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Pre-med student, KUCI radio host
The music man
Shapan Debnath plays what he loves on his KUCI radio show (01.12.2009)
Someday, Shapan Debnath may treat a sick child or provide stroke patient care, but right now, he rocks.
Debnath is one of about 50 students who volunteer at KUCI (88.9 FM). From 3-5 p.m. each Friday, this self-described music junkie shares his deep, abiding passion for new, independent tunes on his “How Goes?” radio show.
“I’ve always been in love with music,” Debnath says. “And KUCI is so cool, and we have so much music. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
His academic focus is preparing for medical school and an eventual career as a pediatrician or neurologist, but his social life is centered at the cramped KUCI broadcast trailers behind the Science Library. There he spends “countless hours,” listening to piles of new CDs, building playlists for his weekly show and hanging out with people who love music as much as he does.
Few things are cooler than being a college radio DJ, but it isn’t easy to get on the air at KUCI. Students must volunteer at least 15 hours each quarter and take a training course before competing to have their show ideas accepted by the program director.
Even then, getting a good time slot is difficult. KUCI airs 24/7, and Debnath remembers starting out on the radio graveyard shift. “I had a 4-6 a.m. show once, then one 2-4 a.m.,” he says. “That was rough, but they really want to see how serious you are.”
Now, with a prime mid-afternoon slot, Debnath enthusiastically plays his favorite new indie releases, and occasionally a local new band plays live in the studio.
“I don’t want to get pigeonholed into one style of music, so you’ll hear a lot of fresh stuff on my show,” he says. “Selections are about my moods and feelings – what I’m into at the time – and there’s a feel to them that you can identify with me.”
Currently, he’s excited by new music coming out of New York, Canada and England, but asking him to pick five bands well worth listening to is like asking King Solomon to choose a favorite wife. “It’s so hard!” he says, but gives it a try:
— Tom Vasich, University Communications
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Shapan Debnath. Photo by Daniel A. Anderson.
Larger image of Debnath