The Sounds of State-Andrew DeLeon

On Thursday I showed up to the Farmer’s Market Turn Up to meet Andrew DeLeon. With him were some familiar faces, Joey Bautista who I did my first interview (he also is in charge of the KCR Secret Sessions), and former programming director Brendan Price. Andrew was eager to be interviewed, he had reached out to me on more than one occasion to volunteer. Reciprocating his enthusiasm, we went into the Communications building and sat down to have our chat. Andrew is so far the only interviewee I’ve had who I’ve know beforehand. Last year my 5-6 National Sports talk show on Wednesday was preceded by Andrew’s show The Grand Illusion. He was a great DJ to interview, giving all of my questions thoughtful responses and his full attention. In fact, this is the longest interview I’ve done so far, at almost 13 minutes. With that said, I don’t want to use any more of your time that takes away from the interview, so let’s jump right in!

Cameron Satterlee: Okay I am sitting here with Andrew, welcome.

Andrew DeLeon: Thank you.

CS: So, what is your radio slot for KCR?

AD: This semester I’m doing Tuesdays from one to two. I just figure it works with the class schedule I had, and work schedule, trolley schedule. I pretty much just take what I can get as long as there’s time for classes in there.

CS: Uh huh. You’re pretty flexible with what time you get?

AD: Yeah you know as long as it’s not too late cause [the] trolley. And then early because I did a show at 8 am one semester and that didn’t turn out too well. We were still in transition and there was a bunch of tech problems so I would try to call them and no one would answer. We didn’t quite have Alex yet.

CS: Oh man yeah I don’t think I’d do an 8 am slot to be honest. I mean that’s good for you, you stepped up and took the bullet pretty much.

AD: I had to, that was all they could give me. I was willing to try, I adjusted though, it worked.

CS: Yeah. So how long have you been with KCR?

AD: This is my sixth semester. Interesting story on how I joined–

CS: Wow I’d like to hear it.

AD: Yeah I’m sure they would too. I was in psychedelic rock class. This was my freshman year, I was just taking this for credits. I didn’t care about the whole upper division, you have to take it at a certain time thing. I’m like “you know what? I’m gonna take psychedelic rock class, this will be fun.” And the guy I sat next to, really tall guy, kinda looked like Kurt Cobain, he asked “what do you want to do?” And I mentioned you know sports broadcasting or radio or tv, something like that. Even if it’s just some behind the scenes work, I’m good with that. And he said “oh why don’t you join the radio station, KCR?” I said “oh I didn’t know that there was one on campus.” And he told me I think the semester before they were still trying to transition–get it going–but the semester I joined what when it really started taking off. John was there, Lincoln was there and it was really the rebuilding years when I joined and now I’m happy to be here when it’s a big part of the campus now.

CS: Yeah I mean that’s sort of the eternal struggle for KCR is getting people actually on our own campus to know about us.

AD: Well look at it now. We have a what hundred members or something?

CS: Yeah we’re doing very well for ourselves. I mean guys like you who show up and become dedicated to your show is what really sets us off I think.

AD: Right, and I know I don’t volunteer as much as I should but I’ve tried to do my best here and at least wear my shirt whenever I do the show so that way people will know “KCR listen in.”

CS: Yeah yeah totally. So but you wanted to go into the radio, the field, before you joined.

AD: Right because in high school I really started getting into baseball. I had already been a fan but I was thinking “you know what someone’s got to take Ted Leitner’s job eventually.” Make sure that no one calls anyone else a moron again (laughs). That was hilarious, I give Ted credit for that. That was funny. Gotta love him.

CS: Gosh I feel you with the baseball thing. Well so, I guess I’m gonna take this in a different direction but so you currently have a music show and you’ve had one for a while.

AD: Right.

CS: It’s actually funny, so I guess I’ll say this for the benefit of the listeners, but Andrew, last semester, preceded my show. My sports hour. So we knew each other before then. So I kind of know the answer this question, but for the audience, what is the music you like to play?

AD: Good stuff. Good stuff.

CS: Good stuff?

