Meet and listen: Chirp radio

Reported by Madeline Happold and Megan Stringer, Co-Editors-in-Chief

 

CHIRP Radio is a Chicago-based independent radio project focused on listener-supported and provided music and arts. Volunteer-driven, CHIRP is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Shredded sat down with record fair director Jim Klososky and general manager Shawn Campell to discuss the station's 10-year anniversary, favorite submissions and dedication to Chicago's local, independent music. 

  Merchandise at the CHIRP radio booth at the Pitchfork Music Festival record fair. Photo by Megan Stringer. 

Merchandise at the CHIRP radio booth at the Pitchfork Music Festival record fair. Photo by Megan Stringer. 

  CHIRP Radio buttons at the Pitchfork Music Festival record fair. Photo by Megan Stringer. 

CHIRP Radio buttons at the Pitchfork Music Festival record fair. Photo by Megan Stringer. 

Shredded: When was CHIRP Radio founded?

 

Jim: 10-12 years ago

 

Shredded: What was your goal when starting the radio station?

 

Jim: Our general manager Shawn, she’s actually here, she wanted to have a locally-focused radio station. So that was really important to her to support local stuff and most of us here are really into local music, so that’s one of the main focuses. And, to not have many advertisements, it’s a non-profit.

 

Shawn: This is the 10-year anniversary of CHIRP, actually just this weekend, and I wanted to start a truly independent station for Chicago. Chicago at that point was the biggest city in the country that didn’t have a truly independent music radio station. There was such a hunger from the music community here, and when we started working there were instantly like 100 people that wanted to be involved, so we knew that it was something that people had interest in and real passion for.

 

Shredded: In those 10 years, what have been some of your favorite submissions that you’ve received?

Shawn: Oh my god, off the top of my head. Well, Jamila Woods is on stage right now and we’re such big fans of hers and we love her, and also Ravyn Lanea just dropped her second EP, but I think we got her first EP through the submissions tool and we just heard it and fell in love with it.

There’s also another band called Star Tropics that’s a little indie-pop band that’s always been a personal favorite of mine, and they actually just produced their first full record. I know they sent some singles our way and that was actually how we discovered them. Off the top of my head those are a few, but there are so many. We get so many submissions every week and have discovered so many great bands, both local bands and national or international bands.

 

 

Shredded: So is there anything you would like to tell local Chicago musicians who are trying to gain some ground?

 

Shawn: I think you get your music out there and reach out to local and independent media outlets. We are always interested in talking to artists. We do an interview series, podcast series, and I think that just making sure you’re open.

 

One of the things we do at CHIRP that’s really important is we don’t ghetto-ize music into different genres. We play all different genres and all different eras of music, so it’s not like "Oh we only play hip-hop or we only play indie-rock" or things like that. So I think sometimes people decide that “Oh, that’s an outlet that only covers punk or only covers hip-hop” and they don’t bother to reach out. So, it’s always worth reaching out, especially for us since we do so many different types of music.

 

Shredded: How can people submit their music to you?

 

Shawn: You can submit music to submissions@chirpradio.org or you can go to our website chirpradio.org. If you wanna send a physical product, the mailing address is on there. We love to have physical product, but digital files are also ok.

 

Stream CHIRP Radio online or download the CHIRP Radio iPhone app. 

Contact Madeline by email at madelinehappold@shredded-mag.com. Follow her on Instagram @madelinehappold.

Contact Megan by email at mstringerpilot2015@gmail.com. Follow her on Instagram @meganticss.