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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUR hosts Radio Roulette

At the end of the night, one artist or band is picked to perform at at Marquette Radio’s upcoming Spring Concert.
Photo by Jack Belmont
Marquette Radio hosted Radio Roulette March 1.

*Editor’s note: This year, members of the Marquette Wire were on the judging panel*

Marquette’s Radio Roulette competition took place at the Annex on March 1. Modeled after Battle of the Bands, Radio Roulette allows for talent of any genre to enter. 

At the end of the night, one artist or band is picked to perform at at Marquette Radio’s upcoming Spring Concert. A panel of judges votes on the winner, but this year the audience also got the chance to vote through a QR code.

The panel consisted of Pat Swanson, Music Director of Marquette University Radio, Tom Oeffling, Assistant Music Director of MUR, Ian Ash, local artist and John Sparrow, the drummer for the Violent Femmes.  

“I’m excited for tonight because for me, there’s a sense of giving back and being able to see music. Especially if I get a couple people that I can inspire by giving them advice aside from the judging,” Sparrow said. “I was that person up there once.” 

This year, Chicago based band, Rotundos closed the night and also won the competition, meaning they will be back to perform at Marquette once again in the spring.

The Rotundos collectively came up with a way to describe their sound, “city-punk.” The band’s sound in general was developed and their chemistry was notable throughout their performance. They were the only band who performed amongst four other artists, and they also had a longer set than anybody else, which was a great way to end the event.

The audience was on their feet for all five artists who performed but it was evident that the energy was the highest for Rotundo’s closing set. All of the artists who performed fell into different categories of genres and ending with an engaging indie, loud, punk inspired band was something that the crowd and the judges appreciated.

“We’ve been here before, it’s our third time playing here, we love Milwaukee. People here are always friendly and warm,” José Israel vocalist, said. “This is a crazy venue; there’s a bar, a bowling alley and a basketball court, it’s awesome.” 

Indie-Soul singer, songwriter *Aya was the first performer of the night. Aya said she uses music as her diary, she never forces herself to get things done but instead lets her creativity come to her naturally when it comes to her songwriting. 

“I never really got the chance to sing or make music while I was in college and I’ve never gotten the chance to perform for people my age. Usually, the people I perform for are much older,” Aya said.

For performing earlier in the night, Aya immediately took the stage and asked the crowd to come closer, making the experience more intimate during her set. She even had the crowd pull out their flashlights during her one of her slower songs.

The second to take the stage was Alternative Pop-Punk artist Lake. Lake makes music that focuses on themes such as mental health and relationships, using his music as a form of therapy. During his set, he jumped off stage to perform part of his songs on the same level as the audience, even getting everyone to dance with him.

“Sometimes my music starts as journaling and then I end up singing the words and it turns into a song,” Lake said. “One of my goals as an artist is to connect with people outside of Milwaukee, I’ve been doing so many shows at local venues, and I want to make sure I expand.”

Third to the stage was Nile X Nile, alternative Hip Hop artist who draws from a wide array of genres in order to make his own unique sound. Nile said that he likes to keep his listeners guessing and pushes the boundaries of being limitless as an artist. 

“I’m very involved in the Milwaukee scene, and I love all of the new energy surging. Within the last five or 10 years, we’ve been waiting for Milwaukee music to have a moment and now we’re having that moment,” Nile said. 

The fourth artist to perform was H. Kain, who had also performed at Autumn Rhythm in 2023. H. Kain brought a whole different set to the table while also performing some of the tracks that were wellreceived last at his last performance on campus. H. Kain also ended up bringing a special guest on stage to perform with him.

“As an artist, I stay motivated through my fans, and I always try to top my previous artists. Milwaukee has been really supportive; I know we have a lot of stuff going nationwide,” H. Kain said. I try to stay in my lane as an artist and put out the conscious Hip Hop, lyrical music people like as well.”

Although the audience cheered and danced for all five of the other artists, Rotundos were celebrated the most by the audience, receiving the most votes and winning the competition.

MUR hasn’t yet announced who will be headlining this year’s Spring Concert but since Rotundo’s won, they will make their return to Milwaukee to open for the headliner.

This story was written by Sofía Cortés. She can be reached at [email protected]

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Sofía Cortés
Sofía Cortés, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sofía Cortés is the assistant editor for Arts & Entertainment. She is a junior majoring in journalism and with a writing intensive minor. Sofia is from Puerto Rico and outside of the Wire she enjoys reading, writing poetry, drawing and listening to music

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