21 Questions: Francisco Guadalupe Velazquez

Francisco Guadalupe Velazquez Man with glasses smiling in front of tree

21 Questions is a fun way to get to know students, faculty, and staff. This week is Francisco Guadalupe Velazquez. He is the current Assistant Director of New Student and Parent Programs here at SDSU.

How do you feel about the question, “Tell us about yourself?”

“It is really open ended, but it is great, people can express themselves in regard to who they are, because often times we are told who we are, instead of us being able to share who we are.”

So, tell me about yourself?

“There are so many ways you can take this question! My name is Francisco Guadalupe Velazquez, but I also go by Frankie Velazquez. I am a SoCal native from Valley Center, North County San Diego, proud SDSU alum, and an Aztec for life. I like this question, but it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly to say. “

What is something that people usually get wrong about you?

“People think that I take myself too seriously, but it depends on the environment that I am in. At work people tend to think I am quiet, because I do not tend to speak up, but it depends on the context. But if I feel like it is a safe, brave space where I can do that, I am more likely to speak up.”

Is there anything you want people to know about you?

“It is important for people that I identify within the LGBTQ+ community. As a QPOC (queer person of color) it is important for to have faculty and staff identify in this community to represent this population. The intersectionality that does not happen as often where you see queer people in a position of power. As an assistant director I recognize I have authority to effect change in the community.”

Are you a “people person”?

“I don’t think so, but I can turn it on if needed. I know I need time to myself sometimes, so I would say I am an ambivert.”

Are you family oriented?

“That’s an interesting question, I think the idea of family I do like, but that does not always mean blood family I think you create your family so in that sense yes, I am family oriented.”

What’s on your mind today?

“At the moment work and vacation! I recently booked a vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico, so that is my motivation.”

What brought you back to San Diego? 

“SDSU that is what really made my family. Being a student, grad student and then leaving, I knew I wanted to come back, because the connections I made. I was part of the SDSU Ambassadors and Residential Education, so those played a part in decision as well as my personal and professional growth.”

Do you have an idea of where you will be at the end of this year? 

“I have a vision of where I would like to be. 2019 has been a huge year of personal and professional growth, I hope that I am in a place of gratitude and being thankful for the journey I have been on and thankful for what I have. I am looking forward to traveling, I love to travel and travel with my partner. Our next goal is to travel somewhere whether it is a cruise or exploring Europe. I know he wants to go to Germany, so that might be on the list.”

Do you believe that struggles make you stronger?

“Yes, absolutely I think there needs to be somewhat of a struggle, because when you get to your goal or you are successful, it is so much sweeter. That is how you grow and how you become the person you ultimate want to be.”

Who are you listening to right now?

“I am listening to… let me pull up my Spotify. I listen to a lot of Spanish music reggaeton and pop — Danna Paola, Carlos Rivera, and Taylor Swift. My first concert was when I was five years old, it was a Latin pop group called Garibaldi. Some of my favorite concerts have been Ricky Martin, Lady Gaga was amazing, Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato, and Justin Timberlake.”

Do you have anyone to thank for where you are now?

“I do. So many people, I don’t know where to start. So often we go about our lives without acknowledging the team of people that support you. These are just a few people, but my advisor when I was an ambassadors Janet Castro, Kara Bauer, Dr. Avery, Randy Timm, and Christy Samarkos.” 

If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?

“You matter, because it is important to hear.”
– Frankie Velazquez
Written by: Jasmine Alexander
Photo by: Jasmine Alexander

Choker at the House of Blues

On October 28th, 2019, up and coming artist, Choker graced the stage at the House of Blues San Diego to deliver an intimate and beautiful performance. His mix of R&B, Indie, and Rap created a mix of emotions and ultimately left his crowd wanting more.

After hearing about Choker from one of my close friends we decided to go see him live at the House of Blues. Fast forward to Monday night, we made it to the House of Blues and waited in line to enter the Voodoo Room. I had never been to the House of Blues before, so it was interesting to have the Voodoo Room as my first experience. It was a very intimate room composed of paintings that, I am assuming, have something to do with voodoo culture. I noticed that Choker pulls a variety of fans, individuals mainly interested in R&B and Rap and a few Indie fans.

To my surprise, the opener for Choker was bLAck pARty. He is also an up and coming artist, that fuses R&B, electronic sounds, and Rap. He started off with “No Complaints” which created a mellow vibe where you could find yourself swaying. Next, he performed “Bloom” which picked up the energy and got the crowd moving and grooving. Throughout his performance, he mentioned how grateful he was to be on stage. Something I admired about bLAck pARty was his passion for each song. His passion was noticeable and made the crowd appreciate every word that was sung to them. After his performance, he hung out in the crowd as we waited for Choker.

Around 8:40 PM, Choker arrived on stage and immediately started his set with “Brown Steel” from his debut album, PEAK. After performing “Brown Steel” he shook everyone’s hands that stood in the front of the crowd. He captivated his crowd and manifested for all of his fans to be present at the moment.

Choker continued his set with a few slower songs from his PEAK and Honeybloom album. He decided to pick up the energy with “Suzuki Peaches” and got the crowd jumping with him. Keeping the energy up he delivers two more songs “Gradient” and “Petrol Bliss,” which successfully kept the crowd singing and moving.

After leveling the energy with slower songs like “El Dorado,” “Juno,” and “Lucky” he decided to go into the middle of the crowd to perform “Starfruit NYC.” When the beat dropped everyone started jumping and screaming, “S.D IS AN AIRPORT WITH NO WALLS.” After jumping and getting push around, he returned to the stage to wrap up his performance. As the show neared its end, Choker thanked everyone for coming out and said to meet him at the merchandise table.

We asked Choker if he had any advice to people that want to farther their music career and he said,

“Remember to be passionate and genuine about the music you make, the moment you lose your passion others will notice.”

Choker is as honest and genuine as his music. Check out his music here! If you are going to Camp Flog Gnaw this year he will be performing on Saturday at 3:35pm!

Written by: Jasmine Alexander
Photos by: Jasmine Alexander