For nearly 8 years, I served as host of the world beat radio program Your Blue Room. I started on Thursday nights in San Francisco Liberation Radio, a pirate way out in the fog of the Outer Richmond district of San Francisco, and then moved to Saturday nights on KBOO Community Radio, in Portland, Oregon.
As a DJ, I loved sharing music from around the globe I was passionate about, and engaging with DJs, musicians and producers I admired, having them perform live on air and talk about their work and inspiration. Some heroes that shared their talents with the program include the late great DJ Cheb I Sabbah (his "Triple A" sound: Asia, Africa, Arabia), Candido Obajimi (Nigeria: Fela Kuti, Tony Allen), Makoto (Japan), and Federico Aubele (Argentina).
I also worked as the Outreach Coordinator for KBOO Community Radio as my day gig, and was committed to expanding diversity on the airwaves through events, open houses, and producing live concert broadcast from around the city and across the musical and political spectrum, producing live local concert broadcasts featuring artists as diverse as Cheb I Sabbah and KRS-One. Additionally, I recruited new talent for the airwaves, bringing in popular local bhangra DJs Anjali and the Incredible Kid, as well as helping to start a program for the Hmong community.
My proudest accomplishment was fighting for an Asian American perspective on the airwaves and co-founding APA Compass, the Asian Pacific American public affairs program of the Pacific Northwest, that recently completed a ten year run on KBOO. This talented group of APA radio producers helped add a voice that was missing from the broadcast conversation in Portland and beyond.
I now channel my love for music into music supervision for films, working with independent artists and producers all over the world, from Europe to Asia.
And to get my music sharing fix, in December of 2016, I founded the Bay Area Listening Lab with a group of fellow music obsessives, where participants can share and listen to albums in a communal environment, the quiet kind of listening space so often missing in the bustle of our busy world.
Here is part of a 3 hour Saturday night Your Blue Room set following the live broadcast of the Waterfront Blues Festival on KBOO:
First half: a short intro followed by an hour of ethereal downtempo music from around the world:
Second half: a midnight time check followed by a funky world beat set.