DJ Profile: Heidi Mlakar-Knapik
Every Sunday, Heidi Mlakar-Knapik brings the polka sound to the internet for everyone to enjoy. I had the chance to interview the lady on the other end of the mic.
TPN: What is your favorite part about being a polka DJ?
HMK: Polka music makes people happy, and I love having a Sunday morning show that reportedly gets people up and dancing... a great way to start off the week! Plus, I love bringing the various types of polka to North Texas, where there’s already rich Czech, German and Mexican heritage... no strangers to accordions. Finally, it makes me feel closer to my family back in Ohio and Pennsylvania. They all tune in online and reminisce about the olden days.
TPN : Do you have a particular fond memory from polka deejaying?
HMK: My late grandfather was the one who introduced polka to me at a very young age and after he passed away, I inherited his old polka records. That’s how I started my collection. I cherish that memory.
TPN: How do you feel about your polka show being broadcasted on the world wide web?
HMK: I love it! It's the future so why not take the polka world by storm? My family is also able to hear my show. It’s cool to hear that my friend’s mom likes listening to the show because it reminds her of her own grandparents. But it’s even more satisfying to hear of a little kid hearing polka for the first time, and just dancing out of pure joy. With the show being online, I'm able to experience that.
TPN: What are you hoping your show does for polka fans down the road?
HMK: I hope to keep this music alive and thriving by broadcasting these sometimes silly, beautiful, and almost always happy songs... especially on a Sunday morning. It’s heritage. It’s cultural identity. It’s remembering long lost loved ones. It is creating new memories for children so that one day when we have passed, they’ll hear a polka and think of us. Polka music is this beautiful web that connects the generations through time.
Heidi's Happy Hour of Polka Power airs Sunday mornings at 10 am on 92.9 FM in Denton and on kuzu.com.