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Senior Spotlight: Student keeps radio music philosophy in tune

Nicole Santos

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Angel Huracha, a senior public relations major, is inspired by artists such as David Bowie and Bob Dylan while he works as KCSC's music director. Photo courtesy of Angel Huracha.

Angel Huracha doesn’t have a musical preference. If it makes his heart beat, his leg move and his head swing, he’s sold.

“Usually this is the part in the interview when someone rips country music or teenybopper central,” he said. “But I would be lying if I didn’t break into a Britney Spears tune or admit that Dolly Parton is my life. I can be music director at KCSC and play Tame Impala and still roll the car window down and relate to Taylor Swift’s ‘1989.’”

Huracha, a senior public relations major, joined KCSC radio in 2012 and said it was happenstance how he ended up joining and deciding to try out being on the music staff.

“I was at a KCSC meeting accompanying my friend Jen Moreno,” he said. “She was inquiring about a show. After listening to the presentation, I was sold.”

Huracha is currently in his fifth semester at KCSC as music director. He has been a music staff member twice, production staff member and assistant music director.

“My favorite position is music director,” he said. “The ability to work closely with labels and promoters to expand the station’s music philosophy is a real joy.”

Huracha said his job is a huge responsibility. Some of his tasks include:

  • Managing a staff of 20 interns to review and examine the station’s music philosophy
  • Working closely with labels and promoters to use KCSC as a platform to promote music and artists
  • Writing music reviews for the website
  • Charting weekly to College Media Journal to stay current with music

“Without a music director, there is no music for the station,” he said. “My job is to make sure inventory keeps coming in, which means making sure we have an extensive catalog to play, and that the labels are also happy.”

Huracha considers himself a music connoisseur, he said, and his favorite part about his job is getting all the upcoming releases before anyone else.

“To have access to such an extensive amount of music is exciting,” he said. “I’m like a kid in a candy store when an album that I have been waiting months for finally arrives.”

He even has his own radio show called “Music To Knit To,” which airs on Mondays at noon to cure students’ early-week blues.

“For the most part, I’ll play anything new on rotation,” Huracha said. “This week I played Courtney Barnett and Sufjan Stevens, and I also play stuff I adore like Washed Out and Blouse.”

The professional environment at the station is only one of the reasons Huracha consistently comes back to KCSC.

“The staff has so much integrity, and they take such pride in what they do,” he said. “It’s so uncanny how much work they put into the station. When you work in an environment that is extremely considerate of your ideas, it’s hard not to come back.”

There’s this level of energy and respect when you get the entire staff in a room, he said. Any moment that has included the entire staff together has produced some of his best memories at the station.

“It’s not awkward, it’s not dull and it certainly isn’t plain,” he said. “It’s a mixture of attitudes that love and respect music. You don’t have to be a musician to know music. You just have to listen and be open to the idea of expanding a sound.”

His biggest musical influences are David Bowie and Bob Dylan.

“David Bowie inspired me to stay true to myself,” Huracha said. “Also, I am a writer first, so Dylan has always inspired me to be a creative writer. Ever since I laid ears to ‘Blonde on Blonde,’ I have never looked at writing the same.”

Huracha said he has to be able to look at a piece and think “that’s so you” because then he can distinguish an artist or a writer.

“In general, I have a boner for artists who can write,” he said. “Be that someone like Sufjan Steven or Father John Misty or Amy Winehouse.”

Nicole Santos can be reached at [email protected] or @Iam_NicoleS on Twitter.

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Senior Spotlight: Student keeps radio music philosophy in tune