Staff Picks : July 2018 *Karaoke* Edition


Karaoke is simultaneously embarrassing and super fun; singing into a blaring PA system alongside shiny lights and friends. Karaoke brings people together to celebrate and let loose and this month the ZUMIX staff have made their picks and who knows maybe under the right circumstances you might see us belt these tracks out in public but for now you can check out the picks below!

“You Know I’m No Good (Remix)” by Amy Winehouse & Ghostface Killer

“I find a person who can sing the Amy part and the crowd never expects me to come in with the rhymes, this joint always turns the party out” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi

“I mean, it doesn’t get much more 80s hair band than this…and who doesn’t love an 80s hair band for karaoke.” –Kimberly Dawson, Director of Advancement

“Golden Years” by David Bowie

“Not the easiest song to sing but it sits well in my vocal range, chest voice, head voice, and break(!) fun to navigate—especially if I’m ‘warmed up’ and lubricated.” –Mr Ed, Teaching Artist

“Mr. Brightside” by The Killers

“This was actually the first song (and the last) I ever sang at a public karaoke bar. I did a duet and we nailed it. The song’s melody is easy to remember and all of the long drawn out words in the chorus and outro make it the perfect karaoke track.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager

“I Will Always Love you” by Whitney Houston

“Has a better, more powerful or more nostalgic song ever been written? I think not.” –Ali McGuirk, ZUMIX Play It Forward Instructor

“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

“Because this might be the funnest song ever and I like to sing like Freddy.” –Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“Genie in A Bottle” by Christina Aguilera

“Struggling with self-discipline, contemplating hedonism, and prioritizing self-respect and enthusiastic participation when the opportunity presents itself? Come on– it’s the pre-2000’s empowered pop star ballad of my dreams. I’ll sing this song like I wrote it.” –Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

“One Way or Another” by Blondie

“Fun driving vocals, with modulation – yay!” – Madeleine Steczynski, Co-Founder & Executive Director

“You Learn” by Alanis Morissette

“It’s hard to pick just one from this album, and if I could go sing karaoke thirteen weekends in a row, I’d pick a different ‘Jagged Little Pill’ track each time I step to the mic. ‘You Learn’ is just a great message to belt out with a bunch of people as your backup singers in a crowded room. ” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Freak On a Leash” by Korn

“Last time I did karaoke this was the easiest song for me to get through and it also made people leave the room. Which makes it very clear that my high school days of listening to Nu-Metal has left it’s mark on me that is beautiful, kinda ridiculous and at times a bit scary” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

Listen on Spotify:

Staff Picks : June 2018 *Joy Ride* Edition

June 2018

Joy rides are great especially when it’s nice out, you’re in good company and the music is on point. At ZUMIX this month we picked our jams for the long drives, the beach trips and the cross country road trips. If you’re enjoying the summer vibes and are looking for some new tunes to play in the car, we’ve got you covered! Check out this months picks below.

“One Day” by Matisyahu

“No matter what, when I put on this song it makes me happy and hopeful…plus, my daughter and I love to sing it together in the car :)” –Kimberly Dawson, Director of Advancement

“Biggy” by Warpaint

“Aside from having one of the grooviest contemporary rock drummers, Stella Mozgawa, Warpaint’s tunes are big favorites of mine for blasting on long summer drives with the windows down because I feel like I’m swimming in their ethereal sounds!” –Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“Not For Radio” by Nas

“So much truth in 1 track. NAS is truly a poet and master with words, his delivery is straight forward and unapologetic. Its refreshing to hear such raw reality from one of the greatest to do it.” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“If It Feels Good” by Leon Bridges

“This track makes me think of my friend Caroline, who introduced me to Leon Bridges on a summer night when he covered Ginuwine’s Pony in front of a bunch of screaming fans. It embraces being mysterious and low-key, and is best when turned way up — all qualities of a good joy ride.” –Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Sunshine” by Atmosphere

“A classic. This song perfectly emulates the mellow joy that can come from a slow drive on a sunny day, singing along to your favorite song (which just so happens to be this one).” –Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“Strange Mercy” by St. Vincent

