Musenya Ngoma (‘23), WPRK’s Sponsorship Coordinator, developed the new app.
“I saw a gap in the market […] Although we have a website, I thought that the app would be more accessible for students and establish us in the market like a Spotify for college radio,” Ngoma said.
The station airs more than 80 weekly shows, from punk rock to underground world music and heated political debates. Each is crafted by its own hosts.
“Representation matters,” said Greg Golden, general manager of WPRK and director of Student Media. “We want to invite the perspectives of people who may otherwise not be seen or heard in mainstream media to have a place on our station.”
WPRK’s program Raise Your Voice gives individuals and groups the opportunity to record minute-long opinions, ranging from social justice to sports and the arts.
Ngoma focused on allowing users to stream live radio and to provide access to a schedule of upcoming shows. The app also offers the ability to subscribe to a WPRK membership, which is free. He envisions immense potential for the future of the app, with upcoming features that include a forum for students to connect and publish their own podcasts.
WPRK is in the process of establishing a partnership with local businesses to offer discounts and showcase their profiles on the app, as well as to enable users to listen to archived shows.
Ngoma worked with his cousin Mwai Banda to build a finished product in two months. They used Jetpack Compose as their programming language.
“We spent sleepless nights living the entrepreneur life,” said Ngoma. “What I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter whether you have the resources, or if you don’t know everything that there is to know about a particular field or industry, because you never can. […] The key to succeeding is getting started, as well as having the discipline to see it through.”
Ngoma wanted to provide artists with a platform to express themselves. He encourages all students at Rollins to seek out ways to contribute to the college community in any way that their passion allows.
“About four years ago, I was writing down some things that I wanted to achieve in my life and one of my priorities was, and still is, to create a music streaming app,” said Ngoma. “[…] I want to inspire a change that will help students think outside the box, to be innovators, to be creators. Developing our skills is going to show future employers that we’re capable at a young age and are ready for the workforce.”
WPRK is hosting its annual concert, Fox Fest, on Nov. 6 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mills Lawn. To keep up-to-date with events and shows, users can download and subscribe to the WPRK app on the Apple App Store. Android access is coming soon.