Behind The Mic: Alejandro Villasenor and Brandon Ofiana

Brandon Ofiana standing in the Aztec Prebys Student Union.

Brandon Ofiana finds a medium to express his passion for soccer through KCR. Photo by Sumner Shorey.

Soccer fans rejoice! KCR’s very own Alejandro Villasenor and Brandon Ofiana have a show dedicated to what you love. “Footy Aztec” is the soccer focused radio show hosted by Alejandro and Brandon every Sunday at 6 p.m.

According to Alejandro, the two focus on Aztec soccer during its season: the fall. Brandon added that European soccer is extensively covered on air as well, more so in the spring when the Aztecs aren’t playing. Last semester, the show featured an on-air interview with SDSU men’s soccer captain Sergio Enriquez.

Alejandro, a communications major, has covered soccer on his show since he joined KCR at the beginning of his freshman year, three semesters ago. He said that from a young age, he had his sights set on a sports broadcasting career. He dreams of one day covering a World Cup. “KCR is a good stepping stone,” said Alejandro when discussing sportscasting opportunities. 

Alejandro Villasenor behind the mic in the KCR studio.

Alejandro Villasenor has been an active member of KCR for four semesters now. Photo by Alejandro Villasenor.

Brandon, a journalism major, expressed a similar interest in sports broadcasting. Having played soccer all his life, his passion drove him to the potential career route. While co-hosting the show, Brandon plays soccer through SDSU’s on-campus intramural league.

Brandon told me that the UEFA Champions League is a major focus of “Footy Aztec.” Alejandro added that it takes up over half of the hour. The two discuss their predictions, analyze teams, cover past matches, report injuries and give the low-down on team news during the show.

I asked the hosts if they had any plans or goals for their program and I got some ambitious answers. Alejandro hopes to get in contact with Aztec soccer to set up broadcasts for home games, similar to KCR’s coverage of Aztec baseball games. Expanding KCR’s sports broadcasting lineup would likely be welcomed by many. Adding to their goals, Brandon and Alejandro expressed interest in airing “Footy Aztec” on another medium: either Facebook Live or YouTube. A weekly edition of the show uploaded to a YouTube channel also seems like an option.

Brandon noted that he enjoys being able to talk soccer for an hour every week with a friend. Alejandro added that he gets a similar kick out of hosting the show and being able to share and hear opinions.

If you want to listen to Brandon’s and Alejandro’s show, “Footy Aztec,” tune into KCR College Radio on Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Behind The Mic: Jack Sellas and Tessa LaMunyon

Jack and Tessa sitting in the KCR Studio.

The on-air personalities of show hosts can keep listeners tuned in week after week. Jack Sellas and Tessa LaMunyon bring their personalities to the masses with “Midweek Mashup,” every Wednesday from 8 to 9 p.m. Curious to see who the duo really was, I invited them to be interviewed for Behind The Mic.

Jack and Tessa, both second-year students at SDSU, come together for an “off the cusp” show that incorporates a wide variety of music. Jack told me, “we tap into our personal lives,” and Tessa mentioned, “if we have something to say, we’ll say it.” Their personalities are dynamic together, probably because they’ve known each other for 16 years; Jack told me that they went to kindergarten together.

Jack and Tessa improvise most of their show; nothing about it is planned. This only aids to the originality of their program.

In terms of ideas for their “hump day” hour, Jack and Tessa hope to incorporate more genres of music. Tessa mentioned that the show originally started off with a lot of punk and alternative rock. However, as recent as last semester, the two have begun playing EDM, indie rock and classic rock, and hope to continue blending genres. As a duo, Jack and Tessa bounce new finds off each other before adding the music to their playlists.

When I asked the hosts what their favorite part of having a show was, Jack brought up the experience he gains from the studio. He said he enjoys radio as a platform, and likes to analyze his previous on-air performances, including “the structure, time, the fluency.” Tessa told me that she enjoys having an hour to hangout, let loose and play music: all of which are elements of a good time.

Besides being a host, Tessa is involved with Aztec Music Group, the on-campus group bridging business and music. She told me that being a tour manager is one of her hopes for the future. Tessa is majoring in communications.

Jack, a marketing major, mentioned that he recently picked up an internship with KFM-BFM 100.7, where he is involved with the station’s promotions and events similar to KCR’s Music on the Mesa. Jack is also the Production Director for KCR, and helps members mix and edit audio clips.

Interested in seeing what the two bring to the airwaves? Tune into the “Midweek Mashup” every Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Jack Sellas and Tessa LaMunyon combine their personalities on-air for an hour of originality. Photo by Sumner Shorey. 

Behind The Mic: Rob Rubalcaba

Rob Rubalaba stands outside the Love Library on a sunny afternoon.

When it comes to student organizations on campus, you usually don’t expect professors to be involved. That isn’t the case with KCR College Radio. KCR has Rob Rubalcaba, a math professor at SDSU and San Diego City College, in the studio every Friday from 9 to 10 p.m. I was fortunate enough to ask Rob, also known as Professor Shadow, a few questions for another edition of Behind the Mic. 

Rob’s music show, appropriately named “The Pregame,” is geared toward people who are going out (to bars), he said. If you tune in, you can expect to hear a plethora of golden-age hip hop, and songs sampled by hip hop artists, such as The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa,” which samples The Isley Brothers’ “Between The Sheets.” Rob made it clear that he doesn’t play obscure tracks. He said, “I want to keep people interested” by playing music that is known.

