10 Questions with ... Nina Ortiz
March 14, 2016
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Growing up in L.A., we have a ton of awesome radio stations, and it was always a great medium for me to discover new music. Music can be such a personal and individual experience, so I love the community aspect that radio provides.
2. Who are your mentors at WERS?
Honestly, I feel like everyone I've worked with at the station can be considered a mentor. The previous Music Coordinator, Emily Conti, was immensely supportive of my aspiration to follow in her footsteps. Beau Raines, our Dir./Product Development, has helped me every step of the way and is someone I know I can turn to with any question. All of the professional staff, all of the student managers, and even my own staff, are all people that I know want to see me succeed. There isn't anyone I feel like I couldn't turn to if I ever needed help or guidance. We're all very supportive of each other.
3. Tell us about the other positions you have held at WERS.
Before being promoted to Music Coordinator, I was a Music Assistant for over a year. I've also hosted a few live sessions here and there, but I definitely prefer to be more of a behind-the-scenes type.
4. How would you describe the music on the station?
What I love about the station is our ability to appeal to such a wide audience of independent music lovers. We're always striving to play the best in alt-rock, indie, and folk. It's a place to discover new music while also being able to listen to your favorite artists that you grew up with.
5. How are the music meetings conducted?
First of all, let me say that my music staff is incredible. No doubt, some of the best musically-inclined minds in the college radio business. I'll send out about 15 songs at the beginning of every week. These are songs that my staff is sending my way, that promoters are bringing to my attention, that our Music Consultant wants me to look at, or that I'm finding on my own. We discuss them all at our meeting and pick our top five or so from that list. We like to keep it concise, only picking the best of the best, no filler songs, only songs we genuinely feel passionate about.
6. What new bands are you most excited about?
Well, they're not brand spanking new, but since their debut album is less than a year old, I think they can still be considered "new." Wolf Alice is hands down one of the most exciting bands I've heard in a long time, and it's awesome to see how much success and notoriety they've gained within the past year. Hinds is also very cool; I'm excited to see how their career takes off. I'm also very pumped to hear more solo material from Rostam.
7. What is your typical day like?
I'm constantly checking my e-mails, keeping an eye out for important announcements, new music, tour dates, scheduling live sessions, sending my staff to shows to take photos and write live reviews, talking to promoters, managers, publicists, booking agents, and figuring out what music I want my staff to look at for our next meeting. Music is consistently the most important and time consuming part of my day, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
8. What is the best advice someone has given you so far?
If you're on time, you're late.
9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I'm extremely passionate about live music, and ultimately want to have a career working as a concert promoter and festival organizer back in my hometown of Los Angeles. Hopefully I can make that happen within the next five years!!
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
(Obvious answer) ... listening to music. (Less obvious answer) I'm obsessed with my planner, and I'm constantly referencing it, adding to my schedule, crossing off tasks. My planner helps me realize my full boss-lady potential! And I consider making schedules to be one of the more fun things in life!
Last non-industry job:
I work as a desk assistant for the dance studios and piano rooms on campus.
First record ever purchased:
That one Liz Phair record with the song "Why Can't I" ... that was my absolute JAM! I think I was in second grade.
The Justified-Stripped Tour, with Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera co-headlining at the Staples Center. The Black Eyed Peas opened. Iconic, to say the least.
Favorite bands of all-time:
Arcade Fire, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Bon Iver are in my top three. Grimes, St. Vincent, and Victoria Legrand (of Beach House) are also worth noting as they are my favorite ladies in music. I'm also losing my mind over the thought of new LCD Soundsystem music being released.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work and school?
Spare time? I'm not familiar with that concept ... If I'm not doing something work/WERS/school related, I'm probably asleep.