“This is one of those songs that brings me right to a specific moment every time I hear it… Road tripping from California to Montana in the summer of 2011 – windows down, rolling hills, endless blue sky.” –Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Evergreen” by YEBBA

“I love this song, this singer and her arrangement – it makes me so excited about music and life!” –Ali McGuirk, ZUMIX Play It Forward Instructor

“Hunnybee” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

“This is what the wind sounded like as it flew by me in my imaginary baby blue hatchback the day before I got my license whispering lil summer vibes into my dreams. This song is so sweet, its lovely to hear over and over again.” –Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“Glowed Up” by Kaytranada feat. Anderson .Paak

“Super fun “celebration of life going well” song and Andy brings the high vibrations!” -Jake Gilman, Events Coordinator.

“Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” by Crystal Waters

“I’d hop in a car and drive for miles just to hear this song blast good vibes at me a couple times. But don’t sleep on those socially-conscious lyrics; homelessness can happen to anyone. In that condition, our title woman still considers herself beautiful as she busks on the street after losing her job. Confronted with extreme loss, what would you preserve to live on proudly?” –Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

“Ride On Shooting Star” by The Pillows

“I first heard of The Pillows, as did many people, from the anime FLCL (Fooly Cooly) which released in America in 2003. The story revolves around a 12 year old boy and a ‘Vespa-riding maniac’ woman from outer space. The Pillows did the soundtrack to the short 6-episode anime and I was a young 10 year old kid with no real music taste. However, this specific song was the credits sequence track to each episode and I actually would sit through each episode’s credits sequence just so that I could listen to this song. I think it’s where my love for alt-rock and j-rock was subconsciously being bred. The credits featured a montage of one of the main characters riding around on her vespa… which may be why I associate it with joy riding!” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager

Listen to the playlist here on Spotify:

Staff Picks : May 2018 *Spring is Here!* Edition

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It’s springtime! Here at ZUMIX we’ve been wrapping up classes with graduations and performances over the last couple weeks and we’ve been bumping music to get us going in this shift over to springtime. Take a listen to the music below and see what ZUMIX Staff picked to highlight as their jam to groove to.

“This is America” by Childish Gambino

“This song is one thing and then the video takes it to another level. I love how this piece brings up questions, dialog and feeling about content, race, media and our country.” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Como Siempre Soñé” by Javiera Mena

“Spring is perfect for dreamy electro pop that gives you that soft, falling asleep next to your crush feeling.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Good Kisser” by Lake Street Dive

“Nope it’s not Usher, it’s Lake Street Dive with a recent release that screams new beginnings! Video director Bianca Giaever is a master of quirky and fun, and she shows us all the ways we could be delivering messages in this playful al maximo video, beyond the realm of the phone. ” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Colors” by Beck

“It’s retro, it’s futuristic, it’s serious, it’s fun, it’s mindless pop, it’s intellectual psychedelic pastiche. While we could criticize Beck for some questionable choices on this album (rapping over a trap beat for example), there is no doubt he is one of the most versatile, fearless, and prolific songwriters of the last 25 years.” – Daniel Fox, Director of Creative Media & Technology

“Hoo La Hoop” by System Band

“What an amazing horn arrangement! ” – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

“Year Round” by HighKey Random

“For me everything goes into slow motion when this bumps; mosh pit shoves, ice cream drips, hair in the wind, running for the train, flashing lights.” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“It Was Not Natural” by Wye Oak

“Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack (the duo behind Wye Oak) are not only incredibly skilled musicians and highly knowledgeable about music production/music tech, they were a true pleasure to meet and share the stage with at Brooklyn Steel. Wye Oak tunes are some of the grooviest out there — perfect for blasting during long spring bike rides!” –Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“Lion’s Jaws” by Neko Case

“This song reminds me of both the comfort and discomfort of Springtime and it has a cool 50’s vibe to it.” – Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“Maria Tambien” by Khruangbin

“I just like it. The guitar player gets cool sounds out of the instrument.” – Omar Sosa, Administrative Assistant and Teaching Artist

“El Jornalero/”El Hijo de Tuta” by Lisandro Meza

“¡Wepaaaaa!” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

Listen to the playlist here on Spotify:


Staff Picks : April 2018 *Walk Up Song* Edition

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This April we’re holding our biggest community-driven fundraiser of the year, the Walk for Music! So in honor of this special event we’re celebrating with the start of themed staff picks and this month it’s the epic ‘Walk Up Song’. Those songs you hear when a baseball player gets up to bat or an athlete enters the arena, Have you ever wanted your own anthem to start the day? We did and you can listen to all the tracks below!

