Planetary Group recently took some time to get to know Alivia Stonier, the music director of WXCI, the student-run radio station broadcasted out of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT.
Planetary Group: Tell us about how you got involved at WXCI and how that experience has impacted you?
ALIVIA: I first began my experience with WXCI more in-depth when I became the News Director at first last year. I’ve grown so much with this station, not only because doing my show as a DJ got me out of my comfort zone, but because I’ve also met so many friends. I knew that Music Director was something I wanted to do from the beginning, so as soon as the position became available, I began training with the previous Director. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with, and because of the opportunities at WXCI, I’ve been able to pursue curating music and interviewing. The work that I’ve been doing with the station is truly my passion, and I wouldn’t be where I am creatively without the experience.
P: Do you have a favorite artist or album you never get tired of listening to?
A: Harry Styles is probably my favorite artist. I fell in love with his song ‘From The Dining Table’, and after that, I started exploring the rest of his discography. I also specifically love Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers. These two artists could be on repeat, and I don’t think I would ever get tired of them.
P: Is there a kind of music or particular artist you’d NEVER play on your show?
A: I don’t typically like any country music but I wouldn’t say I’ll never play it. I’m a sucker for Taylor Swift’s earlier music and some Kacey Musgraves, so it’s possible.
P: How did you get your start in the music industry?
A: I got my start being interested in the industry through being in love with music since I was young. I don’t think there was ever a moment where I was in the car and not singing along to something. I actually have a background in doing choir all my life, and I take vocal lessons, so I knew from the start of college that WXCI was something I wanted to be a part of.
P: If you had the power to instantly change one thing going on in the music industry at the moment, what would it be?
A: I would say if there was one thing about the music industry, and the entertainment industry as a whole that I could change, it would be the way that women are perceived in the industry and that aging is a bad thing for their career. I think that art is valuable at any age.
P: What event or person in your life would you say has shaped you the most as a person? A music curator?
A: I would honestly say that my mom and dad shaped my love for music. My mom would always sing Norah Jones to me or play Nirvana in the car. My dad would have some classic Dad Rock going, so I was always immersed in music. In terms of an event, I probably started writing songs in middle school and even tried to form a band with a couple of my friends. They were awful songs, but from there, I just never stopped writing. I think that my personal tastes and background in loving music and lyricism definitely help me as a curator.
P: Has working in college radio made you want to further pursue a career in the music industry?
A: 1,000% I knew already that it was something I was interested in and even wanted to triple major in music, but right now I’m minoring. Music will always be my first love for anything creative, and to be able to do that for the rest of my life would be a dream in any capacity. However, getting involved with college radio really made me feel confident enough to take the step to do so, and I can’t wait for more music industry-related work in the future.
P: What in your life brings you the most joy?
A: Aside from spending time with friends and family, I would say that getting to do what I love, including writing articles, doing interviews, and going to concerts, is really my favorite thing. I also love to read and can probably be found at Barnes & Noble every other week or at a record shop collecting vinyl.
P: Do you have any favorite TV shows, movies, or books you’re enjoying you’d currently recommend?
A: I personally always love watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower. That movie is just perfect every single time. In terms of books I’m currently reading, Page Boy by Elliot Page it’s really beautifully written. Otherwise, I highly recommend The Girls by Emma Cline or Sally Rooney’s Normal People.
P: And finally, are there any concerts you are looking forward to happening in the near future?
A: I just got boygenius tickets during the presale which I’m so so excited for I could cry, but I’m also seeing Declan McKenna, Bully, and Måneskin so it should be a fun September!
Vinyl or Digital? Vinyl.
Dog or Cat? Both but I gravitate towards cats a little bit.
Morning or Night? Night.
City or Country? City.
Beach or Mountains? Beach.
TV or Book? Book
TikTok or IG? TikTok
LA or NYC? NYC, I’ve never been to LA but I want to visit at some point.
Sunny or Rainy? Rainy.