Charleston Scene sat down with Kate Sampson, who has been a DJ at 105.5 The Bridge for a decade.
She's also the production director, former promotions director and former producer of her colleague DJ Jim "The Critic" Voigt's morning show.
Sampson's first radio gig was in 2009 with The Bridge, where she started as an intern through Trident Tech's radio program. Here's what she had to say about her role in local radio.
Q: Have you always been a music lover?
A: I've always loved music! It's my favorite form of communication. I love the fact that there's always a song to suit whatever kind of mood you're in. If I'm feeling happy, sad, anxious, raging mad, grateful ... whatever the emotion, there's always music.
Q: Do you have any particularly memorable moments as a radio DJ in Charleston?
A: The one that stands out the most is when we hosted a sound-check party for a few lucky listeners with Brandi Carlile back in 2015. She and the twins (longtime collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth) played a few songs, then came down from the stage to sign posters and take pictures with everyone.
They had played a gig in Tennessee before coming to Charleston and mentioned spending a day at Dollywood. So we got to talking about Dollywood and our mutual admiration for Dolly Parton. It was pretty cool. Who doesn't love Dolly?
Q: What do you love about radio?
A: The thing that I love most about The Bridge is that we play all different kinds of music. We play rock songs, folk songs, country songs, bluesy songs and everything in between.
Q: If you had to pick your top artists, who would they be?
A: This is tough. My top five all-time favorites are Dolly Parton, Grateful Dead, Nickel Creek, Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac. My top five newer bands are Lucius, Highly Suspect, Shovels and Rope, Rihanna and Rival Sons. I also really like what I have heard from Lizzo so far.
Q: How has radio evolved over the years?
A: There are quite a few people who will tell you radio is dead, but I don't think that's the case. Yes, there are more alternatives available now than ever before: satellite radio, podcasts, some people even have their entire music library on their phone.
All of that is great; I listen to podcasts and I have some music on my phone, but I think a lot of people, like myself, will always turn to the radio for news and entertainment first. Particularly with The Bridge, where our goal is to focus on Charleston and the Lowcountry, radio, done right, provides a sense of community that can be absent in other mediums.