Show Spotlight: It’s Now Right Now

Grant Olsen, host of It's Now Right Now

It’s Now Right Now issues a new mixtape for you every week. The extremely multi-faceted Grant Olsen considers your every musical need and wants one and all to experience exactly what you need this very second.

Experience Its Now Right Now live on Wednesdays from 7-10 PM or anytime on Radio Free America’s archive.

What can you not stop listening to these days?

It’s been literally months since I’ve listened to anything other than Laura Nyro’s New York Tendaberry. It’s a record that still surprises me after hundreds of listens, and feels like a full spectrum experience of an artist laid emotionally bare.

What is going on in the Treasure Valley that you’re excited about?

One of the things that makes Boise special to me is the refugee population and how much it has influenced the city. Seeing the everyday impact is amazing and it gives me incredible hope for the future.

How long have you been doing It’s Now Right Now? What drew you to take on this show?

I’d done radio when I was in high school as an exchange student in New Zealand, also when I was in college at Boise State, and it always felt really natural to me.

Even when I wasn’t doing radio I was making mixtapes and deejaying at clubs and sitting for hours piecing together connections between songs for myself and for friends.

About six years ago, when Doug Martsch decided to stop doing Renegade Jukebox, I had a couple of friends at Radio Boise who really encouraged me to take the time slot. Alex (Dr. Fresh) of Sunday Sound System, and Wendy Fox of Tennis Court Disco were instrumental in shepherding me to the station and I’m forever grateful to them.

For those who may not be familiar with your show, how would you describe the It’s Now Right Now show sound?

I’m always trying to balance what I’m excited about with what the listener will be excited about.

So I try to work from a place of finding relationships from the songs I am centered on that week, and then expand from there with songs, styles, sounds, or artists that may be more familiar to a listener and then expanding on that, finding connective tissue in the rhythms, melodies, and stories to bring them safely to more unfamiliar territory.

If pressed on my favorite genres of music:

  1. Music from 1974-1983
  2. My friends’ bands
  3. Being surprised
  4. Music that sounds like drugs

How did you discover Radio Boise?

A few different friends of mine had shows when it was still a streaming only station, and it was always a pleasure to hear what they were excited about, and it just grew from there.

What other Radio Boise shows do you listen to?

One of the best things about Radio Boise is the diversity of content. I’m always grateful for the fact that I can count on a quality of content and vision, even when a show isn’t to my taste.

It’s a testament to the vision of representation of the community on the station, which I’m sure will just get wider as time goes on.

What other kinds of things keep you busy outside of radio?

The important things that I come back to consistently are writing and performing music, making art, spending time with my animals, watching basketball, digging up music and other curiosities at thrift stores, reading the new wave of literary science fiction from 1958-1975, and working toward fluency in Swahili.

Why do you believe volunteering for community radio is important?

One of the most important things a community station can do is give voice to people who don’t see themselves in any other media, whether in public affairs or music.

A thing that is missing in listening to music on commercial radio and algorithm based streaming is story. If people can hear songs next to each other that they hear themselves in, or find an empathy for others because of the story they hear is a special thing that only Radio Boise does locally.

Grant Olsen hosts It’s Now Right Now every Wednesday evening from 7-10 PM.

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