The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Music, fashion to intersect for KZUU program director next semester

Ezekiel Mitchell-Hopmeier will study abroad in Japan for 10 months
Ezekiel Mitchell-Hopmeier; “I would really love to try to pursue radio in Japan if possible.”

Music is the core passion for Ezekiel Mitchell-Hopmeier, a third-year Japanese major. He has been interested in music since middle school, and his love has only evolved in his recent years in college.

At WSU, he has engaged with music in a brand new way through being a radio DJ for KZUU. Mitchell-Hopmeier joined the radio broadcasting station in 2021, becoming a music director for 20 months and now holding the position of program director.

Mitchell-Hopmeier said he has always enjoyed music, but working on the radio is a new experience that gives him a different perspective.

“Music has always been a passion of mine in terms of listening to music and I’ve even made music on and off,” he said. “Coming to WSU, [KZUU] gave me a new avenue to appreciate music because I had never really thought about the side of sharing and broadcasting music like that.”

He said he joined KZUU as a new way to engage with music, but it has become more than that. Joining the radio club has been integral to his experience, being the most impactful part of his WSU Journey.

“I’ve found a home at the radio station and a really strong community,” he said. “That really is central to what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis.”

He has become an avid collector of vinyl records and CDs, something he had found an interest in during the pandemic.

He prefers a quality over quantity approach to collecting physical media. He said he finds a lot of pride in scouring both online and in person to find a specific vinyl he is looking for.

“The really fun thing about collecting CDs and vinyl is that there’s only a finite amount and some of them are very rare,” he said. “It gives me a new way of appreciating music and supporting artists that I love. It’s something that just listening to their music on streaming wouldn’t be able to provide and it feels very personal to own an album that you love.”

A collection spanning over 100 releases, there is one that stands out among the rest: a record of the single “When Can I See You Again?” by Owl City, Mitchell-Hopmeier’s favorite artist, that was released as a party favor for film screening viewers.

He said it took him three years of trying to finally track down a copy, deciding that it would be a no-brainer to make the purchase.

“That was such a great feeling. Probably one of the best days of my life if I’m being honest,” he said.

Mitchell-Hopmeier said he first got interested in Owl City after a friend showed him his work in seventh grade. Since then, it has been his favorite artist.

His favorite single is “Madeline Island,” as it has a different vibe than his other music while still keeping the same emotional response. Another song he holds fondly is “Fireflies.”

In general, Owl City is an artist that reminds him of his childhood, with that nostalgic feeling being the root of his interest.

“I remember listening to “Fireflies” when I was in a Build-A-Bear workshop. That’s like a core memory for me,” he said. “I find that music, more than almost anything else, is really able to capture memories for me, and it just transports me back to another time.”

Music is not the only passion that he has. Thrifting clothes and fashion as a whole have also become fixtures of Mitchell-Hopmeier’s life.

Another passion of his is learning the Japanese language, which even became his field of study at WSU.

As an honors student at WSU, he was required to take a language class. That requirement sparked an interest in the language and Mitchell-Hopmeier said he decided to switch majors from mechanical engineering to Japanese.

He said he quickly realized he had more passion for the language classes he took rather than the engineering ones. Deciding to pursue Japanese as his major was the best decision of his time in Pullman.

“I’m so glad I made that decision,” Mitchell-Hopmeier said. “In the future, I’d like to use Japanese as a tool for maybe working in Japan. I would really love to try to pursue radio in Japan if possible.”

He will get to visit Japan very soon, as he got selected as one WSU student to visit the country for 10 months while studying abroad.

Part of the reason he is excited about the trip, beyond getting to study outside the United States, is the ability to engage with all of his interests on a new level. There are shops and thrifting opportunities to explore fashion and there is an entirely new language of music to listen to; he will engage with Japanese in a new way.

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.