DJ Spotlight: Chris Gierg (Abulikah)



DJ spotlights are a great way for you to meet the awesome students and community members behind the voices you hear on KWVA each day. Stay tuned for a DJ Spotlight every few weeks, and if you’re a DJ who’d like to be featured, email Sophie.

Check out this week’s spotlight with DJ Abulikah, host of “Notes from the Underground,” every Tuesday from 8-10 pm. Abulikah is a community member and UO alum here at the station. He’s been a KWVA DJ since July of 2003!

KWVA Music Blog: What kind of music do you typically play on your show?

Abulikah: I play experimental, noise, industrial, goth and other strange, bizarre, uncategorizable sounds; pushing, bending and twisting the porous boundaries of what most would consider ‘music’.

KWVA: Who is your favorite artist to play on the air and why?

A: Coil is my favorite band. their music is diverse and just mesmerizes my essence in ways that no other band has. RIP John & Sleazy.

KWVA: Favorite KWVA memory?

A: Recently broadcasting a live performance from the KWVA air conditioner. (Ha.)

KWVA: Who (artists or bands) have you been listening to this month?

A: Just picked up the Switched on Eugene comp–it’s local electronic music from the 80s.

KWVA: Do you have an on-air catch phrase?

A: Yes! “Join me as we stick our tongues out at the crystal palace of the established music genres.

KWVA: What is the best advice you have for new DJs on KWVA?

A: Play music that most others don’t.

KWVA: What would you like to see more of on the KWVA music blog?

A: Local music spotlights.

KWVA: Describe why you love music in less than 10 words.

A: Music doesn’t betray my trust.


Thanks, Chris!



Why College/Local Radio Matters

Check out this cool post by Music Blog Director/KWVA DJ Sophie on why college & local radio is so great, featured on her personal blog, A Perfect Playlist!


I have a passion for radio. When I was a junior in high school, I visited my (now) college campus for the first time, University of Oregon, & was immediately drawn to the student-run radio station, KWVA. I loved the idea of a community of like-minded, music-obsessed students talking about/ playing what they love on the air.

The station, at the time, a small hole-in-the-wall studio that was once a women’s bathroom, was covered in stickers and band posters. Promo CDs were scattered among stacks of cassette tapes and vinyl, and hipster-looking students rushed in and out of the studio, welcoming me with giant smiles. I knew I had to get involved.




I’ve been a part of my college radio station for 2 years now, and I am now completing my last year. (That’s me in the studio!) Since my first visit, the studio has expanded and moved to a shiny new space in the student activities center, located at the heart of campus. While on my summer break from school, I didn’t stray far from the radio biz. I interned with the Portland Radio Project, a local radio station in Portland. I met so many cool DJs, learned about some crazy talented local artists, and made some great connections.

According to Pitchfork, “college radio can reflect what local broadcasting should strive for: freeform programming that’s community organized and unentangled in market-based obligation. It is also a continually replenishing talent pool for the industry at large, and every part of the musical ecosystem can count former college radio DJs among their staff” (2017).

Both student-run and local, community radio provides music-lovers and radio enthusiasts the opportunity to think outside of the box. It’s an outlet for up-and-coming artists to receive recognition, listeners to be exposed to new genres, and a place for community members to share their music knowledge on the air without corporate involvement. This is how it should be when it comes to sharing the music we love!

According to FRG, “community and local radio stations focus on local areas they are an opportunity to give the community a voice. Community Radio Station’ staff are usually volunteers, and they are nearly always not-for-profit organizations. Funding is mostly given through donations or would incorporate fundraising in the form of events, pub quizzes and advertising.”


Kirsten at KATU


Kirsten Nicolaisen, a Portland-based journalist working in the social media and digital world of TV news, is a KWVA alumn and DJ at the Portland Radio Project! (We have a lot in common.) 🙂 Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Kirsten made her way north for school where she spent four years working at KWVA Eugene. From production assistant, to DJ, to eventual News Director, Kirsten wore a number of hats at KWVA. A stint at Oregon Public Broadcasting brought her to Portland, which she now calls home. Kirsten spent several years working for ABC news affiliates in Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C. she’s now traveling the world before moving to NYC to further her career in journalism


kirsten at KWVA


“My favorite memories from KWVA are late nights and early mornings spent in the studio” Kirsten says. “KWVA was my library, my office space, my living room, and my little world tucked away down a long hallway at the student activities center. I loved diving into the music library in the wee hours of the morning when I first started DJ-ing during the Tuesday 4-6 AM shift, and sticking around afterward to catch up on school work… constantly distracted by all the messages and jokes scribbled on the walls. It was in those quiet hours that my love of music, radio and media truly blossomed.” (Above: Kirsten in the KWVA studio as a student.)

Kirsten believes that local radio stations like PRP and college radio like KWVA provides music fans with the most unique music and best radio-listening experience.

“Without stations like these, I believe many talented local musicians would not have the platform to properly showcase their work. I feel lucky to be a part of a growing force in the local music community!” she says.

College and local radio is pretty rad. Let’s help keep it alive!


2014/365/351 On The Air At CFBX