Tuned In with Nika Hall

Nika has dove into the deep end at Radio Boise and fully engulfed herself in the sound of the station – as a volunteer music engineer. If you hear a great band sounding awesome on the air, she could be behind the boards. Find out why Nika is so passionate about volunteering and engaging in the musical scene.

When did you catch the community radio bug?

I started volunteering around April of this year.

What kind of volunteer work do you do with Radio Boise?

I’m a volunteer sound engineer when live bands play on the air. I do a lot of live sound professionally so this is some of my first studio work; it’s totally different and I love both aspects of it.

I love the control that I have in a studio setting. You know- no feedback in the monitors, or crazy crowd noise. It’s just me and the musicians, and I can really get a good feeling for their sound.  It’s really fun!

Volunteering is a good opportunity to meet incredible musicians. Eventually I’d love to tour with a band, so you never know when you’ll connect with someone, and hopefully those opportunities will come up someday.

I love helping the music community and even though I don’t have a ton of time, I love running sound, so it works out well.

Everybody at Radio Boise has been amazing to work with, everyone has accepted me and been really sweet. I’ve gotten a lot of chances to learn from [fellow station sound engineers] Speedy and Ethan and use different equipment and new techniques – it’s been a really good learning opportunity.

When did you first start listening to Radio Boise?

About 5 or 6 years ago, I started listening to Antler Crafts. Then, I went to a lot of Radio Boise Tuesday shows, because you always bring in really good bands. When I moved to Washington for short time, I would still listen online, because I had a lot of friends in the music scene [in Boise] and they would do live shows. Plus I really liked the programs, and I wanted to support the station as much as possible.

What is it that you appreciate about community radio as a public resource?

I feel like there is a much more eclectic mix of music – you’re not gonna hear the same songs three times in a day. Every show is so different than the next; I really appreciate the variety, and features on local musicians. That’s basically my whole life, so I really like that about Radio Boise, KEXP, and other community radio projects – when they feature local musicians.

What is your favorite part about Radio Boise?

Antler Crafts is probably my favorite show. And you had a gardening talk show that actually really helped with my yard! It was so interesting to hear them talk about composting, and what grows well here.

Where and when do you listen to Radio Boise?

I listen in my car. It’s really the only radio station that I’ll listen to!

What can’t you get out of your head, music-wise, right now?

I just got done with Sawtooth Valley Gathering, and been listening to Fruition – I really love them right now. Deep Sea Diver is another one I’m obsessed with. Plus Phoebe Bridgers, who just opened for Sylvan Esso at the Knit. Oh, and Mojo Green is awesome, too.

If you could go to a concert of a band that is no longer together, who would it be?

I would have loved to see Elephant Revival, before they broke up.

What advice would you give to a person who is interested in getting involved with music production?

There’s a lot of opportunities to volunteer at festivals, if you’re drawn towards something you can usually help out in that area. I had a bunch of volunteers working with me at a recent festival that had to learn the basics. You gotta find that person that you can click with that can help show you the ropes. Volunteer work is a good way to see that fast-paced environment and what the production life is like, meet people interested in it and who are willing to help you just because you’re down to volunteer.

You can volunteer for Radio Boise, too!

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