AD:And by that I mean classic rock. A lot of the shows on campus now they do Indie and folk and rap and hip hop, there’s a little much of that. Some stuff is okay, others…I mean play what you want to play I got nothing against that. But I thought “you know what? I’ll play my music” cause in high school–here’s the sad thing I graduated from Ridgemont High people didn’t know who The Beatles were at that school anymore. I would literally walk through Clairemont High School and people would say “who are The Beatles?” so I thought “you know what with this show I gotta do something about this.” So I took the classics, mix in with a little new things, and pretty much revive the genre and it’s surprising how many people like you and Jackson always come in and say “oh yeah these songs are awesome” and so many people I’ve met through this station they’re like “oh wow that’s awesome that you do that. That you play all these things.” Hell Alex and Brendan always sit in on my show, I always catch them dancing or singing. Everytime I play Huey Lewis, Brendan always shouts “HUEY” or I’ll dedicate a song to him and be like “this is for him, this is Phil Collins” and he’ll be like “ah you’re playing Phil Collins again,” yup that’s correct. And Alex just dances in the background, so awesome.

CS: You seem very passionate about your work. Rock music, I mean it’s its own genre and I guess at this point in rock music’s history you could say classic rock is its own separate sphere than what’s going on now.

AD: Yeah.

CS: Is there anything a bit more specific than classic rock you play? Like any real genre music?

AD: I suppose it’s not genres it’s more themes. What I do is try and set a theme each week and then I’ll take, sometimes I’ll take disco, sometimes I’ll take some country and do that just to mix it up, but then I take the rock songs and I’ll say you know “okay there’s soft rock so I’ll do soft rock this week”. Or there’s a bunch of metal songs so I’ll do some full metal jacket this week. Or sometimes I’ll incorporate sports, I’ll play songs that would be played at baseball games. You were there when the dancing friars came in.

CS: Yeah that was interesting. Yeah I remember those themes now that you bring it up.

AD: Yeah, so it’s not so much as a genre thing as it’s more of a thematic [show], but it’s more based on the rock genre I guess.

CS: Yeah and so each show is different. You’re not just sorta playing off the same playlist every week, you’re mixing it up.

AD: Right. Yeah I even make a point to do that. I say “okay I already played that song this semester, I’m not going to play that again” or at least make an attempt not to. So that way I don’t have repeats. Sometimes I listen to the stations and it’s the same set of songs every couple of days. Or I’ll drive to work, I’ll have on Easy and I’ll hear–for some reason they play In The Air Tonight on the Easy station–so I’ll hear that and then I’ll drive to work like two days later. I just heard this at the same time. So I try to mix it up a little bit. Make it interesting.

CS: Yeah yeah. So yeah I think that’s a great way to do things, it keeps things very interesting and different so that’s a cool thing you do. So I’m curious why classic rock? Why is it important to you? I mean you like it but why do you like it? Why is it important to you?

AD: Because the stuff that people produce now has no instruments and there’s almost no thought to a lot of it. There is thought, I do give people like Taylor Swift and you know some of the country people credit but a lot of the pop stuff now–I mean like that song Turn Down For What by Lil John, what is that? I mean he just says what so much he’s like “I’ll write a song with the word what in it.” It doesn’t make sense anymore.

CS: Well that’s interesting. I mean that’s kind of a negative perspective to look at it. You listen to classic rock because music now isn’t that interesting to you.

AD: Right. I mean I’m not saying all of it is, I’m just saying there’s certain parts of where it just seems that the creativity isn’t what it used to be anymore.

CS: Well I mean that could be a whole different discussion that leaves us here for twenty minutes.

AD: Exactly.

CS: Well but I’m curious if there’s sort of a more–cause you probably looked at in the sense that “oh I like this classic rock music, so this music doesn’t look so good to me.” Which I understand, I’m a classic rock guy, I’m trying to you know contemporize myself but it can be difficult, I’ll admit. But what made you like the rock music in the first place? That’s what I’m trying to get to.

AD: Right. I guess it’s because when I was little my mom played a lot of the stuff. She played some newer stuff too so I kind of evolved around that. But then, a lot of the stuff–like when I was in elementary school or middle school I would just hear this–some of this stuff and I thought “eh, new stuff doesn’t really appeal to me.” And I’d listen to the older stuff and like “okay this is good. I like this.” So I just rolled with it.

