celebrate exciting new artists and just be involved in general. I've also obviously developed a much broader taste thanks to our ethos and motto of "none of the hits, all of the time". I'm sure KVRX also gave me some of the confidence needed to make my own music and play in bands, which I've started doing in the last year or two. Thanks, KVRX :)

What's up outside of KVRX?
I'm about to enter my last semester at UT before attending UTLA in the summer. I plan on coming back to Austin afterwards though! I'm still hosting a podcast for Keep Austin called "With Wes" where I interview local artists about their new releases. This semester, I'll also be interning with Keeled Scales, an awesome local record label. Otherwise, I'll be working on student film sets and playing in bands like Quiet Light and Nova as well as hopefully working on my own music!

What is your favorite part of KVRX?
Everyone has said this, but the people! I've made so many life-long friends at the station. It's so great to find so many like-minded individuals who will, at the same time, push you to learn and grow as a person and as a listener. I also love the fact that KVRX can be such a springboard for careers in the music industry and elsewhere.

What advice would you give to new DJ's?
Come hang out at the station between classes! It's so worth it to get more involved than just doing your show each week. You'll form great connections and friendships. College radio is also just so cool, so really dig into it and push the boundaries of what you think you're capable of. I think radio has so much potential to be a frontier for really interesting media and programming, so try stuff out!

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