Last April, Sleepy Hollow host Keith Brand announced that he would be retiring from his Sunday morning post of 27 years to spend time working on other creative outlets. Now just about one year later, the “eclectic, quiet sounds of Sleepy Hollow” have a new voice to carry the show into its next several decades.
Julian Booker took over the mic at the end of February and has already shown a great ability to curate interesting and surprising playlists that fit the Sleepy Hollow mood while exploring new directions and introducing new artists to the rotation. We thought it would be a good idea to get to know the newest addition to the XPN DJ line-up so we sent a few questions Julian’s way. Check out his thoughts on the heritage of Sleepy Hollow, avoiding preconceptions and what he does in his time off below while listening to some of the songs he played on his first few Sleepy Hollow broadcasts.
The Key: How did you get started DJing?
Julian Booker: I got my first radio show towards the end of college. I had worked for my father (who has been in radio for over forty years) at Delmarva Broadcasting Company in Wilmington, DE throughout high school. Later he asked me if I would help develop their HD-affiliate Graffiti Radio, whom I’ve worked with ever since. I started DJing live around the same time and was the house DJ at The Blockley until it closed last December.
TK: How did you spend your Sunday mornings before becoming the host of Sleepy Hollow?
JB: In addition to my new position at XPN, I work as a live sound engineer, so I spent a lot of Sunday mornings sleeping after late nights at shows. My schedule is kind of inverting now, so far I enjoy actually seeing the sunrise.
TK: What drew you to the eclectic Sleepy Hollow format?
JB: I’ve always loved a wide spectrum of music – I grew up listening to everything from The Spinners to Steely Dan to Carole King and music that was popular on the radio at the time – things like Semisonic or New Radicals. So when I began to get older, that eclecticism really started to grow. I try to find elements that I like in everything that I hear – I think it helps to become a more well-rounded listener.