CS: Yeah I feel that’s how a lot of people in our generation got to like classic rock. I mean you brought it up earlier that there may not be so many of us in proportion to the actual population. How it used to be where rock was the big thing, the big genre. But there still are a good number of people who know what it is. But I think that you’re right that it comes from our parents you know, and just absorbing the music through other media.

AD: Yeah and you go to rock concerts now and there’s still a good turn up of teenagers. I went to The Monkees concert over at Humphrey’s, I think it was last year, yeah it was last year, and there was a kid probably about sixteen-seventeen dressed up looking exactly like Mike Nesmith.

CS: (laughs) That’s awesome.

AD: Yeah so you know that there’s people that are really influenced by this. I mean The Scorpions concert I went to, there was a lot of little kids there.

CS: Yeah. Alright so this is gonna be interesting because a lot of the people I interview, since they listen to contemporary music, the new music that gets released is what they’re obsessing over. But classic rock, unless they are artists who are still releasing music that sounds similar. I mean like Pink Floyd just dropped a new album.

AD: And it’s already up to number one.

CS: And that’s a whole different thing. But I’m curious since the classic rock music has already been released, by definition, but is there anything that you’re still just discovering? Any new bands where you’re just like “oh hey I should have listened to these guys before, this is great.” Like a recent obsession. It could be a band or a song or an album.

AD: I’ve been listening to some country, I think it’s cause I went to the Vince Gill concert. So I’ve been listening to some of that. Oh I listened to The Eagles a lot earlier in this semester cause they were coming here and cause I was watching History of The Eagles. It really depends who’s coming in concert. The only one I think I really didn’t listen to a lot before or after the concert was Chris Isaak cause I’m not a huge fan of his. He’s alright you know I respect him. I like what he’s doing, just haven’t been given a chance to listen to a lot of his music. And the one song I heard, Dancin, I was thinking “yeah it’s okay,” not totally my cup of tea.

CS: Alright yeah great, I’ll be sure to put up links to those songs for the blog. So here’s a fun last question. So what would be your ideal show? How would it go?

AD: It would probably either be the dancing friars show that I had last semester or the one I just had on Tuesday where I played the whole Sgt. Pepper album.

CS: Oh wow that’s awesome. That’s really interesting cause I mean I’m a sports DJ but I’ve kinda wanted to do a music show, it’s just hard to you know get two slots. But I was thinking I’d want to play whole albums. That’s great that you’re doing it.

AD: I had this theme all set. I was thinking “well I’ll do 50’s music.” I was gonna do that and then I thought, “well, there’s one more I gotta do before the Christmas themes. Why don’t I move that back and and I thought, ooh Sgt. Pepper, I haven’t done a whole Beatles show.” So in honor of George Harrison and John Lennon’s deaths since those are coming up, the anniversaries, I figured might as well play some Beatles songs. In addition to the Sgt. Peppers so I just had a whole Beatles show. I even mentioned the Manson story, about him getting married. That was kinda weird. But it made for a good story.

CS: Yeah, if nothing else (laughs). Yeah wow, so this has been a great interview by the way, I mean few people totally go all out on the easy questions I ask but you’ve been you know very open about your whole idea with your shows. I think it’s great. You’re a flag bearer the classic rock movement here at KCR, and so thanks for sitting down with me, it’s been great.

AD: Yeah no problem, and Ted Leitner you’re doing good but I want your job so be on the lookout. I’m coming. I want to work with Bob Scanlan.

CS: (Laughs) Alright thanks.

AD: You’re welcome.

So there you have it, we got some KCR history to go along with our music discussion. Andrew and I hung out a while longer before we had to split up. I had to enjoy the Farmer’s Market after all and score some Pad Thai. Remember to listen to Andrew from 1-2 on Tuesdays and KCR anytime online. Thanks for reading!

The Sounds of State-Amor Castro and Frida Ocadiz-Ortega

It was a beautiful November morning in San Diego when I hopped on the trolly to meet Amor Castro and her cohost Frida Ocadiz-Ortega. She told me we could meet in the Communications building so I sat in one of the chairs outside of KCR’s studio waiting for the pair. I unknowingly and embarrassingly stayed in my seat as I saw Frida walk in and sit down. I had only corresponded with Amor so I didn’t know who Frida was or what she looked like. When Amor walked in I also wasn’t sure if it was her until she mentioned that she was looking for me. Such is the extent of online conversation I suppose.

