Putting thought into every decision: Williams Audio Production hosts inclusive, themed parties on campus

Safiyah Anwar-Chuku


Students gather in Wood House to experience WAP’s musical event. (Photo courtesy of Jonas Echeandia.)

Wood House hosted Williams Audio Production (WAP) House, an extravaganza with a black-light, neon theme on Saturday night. The event was the brain- child of Elijah Parks ’23, Jonas Echeandia ’23, and Joel Nicholas ’23, who are also the founders of WAP.

The club is so far known for throwing several notable parties on campus — WAP Winter Wonderland, WAPtoberfest, and a Valentine’s Day party co-hosted with WCFM earlier this semester. But WAP aims to do more than host parties: It hopes to create unique, inclusive, and creative social experiences for students at the College.

When I interviewed them in Sawyer’s recording studio, I first asked why the founders created the RSO. Without missing a beat, Nicholas played a track he had been working on and the three founders started to rap together: “Well, it’s your boy and Safiyah in the house. It’s about to be the best interview of all time.”

From there, it was clear that, to throw the innovative events WAP has become known for hosting, you needed equally innovative organizers. The energetic trio has brought new life to the College’s social scene with the help of campus’ diverse array of musicians and DJs.

WAP’s goal is to create safe and collaborative spaces for students interested in music. “A lot of people in the music community here felt like there was no central community or group or space for them where they could just go and collaborate and express themselves,” Nicholas said.

WAP celebrates diversity in all its forms. Even though none of the leaders are women, Echeandia, Nicholas, and Parks believe they are still able to bring feminine energy to the board. “I’m very in touch with my divine feminine as a male,” Parks said.

“We definitely bad bitches,” Echeandia added.

Along with the weekly wine night-jam sessions that the group hosts in Wood, WAP uses its weekend parties as a way of bringing the College’s wide range of musical tastes together. “We got T-Swift all the way to Bad Bunny on this campus,” Parks said.

Beyond serving as a resource for musicians on campus, WAP’s leaders aspire to change the party culture on campus. Having all played on the football team, they were well aware of the perception of sports teams at the College. “We always try to show that we’re more [than just athletes] and try to connect with a bunch of different communities on campus,” Parks said.

They felt that WAP would be able to remedy what they described as an existing divided party scene at the College. “BIPOC people and LGBTQ+ people were scared to go to athlete parties,” Parks explained. “There were just a lot of divisions on campus, but with our events we always try to structure the performances like a concert or festival where people [come together].”

Nicholas had personal stakes in starting the club. As a music major, he felt there were limitations to the genres of music he was able to learn about in his coursework. “The major is pretty much focused on classical and ‘world music,’” he said. “We have a couple classes that deal with production, like our music and technology class — which is a great intro class, but there’s nothing really after that.”

As a result, Nicholas sought to make WAP a club that could provide new musical learning opportunities.

“We’re all learning by ourselves,” Nicholas said. “I feel like if we all have one space to come together, then we learn a lot faster and have a community to talk to.”

Through helping plan WAP events, Echeandia developed a deeper understanding of communication and collaboration. “I learned a lot from creating these events,” he said. “I didn’t know anything about, in general, how to collaborate with people, and [collaboration] is an important skill.”

WAP’s leaders’ strong communication with others has helped them throw well-attended parties. Echeandia and Parks explained that they often go up to people they don’t know to spread the word about their upcoming events.

However, WAP mostly attributes the good attendance at its events to diligent planning. “[Throwing parties] is just about thought and time,” Echeandia said. “A good paper you’ve written takes thought and time. A shitty paper takes five minutes to write it up.”

WAP has constructed strategies for their party-planning process. After four years at the College, Echeandia, Parks, and Nicholas believe they understand the social dynamics on campus. “We think about all the various perspectives and people on this campus and how we can best curate experiences to fill the hearts of everyone,” Parks said.

“We know it’s better to party on Saturday nights,” Nicholas added. “We know if you throw a party here, this crowd will come out… We put thought into every decision, really.”

WAP employed these planning skills to go all out for WAP House. The event featured numerous student DJs, including DJ CJ, DJJB, as well as newer DJs on the scene. At the event, DJ Daizo made her debut, and up-and-coming DJ Kev performed a set.

WAP is proud of the experience it was able to give to the College community and are already planning their next events.

One future event the group is working on is a partnership with the Berkshire Academy for Advanced Musical Students (BAAMS) to give music lessons to the local elementary school students.

The organizers said that last Saturday night showed WAP is more than a jam-session club — they are working to create and define a new party culture on campus. “I think it’s a lot about creating a culture and norm where you go out and you expect a certain standard of [party],” Echeandia said.