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: "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.

My Mixtape: "My Queen Is Ada Eastman," by Sons of Kemet

Apr 19, 2019

Oakland author Dickson Lam, whose award-winning memoir was released in 2017, brings us "My Queen Is Ada Eastman," by Sons of Kemet.

Sons of Kemet is a modern British jazz group with a sound that bounces around with mixes of jazz, rock, carribean folk, hip hop, and more. We recommend listening somewhere you can dance.

My Mixtape: "Amor Eterno," by Rocío Dúrcal

Apr 19, 2019

Have you ever had a song so powerful it hurt too much to listen to? Santa Cruz based Natalie Tan-Torres brings to us a song that, for her, can only be listened to sparingly. After two years of avoiding "Amor Eterno," Natalie gives it a listen and explains to us why it holds such an impact.

Rocío Dúrcal is a singer and actress from Spain with an esteemed Latin Grammy Award. Listen to her sing and see if you can hold back the tears.

My Mixtape: "Both Sides Now," by Joni Mitchell

Apr 13, 2019

Lisa Forkish is a singer-songwriter, educator and self-described “Love Warrior,” based out of Oakland, CA. She has released four solo albums and is founder and director of five-time national champion a cappella group Vocal Rush.

She brings to us Joni Mitchell, who has been a big influence on her since she was a young girl. The song "Both Sides Now" is full of metaphors and solid life philosophy, give it a listen!

My Mixtape: "Love Theme from Spartacus," by Yusef Lateef

Apr 11, 2019

Michael Orange is the executive director and founder of Matatu in Oakland, CA. Today he shares with us a song from Yusef Lateef's 1960's album Eastern Sounds, a cover of the "Love Theme" from the movie Spartacus.

Nathan Tan is a fashion designer, artist, and owner of the clothing company New Skool, and today he brings us a hit from KRS-One. 

Listen to "Step Into a World," part of KRS-One's third solo album released in 1997, to get a taste of a conscious rap song you can dance to.

My Mixtape: "Summertime," by George Gershwin

Apr 5, 2019

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo is a wildly talented traditional Vietnamese instrumentalist and composer, who graduated from and taught at the Vietnam Academy of Music. 

Today she brings to us a classic 1935 opera song from Porgy and Bess that, for her, carries unexpected similarities to Vietnamese weather.

My Mixtape: "After Darkness," by Zakiya Harris

Mar 30, 2019

Oakland singer and songwriter Zakiya Harris performs under the name Sh8peshifter, fusing an afro-eclectic mix of soul, dance, and theater. She brings to us "After Darkness," a meaningful song of her own.

Listen to Zakiya muse on our culture's fear of darkness and the positivity that could potentially come from it in this edition of My Mixtape.

Dominique Gelin is a local comedian and co-producer of many bay area comedy showcases. In one of the most informative My Mixtapes yet, she graces us with her wit, wisdom, and one of her favorite tunes.

Did Eisenhower have black friends? How has the United States used music to show the world they were cool? Listen to a little Dave Brubeck Quartet to find out!

My Mixtape: "River," by Joni Mitchell

Mar 23, 2019

Playwright, stage actor, and sports columnist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Chuck (CW) Nevius, shares with us a favorite from Joni Mitchell. It's a dreamy Christmas song unlike any other; give it a listen and see why it's one of Chuck's favorites!

My Mixtape: "Testify," by Dianne Reeves

Mar 22, 2019

Destiny Muhammad is a local recording and performing artist, band leader, composer, and producer. Her new album, Sonic Legacy, is a tribute to the legendary jazz harpist Alice Coltrane. 

She brings to My Mixtape another source of inspiration, Dianne Reeves, whose music might just keep you grounded when times get tough.

My Mixtape: "The Whale Song" by Big Tree

Mar 8, 2019

Anne Yumi Kobori is a Bay-Area based theatre professional and teaching artist. She believes in live theatre as a unique and powerful form of human connection.

She brings to us a band that formed in the basements of Sarah Lawrence College, and explains what it is that makes "Whale Song" so cute.

My Mixtape: "Tezeta," by Mulatu Astatke

Mar 7, 2019

San Francisco’s Tommy Guerrero started his career as a professional skateboarder in the 1980s and has been invested in music since his youth. He released his latest project, Dub Tunes, in Febuary 2019. 

Today he brings us a sweet lullaby of a song from Mulatu Astatke, one of the pioneers of the ethio jazz genre. Give it a listen and see how quickly you forget your troubles. 

My Mixtape: "Guess Who I Saw Today," by Nancy Wilson

Mar 2, 2019

Born and raised in San Francisco, Jamie Zee has been performing professionally for over 7 years and is currently attending the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley.

She finds a lot of inspiration in jazz singers like Astrud Gilberto, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn, and today she brings us one of her favorites by Nancy Wilson. Listen in to find out what makes "Guess Who I Saw Today," so mysterious.

My Mixtape: "I Say a Little Prayer," by Aretha Franklin

Mar 1, 2019

Ruby Mountain is a singer, songwriter, and producer with an eclectic style. She grew up performing Afghan songs with her father while experiencing all of the soul, r&b, and hip hop that the Bay Area had to offer.

Today she brings us a song close to her heart: "I Say a Little Prayer," by Aretha Franklin.

My Mixtape: "Inner City Blues," by Marvin Gaye

Feb 23, 2019

Actor, comedian, filmmaker, and peace advocate Donald Lacy has produced local plays, radio theater, comedy shows, and more. He insists we listen to, in his opinion, the best album ever created: Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. It was a time when Gaye decided to stray from his usual flavor and speak out about the injustices in our society, and "Inner City Blues" exemplifies just that.

My Mixtape: "I Keep Forgettin'," by Michael McDonald

Feb 22, 2019

Michael Marshall kicked off his career as former lead singer for the musical collective Timex Social Club. Mike Meezy, aka "The Soul of the Bay," transitioned to a solo career in the 2000's and dropped his latest album, Grown and Sexy, in 2018.

He brings to us a classic from Michael McDonald, which was for him, the song that started it all.

Today's mixtape is brought to you by our own Audio Academy fellow, Porfirio Rangel!

Kat Robichaud is a local powerhouse of theatrical rock and creator of Misfit Cabaret, a fluid reimagination of the variety show. She brings to us "Faust," by Paul Williams  for a raw take on love and the music industry. "Faust" is from Phantom of the Paradise, the musical rock opera.

My Mixtape: "Laws of the Universe," by Toro y Moi

Feb 15, 2019

Oakland cartoonist and educator Breena Nuñez Peralta explores narratives rarely touched on in mainstream cartoons. She draws about the experiences of the Afro-Latinx diaspora and queer people of color. Her art is inspired by her own sense of not “fitting in.”

When she needs a break, she likes to listen to beats she can move her body to. Check out one of her favorites, Toro y Moi's "Laws of the Universe."

My Mixtape: "Human," by Sevdaliza

Feb 11, 2019

Toni Cannon, local acro-dancer and massage practicioner, brings us a song that he loves to perform to: Sevdaliza's "Human." 

Sevdaliza is an Iranian-Dutch singer, songwriter, and record producer, with renditions of "Human" sung in both English and Portuguese. We've incorporated bits of both in today's mixtape. Give it a listen and see what this experimental electronic music has to teach you about being human.