Abby is from the Northwest Side of Chicago, which is where she developed her expertise in hot dog restaurants and playlists with poor transitions. She’s made a new playlist for every month of college of every song she’s heard but is somehow always four years behind the music that everyone else is listening to. Though Abby is studying to be a neurologist, she is still fully convinced she’s going to write for SNL by accident one day. When making fashion decisions, she often asks herself, “Would Freddie Mercury wear this?”
Brenden is a junior studying Engineering Physics but always finds time to listen to new music. Often trying to hit as many concerts as he can in Chicago, you can find him either trying to discover a new album to hit repeat on for the next week or taking comfort in the same songs from the Mountain Goats again. He both loves to write about this music on the WPGU website or talk about it on-air on Writer’s Block, and just enjoys sharing new discoveries and learning about something new himself.
Carolina (or Cari) is a proud Chicagoan who enjoys re-reading the “Harry Potter” books, planning imaginary trips to Europe and making playlists for random situations. At a young age, she was introduced to The Beatles and has been an avid fan since. Her favorite Beatle is John but has always had a soft spot for Paul as well. Carolina often spends her days off at Espresso Royale sipping their mediocre hot chocolate with Spotify on full volume. If she’s not at Espresso Royale, she’s probably scoping out campus for the best gluten-free food or writing something fun for WPGU or The Daily Illini. Ask her about her favorite Broadway musical or her favorite Harry Styles song and watch her sweat and panic out of indecisiveness.
Charles is a Math + Computer Science major with a soft spot for music. He collects records in his spare time, a hobby he claims is both expensive and inconvenient. He hails from the great state of Minnesota and grew up playing hockey and listening to all kinds of music with his dad. Finely curated Spotify playlists are a pastime he enjoys thoroughly and he tries to have one ready for any situation he might find himself in. He is an avid concert-goer when he can afford it and can proudly boast Minnesota’s very own Soundset as his first festival. When he’s at home Charles enjoys days on the lake and seeing his lovely dogs.
Colleen is from the South Side of Chicago, where she first developed a fond appreciation for the arts. Being a train ride away from most music venues in the city is a real blessing this gal does not take for granted! Chances are, Colleen has already crept your Spotify account and has a playlist of her own in the making. Besides music, Colleen has an intense passion for elastic waist jeans, strong cups of coffee and homemade chicken noodle soup recipes.
Hailing from the far of land of New Jersey, Devanshi is a freshman studying Aerospace Engineering. When she’s not struggling under the frankly absurd engineering workload, she can be found wandering around campus with a camera in hand, chilling at Kung Fu Tea, re-watching all of the Marvel movies one too many times, working tirelessly on her novel that has somehow been in the works for years now, or listening to the strangest combination of songs and musical genres known to mankind.
Emma hails from the great city of Saint Louis, which explains her love of toasted ravioli and calling it “Bread Co” instead of Panera. Spotify playlists are her bread and butter- she has a new one for every month. Emma loves to find new music and introduce it to her friends- calling “aux” in the car is a way of life at this point. Besides music, you can find her scrolling her way through Instagram or at a piercing shop (is a nose piercing a personality trait?). Jalapeno Cheetos, alternative rock bands, and dogs with funny human names are the way to her heart.
From a young age, Kyra fell in love with the Beatles, Hall and Oates, and Smashing Pumpkins, among others, thanks to her dad. It wasn’t until her older brother introduced her to Cage the Elephant that Kyra truly fell in love in with all things music. When Kyra’s not grinding away at the gym (AKA working at her desk job-not working out), you can probably find her doing a crossword puzzle, looking up the meanings behind her favorite songs, or listening to Modern Baseball. She also enjoys browsing Reddit or binge-watching anything with John Mulaney or Andy Samberg. Give her a follow on Twitter or Spotify at kyrapuetz and shoot her some song recommendations because she is always looking for new music.
Maddie is currently still transitioning out of her middle school emo phase. You can find her listening to indie rock, taking naps at Espresso Royale or raving about my home state, Minnesota (RIP Prince). If Maddie won the lottery, she’d probably spend it all on Kanye’s clothing line in an attempt to appear more hip.
Matt Mak is a world-renowned pseudo-philosopher and amateur songwriter that has over 13 plays on SoundCloud. Although an undeclared freshman, he’s a lover of history and philosophy. In his free time, Matt writes songs about the darker and more depressing sides of (his) life. His musical palette consists of classic rock, blues, indie rock, prog rock, jazz, jazz fusion – and really anything experimental. Oh yeah, and he likes The Smiths. A lot.
