Before Apple re-invented the music industry with the creation of the iPod and iTunes, there were two primary ways of listening to recorded music: head to the local HMV in your favourite mall to pick up the latest HorrorPops CD, or tune the radio to your favourite station. It may appear radio is going the way of the vinyl record with the on-demand luxuries of Spotify and Apple Music, but for NAIT Radio students, broadcasting tunes is a part of daily life. In fact, in 2021, nearly 87 per cent of Canadians said they listened to radio in the past month, according to a study published on Statista.
NAIT’s student-run radio station, NR92, sits in the lonely “V” building on the northern part of the main campus and is broadcasted throughout the main building’s hallways. Although the station is secluded, hearing these students and the songs they choose makes NAIT’s empty halls feel a little less lonely. You may be wondering how NR92 makes song selections in the first place—check out the tracklist in our mixtape below to find out.
Afternoon Delight (Starland Vocal Band)
Lamya Asiff, a Radio and Television instructor at NAIT, explains how the music is chosen. “We’re unique in the sense we don’t play one genre of music, which most stations do.” NR92 covers pop, rock, country, alternative and easy-listening genres. But every day at 12:20, there is a “New Music Nooner.” This nooner is a feature showcasing new music from local NAIT students or artists around Edmonton. A new artist is featured every week.
If I Had $1,000,000 (Barenaked Ladies)
If you are wondering why NR92 is not playing all of today’s top hits, there’s a financial reason behind it. The radio station gets all its music from Yangaroo, a cloud-based digital media distribution system service. Most radio stations will pay for music from that site, but Asiff explains the difficulties of being an educational institution: “We get the free version, but the free version means not every song.”
Don’t Download This Song (“Weird Al” Yankovic)
As for music prohibited from being played, the clean version of songs will be played instead of their dirty versions, also known as radio edits. For example, the radio edit version of CeeLo Green’s F*** You is called Forget You.
Another type of music prohibited from being played is by artists in the middle of a big controversy. “Usually related to criminal charges or something like that,” Asiff added. It can be a show of support to a political statement, and the campus radio station would not like to take any sides on certain issues.
Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry)
NAIT students are welcome to take sides on musical issues, though, in the form of song requests. Perhaps you take issue with the radio station not playing enough covers of The Devil Went Down to Georgia, or you’d like to hear Christopher Lee sing more Christmas songs like The Little Drummer Boy. You can send an email song request to NR92radio@gmail.com. They would love to hear your suggestions, even if it is just a suggestion about a new local or NAIT artist.
Spice Up Your Life (Spice Girls)
The radio station offers a diverse selection of different music. If Dethklok is the only metal music you enjoy, the Metal Injection hour might be a bit too heavy for you. Instead, you might enjoy Pixel Radio, a video-game themed music program. Or, if you are a sports fan, NR92 offers a wide variety of sports-themed talk shows. Go to NR92.com to find the schedule, or tune in anytime to listen to the student DJs. If this mixtape didn’t do the trick, search NR92 on Spotify and check out the station’s playlists.
Cover photo via NAIT Content Collective