With that mix up resolved, we went to leave and find a quiet space where we could record our interview without bothering anybody’s studies. We walked outside and settled on the area behind the Comm building and sat down. I could already tell that Frida and Amor would give me a good interview. Once we began, it was immediately apparent how friendly the two were and how well they played off each other when speaking. Frida suggested that I get that speech recognition software, which I agreed would clearly help with my transcription process. Ironically, because the pair are so close and comfortable with each other, I think they would have given the software trouble because they kept talking right after each other. Even going so far as to finish each others sentences at some points. It was clear that they certainly had good cohost chemistry.

I’ll let them do the talking for now, so without further ado, here’s our interview:

Cameron: Okay we are recording. I’m with Frida and Amor, and so let’s start off with an easy question. What is your radio slot with KCR?

Amor: It’s entertainment.

Frida: Mondays at nine.

CS: Mondays at nine?

FO: To ten.

CS: Nine to ten? Alright.

FO: Yes.

CS: And I heard you two have your DJ names, what are those?

FO: Mine’s MC Fridalicious.

AC: And I’m DJcito.

CS: Alright cool, so how long have the two of you been with KCR?

AC: Well this is my second semester.

FO: And this is my first semester.

CS: Welcome, welcome to KCR.

FO: Thank you.

CS: It’s good to have you here. And so another easy question, what is the type of music that the two of you normally play?

AC: Hip hop.

FO: Yeah, and top 40 music.

AC: Yeah.

CS: The hot 40? Alright. Do you play hip hop cause normally that’s what you like, or are there any other genres that the two of you, you know, like to play?

AC: We like to play upbeat music. Stuff that kinda gets you moving.

FO: Yeah. We also like Latin music. And we’re thinking about incorporating some of that sometimes.

AC: Yeah. Last show we did two songs that were in Spanish but they’re those party Spanish-

FO: Yeah, like Reggaeton songs.

AC: Yeah, or some Bachata.

CS: Alright cool, well so how come this music is important to you? Why do you like to play hip hop and this other Latin music? Do you have a personal kinda connection to it?

AC: Yes I do. Growing up I was the youngest girl, and I have two older brothers and they always listened to hip hop. So I kinda grew up with this mixture of, I dunno, Tupac, Biggie, Jay Z, Common Sense, Nas, you know all the old school hip hop songs out there. And then also some reggae and then the Spanish of course cause I’m Hispanic so, so that’s kind of like how I grew up, with all that music, so that’s what I like to play. We play throw backs too, so it’s kinda like the feel good music. So sometimes when you’re out and you hear a song and you’re like “oh my god, this reminds me of high school” or “this reminds me of this one time when I turned seventeen” or something you know?

FO: And we’re students so we understand that students are not just students but they have families and friends, personal lives, and work and so our show really is meant to be upbeat and just relaxed. Something that somebody can just listen to while doing homework or on their car ride home. Something relaxing and fun, and so that’s why we like to play upbeat music.

CS: That’s awesome. You’ve got a theme behind it.

FO: Yeah.

AC: Yeah and we do mention some school stuff, but it’s mainly kinda like, you know, after school and you kinda wanna tune out a little bit and not think about so much about school and all that. We do mention like “oh my god midterms are coming” or “finals are coming” but we also say “let’s enjoy some music and just kinda chill for a little bit.”

CS: That’s awesome, you got a whole idea behind your DJ block, that’s sweet. So how did the two of you become cohosts? How did you partner up?

FO: Well we’re actually soulmates—just kidding.

AC: (Laughs)

FO: But we’re both Communications majors and we met in a class. 300?

AC: Yeah Comm 300 or something.

FO: Yeah or 350, and we’re like “oh my gosh” and we just hit it off. We became friends fast.

AC: And then, I don’t know how, I think you have a friend that was in KCR and I was like “what’s that?” and you were like “there’s a radio show here.”

FO: Oh yeah.

AC: And I got really interested and we got information from there. And I actually got the chance to DJ last semester so I told her about it and she-

FO: Yeah I blew her off. I was like “yeah” but I didn’t pursue it and she ended up just doing it by herself. But now I’m doing it with her and I’m like “man I should’ve done this last semester, it’s so much fun.”

