- Are you from Kamloops? If not, where are you from and how did you come to be in Kamloops?
I’m actually originally from Calgary, and moved to Kamloops with my family in 1996 when I was 13 years old. We used to own Kamloops Go-Karts on the Reserve from ’96-2002. Essentially, my dad bought the go-kart track as a family business so we could spend more time together and learn the ins and outs of business, so we left Calgary and moved here.
- Are you a student volunteer? If so, what are you studying and does volunteering at the station help with your studies?
I’m not actually, though I WAS a student back when TRU was UCC in 2001/2002/2003. It was then that I heard about the station.
- Are you a community volunteer? How do you think volunteering at the station supports your engagement with the Kamloops community?
I am definitely a community volunteer. I applied to have a show with a few other members of the Kamloops Anime Club back in 2005. We thought it would be fun to have a show that plays Japanese Music associated with anime, to appeal to other fans like us. Over the years, however, it’s broadened to include J-Pop, J-Rock, Enka and also some Korean, English and even German. Essentially, if there is a tie-in somehow to anime, it can be in any language really. Our tag-line is “Insanity on the Radio” and for a year or so, I even added a “Soap Opera Report” just for the heck of it. It had NOTHING to do with the original aim of the show, but I think it shook things up a little bit. To me, it’s important to ‘shock’ the audience a little every now and then. This show has lasted the better part of a decade and a half thus far, so I like to think we’ve got a good audience engagement.
- What is it about volunteering in general that appeals to you?
I’ve always loved the idea of music and hosting a radio show. Even when I was younger and, at the time, quite shy, it just always appealed to me. As I got older, and branched out more, and got into performing, I saw this opportunity to have a chance at this medium, and I hit the ground running and haven’t stopped since. Sunday is the perfect time to host a live show, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. During 2020, we had to deal with COVID, which shut down the live shows for a while. However, this was an opportunity to try recording from home. It was this point I also branched out into producing another show based on the Eurovision Song Contest. This show was always meant to be pre-recorded on almost a syndicated basis, which would allow a library of episodes that could really be placed anywhere in the schedule. The content of this show also differs from my Japanese show, so it pushes me to explore new things and I love it!
- What other hobbies and interests do you have outside of doing campus/community radio
As I mentioned above, I recently have gotten into The Eurovision Song Contest, and it’s become sort of a guilty pleasure obsession of mine. The whole history of the event is fascinating and long pre-dates that of “American Idol,” “The Voice,” or any of the current day ‘reality competition series.’ Japanese Animé is still a force in my life as well, and I’m most partial to Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z. Not many people realize that Sailor Moon also has a history of running live action stage musicals in Japan, and I am a proud collector of all of their media forms. I am also a Team Lead for Anime Revolution, an anime convention in Vancouver, where I take care of scheduling events, guest outreach and contract negotiations, and hosting and performing at the opening and closing ceremonies. On top of that, I release new music from time to time on YouTube, though I’m hoping to find a way to put out an official album soon; and I work at The Fun Factor Family Fun Centre, where I have been for 17 years now; 2 months less than I’ve been on the air with Animé-d in Japan “Insanity on the Radio!”
- What is your show about? What would a listener hear when they tune in?
‘Animé-d in Japan “Insanity on the Radio”‘ is primarily a music show that plays “world music focusing entirely on Japan…” except I also play other languages as well. As Anime series are dubbed from Japanese into other languages, I have also played a selection of English, Korean, and even German songs associated with the dubbing of an anime into said language. It gives for a nice selection and changes things up a bit.
‘The Vision of Eurovision’ is a “chronologically-challenged” deep dive into the songs of The Eurovision Song Contest. The tag-line here references my passion for jumping from year to year and Country to Country and mixing things up in each episode to give, what I hope will be, an interesting melting pot of European sounds from over the past few decades! But I mean, Australia and Israel are also participants in the contest so they factor in as well! Through this I’ve learned some really interesting things, such as our very own Céline Dion represented Switzerland in 1988 and WON! How awesome is that!?
- What makes your show unique? Why do you think listeners are interested in your show?
I think both of my shows have their unique elements. Obviously with “Animé-d in Japan,” it’s showcasing music from Japan, and you don’t get to hear that too often on North American radio stations. I like to mix in a nice selection of anime related music, with past and current Japanese chart climbers and also the obscure! I LOVE the obscure and ‘avant-garde’ style songs that I’ve discovered over the years, so being able to give them a platform for new listeners to hear them is wonderful.
“The Vision of Eurovision” chronicles music from many different European Countries and there’s a lot of controversies having to do with the contest over the years that is also super fascinating, and I hope the way I present each episode balances out the ‘verbal diarrhea’ of information about each song, with the amount of musical playtime so it doesn’t come off as stale.
