The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Love on air

Jessica+Havens+and+Matt+Mays
Jessica Havens and Matt Mays

It was 2005 and ‘80s punk rock was playing as people danced at the local dive. In the midst of the party chaos, Jessica Havens and Matt Mays met for the first time. 11 years later and happily married, the couple continues to rock out to different tunes both on campus and at KEOS 89.1, Brazos Valley’s only volunteer radio station.
The couple came together because of their shared passion and devotion to music, and Havens said music has always been an integral part of their relationship. Before Mays and Havens were communication professors at Texas A&M, Mays was a radio DJ in New York.
“I started DJing at WRCU 90.1 FM in New York,” Mays said. “I did a show for about a year [in 2010] and then asked her to join me after that.”
However, in 2014, Havens and Mays relocated to Texas to begin their careers at A&M and then their volunteer roles at KEOS. Mays and Havens, now KEOS program director and personnel director, respectively, run their show “Future Mixtape.”
“We broadcast live in Brazos County and we play stuff that you won’t hear in other places,” Mays said. “Texas is one of those interesting places where hippies and cowboys blend, and that’s cool. We try to represent that on ‘Future Mixtape.’ We pride ourselves on addressing political topics of the day — musically — and not by voicing our opinion over air but by allowing music to communicate in ways that speech simply can’t,” Mays said.
“Future Mixtape” uses music from a variety of genres and people to depict social change and the political sphere, Havens said.
“One thing the show is definitely about is how music today is influenced by music of the past,” Havens said. “We also really try to find music that reflects current situations or find past music that is still very relevant today — whether it’s political or social. I think for many people, music is a way that they work through things, whether it’s political or social, and is a way for marginalized people to get their voice out there.”
Havens said getting involved with the radio provided an outlet for creative expression and a way to give back to Bryan-College Station.
“As faculty members, [volunteering at KEOS] is something for us to do outside of the university that gets us involved in the community and keeps us communicating musically with each other,” Havens said.
Launched 22 years ago by Aggie Alumni, KEOS operates with solely volunteer members and is paid for by audience donations. At KEOS, both Havens and Mays work to train and recruit interns and new DJs. However, now the duo is working on a new project which teams with selected professors to integrate podcasts into curriculum. This program could eventually lead to a budding show at KEOS.
Music, Mays said, always comes up in the classroom.
“It’s not like we can separate the classroom from the studio,” Mays said. “We’re indie rock kids that came up in the 90’s and the 80’s, and it’s just who we are.”
For those interested in learning more about KEOS or donating, visit keos.org.

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