This week, we’re kicking off our summer playlists. We called in some experts: The people in town actually making the music, writing about it and putting on the shows. Artist and rapper, KayelaJ, is also about to drop a scorcher of a debut, “D.Y.K.E (Don’t Yield, Keep Enduring)” and we get an exclusive listen to some of the tracks and her creative process.


Travis D. Wiggins (left) of local bands Nerve Beats, Cool Flowers, and Conditioner Disco Group. Corby Plumb (right) of Nerve Beats and the zine  'Totally Different Head.'

Travis D. Wiggins (left) of local bands Nerve Beats, Cool Flowers, and Conditioner Disco Group. Corby Plumb (right) of Nerve Beats and the zine  ‘Totally Different Head.’

Courtesy of Travis D. Wiggins and Corby Plumb

Jenni Moore is an editor and columnist at the Portland Mercury, specializing in music and hip-hop.

Jenni Moore is an editor and columnist at the Portland Mercury, specializing in music and hip-hop.

Courtesy of Jenni Moore

Summer Playlist 2019 — 1:47

Travis D. Wiggins (Cool Flowers, Nerve Beats, and Conditioner Disco Group) and Corby Plumb (Nerve Beats and Totally Different Head) are both devoted, self-taught musicologists of the local underground DIY scene. They give an insider’s perspective, discussing their favorite summer releases which include: 

“Proud Boys” by Soft Butch

 “Can’t Stand Back” by The Rats

 “Bruise Cruise” by Ex-Kids

 “Stringy” by Pocket Rock-it

 “Colder than a Wedge” by Elrond

 “Sex and Violence” by All Hits

We’re also joined by The Portland Mercury’s music editor Jenni Moore. Did we mention she also helps organize Thesis, the monthly hip-hop showcase that happens every first Thursday at Kelly’s Olympian? If you want an introduction to Portland hip-hop, check out the next one July 5 (on a Friday because of the holiday) at 9 p.m. Her list of favorites include:

 “Truth” by Mark Ronson feat. The Last Artful Dodgr and Alicia Keys 

“Glory Glory” by Rasheed Jamal

 “25 Alive” by Oh, Rose

 “Depression was Trash” by KayelaJ


Artist/Rapper KaylaJ's debut album "D.Y.K.E." or "Don't Yield, Keep Enduring" will be released July 13th, 2019.

Artist/Rapper KaylaJ’s debut album “D.Y.K.E.” or “Don’t Yield, Keep Enduring” will be released July 13th, 2019.

Courtesy of Riley Brown

“Don’t Yield, Keep Enduring” Kayla — 19:19

Makayela Johnson, known to the world as KayelaJ, was on track to becoming a family counselor. But somewhere in-between orientation and the first day of her graduate program, her focus shifted to completing and producing a powerfully, vulnerable debut, “D.Y.K.E (Don’t Yield, Keep Enduring).”

Although different from her initial academic approach, her music is still a  form of community outreach. By sharing the rawest of portraits, chronicling her own journey to self-love and acceptance, she hopes to reach those who might be going through similar trials. Johnson speaks candidly about her transformation and the struggles behind her highly anticipated album. Release date, July 13. The Album release party is on July 12, 9 p.m., at Kelly’s Olympian.

Twitter/IG : @KayelaJ_

Facebook : @KayelaJMusic 

Website : KayelaJ.com


DJ Ambush is a radio personality on The Numberz — a Portland station featuring an all-Black, non-commercial format. The Numberz airs on 96.7 fm. 

DJ Ambush is a radio personality on The Numberz — a Portland station featuring an all-Black, non-commercial format. The Numberz airs on 96.7 fm. 

Jimmy Giambrone/Courtesy DJ Ambush

Carving Out Space on the Airwaves — 36:31

If you’re ever driving around on Portland’s east side, tune your radio to 96.7 FM, and you’ll find something special. The Numberz is the city’s only station committed to airing “Black music by Black people from Black Portland.” From a segment we first aired in March 2019, we speak with a few of The Numberz’ key players, including co-founder Anthony Deloney, DJ Ambush, and station manager Kayela J. To listen to The Numberz live, tune in to 96.7 FM, or stream online.

Music Heard On 'State Of Wonder'

A Spotify playlist to share all the music we feature on our show and anything else that inspires us while we’re making it.