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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Campus

Coog Radio debuts


Conner Clifton, the station’s director; Josue Garcia, the music director; and Andrew O’Keefe, the muscle, are a just a few of Coog Radio’s eclectic staff. Coog Radio aims to play music that their listeners wouldn’t normally hear on the mainstream radio. | Brianna Leigh Morrison/The Daily Cougar

Conner Clifton, the station’s director; Josue Garcia, the music director; and Andrew O’Keefe, the muscle, are a just a few of Coog Radio’s eclectic staff. Coog Radio aims to play music that their listeners wouldn’t normally hear on the mainstream radio. | Brianna Leigh Morrison/The Daily Cougar

Coog Radio emerged this semester as UH’s first and only student-run radio station, gaining over 2,000 listeners in the first week.

Co-founder Conner Clifton, along with Markley Rogers and Matt Womack formed the station shortly after watching an inspiring film in 2009.

“We had just finished watching the movie Pirate Radio. I was interning at KUHF at the time, so I was familiar with radio equipment. Then, we just decided we could do this. We could start a radio station,” Clifton said.

For the first year, the station lacked the organization it needed to proficiently broadcast live. But in March 2011, things began looking up when Gloria Cheng took position as public relations and marketing director and Sofia Strauss as director.

“It took us about two years to create the station. Things really came to a point in March of this year. We have a lot of good UH administrators on our side as well as allies at KUHF who I made while interning there. They actually donated us all of our equipment,” Clifton said.

As far as what kind of music is streamed, the answer is simple.

“Our ground rule is if you can hear it on the radio now, we don’t play it. There are stations that play music from the 90s, for example, and we don’t want to hear that either,” Cheng said.

DJs at Coog Radio are encouraged to find the music that interests or intrigues them and delve into that for the most obscure set. That’s how the playlists are formed. DJs have the choice of playing music or hosting their own radio show. Coog Radio’s DJ Rashad Eaglin made the choice to play music.

“We play a bunch of EDM (electronic dance music), UK Garage and UK-style dub stuff. Those are pretty much the big three right there,” said Eaglin.

DJ Garron Ballard — who is fond of astrology — prepared 15 weeks worth of music with astrological themes, and will discuss that on his show. While people may not normally care about astrology, Garron relates it to the music and draws people in, Clifton said.

Coog Radio’s overall hope is to provide another avenue for students to have a voice on campus. The station intends to work with local businesses and charities to boost student involvement across all domains.

“We are about the music, but if students have something they feel needs to be heard, they can come to us. We will make sure that it’s radio-friendly, of course,” Clifton said.

The station is particularly fond of local musicians and strives to play up and coming artists as much as possible, while informing students about dates and times of obscure performances.

“We want the station to be something that unifies students on campus. The reason we want the DJs to play music that you can’t hear on the radio is because UH is the main educational institution in this city — and it’s a huge city. There’s so much talent here. There’s a lot of art, underground music and things other cities are famous for. Houston has that same ability. We want to bring that to the surface,” Cheng said.

To Clifton and Cheng, week one was largely successful with only a handful of minor kinks.

“We’ve had a few issues, but it’s new and it’s a learning process. It has been very satisfying to know that we have a product that can be reached from all over. Our first week, we already had listeners from Russia, Columbia and New Zealand. Overall, we have received a ton of support,” Clifton said.

Listeners can tune in either online at www.coogradio.com or on a mobile device at m.coogradio.com, 24 hours a day. There has been talk about designing an app, but the station operates strictly on web browsers for now.

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