ROCHESTER, NY -- This summer RCTV's beloved radio station WXIR turned 5 years old.
They grow up so fast.
To mark the occasion, we reached out to some of our most steadfast community producers and DJs to find out what being on community radio has meant to them.
Our first featured producer in this series is Kijana Crues, host of "Vibe Out With Kijana." We asked her to share her story.
WXIR: Tell us a little about your show. What's it all about?
KIJANA: "Vibe Out" is a show that's focused on jazz, blues, soul, neo-soul, and other related genres. My first broadcast was December 3, 2019. I remember the date because I can still picture the poster.
I like to try to use my show to help people out. I play a lot of music by local and indie artists, not just from people here in Rochester but from all over the country.
WXIR: How did you get started in radio?
KIJANA: I was originally part of the team for The Inspirational Experience, a radio show hosted by Rudolph Valentino on WXIR. I didn't plan on having my own show. But he taught me a lot about how the craft is done. From there, I talked to [WXIR Programming Director] Rashida Burch Washington and it turned into me having a show.
WXIR: You're also a musician. How do your experiences as an artist shape what you do as a DJ and radio host?
KIJANA: I'm a singer and songwriter, and I'm currently one of three singers in Soul Express. It's difficult to get heard as an artist. I remember being out there trying to get my CD to different stations and just get them to take it. I had a hard time back then, and I wanted to be that person to give the next person an opportunity to shine. I want to flip the crab bucket over and help the next person out. And I think that's one of the reasons it was so important for me to move toward having my own show.
WXIR: What's one thing that has surprised you about being on the air?
KIJANA: I was surprised to find out how many people listen to my show all across the country. Sometimes I get more submissions from outside of Rochester than inside the city.
WXIR: What role do you think community radio has to play in Rochester?
KIJANA: I look at the fact that we have such an amazing school for musicians here in Rochester, jazz in particular, but I don't see them getting as much air time as they should. I think community radio can be a place for that, especially for jazz. Because for me jazz has a special place.
VIBE OUT WITH KIJANA airs Tuesdays from 2 to 4pm on WXIR 100.9 FM.