AC: It’s so much fun.

FO: So much fun.

CS: That’s funny how things work out.

FO: That’s why I think our radio name should be the Comm Comms, but DJcita still is kind of-

AC: Iffy about it.

FO: Iffy about it.

AC: But it’s a good one.

FO: Like you know the can can and then pom poms, I dunno.

AC: (Laughs)

CS: Yeah (laughs) that’s funny. So as cohosts would you say that you two have good chemistry on air?

FO: Definitely.

AC: Yeah. Cause we talk how we would talk off air.

FO: Yeah, and off air we have good—we just flow naturally, play off each other’s emotions and what we say, and it’s just positive vibes.

CS: That’s awesome. So is there anything—this is sort of another bit out there question—is there anything that the two of you have been listening to lately or just obsessing about, just a great song or great artist?

(FO and AC pause and laugh)

CS: You don’t need to be shy about it.

AC: I’m trying to think.

FO: I dunno. My favorite songs right now on the radio are 2 On by Tina Shay—Tinay Shay-

AC: Tinashe!

FO: Tinashe! Her name is so-

AC: Different.

FO: Yeah different.

AC: Okay I love that song. I’m obsessed with that.

FO: Yeah and then Don’t Tell Them and then the-

AC: The “about a week ago

FO: I don’t know, that’s you, that’s you.

AC: Oh (laughs) sorry.

FO: But I also like that song, that “put your knees to your elbows” song.

AC: Oh yeah.

FO: What is that called?

AC: I think Knees Touch Your Elbows or something—

FO: Yeah the one that’s like Turn Down For What, that artist I think, yeah.

AC: Sorry.

FO: I’m not that obsessed with that song.

AC: You like to dance to it.

FO: But Don’t Tell Them and 2 On yeah.

AC: Tinashe.

FO: I like to shake my butt to music so-

AC: She does it in the studio!

FO: Yeah.

AC: And sometimes we put it on Instagram and then we tell people go on her Instagram or she records me dancing.

FO: Yeah! And my Instagram is _Freeduhh.

AC: (Laughs) and mine’s Loveyaswagga.

CS: Alright, I’ll be sure to link that up.

AC: Okay.

FO: Yeah.

CS: Alright so, this has been a great interview so far thanks. You’ve been great. One last question and here’s a fun one, so could you please describe your perfect show on air? Like how would it go?

AC: Yesterday was pretty fun.

FO: Yeah yesterday we had two callers, which is really good.

AC: Or on Monday, sorry.

FO: Yeah, oh yeah on Monday. And so I think my perfect show would be to play the songs that I want, that I like, and for people to call in and, at least five callers to call in.

AC: (Laughs)

FO: And just talk to them about whatever topic we’re talking about that day and just good feedback from callers.

AC: Okay one of my favorite shows was when someone called me from a classroom and said that the whole class was listening to me, and then one of them played the ukulele and they got it on air.

FO: Awww.

AC: And it was really fun and everyone was like “yeah we always listen to you.”

FO: Last semester?

AC: I think so. And they were all happy and I was happy and that’s a perfect show, if everyone’s happy then that’s great.

FO: Yeah.

CS: That’s awesome. I really gotta say that’s really cool to have that kind of feedback.

AC: Yeah it was really cool.

CS: Alright I think we’re gonna wrap it up there. Thanks for being on.

AC: Thank you.

FO: Thanks Cameron.

Alright I lied about linking the Instagrams because I don’t have one so I couldn’t find them, but I’m sure you readers can do it if you’re curious. Also beware, the songs that I linked are rather explicit for the sensitive listener.

I couldn’t stick around and talk to Amor and Frida afterwards because I had to go to work, so we went our own ways after we had a few words. I left the interview feeling good about the state of KCR Radio. I’ve only done this for 3 weeks but I’ve already met some fantastic DJ’s who all are very dedicated to their work. I know what they meant when they said how much fin they had being on air, although personally I’m a bit jealous of the number of callers they get. I’m sure if they were writing this interview, Frida and Amor would tell you and I to remember to relax and have fun every once in a while in our hectic lives here at San Diego State.

That’s does it for this week on Sounds of State. Check in next week for my first interview with a pair of DJ’s from our very own Sports Department!

Thanks for reading.