Show Feature: Welcome to the Neighborhood with DJ Klyph

Welcome to the Neighborhood has been welcoming and introducing our family of XRAY listeners to NW hip-hop, soul and R&B, elevating our Saturdays, from 8-10pm, for over 5 years! Hosted by DJ Klyph, WTTN brings a fantastic variety of cuts, guests and performances curated by Klyph’s unique amalgam of wisdom and charm.

Today, we proudly hoist the WTTN banner high on our hypothetical flagship. Here, on this Show Feature blogpost, we hope to acquaint you with some of the unique talents that love sharing themselves with you on our airwaves and digital streams; consistently meeting your expectations and also sharing revelations you’d never predict. We could think of no better place to start than with DJ Klyph, and his show, Welcome to the Neighborhood. A gentleman of many talents, he is highly respected in the hip-hop community and beyond.

DJ Klyph will also be bringing his trusty turntables and bag of bangers to help us celebrate our XRAY Awards and After-Party event, this March 21st (tickets still available for both events).

Here’s the quick skinny:
Listen: Broadcasts, Saturdays, 8-10pm and stream archives
Explore: Welcome to the Neighborhood Spotify Playlist – WTTN #003
Kick-it with Klyph: Mic Check PDX
Dive-in Deeper: Klyph Notes

But what better way to learn about WTTN than from the gem in the booth, DJ Klyph. We asked him a few questions about his show and what makes him tick (and spin, of course).

“It’s built to be a place to hear new music as well as classics; always a good time with an open invitation for listeners to tune-in, call-in and become Neighborhood residents.”

XRAY: How would you go about introducing your show?
DJ Klyph: WTTN is a vehicle to represent the underrepresented. For 10 years the radio show has worked to be a platform to feature artists making great art that don’t get the love they deserve on FM radio. A focus on the Portland hip-hop scene is the foundation of WTTN, featuring in-studio guest interviews, performances and local show promotion. But it also serves artists from all over the world in urban music. It’s built to be a place to hear new music as well as classics; always a good time with an open invitation for listeners to tune-in, call-in and become Neighborhood residents. WTTN has hosted Portland hip-hop vets (Cool Nutz, Vursatyl of Lifesaveas, Libretto), artists on Portland’s favorite artist lists (Mic Capes, The Last Artful, Dodgr), great producers (Trox, Ayatollah, Theory Hazit) and DJs (O.G. One, DJ Zimmie, Rev Shines). A place regularly visited by one of Portland’s best promoters StarChile (R.I.P.) it’s truly one of the best radio shows on the Portland airwaves.
A soundtrack to Saturday night, creating vibes for the evening, while providing access, via guest-list spots for listeners, to the best events in the city. 

“I can connect artists to fans in real-time and maintain control of the narrative without the spin of corporate commercial control.”

X: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned doing your show?
K: During the journey of hosting and promoting the show, I’ve learned how little the city of Portland truly knows about the local hip-hop scene. Thankfully, that continues to change with events like Portland Hip-Hop Week. I’ve also learned how powerful the medium of terrestrial radio continues to be in an era of streaming. I can connect artists to fans in real-time and maintain control of the narrative without the spin of corporate commercial control. Some of my favorite artists who’ve traveled the world and performed in front of thousands, are still grateful for the opportunities and platforms I’m able to provide – real conversation with a real fan and curator. The DJ still has the power to let folks know what real good music sounds like.

“Some of my favorite artists… are still grateful for the opportunities and platforms I’m able to provide – real conversation with a real fan and curator. The DJ still has the power to let folks know what real good music sounds like.”

X; Sorry to make you do this, but do you have a quintessential episode?
K: Over 10 years there have been so many great moments and I can’t pick just one. Having artists rhyme in studio are my favorite times, especially Hanif f/k/a Luck-OneOnlyOne and Matty. In 2019, I had the opportunity to host Little Brother, on their stop in Portland for the “May The Lord Watch” tour. To spend time with legends in this art form will go down as a highlight of what I’ve been able to build. Conversations with legends are special for real! Also conversations with David Banner, before his appearance in Portland, going back and forth on the phone with O.G. One and StarChile in studio in 2016 is one to remember.

“It’s rewarding to see that the things I believe are important and valuable and have a positive impact on those in my circle of influence.”

X: Any highlights, accomplishments, victories to share?
K: Being recognized for the work I’ve put in is encouraging and motivating. It’s rewarding to see that the things I believe are important and valuable and have a positive impact on those in my circle of influence. In 2018, I was recognized by XRAY FM and gifted a gold record for the work I’ve done on and off air. This was an unexpected gift that I’ll cherish. 
Building relationships through the radio show has provided opportunities off air as well including curating events for the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s, Time Based Art Festival, curating and hosting local hip hop events, like the legend Rakim’s visit to Portland in 2013, and the hip-hop showcase Mic Check PDX (which is back for 2020, the next event being Feb 27th at McMenamins White Eagle!)
In 2019, I celebrated 5 years of doing the Klyph Notes podcast, a place I do long form interviews with many of the artists I’ve hosted on WTTN. The podcast is available on all platforms and features guests including Wynne, Cool Nutz, J57, and Mark from Cascade Record Pressing, just to name a few. I’ve also interviewed Portia Sabin, who hosts The Future of What, and I’ve been a guest on her podcast on a few occasions as well. 
All of the platforms are a part of DJ Klyph productions which also includes A Little Sumthin’ Xtra – another podcast I do that is more about promotion and capturing random content. 

“Music Where You Live”

X: How did you get involved with XRAY?
K: WTTN originally aired on KZME radio out of east county. The station’s focus was to support local music – with a tag line “Music Where You Live”. It was a great opportunity to share so much of what I saw going to shows in the city, providing an on-air gift for local urban music. Unfortunately, the station went off the air and I submitted a request to have XRAY pick it up. I’d developed a relationship with the folk involved with XRAY as the station was gearing up to begin broadcasting on the vacated 107.1FM, and they were kind enough to accept my request. 5 years later, we’re still working strong for Portland urban music and great music worldwide.

X:Any Klyph trivia out there just incase you name pops up on Jeopardy?
K: I’m a bit of an introvert, a low-key a music producer and my favorite late-night food spots are Matador and Bye and Bye. I’m grateful for 25 years of marriage. And recently, I had my image captured for the PDX Legends series by BWTIII for Bloodline Revolution. My 9-5 is working in health care and I have a platform related to the – Fitness Is A Habit. It’s a podcast and website dedicated to physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

Celebrate with DJ Klyph live at the XRAY Awards, as we honor outstanding achievements in Portland audio and activism on March 21st at Polaris Hall.