- What does campus/community radio mean to you?
The very fact that we can play music not often heard on North American commercial stations is BRILLIANT! Where else could we have a chance to help independent and international artists have a platform to have their music heard? It’s also my own little weekly escape from other things I am doing, where I can sit in our studio and have fun putting on an audio extravaganza for our listeners!
- What shows at CFBX do you like and listen to regularly? Why do you enjoy them?
Admittedly I don’t often have a chance to listen to specific shows regularly, due to my busy schedule outside of the station, but I do really like “On The Marquee” hosted by Julie and Rod Simmons, where they focus on music from Broadway and the like. That’s another niche fandom that is often under-represented on the radio and they do an excellent job weaving information and music together and you really get a sense of feeling ‘full’ and ‘happy’ when you listen!
I also enjoy the Sunday show “CanQueer” which is right before mine. It’s a talk-show that handles topics relating to the LGBTQ+ community, and features a lot of musical artists tied into that group as well!
Honestly though, I urge everyone to tune into ANY show on CFBX and you’ll be blown away by the difference from what you come across on Commercial Radio versus Campus Community Radio.
- Name an artist you discovered through your time at CFBX that you’d like others to know about.
There are so many. This is a hard question to really answer without writing several paragraphs, but I will say coming into the station in 2005, my knowledge of Japanese artists wasn’t incredibly broad. I’ve had my favourites, namely Ayumi Hamasaki, Utada Hikaru and Megumi Hayashibara for YEARS prior to 2005, but I’ve come to LOVE many BECAUSE of my CFBX journey, including: lecca, EXILE TRIBE, Psycho le Cému, Gackt, and Koda Kumi. Regarding The Eurovision Song Contest, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Ruslana from Ukraine, KEiiNO from Norway, Eimear Quinn and Lesley Roy from Ireland, Senhit from San Marino, Eric Saade from Sweden and Sergey Lasarev from Russia among many, many, MANY others!
- Is there a local musician that you would like people to pay more attention to? Why?
Can I answer selfishly and say myself? lol I’ve been writing songs for years, mainly parodies of course, but in recent years I’ve been putting out my own original music as well. I’ve been an avid contestant in the “CBC SEARCHLIGHT” contest annually, and have written songs including “Ghost,” “Poltergeist,” “Haunted,” “CANCEL CULTURE (Bandwagon),” and “Modest MANSION (With a Double Decker Venetian Carousel)” to name a few; all of which can be found on my YouTube channel. If I had to put myself into a musical category, it would be something along the lines of “eclectic avant-garde electronic dance-pop with occasional elements of Country and Insanity sprinkled in…”
- Do you enjoy attending live concerts? Why? Can you tell us about your favorite live concert that you’ve been to?
I most certainly do. I am always drawn to performance overall. In 2009 I was fortunate to see Cher in Las Vegas, which was AMAZING! Her over the top antics are RIGHT up my alley. in 2014 I saw Panic! At The Disco, followed by Lady Gaga, AQUA, Whigfield and Prozaak in 2018, Céline Dion in 2019 and AQUA, once again, in 2022, completely by accident, as they were performing at the Calgary Stampede! ANY show where it’s over the top and flashy and takes your breath away, attracts me, so Cher and Lady Gaga were specifically a treat. Gaga’s staging remains my favourite to this day. Working with Anime Revolution, I’ve also been privileged to see KOTOKO, Megumi Ogata and a few other Japanese singers perform as well!
- What do you hope to do with your show in the future? What direction do you see your show moving?
I never really know how to answer this because I’m a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of person. I prefer to have a loose idea of a script and really adore the improv style moments associated with being on air. It’s the little bits where you just never really know what’s going to happen, that appeals to me. But I can safely say I intend to keep producing as many shows as I can for ‘Animé-d in Japan’ for the coming years, bringing new and old favourites together and presenting them to the masses. With ‘The Vision of Eurovision’ I also intend to produce as many episodes as I can with the amount of music I have access too. While the contest has run from 1956 onward, I think the main focus will be no earlier than the 80s from time to time (with one or two exceptions *cough*Waterloo by ABBA*cough*) I’m trying to decide whether or not I’ll repeat songs in the future with less of a speaking element, once I’ve gone through the library that I already have, but we’ll see. Perhaps even sharing the show with other outlets could be fun as well. Who knows? I think overall it’s important to have as much fun as you can whenever you do something. For me, hosting weekly shows at CFBX has been a gift; one that keeps on giving and has done so for many years. I hope to keep on producing new episodes for as long as I’m allowed to! And I’m very grateful for the opportunity thus far!