6 months ago Omar Velazco and Argelia Atilano surprised us by announcing that they were ending their 18th birthday of the most successful morning radio show in Los Angeles, ‘Omar y Argelia’ by the K-LOVE 107.5 FM.
But today they surprise us again announcing that they returnbut no longer on Univision, but on SBS, on its Reagaton radio, La Mega.
What happened? Why did that pause to enjoy his daughters come to an end? Exclusively reveal the real reasons, what her little girls told her, what happened to her former bosses, what they felt when they left their comfort zone and the reality that slapped them: “The world continued and we wanted to be part of that”.
-They surprised us 6 months ago saying that they were leaving the radio station and now they surprise us by coming back!
Omar Velasco: How our life has changed, well I believe that the need, the need to return to our natural element, the essence of radio, the love of the microphone, the love of the community. The need to work, we are too young to be retired, so there are many, many emotions really. Besides, we got this opportunity to work at SBS not only locally, but in Los Angeles, the national programdoing independent projects, was a very good offer that we couldn’t ignore.
Algeria Atilano: People were also surprised because when we left, we always said it was going to be a break, we’re not going away forever, but obviously we didn’t know how long the break was going to be, and how we were going to come back. Many people imagined that we were going to do another project completely different from radio, television, podcast, which by the way is on the table, but yes, I think our Los Angeles public is surprised, but It is a very nice surprise, very pleasant, they have received it with great emotion. Also honestly, as Omar said, our Los Angeles public is the great factor, and the ones responsible for us taking this radio adventure againwho simply keeps pulling us, and got us out of bed and up early, it has been said.
-How was this time? Why did you decide to return, beyond the request of the public?
Omar Velasco: Last year we were physically and emotionally tired, we felt that our cycle on the radio was over, or at least we needed that break, at that time that’s how we felt… We had never lived the experience of families in the mornings, of the routine, of taking the girls to school, of preparing breakfast for them… But then you realize that we want to work, we want to return to the radio, we want to continue working. We spoke with the daughters, Camila, the eldest, who is about to turn 13, very maturely told us: “Daddy, I have always listened to mommy and daddy on the radio, that’s how I grew up, that’s normal for me, having them here in home in the morning is not normal, so if they want to return to the radio for us, that’s fine”… Anabella, who is 11 years old, also said more or less the same thing, “Go to work”.
Algeria Atilano: They they have grown up listening to mommy and daddy every morning, was the alarm clock for her since they were in pre-kindergarten, they woke up with the voice of mommy, daddy. We had never been through a pandemic, it changed us all, it made us all reflect, me as a mother working at home, being on the air, and seeing the girls studying online, for me it was a blessing to have this moment together, but when schools started to open and I felt I had to let them go again, that’s when it hit me…
Our contract expires and I told Omar: “I, Argelia Atilano, the mother, would like to take a break before committing ourselves to any other project, so that I can live that experience that all mothers have had, but not me” , so for a lot of audience it is very difficult to understand that but I had to do it. For 6 months I did it, and I also realized, as Omar says, Algeria before becoming a mother also has this emptiness that is to serve the community.Being with the mothers on the air, with the daughters on the air, that also fills me.
Omar Velasco: While you are working every day, and you are producing, you don’t realize it, and when you stop is when you realize other things… I think it’s how one feels, that’s why we felt very different from 6 months ago, 6 months ago we did have that need to rest, now there is the need to return to the microphone, that’s why they are very mixed emotions, contradictory, but the most honest way to say it is that we want to return to the radio. We miss her, and we didn’t know we were going to miss her this much, until we stopped.
-How did this proposal come about?
Algeria Atilano: It’s the million dollar question, We were saying goodbye to our audience after 18 years, and this proposal from SBS came that very day. The show on the air was not over yet, on September 3, 2021, when the phone was already ringing, Omar’s, and it was SBSobviously we were not ready to listen to any offer because later more came, fortunately the interest has been there, we had made the decision not to continue, to take a break, to focus on the family, on us, to rest, to disconnect from the world radial… The universe continues to put the radio on our table, and finally we began to contemplate the offers, and more is from SBS at the beginning of the year.
Omar Velasco: It is that SBS, since we announced our departure, as Algeria says, I immediately received a text from one of the company’s executives: “We want to talk immediately.” And then the following days they sent us an offer, “Ok, look, we are going to pay you this, we are going to do this for you”… But as Algeria said, it was very fast, we did not know what we wanted at that moment.
Algeria Atilano: He never took his finger off the screed.
–You have had a house for 18 years, was there the possibility of returning with them or did you want to open a new house?
