The University of Northwestern – St. Paul’s student radio station The Remnant typically features music from famous or well-known Christian artists. However, recently senior Music Director and Remnant worker Ben Carlson decided to change things up by choosing not just to broadcast famous artists but also to highlight Northwestern students, alumni and various local artists around the area.
Unlike UNW’s other popular radio station 98.5 KTIS, The Remnant will be featuring musicians who are new to the music scene and attempting to get their music out to reach a larger audience. The concept of featuring lesser-known artists on air is very rare in our mainstream-oriented society today. Most radio stations will not feature lesser-known artists because it is a risk for the station. If the listeners don’t enjoy the newer artists, then the station is held liable for the resulting loss.
Carlson and the rest of the Remnant crew are willing to take that risk. As a musician himself, Carlson understands the difficulties of getting ones music “out there.” He hopes The Remnant can provide new musicians with an outlet to gain an audience and support to get their message out to the public.
Supervisor Mark Seignous weighed in, saying, “It is the station’s desire to play your future favorite Christian music. We actively try to find and play local music. Many of these artists may not find a home on other stations, but we have the freedom to explore and discover.”
Those whom The Remnant will be introducing to listeners are what the Remnant’s General Manager Nate Grizzle describes as “bands made up of Northwestern students and artists who originated in Minnesota.”
Carlson describes the artists as “Great additions to the station, with unique approaches to their various genres of musical talent.”
Such additions include current UNW students or alumni, local artists and Minnesotan artists, including Calvin Heights, Hunter Fraser, Whosah, Brett Carey, Life Without Pockets, Fancy Babel and Breathing Colors. All artists have various music styles, themes and ideas that they are bringing to the table.
Seignous estimates that around 20-25% of the music played on the station is from students or locals.
UNW student and featured artist Hunter Fraser is very excited for the opportunity. The freshman public relations major loves to create music.
“I think it’s great that I might be on the Remnant,” Fraser said. “Student radio is fun because students get to learn how to run a radio station.”
Fraser will be releasing his latest EP entitled, “Past The Stars” in November. Songs from his EP will be played on The Remnant, and serve as an outlet for his music career.
“This is such a blessing to me. I’m excited to share my music and this seems like a great way to get that ball rolling,” said Fraser.
The passion behind The Remnant’s unique idea lies in Carlson’s desire to spread a love for Christ through the art of radio broadcasting and broadcasting exceptional local talent.
“My heart is to see local musicians partner with our station to have a wider impact for the Kingdom of God,” said Carlson, “As well as grow the music industry through introducing these newer artists to the world.”
Fraser, along with several other students, is thankful for Carlson’s efforts.
“Ben is going above and beyond by making The Remnant unique and featuring local artists that he deems appropriate. I’m so honored that I get to be a part of that,” said Fraser.
Electronic Media Communication (ECM) majors mainly run The Remnant under the guidance of Seignous. Students are in charge of creating and hosting shows, planning events, running equipment and implementing their own unique ideas into the show.
To listen to The Remnant, students simply need to tune their radios to 88.1 FM, 98.5 HD4 or go to The Remnant’s website at theremnant.fm where they will be able to listen to the live radio show directly from their computer or mobile device.
Carlson hopes that by bringing artists who share The Remnant’s core values to the air, they will be able to team up and reach out to those who are looking for hope.
“We want to remind people that we’re not perfect, but we’re relying on the One who is,” said Carlson. “Music speaks life. We want to speak it.”
Seignous added, “We want to celebrate musicians who are pursuing Christ. These musicians are creating art that help others connect to Christ and one another. It is a vibrant community and we hope to be a part of it.”
The Remnant hopes to continue to celebrate, create and speak life while continuing to localize an incredible, life-changing love for music.