If you’re looking for chill jams from underrated artists, Olivia Foster’s Radio UTD show “Indiependence” should be the next thing on your radar. Every Thursday from 3-6 a.m. she brings listeners in for a cozy soundscape that’s perfect for easy listening.
“It’s kind of just an amalgamation of different facets of indie music,” Olivia explained. “So like indie rock, alt rock, indie pop, there’s been a lot of folk, some jazzy elements too. It’s kind of just whatever I feel like subjecting the poor masses to.”
When Olivia came in to talk with us, between her comfy sweater and glasses, her appearance seemed to perfectly match the laid-back style of her show.
“People actually ask me if I’m a lit major a lot,” she said. “I think it’s the glasses.”
Although “indie” is a word that can refer to a wide range of music, Olivia tends to favor stripped-back, gentler songs on her show.
“If it sounds like something that you could either, like, just like hum while pouring a cup of coffee in the morning, or cry while sipping tea on a rainy day…” then it’ll fit right in on “Indiependence.”
Olivia’s taste in music has always been a bit eclectic. Growing up, Olivia’s parents listened to a wide range of music. Their tastes varied from 40s orchestral jazz to 90s club EDM. But they weren’t that interested in modern music. That discovery was left to Olivia.
“When I was like twelve I watched [the movie] ‘Paper Towns’… and it had like a Vampire Weekend song. ‘Taxi Cab’ by Vampire Weekend.”
From then on, she was hooked.
Eventually, Olivia found her way to UTD. She quickly found out about Student Media and Radio UTD, and she realized it was the perfect environment for her.
“There was like a poster in my dorm, just like a really small one, and it was just inviting people to get involved with, like [Student] Media. And I was like, hm. This sounds kind of dorky in a good way… Everyone is so just cool and diverse and really, really interesting. And so it’s so nice just to like, be here and to have so much going on, but it’s also quiet. Like, it’s like the world’s funnest library with no books.”
Although this is Olivia’s first semester as a regular DJ, she had a very similar show last semester as a trainee. Trainee shows last only an hour and aren’t advertised the way regular DJ’s shows are, so hosting a full show has been a big change for her (though not an unwelcome one).
“I’ve lost the Velcro shoes and I have shoelaces now,” she said about the transition.
Olivia explained that, although the musical content is largely the same, she struggled to rename the show when her usual time slot changed.
“My last show was like 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. So I called it ‘Self-Care Sunday’… [For the new show] I actually panicked and I couldn’t choose a name. So we have ‘Indiependence,’ which is so cheesy. It’s so cheesy… I wish I’d gone with something cute like ‘Fruit Loops’ or something… anything else but a pun. We’re here now.”
Despite her light frustration with the title, she does still adore getting to share new artists with people through her time on the show.
“I have been loving nep… I think I’ve been playing [her music] like every show. But it’s just so cute, like it’s adorable and I’m obsessed with it. And I’m just gonna keep playing it because it’s actually really good and she deserves the hype.”
Besides hosting her show, another amazing opportunity Olivia has gotten to experience since joining Radio UTD is interviewing a variety of musicians she otherwise likely wouldn’t have gotten a chance to talk to.
“It’s super daunting… ‘cause it’s a lot of artists that I’ve been listening to since I was young,” she explained.
Olivia fondly recalled her experience meeting Addie Sartino, a member of indie rock band The Greeting Committee.
“I felt great after that one. I was like… ‘I have so much in my notebook that I wrote down about you.’ That sounds really bad. That sounds so creepy,” she laughed. “And that was a really fun concert, too. She like, crowdsurfed. I have photos of her jumping off the stage and she almost landed on me. And I’ve never been happier in my life, like I would have been so okay with dying there. It’s like just like ‘Addie Sartino from The Greeting Committee crushed me today! Oh my God!’ …They could have put it on my gravestone just like that, like in all caps.”
And if that hadn’t been exciting enough for such a big fan, Olivia even found herself with a keepsake after the interview, one she’ll never use but still means a lot to her.
“It was like over the phone, and so like I have her phone number now. And just like, I feel like I should delete it because it feels, like, too powerful.”
Still, Olivia insists that her absolute favorite thing about Radio UTD is all the people she’s met here.
“It’s just nice to be around other people who love music and who are all really passionate about at least one specific thing. And… to see this kind of cultural diffusion occur between people who are all just incredibly invested in discovering new music and sharing it.”