DJ Showcase: Kevin Barahona

What kinds of music do you showcase on your show “Transmitido en Español”?

My show focuses on the evolution of the Rock genre over the year in different parts of Latin America.

What motivates your music selections?

I like to pick artists and songs that were important to the country that they’re from. A majority of my songs chosen for the show are from times of extreme political unrest in Latin America. I like to think the songs that are chosen give listeners a glimpse of the struggles of the people and artists of their respective countries, but also showcase the people’s ingenuity through turbulent times.

How did you first develop an interest in Latin American Rock?

I discovered a record titled Limonada while I was browsing through a record store. It was a self-titled LP by a Uruguayan psych-rock band from 1970. I instantly fell in love with the record after my first listen. It inspired me to scour the web for more music from Latin America.

What inspired you to turn your interest into a radio show?

After developing an interest for music from Latin America, I began to realize that most music from Latin America was, for the most part, extremely overlooked and underrated. All I wanted to do was to spread their music to as many that were willing listen, so what better avenue to do that than my radio show. Also, I’ve always felt extremely disconnected from my culture being Hispanic and living in the United States my entire life. I thought I could use it as an opportunity to get more in touch with the culture of people.

What artists do you consider to be most representative of Latin American Rock?

I don’t believe there is one band that represents all of Latin America. Each country produces music unique to its borders. The majority of the bands are heavily influenced by the instruments and music of their culture. This creates a musical identity that is unique for every individual country, not to mention the unique struggles of the people living in these countries. These traumatic events leave distinct marks on the lives of the people of Latin America and their music.

What songs and artists would you suggest for someone listening to [insert genre] for the first time?

Jorge Be Jor (Brazil), Pax (Argentina), and Eduardo Mateo (Uruguay). Each of these artists were extremely influential to the growth of rock music in their respective countries. All are deserving of a listen from anybody with some spare time.

Beyond the scope of your show, what other genres of music and artists do you enjoy?

I’ve always enjoyed hip-hop throughout my life. It’s a genre I am constantly revisiting. Most of my favorite artists of all time hail from the genre. More recently, I have developed a new found interest in baroque pop music, like that of Destroyer, Grouper, and Julia Holter. I also find myself listening to a lot of electronic artists. I’ve been enjoying Oneohthrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, and Julian Barwick.

What artists were foundational when you were younger in influencing your musical tastes?

Wu-Tang Clan, The Killers, and Queens of the Stone Age. Each of these groups taught me something about myself and allowed me to become more familiar with who I was and what I liked. Each left an extremely unique impression on me during my most formative years.

What do you feel is most important about your work as Music Director at RadioUTD?

I think its providing the station with an identity beyond our DJs. Since the music I curate is required for airplay, I don’t want it to feel out of place or awkward. The job is about creating a seamless sound for listeners, and providing our DJs with music that fits their shows’ personal identity while fitting into the greater scheme of things.

How do you see RadioUTD expanding in the future?

There are a lot directions Radio UTD can take in the future regarding its growth. Ideally, it will grow into an established household name in the local area (kind of like KVRX), but stay true to its identity now. Hopefully, we can expand our programming hours and eventually acquire some sort of FM frequency, so people can listen to us in their cars.

Is there anything else you’d like new or current listeners to know about you or your show?

The show is more than just listening to “exotic” music. It is a learning experience for me and the listeners. The music of these induvial countries of Latin America give us a glimpse into their culture. These artist are sharing their emotions, and their cultural identities with their listeners. It is really something special, and really something worth giving a listen.