“Good” by STL GLD

“I had the pleasure of having Moe Pope from this band STL GLD visit my high school classes this week and it was amazing. I feel like his energy, skills and vibe comes across in this song very well. I would be honored to use this as my WALK OUT song cause it goes as hard as I do” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Homebody” by Nai Palm

“This is a non-traditional vibe for a walk-up song, but lyrically it makes me want to hit a metaphorical home run in my life. Also, can I just be a fire juggler in this video?” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Venus Fly” by Grimes ft. Janelle Monáe

“Man, there are so many good options for a Walk Up song… But how could I not feel ready to take on the world when I’m listening to two kick-butt females sing about reclaiming the dance floor from creeps? ” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Wake Up” by Arcade Fire

“Its a call to arms: Go Weapons of Mass Percussion! And it has a great double-time coda!” – Mr. Ed, Teaching Artist

“Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite

“This is my walk up song because I dare you to NOT dance when you hear this. ” – Jenny Shulman, Director of Operations

“Back in the New York Groove” by KISS

“This song has always been on my “walking around the city” playlist. Great for strutting down the street or on the subway…or walking up to the plate ;)” –Kimberly Dawson, Director of Advancement

“I Want to Take You Higher” by Sly & the Family Stone

“Can you feel the heat?!” – Avi Salloway, Z-Tech Live Sound Coordinator

“Fergalicious” by Fergie

“In 7th grade, my best friend could do all of Kevin G’s rap from Mean Girls, and I could do all of Fergie’s “rap” from Fergalicious, and those were our things. If I’m really telling myself that I’m now too cool to get down or walk up to this song, I’m simply lying to myself.” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“Righteous Woman” by TORRES

“This song is a reminder that as a queer woman, I don’t need to shrink myself down and allow the men around me to consume all of the space, that I should be able to consume the same amount of ‘manspreading’ space.” – Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“Raggamuffin (Real Rock Riddim)” by Koffee & Chronixx

“This 17 year old has the most interesting flow I’ve heard in a long time. Backed by the best modern reggae band around, the result is pure fire.” – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

“I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan

I am obsessed with Chaka Khan and I appreciate the role she and this song have played in female empowerment. – Ali McGuirk, ZUMIX Play It Forward Instructor

“King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar

“I’m mad, but I ain’t stressin’!!” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

Listen to the playlist here on Spotify:

Staff Picks : March 2018

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March is almost over and we’re celebrating the eventual spring on the horizon! In this months staff picks we have the rare *double pick* courtesy of Janelle Monáe’s musical return alongside tracks from Drake, X, Amber Mark, Kings of Leon and Ziggy Marley. Take a listen to the tracks below!

“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe

“This new track from Janelle is so Prince. Janelle confronts her countless sexual orientation rumors head on and I love her for it. People are calling this song the Bi-Sexual anthem, The catchy hook that makes you wanna dance creates a dance floor vibe where sexual orientation comes last to what dance moves you can bring ” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Janelle Monáe is an incredible actress, singer and producer. I am so excited that she’s releasing music again — this song is a clear tribute to Prince, but has its own modern, soulful sound. It’s a beautiful statement of strength, authenticity and freedom!” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Sad!” by XXXTentacion

“I love this song for the infectious hook, and it even though I did not like the artist at first, this is one of his better songs.” – Dawry Ruiz, ZTC (ZUMIX Teen Council)

“Falling” by HAIM

“Your birthday week is a good time to sing the same lyrics you sang in college: ‘Never look back. Never give up.'” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Redemption Song” by Ziggy Marley and the Chieftains

“This is one of my most favorite mashups of genre and I think Bob Marley smiles down with this song.” – Kim Dawson, Director of Advancement

