Meet Amy Miller:
How did you get into working in radio?
I’ve always loved radio. When I was a teenager, half the concerts I would go to were shows my friends and I won tickets to by calling into our local radio station. I remember getting autographs from a couple of my favorite DJs in the San Francisco Bay Area at one of these shows. I went to college in Santa Cruz, CA, and the campus station (KZSC) was the first station I set foot in. It was in the middle of the redwoods and I hosted a show from 2 to 6am. I played a lot of vinyl and it was your typical college station—the programming would include a jazz show, followed by a metal show, followed by an indie rock show. It was great. My first part-time radio job was at KFOG in San Francisco and that was really my first introduction to radio programming and all the moving parts of a successful radio station.
As a radio personality for KXT and the host for The KXT Local Show, what is it about highlighting local talent that makes you passionately come alive?
I love discovering new music and have so much pride for the wonderful music community in North Texas. It’s really great being on the ground floor of a band’s career and seeing them play to 30 people at a house show in Denton or a club in Deep Ellum to selling out large venues and getting national recognition. We saw that happen with Leon Bridges a few years ago—the first time I saw him play was in front of about 20 people. Now he’s selling thousands of tickets at his shows here. It feels really good to be even a small part of that story. At KXT, we archive all of our in-studio sessions on our website and it’s so cool to go back and watch sessions from artists that have gone on to do some big things. If you dig deep enough on our website, you can find a session from Maren Morris when she was just 19 years old, and now she’s playing huge amphitheaters.
What’s your favorite local musician/band right now?
Oh, I don’t like to play favorites—there’s so much talent coming out of the area, I don’t think I could pick a favorite even if I tried. A few artists I’ve been listening to a lot lately though are Acid Carousel, Danielle Grubb, Garrett Owen, Pearl Earl, and Little Image. I think Ashleigh Smith (a jazz/soul singer from Carrollton) has such a beautiful voice. And The Texas Gentlemen’s musicianship is insane—if you’ve ever seen them live, you know what I mean.
As a musician yourself, What kind of music do you like to write or perform?
I’ve played both guitar and keys in bands in the past and have done a little bit of touring over the years. I spent a good portion of my 20s on the East Coast playing music in bands. I still play with friends sometimes and have been writing more than anything lately. I graduated from college with a degree in classical piano/composition, but it would be embarrassing to sit down at a piano these days and attempt to play something—plus, playing the simple stuff on guitar with your friends is just way more fun.
What is one childhood memory that has shaped you today?
I think discovering music that went beyond what I was exposed to through my parents was a big turning point. My parents actually have pretty great taste in music that I didn’t appreciate until I got older, but discovering artists like Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana were a big turning point for me. In hindsight, I was kind of an odd-bird in that a lot of girls my age at that time were into the boy bands or new country music. I was 13 or 14 and really into Aerosmith records from the 70s and buying any music magazine with a photo of Kurt Cobain or Hole on it (yes, I was a fan of both).
Have you ever faced “starving artistry?”
The closest I came to that was when...
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