MBE Nov. 18: Consider KCRW’s ATC host Janaya Williams for the role of guest DJ

Janaya hangs with Novena and Anthony at KCRW HQ. Photo by Malorie McCall.

Want the 411 on what newscasters get up to in their spare time? Look no further than MBE as we welcome KCRW’s new(ish) local host of All Things Considered, Janaya Williams. Williams has done almost everything there is to do in Public Radio: Reporting on Arts & Culture for WNYC, covering Tech for WWNO (New Orleans), working as a fill-in host and anchor for All Things Considered, and producing Weekend ATC from NPR HQ in Washington DC. As a Santa Monica High alumnus, however, finding herself back in LA with a permanent spot in the host’s chair was always the dream.

She makes fast friends with Novena and Anthony, effectively shifting the trio’s parasocial relationship — built over months of gaining familiarity with each other’s voices — into reality. After tripping out for a minute over how surreal it is to finally be in the same room, we get the goods. Williams has flawless musical taste, as displayed in her guest DJ selections: Blackstar’s “No Fear of Time (Feat. Yummy Bingham), Goapele’s “Closer,” and Erykah Badu’s “Think Twice.” Listen close for the stories behind her picks, especially the one about how a Starbucks drive-thru solidified her love for Queen Badu.  

And we connect the dots with jazzy hip-hop impresario Jose James covering Erykah Badu, who he describes as: “The epicenter of so many musical movements in jazz, soul, & beats.” Plus, it’s New Music Friday and we want to know what you’re grooving to this weekend (besides MBE). Hit us @mbekcrw on twitter, or @kcrwmusic on Instagram to fill us in.





Anna Chang