“Happy Alone” by Kings of Leon

“When I first heard this song, I was floored. I couldn’t believe it was Kings of Leon. The raw energy of this song feels so simple and pure, it’s a real quick way to get me up and groovin’ with a smile on my face.” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“God’s Plan” by Drake

“I hold back, sometimes I won’t, yuh. I feel good, sometimes I don’t, ay.” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

“Love Me Right” by Amber Mark

“I really can’t with how much I love these feels. This drives such an emotional rollercoaster through beauty, nostalgia and strength that’s elevated + accentuated by the atmospheric rose petals, cosmic gold tears and hand-held realness the video delivers without any hesitation.'” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

Listen to the playlist here on Spotify:


Get to know ‘The Lost Boys’

‘The Lost Boys’ – Listen Live on Tuesday Nights from 7pm – 8pm

‘The Lost Boys’ is a brand new hip hop show on ZUMIX Radio hosted by Biggie, Chris, Dawry and Chad. In this post we are highlighting the first three interviews they have conducted with Kiki.D, Rex Mac and the actors of ‘Hype Man‘. You can tune in to hear them live on-air every Tuesday night from 7pm to 8pm.

“If you tune in you would get a better understanding of hip hop culture in Boston and get to see new generations of hip hop artists coming to fruition who are on the rise while getting to hear great new artists you normally wouldn’t hear.

‘The Lost Boys’ show is nice too because it’s not just hearing us talk about hip hop topics but theres a live cypher at the end and there you can get a first hand look at ‘Project Method’ where you can hear teens who are passionate about hip hop as a culture and not just a market.”

– Chad, co-host of ‘The Lost Boys’


Staff Picks : February 2018

Feb 2018-2February 🙂 We’re back with a short list for a short month of ZUMIX Staff Picks. This month brings a mix of Hip Hop, Indie Rock and Local Music. Take a dive into the mix with a stand out track from Black Panther, two local artists working in different genres and a Soca track you’ll want hit replay on.

“Nina Simone’s ‘Young Gifted and Black’ ” by Aretha Franklin

“For Black History month I thought it would be great to remind myself of how special I am” –Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Venus in Furs” by Velvet Underground

“This song encapsulates why the Velvet Underground was ahead of it’s time and solidified it’s influence for decades to come.” – Kim Dawson, Director of Advancement

“All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar & SZA

“Kendrick walking with supernatural black panthers looks to the past and the future. I love the calm pulse that goes through this whole song, the gorgeous colors and production, and the final shot of SZA’s bun turning into Africa, then the universe.” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager

“Variations on an Aria” by People Like You

“Excellent local jazz/emo/indie/rock/heart/soul/mind music. Nothing I can say will do People Like You justice, so just give them a listen.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Dog Milk” by Palm

“In the indie rock space, Palm is completely disrupting what it means to be a traditional rock band. Their compositions slip and slide through mixed meters with complex rhythmic play between all voices while incorporating unconventional electronic sounds while maintaining a level of ‘pop sensibilities’. They have deep artistic and musical prowess and are equally genuine and thoughtful human beings that are carving an important trail for guitar rock bands.” – Nicole Pompei, Teaching Artist

“This Ole King” by WHY?

“WHY? has been a consistent and reliable band in my life. There’s nothing better than a favorite artist coming out with new albums that are just as good as those before them. Plus, I’m a sucker for a unique voice singing melodic and repetitive chorus.” – Nikala Peroni, Development & Communications Associate

“Hello” by Kes

“My favorite tune from Trinidad and Tobago carnival this year. Can’t help but move to this one.” – Brian Paulding, Brass Instructor

“Flamingo” by Kero Kero Bonito

“Sometimes the best times of your life happen on the anniversary of the worst. P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E.” – Julianna Quiroz, Administrative Assistant

“Edges” by Seraah

“Seraah is complex artist who fuses movement, music and surreal imagery and to me ‘Edges’ pushes feelings in a visceral way, I loved how this video encapsulated the vibe Seraah puts out at live shows and glad to see it be transported to a torch lit forest, elevating it to an ethereal level” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

Listen to the playlist here on Spotify: