Senior Manager, Consumer Engagement
Can you tell us a little bit about Free Yr Radio’s Mission?
Since 2007, Toyota’s Free Yr Radio has maintained the mission of supporting independent and non-commercial radio by raising awareness and financial support [for] stations across the country through exclusive events and broadcasts. We have partnered with dozens of stations across the county and have been able to connect with tens of thousands of music fans. Toyota initially launched, and continues to support, Free Yr Radio as they clearly see and support the value that indie radio brings to each community and to music as a whole.
Do you have a background in music and/or radio that has driven you to help college and non-commercial stations?
When I was a student at the University Of Washington I was a DJ at the internet-only station, Rainy Dawg Radio. I was in a local band and very, very interested in discovering and sharing new music with anyone who was interested. It was [t]here that I learned the real value of noncommercial radio and how much amazing music was out there, just waiting to be discovered. I love that each DJ on each show—and this is true for all non-comm. stations—pours themselves into their playlist and makes sure that they are giving you amazing playlists. Supporting Toyota’s Free Yr Radio program is an amazing way for me to share my experiences, my passion and my enjoyment of non-commercial stations with others.
What are your current projects?
Right now Toyota’s Free Yr Radio is nearing the end of its 2010 tour, [for which] we have been out on the road supporting live remote broadcasts with our partner stations from inside major music festivals. At each event we have a full stage and broadcast setup where festival bands stop by to perform a few songs and do an interview live and in front of our audience. It’s one of the most intimate performances available at each event. The last two stops on this year’s tour are a three-day live broadcast from CMJ Music Marathon with 91.5 KEXP/WNYE in the lobby of the Ace Hotel that will feature live performances from CMJ artists each day. Our final festival broadcast in 2010 will be at Voodoo Experience in New Orleans over Halloween weekend with partner WTUL.
How do you select the stations that you will benefit?
This year we selected our stations based on their proximity to the festivals we planned to attend, the fit between the festival line-up and the station’s playlists, and the overall interest from our partner station to participate in such a fun but large project.
What has been your most successful program?
The biggest success… as a whole, has been the awareness and support we have been able to bring to our partner stations over the past four years. I feel strongly that we’re providing a great service to an undervalued part of music culture and hope that the exposure, experience and financial support that our program provides keeps indie radio and indie music alive and well in communities across the US for years to come.