Omar Velasco: Not really, I don’t know since our departure from Univision we no longer hear from our bosses, we don’t receive a call after 2, 3, 4, 5 months saying, “Hey guys, how are you? Do you want to come back?”… That’s why I don’t know if Univisión radio was interested in us returning to the company, we never explored either, never like we talked to the former boss… This is a challenge, it’s a new house, it’s very different, La Mega in Los Angeles, a reggaeton music station, very different from the station K-LOVE it’s a different house, with different colors, with a different atmosphere, different energy, and I think it’s a challenge, let’s see if we can at least get a little closer to the success we had in the K-LOVE for 18 years.
Algeria Atilano: We used that motivation, because, as Omar said, we were already so comfortable, that we already felt that we needed a change, it was necessary, it is how it is that if for our generation, staying in one place for more than 20, 30 years is stability, it is success, not even what, but also at same time is yes the routine can become overwhelming, it kills your spirit a little. I did feel that it was time to fly, in my case I turned 20 exactly at that station…
Now start again, fly high again, and more with this company that is giving us so much freedom to do things outside the company, something that I always fought for, that I wanted to do other things, and I couldn’t because there were limitations, this is about Univision radio, I do tell you that on Univision television the door remained open. In fact there was an approach towards me, from a person we love so much who is Luz María Doria, who did support me and tells me, “when you want to come to ‘Despierta América’, I have something for you”, but I also at the time I told him, right now I’m going to take a break that I occupy, because my priority is ‘Omar and Argelia’, what Omar and I have built, and once we decide what he is going to do, well, I will see around how I can contemplate and add to this new adventure, because at At the same time, the family comes first, we return to the radio but we cannot neglect our daughters, we still have to balance that.
–What do you say to the usual audience that you will now have on urban radio, and to those who are used to reggaeton announcers that now it is with you?
Omar Velasco: Very positive response: “we already needed them”, “that’s good”, “I’m going to change the radio”… And some are as honest as saying, “I don’t like music, but listening to you there, I can put up with anything”. Yes, there are others who have also suddenly said, “Hey, well, they weren’t going to retire.”, “not that they were going to come and take care of the girls”, so we never said withdrawal, we always said, “we are going to take a break”. There is everything on social networks.
Algeria Atilano: Our audience, the faithful ones, the ones who have always been there these 18 years, have also grown with us and are also willing to evolve even in their musical taste. There was not a day that messages did not arrive from, “come back”, ‘We miss you”… But the most common comment was or is, “I stopped listening to the radio”, “delete the station”, “I don’t listen to the radio anymore”. That caught my attention because there are options in Los Angeles, there are many options in English and Spanish, but why did they stop listening to the radio, because what was familiar to them was no longer there, the essence of family, the essence of the community, of social issues that really matter and nothing trivial. What is relevant.
I also scanned and listened to what’s on the radio, and I can understand why the Los Angeles public, our audience, felt that emptiness, they were left floating… I tell Omar: “We have to rescue Los Angeles radio, it cannot be that our public, which is a large audience, abandons the radio”that we are passionate about radio, brought us together, radio gave me my family, I fell in love with the announcer and got married, and therefore I have a family, because radio has given me so much that I tell Omar we have to rescue radio angelina, and rescue our listeners who are lost.
Omar Velasco: And rescue us.
–What has changed between you since you left the ‘comfort zone’?
Omar Velasco: I am a very insecure person, I have many doubts. However, when I made the decision to leave Univision radio, and I realized that life goes on. I continue, my family the same, my daughters the same, my brothers, my sisters, my mother. Sometimes one thinks that work defines us, that it is what makes you, and maybe it does to a certain point, but I didn’t realize that I can be calm without being in this place that I was. The K-Love, I left her, that was my greatest fear, that one day they would fire me, but I left her.
Algeria Atilano: It changed me in the sense that I realized that I am made to work. Now I am going to enjoy my house more, I am going to enjoy the little things that one notices at home, in the community, in my family, and yes I did, I really enjoyed those little things, and also I realized that since I was 16 years old I have worked, and that I cannot find myself if I am not working or writing or contributing out therebecause at home I can be cleaning, organizing, doing, I don’t stop, I don’t rest, I would be lying to you if I told you that I spent my time watching series on Netflix, I didn’t see anything, I didn’t do anything that I thought I was going to do, why? because I got better to enjoy the little thingsI insist, yes I was surprised because I thought I was going to enjoy the rest more but I was like suffering a little more, in the sense that I wanted to be contributing as Omar said, the world went on and I still wanted to be part of it.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO INTERVIEW:
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