INTERVIEW: Anthony Jaramillo Talks TuneIn, Kanye, and The Next One Direction

TuneIn is a streaming music service, with millions of users across the world. It includes over 100,000 sports, talk, music, and news radio stations and millions of programs available for free streaming. Paid subscribtions include NBA, NFL, MLB, over 40k audiobooks, and commercial-free listening. With the recent addition of Anthony “DJ Reflex” Jaramillo, the station is taking off more than ever. Jaramillo is head curator, responsible for directly connecting with artists and labels and indirectly reaching listeners with the music he chooses for over fifty of TuneIn’s most popular stations. Jaramillo is a DJ, producer, and major industry influencer with 17 years of experience with Los Angeles’ Power 106.1 and has been a part of countless artists careers – everyone from Kendrick to John Legend to Rihanna.

I recently had the chance to chat with him about TuneIn, driving Kanye around in his Honda Civic, and even taking a little time aside for personal studio sessions. He described the experience coming into TuneIn as “great,” continuing that he “didn’t know the type of people that would actually be in the building” because of the difference between Silicone Valley tech world and the NY /LA music world. He didn’t know if he would be “greeted with open arms” or viewed as a distraction but arms were open all around and it quickly became a “healthy environment” to work in. Even the transition from Tidal was something he described as “easy” and “supportive on both sides.” He explained that Jay-Z wanted him to build potential for radio and the job wasn’t turning out to be quite what it was meant to be but he is still managed by Rocnation and has a great relationship with everyone there.

As for TuneIn, Jaramillo does listen at home, mostly to the jazz stations. However there is a new wave R+B station on Tune In that he plans to give significant airtime at home. He hinted that this station will be “a much needed home for artists” who get more into the soul side of the genre. He even listens to TuneIn’s Top 40 station that he is renaming Today’s Hits and using as an outlet to break new artists.

These new artists are central to his career and Jaramillo was excited to share some up and comers that he predicts will blow up over the next year or so. Blackbear is an R+B crooner he recommends, alongside SZA, latin indie group Chicano Batman, Paris Martin, Lalah Hathaway, Thundercat. He explained that he loves artists like these that get turned away from labels who they can later turn down 2 million dollar offers from. He listen to, supports and recommends artists across every genre. One group he recommends to add to your music library, that you may not have heard of yet, is Why Don’t We, Jaramillo says they are “the next One Direction…going to be huge in a year.”

Anthony Jamillo’s favorite success story is still his grandparents but one of the most memorable A-listers he has worked with since the beginning is Kanye West. The two toured the world at the beginning of Kanye’s career. Jaramillo reminisced on picking Kanye up from the W Hotel and driving him around LA in his Honda Civic. Later, Jaramillo aka Reflex, sat in Kanye’s car for a man to man chat the first time he fell in love. Kanye West’s come up is a story that is both personal to him a something he describes as “a bizarre story culturally.”

More recently Anthony Jaramillo hosted a three day event for TuneIn at SXSW that, like most things for him lately, went smoothly. Over three genre specific nights, more than 15 artists played in an event he described as a success, loved by fans and artists alike with “support and happiness all around” but also “on a business level a learning experience.” In his personal career, he has been writing “not as much” but actually spent the past two weeks setting up sessions. Recent artists he has studio work with include Tyga and Hailee Steinfeld. Anthony Jaramillo still has pride in and excitement for the future of music that he describes as refreshing. He has a desire to create “culturally changing moments” which is so apparent when speaking to him.

Despite the vast world of internet radio, with TuneIn, he has a bright future ahead.

Liz Peña Written by:

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