Rolas: Para La Cultura y Para Todos

By Anna Valdez
Web Content Contributor

Among the variety of KTSW specialty shows and music programming for the avid music listener to enjoy, there is Rolas, a Spanish rock music program hosted by Luis Guerrero every Wednesday from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

With more than 38,694 Texas State students, many of which share similar Spanish backgrounds and cultures, representation and inclusion is imperative. According to KTSW’s website, Rolas is the station’s only Spanish music program that features a variety of rock music. From punk rock to indie twee pop, to even heavy metal and traditional folk rock, it is all in Spanish. Guerrero is a DJ for KTSW and has been hosting Rolas for almost two years. The name Rolas is Spanish slang for ‘songs,’ and Guerrero says his mother is actually the genius behind the specialty show’s title.

Rolas has been an essential part of KTSW not only for its content but because of its outreach as a bilingual speciality show. During the program, Guerrero will speak to the audience as if he were addressing a longtime friend. For those who may not speak or understand Spanish, the show can serve as both entertainment and a learning experience. Guerrero combines both English and Spanish in a way that welcomes the audience rather than driving them away simply because of the language barrier. Listening to music has also been known to be a great way to learn Spanish. In this way, audience members can pick up on some of the Spanish phrases given the context and language switch.

Sami Dugdale, program director at KTSW, says Guerrero’s authenticity and good-nature can be felt both on and off air, and the show’s bilingual aspect is what makes Rolas unique.

“Luis is someone who is good-natured and hilarious, both as a person and a host,” Dugdale said. “What sets his show apart from the other programs here at KTSW is that Luis is the only one doing a bilingual show. Luis is a great host because he knows how to make his show new and interesting every single week and is interactive with the audience, both Spanish speakers and English speakers.”

Guerrero’s passion and excitement is evident in his craft. He says there is a whole side of Spanish rock that many do not know about, which is why he enjoys hosting Rolas.

“When you hear Spanish radio in the car, you usually hear reggaeton, or banda, cumbias or bachatas,” Guerrero said. “And there’s nothing wrong with those kinds of music, but I feel like there’s not much representation for the rock side of it, and there’s a whole world of Spanish rock music.”

Every day, students like Guerrero are working to achieve their goals, represent their communities and push for more diversity in different areas of society. Guerrero’s influence, through the art of conversation and music sharing, extends beyond the recording room. Guerrero says he is proud to do what he does, especially coming from a Spanish background.

“I do feel a certain pride being like the only Spanish show on KTSW,” Guerrero said. “The fact that it does kind of get to people is pretty cool to me because I put a lot of time and effort into it, and I’m glad people can see it. I’m very proud of being Mexican, I like speaking Spanish, so getting the opportunity to do a show that is kind of, encompasses all rock and is all in Spanish, it’s like a dream come true.”

For more information about KTSW, visit http://www.ktsw.txstate.edu. Tune in to Rolas on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on KTSW 89.9 or at ktsw.net/stream.

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