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WYCE's Mundo Musical: A Q&A with volunteer radio host Deisy Madrigal

The WYCE programmer shares her take on life behind the mic for El Mundo Musical.
Deisy Madrigal, WYCE programmer and El Mundo Musical host.

Deisy Madrigal, WYCE programmer and El Mundo Musical host. /CMC

Diving deeper

WYCE is an independent, community radio station serving West Michigan with its on-air FM programming, and reaching out to the world through online streaming. The station is listener-supported and volunteer-powered, embracing the mission of its parent organization Grand Rapids Community Media Center (CMC) in "building community through media."

In addition to being a WYCE programmer, Deisy is also Program Development Manager at CMC, facilitator of a Spanish-speaking survivor support group, and craft maker. Learn more about Deisy through her WYCE Programmer Profile.

Born in California, living briefly in Colorado, and calling Grand Rapids her home, Deisy Madrigal shares her love for Spanish-language sounds as a volunteer programmer on WYCE 88.1fm. Deisy joined the community radio station's morning show El Mundo Musical over five years ago, keeping the tradition of Spanish-speaking broadcasts on WYCE running past the 35-year mark. The show airs live on weekdays 5-7am and weekends 6-8am, with Deisy hosting Monday through Wednesday.

Lea una versión en español de este artículo traducido por Deisy aquí.


Are you a morning person? El Mundo Musical airs 6-8am on weekends.

I am not a morning person, at all. I have a very hard time waking up and it gets harder and harder every day. To get to the station by 5am I wake up anywhere from 3:30-4am. But then, when I walk into the studio, I turn on the music, and I start getting calls from the listeners, I’m wide awake. Music, first thing in the morning, also helps me establish my positive mental health for the day.

How would you describe the variety of music played on El Mundo Musical?

El Mundo plays what the audience wants to hear. We play Spanish and bilingual music of all types. We play Tex-Mex music, banda, ballads, rock, pop, a little bit of everything.

How is the show used to empower the local Latinx community? What about local Latinx musicians, in particular?

Music, like many other things, is very deeply rooted in Latinx culture. The rhythm, the music, the songs, they are part of who we are. Just listening to music that speaks to you personally, or makes you dance, makes you feel good. Listening to music from your childhood, your country, or culture on the air is powerful. It is also a wonderful place to have local musicians to have a platform to express themselves and share their passion with the people in their community.

What are some moments that you treasure from your experience hosting El Mundo Musical?

One of my favorite times was when Gabby and Oscar worked with me to prepare me to do this job. Gabby, who is super professional and talented, was the person who opened the door for me to be part of this team. Oscar, who is an idol, was the one who trained me. Between the two of them, I had the support I needed to be able to be here. I also adore all the people who listen to us. I enjoy having them call and ask for songs, especially when they ask for songs that I don't know. I have so many new favorite songs that our listeners have introduced me to.

What is your vision for the show and WYCE in the years ahead?

I would love to have El Mundo expand throughout the day. Maybe having Spanish-language commercials, a focused Spanish hour during the afternoon, and maybe in the evening as well. I would love to eventually have a bilingual program where music from both languages can be heard during the day and not just very early in the morning.

Is there anything you’d like the community to know about El Mundo Musical that could use more attention?

El Mundo Musical is more than music in Spanish; it is a total experience. The music is full of passion and if you close your eyes when the music plays, even if you don't understand the language, the music takes you over. It is an experience. El Mundo Musical is not only for Spanish-speaking people, it can also be enjoyed by people who want to know other cultures and other languages. Everyone is welcome to El Mundo Musical.


Catch Deisy's shows and eclectic playlists featuring Tex-Mex, banda, and other Latin-based genres Monday-Wednesday mornings on 88.1fm. Learn more about El Mundo Musical's newest host Silverio Cerda here, and its other hosts in upcoming Q&As on The Rapidian.

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