The internet’s impact on the way we consume music is something that goes beyond album sales.
Things associated with old technology like liner notes and mixtapes have lost their importance in music discovery. With websites like Spotify and Pandora now suggesting new artists to listen to and Wikipedia available to read up on the artist and their influences, who needs to ever touch music?
Gabriel Perez, a former musician and PCC student, noticed that while the internet does make it easier to discover new artists similar to the ones you like, it is a little harder to discover artists that differ from your usual taste.
“I was trying to find a way to listen to songs outside the genres I listen to [and] discovering new music is kind of difficult nowadays,” said Perez. “I’m getting old and I don’t want to waste my time listening to bad music, just give me the good music.”
It was with this in mind that Perez got the idea to create his Lancer Radio program “The Mixtape.” And while the concept of the show went through many stages in Perez’s mind, the one thing he knew he wanted to do was interviews with musicians from PCC.
“I wanted to do something challenging and also to do something that was relevant to PCC and spotlighted the students,” said Perez.
A musician himself, Perez decided he wanted to ask his guest questions he would want to be asked. “What shaped you as a musician?” said Perez. “[Then] you get to see what’s important to them in terms of music.”
Interviews aside, Perez also knew he wanted to give guests the opportunity to tell their story with a playlist, having them not only play songs that have influenced them but explain why. “Everybody has a song that they love or has influenced them in some way,” said Perez. “But this also shows you what to listen for in a song and why it’s good.”
Even though it is broadcast online, Perez decided to name the program “The Mixtape” because it gives listeners the opportunity to discover music in a more personal way that differs from websites like Spotify and is more like a mixtape.
“I thought it was a generic name but it makes sense,” said Perez.
Hector Lozano, a soundboard engineer, feels that Perez’s program really gives the guest an opportunity to tell their story in detail.
“It’s more of the guest telling their story than I’ve seen on other shows,” he said.
Though the goal of the show is to showcase PCC’s talented students and expose listeners to new music. Perez said his main goal is out helping Lancer Radio.
“In a larger sense I was trying to help the station,” he said. “I figure if I can help Lancer Radio in some way it’s by having [PCC] students on.”
Sarah Barker, who not only decides who gets a program on Lancer Radio but also teaches TVR 14A, the class required in order to even audition for a program, said that what makes the show unique is the host.
“Once a student pitches a show what makes the show unique is the DJs,” Barker said.
While “The Mixtape” is Perez’s first show on Lancer Radio, it is not his first experience with radio. Perez had once co-hosted a radio program in Oregon with a friend called “The Background.”
“I had done a show at Willamette University in Oregon with a friend of mine called ‘The Background’,” Perez said. “The thing [me and my friend] had in common was that we thought the songs on the rest of the album were the best.”
As for what he hopes for his listeners, Perez wants to be able to introduce them into new genres of music.
“If some people can listen to it and expand their library of music exposure I’d be happy with that,” Perez said.
So tune into the “The Mixtape” Thursdays at 8 p.m. and let Perez, as he says in his intro to the program, “take you back to a time when playlists weren’t drag and drop.”