Radio X hosts Underground music contest


Photo courtesy of the Radio X Facebook Page LIVE JAMS—Local musician John Davey performs during Live at the X, a segment where musicians come into the studio to perform on air.

Maggie Duly

The cold leather seat chills your legs as you turn the radio dial to 91.5-FM as the WUPX Radio X student DJ sets the mood for your five minute drive to the grocery store. It’s hard to know what to expect, but a mix of local news, oldies favorites, new hits and some local music can be expected. 

Students have a chance to submit a 2-5 minute video of their original music or a cover for the Underground Student Music Contest hosted by Radio X. 

Radio X has been creating a music outlet for students for 50 years as of 2020. The station has about 30 student DJs every semester that curate their own hour-long show on a weekly basis. 

Senior art and design major Niikah Hatfield has been the Radio X station manager for the past year and a half. She also DJs here and there, proving the opportunity to make the hour on air her own. 

“I play a lot of Indie Folk and world music,” Hatfield said. “I talk a lot about what the musicians are and what excites me about them, maybe drop a little bit of local community news.”

The Radio X station is located in the main level of the Northern Center. Hatfield describes the space as “cute and eclectic.” Radio X is a student-run radio station that is available on FM radio or to stream 24/7. 

“We provide an opportunity to any student who wants to be a DJ to get to have that live experience of what it’s like to be in the broadcasting world,” Hatfield said. “Radio X also is a strong advocate for local music and we’re currently trying to be that bridge between the student body and also the amazing music community in Marquette.”

With the help of a generous sponsor, Radio X will be hosting the Underground Student Music Contest. Video submissions are due to the Radio X website by midnight Saturday, Feb. 29. Any genre band or solo act can apply, including covers of songs, original music and solely instrumental pieces. More criteria can be found at

Voting will be open to the public from March 1-15. The top three popular contestants will move on to a live final competition at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. on April 9, as well as two Radio X top picks making a total of five finalists. 

“It aligns with Radio X’s mission of connecting students and local music. It’s a really cool way that we get to use our student organization for the greater student good and were really excited to provide a place to showcase all the student music that happens,” Hatfield said. “We know so many students have guitars in their dorm rooms and the cash prize is just a really great initiative to get out and do something.”

A first, second and third place will be selected by a panel of judges at the live competition. The first place winner will receive an $800 cash prize, second place $600 and third place $400. 

Hatfield hopes that this kind of outreach will aid in putting “Radio X back on the map.”