Emma On The Record: An Interview with Kiana Carver

When I first got to BU, I instantly knew I wanted to join the school’s radio station. After signing up to be an intern, I got to go through a list of current shows on air and pick my top three choices. A show called "Back to the Future" immediately struck me since the description described it as “a music show focused on the best music from past generations and how it inspired the current music scene.” Of course, I put it as my first choice, and by the fate of the gods (well, the station manager actually) I was assigned to be an intern on the show. I showed up 20 minutes early to our Friday 4-6 p.m. slot and felt super nervous. Will they like me? Are they the quiet types? And most importantly, will they like my taste in music?

When the DJs and the two other interns all got there, we walked into the studio and the awkward silence settled in. I, of course, tried to make some small talk to break the ice, and it worked for the most part––with the DJs at least. I immediately clicked with all of them and we threw ourselves down a rabbit hole of talking about our childhoods, the music we listened to growing up, and who really is the best Beatle (it’s George, sorry). While all of the DJs were super sweet and cool in their own ways, I felt an immediate click with one in particular: Kiana.

Kiana is a Film and TV major and she’s currently a junior. She grew up in Newburgh, New York, but she was born in Bogota, Columbia. Kiana came to BU with a fierce passion for film, but found herself directing shows for BU’s Stage Troupe, a performing arts club for non-theatre majors.

I had a chance to chat with Kiana about her experience directing a live show as a Film and TV major, the music she grew up with, and the song that transports her back to Hawaii.

Photo Credit: Kiana Carver

Q: Tell me a little bit about your background in theater and music. 

A: Before college, I didn’t really get to explore theater. I went to a Catholic private school so things were...limited. I think we did Godspell one year. I didn’t really intend to do theater in college, either. A friend in my sorority was going to choreograph and helped direct the musical Hair for Stage Troupe. I was pretty into makeup in high school, so I expressed an interest in helping do tech for the show. I didn’t know much about it except that it was super hippie-dippy and psychedelic, which was totally down my alley. I ended up doing hair & makeup AND costumes, so I was really involved––WAY more than I expected to be, but I loved it. I’ve worked on a show every semester since!

Q: What was it like directing a production for Stage Troupe? Did you use any of your Film and TV skills to help you visualize and coordinate the production?

A: The thing that drew me to Back to The Future was definitely not the name—that movie is WAY overrated. I am such a nostalgic person, and my favorite thing about music is that it can take me back to a certain time, feeling, or a memory in an instant. For instance, I love Motown because it reminds me of my dad and how he would sing “My Girl” to me, slightly-off key, and we’d sway together.

Photo Credit: Kiana Carver

Q: Why did you want to be a DJ on a classic rock radio show?

A: I always loved music since I can remember. One of my first distinct memories was when I was five, carrying my dad’s chunky first Gen iPod around in Disney World, listening to “Help” by The Beatles and “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John. My taste in music wasn’t always so great, mostly referring to my questionable choices in middle school. Music has been there with me through it all, and all of my memories are usually linked with a specific song. Every important person in my life has a song too.

Q: Who were your favorite artists to listen to growing up?

A: Like I mentioned before, I really like Motown growing up, especially the sad songs. I guess that has never changed. I, unfortunately, fell into the trap of Pop Hits until middle school, when I discovered The Smiths and Radiohead when I was going through it. My taste in music from high school on has kind of stayed the same. My top genres are alternative rock, hip hop, and R&B. David Bowie was, and still is, my god. Alex Turner is my favorite singer-songwriter of all time and I would gladly risk it all to just spend a day with him.

Photo Credit: Kiana Carver

Q: Name three songs on your favorite cozy night in playlist. 

A: I am a connoisseur of coziness. A cozy night in with a soft blanket and good music is heaven on Earth to me. Here are three songs that I would play on repeat for a cozy night in, depending on my mood. 1) “Pink in the Night” by Mitski is the kind of song I listen to when I feel bittersweet. It’s really romantic, but in a devastatingly lonely kind of way. So basically me. 2) “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star. This might be a basic pick, but I listened to this song watching the sunset in Hawaii and even on the coldest Boston night this song makes me think of the glowing horizon.  3) The ENTIRETY of the soundtrack for Submarine. I can’t pick one song. Listen to the whole thing all the way through and let Alex Turner serenade you into a blissful state. That man IS a lyrical genius.

Kiana is one of the most hardworking, passionate, and kind individuals I have ever met. She pours her heart and soul into all of the work no matter how big or small the project. She has been an amazing older sister figure for me and she definitely helped make navigating through my freshman year feel a little more easy breezy. It probably helped that we both share a deep appreciation for the musical mastermind that is Alex Turner. I am so grateful to call her one of my closest friends at BU and I can’t wait to see what incredible things she’ll do in the future!



P.S.: If you’re reading this, Kiana, I hope all of your sweeping romantic dreams come true when you’re off studying abroad in Paris. And maybe give this playlist a listen. :)


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