Songwriter-Scholar-Activist Gets His Own Radio Show

Derrick Ashong ’97 hosts a new show on Oprah Radio.

Derrick Ashong in the radio studio

Derrick Ashong ’97, the subject of an alumni profile in the July-August 2006 issue, has a new gig. The scholar-songwriter-actor-activist now has his own radio show, "The Derrick Ashong Experience." Billed as "a mash-up of politics, pop-culture, social media, music, and the arts, informed by Ashong’s experiences and travels across the globe," the show promises to feature "a wide variety of guests from the worlds of politics, new media, entertainment, and beyond." Ashong will take phone calls, but also respond to listeners who communicate via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.

Ashong was born in Ghana and had a nomadic childhood, living in Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as Brooklyn. He won Billboard's 2007 World Song Writing Competition (with a song written for his band, Soulfège) and acted in a supporting role in the 1997 Steven Spielberg movie Amistad. Media including the New York Times noticed him in 2008 after a video clip, in which he explained his support for Barack Obama in an impromptu interview, drew more than 850,000 views on YouTube. (It's at 1.1 million now.)

His show premiered live from the Sundance Film Festival on January 23. It airs Saturday afternoons on (Eastern time) Oprah Radio (XM channel 156, Sirius channel 195). This week, he also offered live commentary ("Thoughts from the Obama Generation") after the State of the Union address; click to view an archived webcast.

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