Interview with Kasey Hunt-Short
Music Director of WSWI Radio Station
Working during the pandemic has been a big adjustment for everyone. Before the coronavirus drove us into quarantine, most people had never worked from home or worked for extended periods under a mask. Now that these adjustments have become the new norm, we are learning about the ways people got creative with their roles and found ways around the hurdles COVID-19 provided.
For the students employed at 95.7 The Spin, USI’s own radio station, the first COVID-19 hurdles came in the form of finding a way to provide their content to the public without access to their radio equipment. We interviewed Kasey Hunt-Short, the Local Music Director at The Spin to get insight on how the team persisted and what it was like to come back to work early on in the pandemic.
95.7 The Spin radio station, where the awards won by the students line the walls.
What do you do in your role as Local Music Director?
It is my job to add local music to the radio station and talk to local bands and artists about their experience in the music industry on the radio. Since COVID-19 began, I began interviewing them over Instagram Live. I am also the co-podcast director of The Spin’s music review podcast called “The Spin Soundtrack.” (To find out more about all of The Spin’s podcasts, check out their website!)
What has it been like working during the pandemic?
There are definitely pros and cons to working during the pandemic. One pro is that I have more opportunities to reach out to artists who are farther away. Under regular circumstances I wouldn’t have the chance to interview them. The only problem with that, though, is that I don’t get to make that personal connection like I usually do.
Another one of the cons about working during the pandemic is that there are a lot of rules to keep us safe in the studio, like being so many feet away from each other and only so many people can do things at once. The limits make things stressful but, ultimately, it’s all worth it to make sure no one gets sick.
What are ways you’ve had to be creative with scheduling, programming, etc. during the pandemic?
We have been taking some interviews from Instagram Live and rerunning them on the air. We’ve also been taking these interviews and uploading them to our YouTube channel and other online platforms. Besides the interviews, we’ve been creating some themed shows. For Halloween I made up a theme of “bands that resonate spooky energy.”
What has your personal experience been like as a student worker during all of this?
As a student, I have always valued my education first and getting good grades, so it can be really tricky balancing that and my job, social life, and mental health… especially during a pandemic. The way I cope with the stress of it all is that I remind myself “this isn’t going to last forever; this is only temporary.”
Even though the pandemic is a negative thing happening right now, I know there will be some positivity that will come out of it.
Listen to Kasey and the whole 95.7 The Spin team live on your radio or through your browser.
Written by Leah Flake