The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

On air: TAMUSA Radio finds its groove

On air: TAMUSA Radio finds its groove - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Communications senior Samuel Rocha and computer science sophomore Emilio Villar get ready to go on air as station managers for TAMUSA Radio in the studio located in Room 320 of the Central Academic Building April 22, 2024. Photo by Saile Aranda

TAMUSA Radio started off as an idea by Emilio ‘Emi’ Villar while listening to music in his dorm room in fall 2023.

“There was nothing to do on campus; all I did was listen to music,” said Villar, a cyber-security sophomore at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

TAMUSA Radio is a studio operated by college students to run digital media, where students are free to express themselves on-air sharing a diverse range of music Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

With different shows ranging from ‘Not Your Average Johnre’ with Johnathon Peña that plays Hip-Hop and R&B on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1 p.m., to ‘One Stop K-Pop’ with Melanie Reyes on Tuesdays from 5-6 p.m. and Fridays from 6-7 p.m., students can tune in when they’re live throughout the week to listen to their favorite host, genre or check  out some new music.

Stepping into the TAMUSA Radio studio is a comforting environment. The once empty room was given life by the members of the station. A variety of artist posters such as Mac Miller, Beabadobee, Tyler The Creator and Travis Scott are plastered on walls illuminated  in warm light and a recording booth made the formerly lonesome room full of life.

Students can visit the Central Academic Building Room 320 at A&M-San Antonio if interested in joining the radio.

“We all decorated it,” Villar said. “People brought posters. All this stuff is either our own or people who wanted to bring something. We wanted to make it a cool community spot.”

Students can join regardless of their major or music taste and are encouraged to join.

Polaroids of the spring 2024 TAMUSA Radio hosts hang on the entrance wall of the studio in Room 320 of the Central Academic Building April 4, 2024. Photo by Amber Esparza

“My intention was just to play what I wanted to play, whether it be D&B or rap I listen to,” Villar said.

With 14 members, TAMUSA Radio plays a variety of genres, from metal, country and R&B to electronic and soul music.

“If you’re a music nerd about something niche, talk about it. It doesn’t matter. You might put someone on.” said Samuel Rocha, a communication senior and early member of TAMUSA Radio.

Rocha, one of 14 students involved in TAMUSA Radio, has helped grow the station.

“I encourage people to play what they like. I want them to play something they’re passionate about,” said Rocha, who plays soul, funk and jazz for listeners at 1-2 p.m. on Tuesdays and 4-5 p.m. on Fridays.

With over thousands of genres existing and more constantly appearing, students are given creative liberty to curate sets with whatever niche genre they want to share with the rest of the Jaguar community.

“I don’t believe in looking at the view count. The numbers don’t matter to me. I’m still going to play what I want to play.” Rocha said.

The radio station has grown to an average of 70 viewers per day and an average of 124 viewers tuning in per week.

“Getting the first person was like “Wow! It’s happening!” Villar said.

Gathering as much attention as they have was unexpected for Villar, with the campus being open for 15 years, he was shocked nobody had started a radio station.

With TAMUSA Radio up and running for one semester, the radio station has upcoming passion projects looking to host live sessions with local bands and hosting more intimate concerts with the campus community.

“They can record with our equipment and we can give them a video of their performances, so they can post on YouTube,” Rocha said. “And we get the views and recognition, it’s a win-win.”

“We want to highlight and showcase San Antonio along with A&M-San Antonio,” Rocha said. “We want to make a name for ourselves and leave a mark before we go.”

For more information on TAMUSA Radio, visit them on Instagram. More information on the staff, the type of music they play and when they’re on the air can be found on their website.

About the Authors

Selene Torres-Chavez
Selene Torres-Chavez is a junior majoring in communications and minoring in political science at Texas A&M University San-Antonio. She enjoys playing video games, reading books and going to concerts in her free time when she’s not organizing events on campus. She hopes to pursue a career in working with nonprofit organizations and work towards making a difference.
Dominique Villanueva
Dominique Villanueva is a communications senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio minoring in Business Administration. In addition to being a full-time student, she also works with A&M-San Antonio. She loves to take spontaneous vacations with her husband and son. She has always had a passion for creativity and recently photography too. Upon graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in marketing or public relations in any type of business with a creative strategy.

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