Lorena de la O
Major: Business Administration and Film and Media Studies
KJHK Position: Community Engagement Director
So, what’s your name?
I’m Lorena de la O.
What do you do here at KJHK?
Right now I’m the community engagement director. So I oversee Street Team.
What are some hobbies that you have?
I’d say my number one hobby is going to live music events of sorts. Usually concerts. And my cat, I love being with my cat. I’m a cat mom, like fulltime.
Is your cat here?
Yeah, so I have two cats, I have one named Meowme at home with my parents in Wichita. And then I have one here. His name is Remy; he’s my little baby boy. We found him this summer, so it just kind of happened. But yeah, I love cats.
Where are you from, or a brief story about yourself.
Yeah, that’s always a loaded question. So I was born in Mexico; I lived there for eight years. Then my family moved to the US. I lived in Lubbock, Texas for six years. And then we thought we were gonna go back to Mexico, but we did not. We ended up moving to Champagne, Illinois, and then we lived there for one year. Then we moved to Quincy, Illinois, and we lived there for another year. And then we moved to Wichita, Kansas. My parents are still there, with Meowme, of course. When I graduated from high school, I came to Lawrence and I’ve been here ever since. So I consider myself in Lawrence, because I’ve stayed here over summers. But yeah, that’s my little bio.
What part of Mexico are you from?
I was born in Monterrey, and then I lived in Saltillo. They’re both in the north. Saltillo is two or three hours from the Texas borders. The first time I visited Mexico was last Christmas, and I hadn’t been in three years. It’s always good to go.
So what’s your favorite place here in Lawrence?
That’s a good question. I’m obviously at venues all the time. Recently, Decade. I don’t go there that much (I don’t have a car, sadly) but I went there like a week or two ago and it’s always a comforting place because you can study, you can drink nice tea, coffee, even like wine or whatever you want. And they also have shows in the back. They started this garage-venue thing, and that’s where I saw The Walters a few months ago before I knew who they were. Granted, they’re broken up now. But, I would say Decade. Final answer. And then campus, I don’t know, that’s different. KJHK, of course. And then, there’s a bench, right there (points). I haven’t visited in a while, because in the summer there was a used razor and underwear there, but that’s a good bench. I would take naps there and just read in the summer. It was more a lay-down-and-closed-eyes kind of thing. Not a full-on nap. But I haven’t been there in a while. I hope the razor and underwear are gone.
What made you want to join KJHK and why did you start doing it?
I joined KJ second semester my freshman year. I’ve always loved music, and entertainment, film and every media type thing. I remember I wanted to get so involved, I was just like yeah, give me all these cards and things that I’m going to sign up for. I obviously got overwhelmed, and didn’t sign up do anything. It was about a year ago that I was walking the breezeway upstairs in the Union and somebody was tabling for KJHK. And then I talked to her and she said I should apply. So I did. Initially I applied for Street Team, which is what I’m in charge of now, but the meetings didn’t work with my schedule so I ended up doing live music. I did that for a year and a half, along with other staffs. First semester I helped with live music, then I was on street team, so I would help out when people couldn’t table the show they signed up for. Then I started DJing over the summer. Sophomore year I was like, “I’m going to go all in”. So I did. I DJed, street team, live music, content, and music. I enjoyed every staff I’ve been a part of.
What’s your typical day in the office like?
It’s different because my office hours are Wednesday mornings or Thursdays. On Thursdays, it’s the perfect time because I’m here from 2 to 5ish, and that’s when Meredith and Dylan and other people come by. I’m usually doing e-mails and trying to get things done. We always go up for Tea at Three upstairs and get cookies and tea and then just talk about KJHK and music and literally anything. Meredith DJs when I’m here. JJ, Dylan, Meredith, and sometimes Kyle, we just go in there and have a talk show. So yeah, I send e-mails, look for volunteer opportunities in different organizations, make sign-up sheets, clean the promo box.
Why are you majoring in business administration and film and media studies?
My ideal major would be entertainment business. The reason I’m doing the double major is because it combines the media platform with business. I’ve always liked business and the different aspects of it. It’s been kind of hard. I have to focus on my goals differently. There are recruiters that come in regularly for specific firms, but for me, I want to go more into entertainment and hospitality. So then I have to find my own ways to mingle, interact, and network on my own time. But for entertainment, I don’t know. I’ve always loved photography and film and music, especially music. I think the reason that going to concerts and going to shows is such a big part of who I am is because when I was little, I really enjoyed music. But not a lot of people go to Lubbock. I always wanted to go to shows, but I never had the access. But Lawrence and Kansas City have an amazing music scene. So yeah, my goal would be to go into some aspect of the music industry. I don’t play any instruments, sadly. Hopefully I can get those whoa re very talented in what they do into bigger lights. Not like directly managing artists, but more like contracting – more like the business-y side, such as organizing, doing the contracting for the artist. Right now I’m in Business Law, and I love it, so maybe later on I could go into law school and specialize in copyrighting or contracting and apply that to the music industry.
What’s your favorite song right now?
Cigarettes after Sex – Apocalypse. Either that or Alex G – Kicker.
What type of music has influenced you the most?
I like everything. Country – I don’t really like it but I don’t fully hate it. I can appreciate a good country song, let’s just say that. But, I enjoy alternative rock. I love punk and punk-influenced music. Punk rock has had the biggest influence in my life. I got into it the most right before college. The three main bands that I listened to: My Chemical Romance, A Day to Remember and the Front Bottoms. They have that angst to them and they were there for me at a very – when I needed them, kind of, or at a very transitional place in my life. Punk, especially, opened my mind up to so many things, especially because growing up I thought that punk was kind of trashy. But I listened to everything.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Since I’ve always moved around, I see myself having moved at least, hopefully around five times – I love moving. I remember one time someone said, “I’m sorry”, after I’d said that I moved around a lot. Like, no, I’m sorry for you that you haven’t moved around a lot. This year I went to Lincoln Calling in Nebraska, and that festival is very unique and homey and it was in different venues of downtown Lincoln. I’d never been, so it was a great introduction to that city. So, I want to be helping out with festivals that are similar to that. Not necessarily Lollapalooza or big name festivals, but helping start a festival or some live music event that contributes to the culture of the city. In what way, we’ll say?
What do you think the future is for KJHK or radio in general?
I think it’s changing; it’s evolving with the times. Essentially, with us or Wide Orbit or the different platforms that we have, like the lab at KJHK, there’s a bright future there. This year we have a lot of new leadership, and there’s a lot of new members at KJHK, so I see incoming freshmen taking charge of the station and leading it in new and different ways and thinking outside the box and just innovating the industry. I feel streaming services have already had a huge impact, not just on radio, but the music industry as a whole. Yeah, I feel it’s going to be harder to reach specific audiences, but there’s a lot of people. For instance, the Lawrence community members, they call in everyday and contribute to the station. There’s people who will always appreciate it for what it is. I’ll leave it at that, I guess. It’s going to present challenges, but radio will be an important part of society, as a means of communication and promotions. Hopefully people don’t just have to have an iPhone while they road trip.
If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Well first I would buy a car, because I need one. It doesn’t have to be fancy. And I don’t know, I definitely want to help out my family and pay my college. Hopefully try to invest it in good causes. Or even good companies. Yeah, find a way to invest it wisely. Not just stocks and bonds and profitability, but invest in people’s bands and help them achieve their goals. Help other people, essentially.