Meet the new voices on The Current: Sanni Brown and Eric Malmberg


New voices on The Current: Sanni Brown and Eric Malmberg
New voices on The Current: Sanni Brown and Eric Malmberg (Nate Ryan | MPR)

You may have heard some new voices on The Current and on Purple Current lately. That's because The Current has recently welcomed two new hosts: Sanni Brown and Eric Malmberg.

Sanni Brown has hosted shifts on our Purple Current stream. She is also an artist who you might know from her work in Lady Lark. Sanni has also worked on-air at KMOJ and is a part-time producer at MyTalk/KTMY. Listen for Sanni Brown as host of our Wednesday evening hip-hop program co-hosted by Sean McPherson; watch for further announcements as that show gets closer to launch.

Eric Malmberg has 20 years of experience working in Twin Cities radio that includes on-air and production work, most recently at KQRS. He is also a musician, and he works for an organization called Youth Frontiers that provides character-education programming for public and private schools. Eric will host a regular shift on Mondays from 12 to 5 a.m., and you'll also hear him filling in on various shifts throughout the week.

Sanni and Eric recently sat down in the green room at MPR to share a little bit about themselves to help you get to know them better. Here's what they had to say:

When was the first inclination you had that you wanted to work as a radio host?

SANNI: I won a scholarship at Brown College, and it was called, "Do You Want to be a DJ?" And I won the first round, where they let me go to a radio station, which was 93X, and I got to do a cameo on the morning show there; in the second round, I won a full scholarship to a school of their choosing and it was to the Broadcast Center in St. Louis. That was in 2009.

But to be honest, it really started when I was younger. I don't know if you remember the tape players — I'm telling my age — but you tape the music off the radio, and I found out you could tape your voice. And I used to tape the songs off the radio and do intros on the songs, and that's when I really realized I should probably be in radio. I think I was about 11 years old.

ERIC: My dad was in radio when I was growing up, and so I thought that radio was not cool, because you never think what your parents do is cool, right? So I never thought of it as a profession that was cool or glamorous; it was like, "Ah … that's what my dad does."

It wasn't until I was in high school when I discovered a radio station that I really liked that I starting thinking, "Oh, being a DJ is a thing that might be kind of cool." And it was already kind of in my blood and I did tape the radio and play radio when I was a kid, but never with the thought of wanting to be a DJ. But when I was in high school, I kind of got the bug, and I've been hooked ever since.

Where might listeners have heard you before?

SANNI: Probably on KMOJ if they were up overnights! I had a show called The Overnight Blend from 2 to 5 a.m. And they may have heard me on a show called Candy Fresh!; it was on SPNN (St. Paul Neighborhood Network).

ERIC: I spent the last 13 years at KQRS and then six years before that at 93X.

Share a highly memorable moment for you in radio so far.

SANNI: I'm also a producer at MyTalk Radio, and I bothered the program director for a year, so when I finally got an email back from her that said, "Yes, we'll hire you," I think that was my most memorable moment, when I finally got the "yes" after hearing 10 years of "no"!

ERIC: I think my most memorable radio moment is concert related. Toward the end of my time at 93X, Metallica were kicking off their tour in St. Paul at the Xcel, and they had a whole new staging and production setup, so they had a rehearsal the night before, and about five of us got to go watch the rehearsal. So it was the band and an empty Xcel Energy Center with five of us sitting there watching the band rehearse. It was pretty cool.

What are you looking forward to now as part of The Current crew?

SANNI: I'm looking forward to learning more about local artists. I've definitely had some artists catch my ear in the last eight to 10 years. So I'm looking forward to that and to being able share some of the stuff that I know, too.

ERIC: New music. I spent the last 13 years on a station that was great but didn't play any new music. It was all classic, old songs. So I'm very excited to be immersed in a new-music environment again.

What music have you been enjoying a lot lately?

ERIC: The things I've been into for sure lately are that new Kacey Musgraves album, The Golden Hour; I love that. I've listened to that a ridiculous amount of times. Also just doing a lot of the shifts lately, Bob Moses I think is cool, I really like that stuff. And Leon Bridges for sure. Those three.

SANNI: I'm really into dance music lately, so any thing that can get you up and dancing. Off the top of my head, there's an artist named Khalid; he's a newer artist. I hear a lot of people my age complain that there's no good music, so I'm actually on a mission to prove my age group wrong! So anything that's upbeat, puts you in a mood to dance, that's what I'm into right now.

When you're not hosting radio or listening to music, how do you like to spend your time?

SANNI: I like to spend my time with my family. I like that I have this professional persona that is like bright and full of sunshine — that's who I am in my personal life, but I like to be able to turn that off and just be quirky and weird and goofy and just hanging out with my people. And I take a lot of inspiration from them! I'm blessed that I get to live in a reality where a lot of my inspiration comes from the people that I hang out with in my private life, and I can take that and put that into my professional life.

ERIC: Certainly spending time with friends and family. Searching out new and delicious foods. Spending time with my dog, Sarge; he's great. And I love watching baseball — go Twins … kind of, this year.

3 Photos

  • New voices on The Current: Sanni Brown and Eric Malmberg
    New voices on The Current: Sanni Brown and Eric Malmberg (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The Current's Sanni Brown
    Sanni Brown can be heard on Purple Current, and she will program and host The Current's Wednesday evening hip hop program co-hosted by Sean McPherson (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • The Current's Eric Malmberg
    Eric Malmberg is heard weekday overnights on The Current. (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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