Programmer of the Week: DJ Autonomy


What would a radio station be without its programmers? We’re featuring a few of our shining stars behind the mic in order for you to get a chance to put some faces to disembodied voices, and learn a little of what it takes to get into the booth and make radio.


Syd: How’d you get started at CiTR?

Autonomy: So I started my show at CiTR when I graduated from UBC. I was like, ‘Hey, now that I’m not a student I have the time to do these things.’ My first show is a different show than what I have now, it was with a partner. It was a hybrid show, part talk, part music and it was called the “Copyright Experiment” and we had these discussions about what intellectual property means in the digital age and topics around that. We played exclusively copyright free music and posted download links for all the tracks so everyone else could [have the files] as well.

Then I got into grad school and was like, I don’t have time to do all that, so I switched to this format. Now I do Copy/Paste, which is like a little lineage.


So you do a lot of different genres, even though it’s all electronic music. Do you just pick what you’re in the mood for?

There’s weeks when it’s definitely just an expression of what I’m feeling or what’s going on in my life in a very abstract way. I was thinking about this recently, about how I think it’s really cool that everyone has access to not only curated playlists like radio shows and playlists that you share, but also DJ mixes that you can make in your bedroom – but what that means is that there are a lot of just sequences of songs. So I’m trying to get away from like, ‘these are just all the songs I’m into this week’ and try to narrow it down.

I think radio really excels at story telling, so even though my show is all music and I barely ever talk, I still think that the story has to be there in every episode. So in each one I try to pick and idea or a concept and explore that concept in a somewhat narrative way.


Do you like the time on night your show is on? Does that influence what you play? 

Yeah, I think it works better having dance music at night because it’s a night life thing obviously. I’m a night owl as well. When ten o’clock rolls around I perk right up.

Once the sun goes down I get more introspective, more thoughtful about how things relate to each other and that kind of gets reflected in the music I play. You get to really sink into how it feels and how it sounds.


I’m guessing that you’re down with piracy.

(laughs) I think that piracy is the natural response to outdated ideas of intellectual property control. I disagree with the idea that piracy is theft, but I’m also very aware that real effort goes into making creative work, right. And just because it can be had for free doesn’t mean it should be free necessarily. I really love the fact that it’s real easy to get music out to people rather than having to pass it on to three or four different hands for it to get out there. I love buying music on Bandcamp because I know it’s going to go right to the artist.

I wouldn’t speak for all artists but there are some that are totally good with their stuff being out there for free. I mean, that’s part of why they send it to a radio station, right?



*this interview has been edited for clarity.

Catch DJ Autonomy on Copy/Paste Thursday’s at 11 PM on CiTR 101.9 FM and streaming at