Live from Shakopee: Radio station gives teens taste of music biz

Submitted by Mathias Baden

SHAKOPEE -- It’s shortly after 9 o’clock on a Wednesday night.

Outside, blizzard-like winds tail off and a shovel scrapes the concrete sidewalk.

In the cozy basement of a Southbridge townhome, two radio DJs are discussing why friends disappear.

“A best friend will find a way to keep in contact with a best friend,” Qiana “Queen” Williams says.

“But what if they move?” Xavier “Alazay” Johnson wonders.

Friends, teachers, school, relationships, pop culture — the two Shakopee High School seniors discuss it all on their nightly radio program, “The Q and A Show.”

“It’s a radio show about a lot of different things,” Williams, 17, said. “How about let’s just say it’s somewhere anybody can come to hear good music and fun topics or serious topics and just unwind from the day and listen to good stuff.”

The live show airs from 8 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays on Megatropolis Radio.

Richard “Richie Rich” Miranda founded Megatropolis Radio, an Internet radio station, in early November to give teens aspiring to the music industry a chance to learn the business.

“Anyone can do this, as long as they can sacrifice a couple of hours a night,” said the former DJ and music producer with Flyte Tyme Studios. “This is how dreams are made.”

Johnson and Williams have been airing “The Q and A Show” since mid-November. It focuses mainly on entertainment news and topics relevant to students.

“We’re doing this to get our points across and other people’s points across that anybody can do something. They just need to work,” said Johnson, 18, an aspiring rapper with an album coming out in March.

Megatropolis operates through, an online broadcasting company. The station, which runs from a makeshift studio in Miranda’s basement, plays a mix of music from country to Hip Hop, rock to R&B.

Johnson’s brother, Corey Henderson, was also briefly broadcasting a weekly program, “The Corey Henderson Show,” on Sundays; he talked a lot about celebrity gossip.

“I like it because you can discuss both sides of an issue,” said the 17-year-old Shakopee High School wrestler.

Shakopee seniors Emily Stoks and Mike Moll also recently started their own show, “It’s all about Me,” which plays from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. There are also shows Friday and Saturday nights.

Miranda, 39, has been in the radio business since he was 16. His first DJ gig was on 97.7 Kiss Radio in New York City.

He eventually landed a job with Prince, serving as the artist’s personal DJ at nightclubs in California, Miami and the Twin Cities. He also worked for Grammy-winning music producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at Flyte Tyme Studios in Edina, producing music for top artists like Janet Jackson.

He now owns Megatropolis Records, a record and production company in Burnsville.

Miranda started the radio station because he wanted to keep kids busy and out of trouble. Running their own show requires a big-time commitment for the students, who must select music, organize topics for discussion and coordinate incoming calls and comments from listeners.

“They hold no punches,” Miranda said about Williams and Johnson’s debates. “Sometimes too much. But I want them to be real. If they can explain themselves, and other people can understand, I think it’s good.”

On this particular night, Williams and Johnson start the show talking about Hollywood news and the death of Tyler Perry’s mother. They use a large plasma TV screen to search the Internet for tidbits. The screen is also tuned into the show’s Facebook page where listeners share comments and Skype for listeners to call in.

The conversation turns to the Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who was coming to town for a matchup against the Vikings.

“He obviously didn’t go to Spanish class because that’s not 85 in Spanish,” Williams says, referencing Ochocinco’s name change to match his uniform number.

Williams and Johnson say they feed off each other during a show. More often than not, they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue. Listeners fuel the debate with their own opinions.

For example, later in the show, the DJs revisit a topic they’ve already haggled on: relationships with teachers. Williams says it’s unfair that students are not allowed to retort back to teachers when treated disrespectfully in class. Their in-studio guests, Stoks and Moll, remind her that teachers are higher up and must be treated with respect.

The pair uses Facebook, MySpace and word-of-mouth to advertise the show. The first couple of weeks only a handful of friends were tuning in; now the show has closer to 40 listeners every night, mostly from Shakopee.

The station is also attracting listeners by offering some great prizes, including spring break trip to Puerto Rico with recording artist Daddy Yankee.

Miranda hopes to expand the station to more listeners through XM satellite radio. He’d like more teens to become on-air talents.

“I really want to give these kids a voice that can be heard not only in the Internet and through their friends from school but rather to the whole world,” he said.

Anyone interested in starting their own radio show can contact Miranda at (952) 233-7300.

Kristin Holtz is a staff writer for the Shakopee Valley News. She can be reached at


Listen to Megatropolis Radio live at


7 to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesdays “It all about Me”

9 to 10 p.m. Monday and Wednesdays “A & A”

8 to 10 p.m. Tuesday “The Q and A Show”

8 to 10 p.m. Thursday “Exclusive with DJ Richie Rich Miranda”

7 to 9 p.m. Friday “Laugh your Butt off”

Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday “The School Star Mix Show”

8 p.m. to midnight Saturday “The Mix Show With DJ Richie Rich”

Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday “My Prerogative” hosted by Lil Missy

4 to 8 p.m. Sunday “Perpendicular with the Queen”

8 to 10 p.m. Sunday “The School Star Mix Show”