When we brag that WXNA FM is people-powered radio, we mean it. Listener support makes possible our broadcasting in Nashville at 101.5 FM and online, with a wide array of freeform and speciality programming coming to you seven days a week. This Spring Pledge Drive (May 13-19, 2019), we thank you for expressing your love for WXNA by making a donation. Here’s what several of our volunteer DJs had to say about what people-powered radio means to them.
People-powered radio, especially WXNA, is a positive example of a thriving symbiotic relationship. I love seeing how music connects us all and I realize every day just how small the world is as I meet people through music. I believe that music is a powerful connector, and that it creates community. I hope that the joy I get by sharing new sounds on my radio show is also experienced by the listener tuning in and by the artist who is getting their music played on the radio.
WXNA gives me a reason to search out new (to me) music. It’s like spinning records in my living room, except I’m sharing with more than just my dog. 😜 And the other shows inspire me.
For me, being part of a people-powered radio station is an exercise in putting my time, effort and money where my mouth is. If I want an alternative to corporate mass media, I had better help build and support it! Hosting two shows each week is a great excuse I can use to keep buying cool records, and I love that it expands my sonic horizons while building my confidence in my musical knowledge and on-air abilities. Being a part of WXNA feels like having an extended family all throughout Nashville.
WXNA reflects the eclectic tastes of the Nashville community (and beyond), and it belongs to the listeners who support it—that is people-powered radio. On a personal level, it fulfills a deep desire in me to share the music I love with others. I think all WXNA DJs feel that way and take the responsibility/privilege seriously. Long live freeform, people-powered radio! LONG LIVE WXNA!
Music changed my life the minute WXNA went on the air. It changes my life every day listening to the station. I learn more about music now than I had learned in the 50 years prior to the launch of this station! It shows how much the station revitalizes this 67-year-old–we want to do that for everyone listening!
When I found out that I have a listener in another country building their personal playlists off of what I play; when I have a listener tell me that what I played got them out of a tough point in their life; when I know I have sold music for artists because their listeners heard it on my show, I understand how important what I play is. All of a sudden I realized that what I play and say is important. I need to stay fresh and current and keep finding the struggling artist that doesn’t have the money to promote, but has some of the best music out there. I’ve been doing this for fifteen years and I could go on forever about why I do this. Better than a paid day at work. Oh, and then the large group of friends I met because of the ❌
People-powered radio means radio that still reflects free speech and real people playing music they’re passionate about!
From the late-great “Seaship Auricle” to “Maiden Voyager”—this station has got the whole world’s music covered, as well as the music of the weird and wonderful people in your backyard, making your breakfast, and teaching your children! The magic of the everyday is alive and well on-air, and running on community support is totally a part of that!
When plotting a move to Nashville from my college town a decade ago, aiming to immerse myself in LIVE music, it never occurred to me I might have the opportunity to spin songs and talk to artists I love, sharing their art and perspectives with a wider audience via terrestrial radio. WXNA is a people-powered labor of love, and a dream come true for the volunteer DJs who lend their time and record collections. But we hear from listeners that this is THEIR radio home, too, and there’s room for all! Inclusive. Inspirational. Addictive. For those about to rock (tuned to 101.5 FM), we salute you.
Heather Lose, Founding President of WXNA and “Aging Hipster” Host
To me it’s all about connecting with the audience. Our world is a complicated, scary, amazing, beautiful, horrific place. Prepping each week’s show in response to what’s going on out there helps me process, and sharing these songs brings community together to celebrate, mourn, rage, or just enjoy an awesome Elvis Costello song on a pretty day. Because it’s happening live, we’re doing these things together, and anything that helps bring people together is very special and very needed.
I came of age at a time when radio was the primary way I learned about new music or really any music, short of sharing with friends. I first heard Coltrane on a late night jazz show and had to pull over to the side of the road. I’d never heard anything so beautiful–I had to stop driving. Though nothing’s been quite as transcendent since, I have been exposed to lots of new music via radio. When I do my show, I am thinking of someone like me who has big ears and eclectic taste and is going to hear something new and beautiful and exciting on “Different Every Time” and fall in love, just the way I have, so many many times. Also, it’s a great excuse to buy more CDs.
I suppose “people-powered radio” is about individual passions—certainly that of the DJs, who would do their show the same way regardless of whether they had one million listeners or no listeners at all, but also that of the listeners who get their individual tastes and interests catered to as well as being able to discover new ones.
Freeform radio is magic brought to you by wizards who are secretly regular people just like you. The songs they play are spells that say, “You are not alone.” The power to cast these magic spells is created via a mystical process of ritual and belief that combines faith, science, and financial support in a big black cauldron of community. DJs stir the concoction at 33 1/3 RPM while cackling maniacally to themselves in a room full of alchemical equipment made possible by listener support. The result is a sparkling fresh batch of people-powered radio sent straight to your head and your heart every single day!
Being part of an organization that is dynamic, growing, and engaged with the community is a true privilege. And planning shows and presenting music beats paying for psychoanalysis!
To me, people-powered radio means that WXNA is bigger than the sum of its parts. Our individual shows might cater to a particular audience, but anyone that tunes it at any time will find some delightful surprises.
I love having the opportunity to play songs that a listener might not get a chance to hear anywhere else. For that one kid who hears a punk song on the radio late at night and starts learning three chords. To build a community and give an outlet to those that already exist. Music is both a release and a unifying bond. To hear songs that mean something to you, that would never get airplay on a commercial station, that can be life changing.
Radio is the sound of human voices singing, talking, and connecting with others. It’s one of the most powerful inventions ever created and can be, and should be, more than a means to make money and sell products. “People-powered radio” is real human beings sharing their passion for music, the arts, and the human condition—changing lives and inspiring visions of a world bigger and more diverse than one imagination can contain. It’s also the best means possible to inspire hope, move feet and shake booties, raise a fist in solidarity, rock your ass off, and share our humanity in the moment, right here and now.