My Mixtape | KALW

My Mixtape

What's your favorite song? Or a song that holds meaning for you? KALW News has been asking these questions to people all around the Bay Area and here's what we've found.

Want to share your own story of a significant song? Click here to find out how.

My Mixtape: "Looking for Love," by Junior Sanchez

Aug 23, 2019

Matthew Policarpio graduated from KALW's high school intern program this summer. He looked into the history of rap music to find out how it got to where it is today and to determine if it was worthy of his ears. Stay tuned for that story in our upcoming youth and media podcast!

Today he brings us a type of music he's sure he loves, and that's house. Listen in to find out why..

"Suicidal Thoughts," by The Notorious B.I.G.

Aug 16, 2019

Isaiah Manuel is part of the Bayview YMCA's podcast and music program. For today's My Mixtape he brings back a classic from Biggie. Listen in to hear how one of the all-time biggest rappers still resonates with today's youth.

Got a song of your own? Write to get your own My Mixtape done!

"Live Your Life," by T.I. Feat. Rihanna

Aug 16, 2019

Jo Givens is a born and raised San Francisco actor, along with teacher and mentor at the Bayview YMCA. He's a confident leader and role model, but it hasn't always been that way! Listen as Jo explains how this 2008 hit has been there to get him out of the rough times.

My Mixtape: "I'm Sorry," by Joyner Lucas

Aug 9, 2019

Kahliana Dermatis is part of the Bayview YMCA's podcast and music program. For today's My Mixtape, she brings us a song that's more of a conversation, with two sides to a story around suicide. Check out this emotional song from Joyner Lucas.

Got a song of your own? Write to get your own My Mixtape done!

My Mixtape: "Ghetto Angels," by No Cap

Aug 9, 2019

Navaun Mean is part of the Bayview YMCA's podcast and music program. For today's My Mixtape, he brings us a song from one of his favorite rappers: No Cap.

Got a song of your own? Write to get your own My Mixtape done!

My Mixtape: "Through Da Storm," by Polo G

Aug 3, 2019

Aaron Harrison is part of the Bayview YMCA's podcast and music program. For today's My Mixtape, he brings us a tune that takes him places and helps him get "Through Da Storm."

Got a song of your own? Write to submit your own My Mixtape!

My Mixtape: "Nakamarra," by Hiatus Kaiyote

Aug 3, 2019

Holiday Hagan is an artist and musician living here in San Francisco. When she's not belting out of her own beautiful pipes, she's admiring the likes of Nai Palm from Hiatus Kaiyote. Check out today's My Mixtape to hear what's so inspiring about this future soul quartet from Melbourne.

My Mixtape: "May Day (Union Song)," by Wes Leslie

Jul 26, 2019


Lia Wortendyke is a San Francisco mediator, dancer, and communicator extraordinaire. Today she brings us a song dear to her heart, written by a long-lost lover of hers. She credits this tune with being the reason she packed her bags and moved across the country from Brooklyn to the Bay. Listen in to find out why but be warned-- it's a real "headsticker!"

My Mixtape: "A Postcard to Nina," by Jens Lekman

Jul 19, 2019

Wes Leslie is a local pioneer of a genre he calls "bedroom soul." When he's not playing music he runs Wild SF Tours around the city and throws parties through his underground tiki bar, Wild Wes's Tik-Easy.

Today he brings to us what he considers an all-around masterpiece, from the groove to the vibe to the story it tells. Check out this unconventional lovesong from Jens Lekman! 

My Mixtape: "Breathe Life Into Me," by Mica Paris

Jul 12, 2019

Novelist and activist Aya de Leon just released the fourth book in her "Justice Hustler" series, which carves out a space for women of color in the crime genre. The latest book, "Side Chick Nation," gives a lens to the plight of Puerto Rico, both before and after the Maria disaster.

Writing feminist heist novels that challenge mainstream fiction while maintaining all the sex-appeal must be tiring, so when Aya needs to relax she listens to this song by Mica Paris. Check it out!

My Mixtape: "Self Control," by Frank Ocean

Jul 12, 2019

Daniel B. Summerhill is a local poet, professor, and author of Black Joy: an Anthology of Black Boy Poems. His love of rap (shout out A Tribe Called Quest!) helped to expand his idea of what poetry and the written word could be, and he spreads this discovery through his teaching work throughout the Bay Area.

Today he brings us a song from Frank Ocean that gets him all in his feels. If you think you can listen to Frank Ocean without feeling the same, we dare you to give it a try.

My Mixtape: "Pur," by Cocteau Twins

Jun 28, 2019

Magnolia McKay is a 2019 Audio Academy Fellow here at KALW. Besides showing us all the true meaning of karaoke, Magnolia has produced some engaging stories like this deep look into San Francisco's oldest streetcar. Go "Dinky," go!

Today she lets us peek into her soul as she shares all the ways in which "Pur" gives her the confidence she needs to show up in the world. Thanks for all your hard work Maggie!

My Mixtape: "Out on a Limb," by Teena Marie

Jun 28, 2019
Album Cover: Starchild

Alyia Yates is a 2019 Audio Academy Fellow here at KALW. She knows how to show up with a strong voice in all of her stories, such as this interview with SOL Development and a look into freeing your cheeks at a twerk church.

Her mixtape is sure to take your imagination on a trip. Listen in as she sets the stage and then performs the story behind one of her favorite songs, "Out on a Limb," by Teena Marie.

My Mixtape: "Saying Goodbye," The Muppets Take Manhattan

Jun 22, 2019

Kevin Mclean is a 2019 Audio Academy Fellow here at KALW. He knows how to mix ecology with radio in ways sure to catch your interest, just check out the following stories he did on roadkill and panamanian monkeys.

