Kylie Martin, Editor-in-Chief
Reanna working in the WUMD studio. Photo//Kylie Martin
When Reanna Morgan walks into a room, all heads turn. Her fancy idea of casual fashion turns her into more of a spectacle than the standard college student.
Monday might see her in a shell-neckline denim dress, sporting big hair and her staple cowboy boots, spouting old country line dance energy. Tuesday might see her in a black dress atop a white puffy-sleeved button-down with Mary Jane shoes, frilly socks, and a beret, leaving admirers questioning whether she took a weekend trip to Paris. Wednesday might see her in low-rise jeans, a faux leather baker boy hat, and ruffle-trimmed paisley blouse – a look stolen straight from the 2000s – as demonstrated on her “Flavor of the Week” radio show flyer.
Reanna Morgan Wludyka – she normally drops her surname because it’s “too Polish” – is one of the voices that have helped to successfully relaunch WUMD, UM-Dearborn’s campus radio, through the making of her radio show “Flavor of the Week.” More recently, she's taken on the role of Wolverine Media Network's new president.
Each week, Reanna spends two hours nonstop pre-recording a new episode of “Flavor of the Week” to be aired the following Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. on WUMD’s radio station in the University Center. Each episode features at least 30 songs along with personable, conversational dialogue from Reanna, sharing music trivia and stories from her own life.
Reanna’s brainchild was first conceived during the pandemic but was finally brought to life this semester with the relaunch of WUMD. As a self-described “old soul,” her show was inspired by clips of old-fashioned FM radio shows and their devoted listeners – and of course, the practice of sampling various ice cream flavors before choosing one to devour.
“I try to give people something new to listen to each week…some fun tunes to get rid of the Monday blues,” Reanna said.
However, what motivated Reanna to finally breathe life into her idea was her longtime dream of becoming a singer/songwriter.
Her career in music first began when she learned to play the piano at just four years old. Later, she decided she wanted to learn the guitar as well, so she took her father’s guitar and taught herself to play. A one-woman band, she can also tap out a good beat on the drums and play a mean harmonica every once in a while.
Reanna’s been songwriting for nearly just as long, but she started to take songwriting more seriously in her early teens – around the same time that she bought her first electric guitar at a pawn shop, paying $650 with a piggy bank full of $1 bills.
As if her multi-instrumental repertoire wasn’t enough to prove her life’s commitment to music, she’s also an avid vinyl collector, amassing over 350 records since she started collecting them at age 12.
Now a junior at UM-Dearborn, she decided to study English as another way to improve her lyricism, as well as its potential as a back-up plan in case her singer/songwriter career doesn’t work out.
“Any form of writing is my ultimate passion, but English is my foot in the door to being a better songwriter,” said Reanna.
While she works on recording her songs to put on Apple Music and Spotify, taking up every open mic opportunity that she can, Reanna figured getting some experience as a radio show DJ would help to give her even more experience with music, queuing songs and keeping her up-to-date on the history and culture.
Staying consistent with her “old soul” approach, each song played in “Flavor of the Week” is burned from a CD, not streamed. Reanna is careful to provide a mix in genres, but she admittedly shows favoritism to music released before the turn of the century, from Motley Crue to Bon Jovi to Fleetwood Mac and more.
“I feel like once you declare something as your favorite or ‘the only thing you do’, you put yourself in a box…But I do have a soft spot for anything old-school,” said Reanna. “I’m actually named after the song “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac. So, you know, you reach this point growing up, where it’s like, ‘Okay, what is this song that I’m named after? Who is the singer?’ And it’s Stevie Nicks. She was the woman of the 70s, she had the fashion.”
Regardless, Reanna maintains her unbiased take on both the songs she shares and the songs she writes: “I write whatever comes to my head, whether it’s the genre or sound. You could say I’m a free spirit when it comes to that.”
And the same goes for her dynamic dress.
Reanna first stumbled upon her savvy sense of style when she became infatuated with 80s pop culture, from the music to the films and finally to the fashion. In search of true vintage pieces, she became a regular at thrift stores, and her fashion sense quickly broadened to encompass other decades and styles until it developed into her signature Reanna-flair that catches peoples’ eyes when she walks into a room.
“I dress however I want to, I wear whatever’s fun and funky, and I want people to stop and stare at my outfit,” said Reanna. “I love when people compliment my outfit and I love when people ask me where I got a piece. Fashion, like music, is something people bond over.”
Check out Reanna's Youtube account here, where you can find more of her original songs and covers.