“It drives me, I just get this kick of energy from being able to share music.”

Rob, an SDSU grad of 1999, expressed the passion that drives every show he does, all of which are unique.

Rob said that the biggest steps in preparing for his shows are visiting record shops, hunting for the sample records, and then converting the samples to a digital file. He noted that occasionally he skips the conversion and brings the records with him to the studio to throw onto his turntable, a practice that he’s been familiar with for four years.

When I asked Rob about his interest in music and being a DJ, he told me it began at Auburn University during his graduate years. There, Rob started collecting music digitally and making mixes. Simultaneously, Rob was a DJ on Auburn’s WEGL 91.1 FM, the on-campus radio station.

Curious to see what the differences were between WEGL and KCR, I asked Rob what those years were like at the Alabama studio. He mentioned that the station functioned more rigidly than KCR. It required DJs to go through a year of training to fully understand the practices of the studio, such as running the board, before having their own show. Rob followed up by saying he was very happy that KCR gave DJs the “creative freedom” to find new music and share it.

To stand out, Rob plays a continuous mix of music for his whole hour. He may mention a few of the songs and artists at the beginning, but the rest of his show is a solid block of mixed music. Songs flowing into one another, record scratching, matching beats – everything that Rob does when he DJs at bars, he does on his show.

Rob’s chronicle of disc-jockeying at bars began with DJing for two years at Graffiti Beach’s monthly art shows. Alongside doing the boutique store’s shows, Rob would DJ local events in the South Park neighborhood. Rob’s big break came when he got into North Park’s bar and lounge, Bluefoot. There, he held a monthly set, originally called “The Sunday Hangover,” which included a mix of soul and funk. Shortly thereafter, Rob was picked up by another bar, El Dorado, which he has now been at for nearly a year. Beyond that, Rob also DJs at Seven Grand, a whiskey bar in North Park.

The experience of operating turntables at bars can vary depending on where you DJ, according to Rob. He said that some bars want specific music to be played, tracks that aren’t heard anywhere else. However, some bars, like Bluefoot, let Rob pick his own music for the night.

Rob mentioned that as a DJ, he sets the mood for the bar. He can make a slow night turn to a fun party and switch a busy night into a chill evening.

I had to ask about his teaching, and when I did, Rob mentioned, “I love being able to take math that most students don’t like…and  making it exciting for them.” Rob elaborated, saying that he shows students how math is done with music and art, subjects that his students can connect to. “I love walking in to a classroom and seeing smiling faces, especially for a math class,” he said.

One of Rob’s favorite things about SDSU is seeing his past students around campus, with some even getting out of food lines to say hi to their former professor.

Reiterating the love he has for both teaching and his show, Rob said “I’m getting to do what I love day and night.”

You can experience “The Pregame” every Friday from 9  to 10 p.m.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured image: Rob Rubalcaba loves to be a part of the campus he teaches at by being involved with KCR. Photo by Sumner Shorey.

Behind the Mic: Aniel Roderickz and Cassidy Ta

Aniel and Cassidy in the SDSU Student Union.

Mondays can be difficult to get through, but KCR aims to alleviate some of that stress with its show lineup, including “Sleepy Solarium,” which airs in the afternoon from 1 to 2. I joined the hosts, Aniel Roderickz and Cassidy Ta, for an interview to see what voices were behind the mic.

Aniel, a senior at SDSU, said that he started “Sleepy Solarium” a couple semesters ago, and primarily played indie rock and alternative. The music playlist has since changed, according to both Cassidy and Aniel. This semester, you can expect to hear a variety of pop, EDM, hip hop and more. Aniel said that he doesn’t necessarily build a playlist for each show. Instead, he spontaneously selects songs while on air. Friends of both Aniel and Cassidy influence which songs are played, as they frequently submit song requests.

When I asked what made their show unique, both hosts had answers for me. Cassidy explained that she does a segment in which she reacts to different music videos, most recently The xx’s video for “On Hold.” Reaction videos, a trend on YouTube, prove to be entertaining; Cassidy brings the trend to KCR’s airwaves. Aniel mentioned that he features a song of the week on every show. Additionally, the two notify listeners of local shows, providing details such as the lineups, venue and prices.

Aniel said that “feeding music to people’s ears” is his favorite part of hosting the show. He explained that having a show allows his friends to experience the music that he likes and recommends. He expressed that “Sleepy Solarium” is a relaxed hour, which I bet many could use on a Monday.

Cassidy, a sophomore and business management major, mentioned that she is the Director of Sponsorships for the Aztec Music Group, a student organization that connects music and business. Aztec Music Group hosts an annual silent disco in Montezuma Hall and is having an “Entertainment Industry Panel” on Feb. 23rd. More details can be found on AMG’s Facebook page

In his fourth semester with KCR, Aniel, an MIS (management information systems) major, shares his personal connection to music. He said that he recently just filled in on the drums at a show for Hand Drawn Tree, an indie alternative band from Chula Vista, CA. Sempra Sol is Aniel’s own indietronica band. Aniel says he writes and produces all of the music, and sings and plays guitar for the band.

You can listen to Aniel and Cassidy on their show, “Sleepy Solarium,” every Monday at 1 p.m. on KCR College Radio.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Aniel Roderickz and Cassidy Ta play a variety of music on their show, which nearly every listener can appreciate. Photo by Sumner Shorey.