Natalia grew up in the Chicago suburbs, always surrounded by music from a young age. Playing instruments since she was a child, rock has always been her biggest influencer, especially the Velvet Underground, Jefferson Airplane and of course, Jimi Hendrix. She now studies Psychology and Spanish, but still has a great appreciation for all the arts and music. Other passions besides music include drawing, writing, and analyzing all kinds of movies.
Natalie Sarris grew up in the Chicago suburbs, where she wandered through most of her childhood stuck in a book or wearing earbuds. She now double majors in English and Creative Writing and listens to a lot of weird music in her spare time. Punk rock will always be her go-to favorite, though she’s recently developed a soft spot for dream pop and indie artists. Other nonmusic related interests include long runs, impressively round cats, and new ways of consuming too much caffeine. She hopes to become a novelist in the next five years.
Nick comes from the south suburbs of Chicago, where the only thing more abundant than open space is alternative country. You can catch him walking around campus listening to any form of rock, while also making ‘get-pumped’ faces in order to prepare for the next midterm he has to take. His favorite music includes any number of alt-rock or classic-rock artists, but he has always had a soft spot for post-rock. When he is not listening to music, Nick enjoys badminton and condescendingly discussing art.
Paige’s two favorite things in the world are music and writing, so it only made sense for her to combine these two passions and write about music. She is a senior studying clinical psychology, but music is still a huge part of her life. She is an avid fan of alternative music and has a particular fondness for The Smiths, Bon Iver, and Lorde, to name a few. Paige loves going to concerts (she saw 27 artists perform last year and will not let anyone forget it), staying up to date with the latest album releases, and obsessively updating her Spotify playlists. Other obsessions include dogs, coffee, and weird socks.
If it’s loud, Ryan’s there. Excited by the prospect of getting tinnitus, Ryan treks from show to show, searching for the perfect sound to lose his hearing to. Punk, experimental, shoegaze, and jazz are all inherently loud genres, and thus are some favorites of his. When he’s not in a pit, you can find him studying vigorously to become a paleontologist (asleep in the NHB). Other interests include: saying “ya’know?” superfluously, impersonating Paul Westerberg saying “Hormones”, and crying to Hospice by The Antlers.
Ryan is an Industrial Engineering major who loves to find new music and create tons of Spotify playlists. Growing up in Naperville, Illinois, he learned to play trombone for his middle school band and fell in love with music. Really, he’s a fan of every type of music (except country), but his favorites are hip hop, alternative, and electronic music. Besides writing for WPGU, he is also in the Illini Swim Club & Illini eSports. He’s trying to listen to an album a day, so send him some suggestions!
From Streamwood Illinois, 5’11 point guard Sam Enno! So he wishes from his high school years of basketball. Sam is a Civil Engineer, who spends his summers avoiding math and playing in a DIY alternative band he and his friends started in high school called “Scoutcamp”. Sam loves music, the processes of creation, and going to shows. In the summers he spends most of his time writing and recording – “jamming” with his friends. On campus you can catch Sam watching live performances while procrastinating his physics homework. If you see him say “what’s up?” Sam believes you learn the most in life from strangers. Is that cheesy? Nah.
Although she moved to the suburbs when she was 12, Sophia will always be a Chicagoan at heart. She enjoys going to all kinds of concerts; in fact, her life motto is, “Go pit or go home.” Her music taste is all over the place, and some of her favorite artists are Green Day, The 1975, and Harry Styles. She believes that dogs and cats are the way to true happiness. Other interests include authentic ramen, Black Mirror, and being in a constant state of existential crisis.
Hailing from Naperville, or as he likes to call it, “Naperthrill,” Tyler wishes he was 6’3” like his dad and brother is, but he is not. He’s constantly jamming away on Spotify, often late into the night. Tyler likes banana bread, the smell outside after it rains, and Ryan Gosling. He enjoys watching artsy movies and relating to them. Perhaps one of his favorite nightly rituals is to light a scented candle, turning all the lights off — but not the salt lamp — and blasting some Frank Ocean. If he’s not listening to music or eating, Tyler’s probably out and about on campus. Although he boasts about being open to trying new foods and cuisines, Tyler has only recently started to like pickles.