As the time comes to bid farewell to our latest cohort of fellows, Kevin provides us with a fitting anthem from The Muppets. Grab some tissues, hug a friend, and listen to today's My Mixtape!

My Mixtape: "Red Socks Pugie," by FOALS

Jun 15, 2019

Joann Deluna is a 2019 Audio Academy Fellow here at KALW. She's brought us some great stories, including a series on sexual education in California and a look into the drum circle at Lake Merritt.

Today she brings us a fun FOALS song and a new phrase you can use when you find yourself crushing on someone. Yes, it's adorable. Thanks for all your energy and work with us, Joann!

My Mixtape: "Holiday," by Green Day

Jun 14, 2019

Porfirio Rangel is a 2019 Audio Academy Fellow here at KALW. He profiled a ton of great local music, including a story on The Y-Axes. He's got an ear for future stars and today he brings us a classic from the past.

"Holiday" is from Green Day's American Idiot album. Was it anti-American? Listen to today's mixtape to find out, and potentially get pumped up while you learn.

My Mixtape: "Title and Registration," by Death Cab for Cutie

Jun 8, 2019

Lisa Wang is a fellow in our 2019 Audio Academy. Check out her stories on San Francisco sinking (or is it?!) and a local nonprofit that got into real estate to help keep San Francisco affordable.

She chose to share a tune from her emo adolescence and provides us with one of the most adorable sing-a-longs yet. Thanks for all of your hard work, Lisa!

My Mixtape: "Juice," by Lizzo

Jun 7, 2019

What's your feel good anthem? Local trans beauty, entertainer, and personality Pearl Teese brings the hype with Lizzo's "Juice." Lizzo is an icon of black woman empowerment who preaches positivity: sex positivity, body positivity, and self-love. If you haven't heard her yet, here's your chance!

My Mixtape: "Dear To Me," by Electric Guest

May 31, 2019

Dan Hoyle is a local actor and playwright specializing in journalistic theater. Today he brings us a solid tune from the son of Tony Taccone, one of his co-writers. 

Electric guest is a band with origins in the bay who really knows how to lay down the synth. Check out one of their more romantic songs, "Dear To Me," on today's mixtape.

My Mixtape: "Seasons Change," by Corinne Bailey Rae

May 31, 2019

Enon Gaines, frontman of local indie-punk-hip-hop band Unlikely Heroes, chats with us about one of his favorites: Corinne Bailey Rae. He couldn't stop getting goosebumps as he spoke about the effect her self-titled debut album had on him as he learned to play guitar by covering some of her songs.

For today's mixtape, Enon goes with "Seasons Change," a song from that first album that is here to help you keep your chin up.

 Kimberley Acebo Arteche is an educator, cultural worker, and interdisciplinary artist working in photography, social practice, and performance. But before all that she had a favorite that forced her to sweat. 

Check out this throwback and get your groove on! Interested in being featured for My Mixtape? Find out how here.

My Mixtape: "Can't Stop The Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake

May 25, 2019

Photographer and archivist Mia Nakano is the Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Resilience Archives. Listen in to hear how she surprised her wife....with Justin Timberlake!

Know an underrated song the world needs to hear? Got a sweet story for one of your favorite tunes? Find out how to be featured on My Mixtape here!

My Mixtape: "How Deep Is Your Love?" by The Bee Gees

May 17, 2019

Writer, artist, and massage therapist CC Hart details the unique experience she has when she listens to this classic by The Bee Gees. CC has synesthesia, which can create interlinked perception, and for some people that means sounds will translate into an experience of color.

What color would your favorite song be? Listen to today's mixtape to learn a bit about how CC experiences "How Deep Is Your Love?"

My Mixtape: "Ain't Nobody," by Chaka Khan

May 17, 2019

Writer, speaker, storyteller, and Latinx culture nerd Gabby Rivera is the author behind America Chavez, Marvel Comic's first queer Latina superhero, along with the critically acclaimed debut novel Juliet Takes a Breath.

Today she brings us "Ain't Nobody," a loving tune by Chaka Khan, and tells us what it might have to do with breakdancing.

Devin Nelson, guitarist for out of this world space pop group The Y-Axes, shares with us a tune from Los Campesinos. 

How do you think artists should tackle the topic of death in their work? For Devin, it's headfirst. 

Is there a special song you sing along to with someone in your family? Maybe a song that helped you understand each other?  

Alexjandra Rodriguez from Oakland tells us a sentimental story behind the 2Pac classic "Dear Mama."

My Mixtape: "Drops of Jupiter," by Train

May 6, 2019

Nick Ishimaru, musical theatre performer and artistic director of Theatre of Yugen, fuses Western and traditional Asian performance techniques for his own original creations. 

Today he brings to us "Drops of Jupiter," a song about exploration and adventure and the lessons we can learn abroad about our own sense of belonging.

My Mixtape: "Hallelujah," by Leonard Cohen

May 6, 2019

Jen Gilomen, documentary filmmaker and cinematographer known for the New Day films "Deep Down," and "Life on the Line," shares with us a favorite tune by Leonard Cohen.

Is there a song you love so much you're not afraid to belt it out on the streets of your city? Share it with us today!

My Mixtape: "Dream On," by Aerosmith

Apr 27, 2019

Karen Gutfreund is an artist, activist, curator, and consultant living in the Bay Area. Today she shares with us "Dream On," by Aerosmith.

A fun thing about songs that stay with you across the course of your life is that you can see how their meaning shifts for you over time. "Dream On" is a song that just might mean more to you the more wrinkles you get. 

Alexi Rose Belchere from The Y Axes brings to us "Every Day's the Weekend," by Alex Lahey. Have you ever wanted to skip work and stay in bed? We suggest doing just that while giving this Mixtape a listen.