7 ?s with Oscar “Vicious” Vasquez
You’ve heard him on Dash Radio’s (Dash1, SKEE, L0UD, XXL, The City, The Cut & Reggae King), SKEE TV on Fuse, Dorrough’s signature artist tag (“Now, it’s Dorrough Music”) & most recently the Benztown Rhythmic library. Meet Oscar “Vicious” Vasquez.
1) How did you get your start in radio? It was right after high school. I was in band from 9th up until 11th grade & was recruited by a good friend of mine to help him out in the “tech-crew”, which was the PA system/DJ for the pep-rallies, basketball games, football games & cheerleader/drill team. He was also on-air at the time and had invited me to hang out at the station and see first hand what really goes on behind the scenes. Well, he took a restroom break, (basically putting me on the spot) and he shouts at me to see what song is next on his music log. I popped in the Denon CD tray, cued up the track from what little I had learned off of him and as soon as the song playing on air finished, I fired off a drop off cart, pressed [ON] on the board, and it was at that moment where I said “this is what I want to do”. So he set up a recording aircheck, (a few jock liner cards), I read them & received a call a few weeks later from the PD offering me a board-op gig & the rest is history! I’d like to thank God for this talent and for putting the right people in my life who helped contribute and offer valuable advice to my on-air and voice over success.
2) What’s your favorite thing about working in the industry? I love being able to do what I did at the stations I worked for, from the confines of my own home. Being able to connect on a daily basis with other voice over professionals via social media, email or a simple phone call or text. This is truly a step up from on-air, and from recording spots in the production department, so I’m still a rookie swimming with an ocean of veterans and it’s truly a blessing to be considered as a part of the team.
3) What equipment are you rocking in the studio? Currently, I am using the following: A Baby Bottle from Blue Microphones and I run that into a Presonus Studio Channel Strip preamp, DBX EQ & Alesis 3630 Compressor w/Gate coming out of a Yamaha MG12XU board. For audio interface(s), I use MOTU’s 828mkII & Ultralite along with KRK’s Rokit 8’s a and 10″ subwoofer. And for nostalgia, there’s a TASCAM BR-20 1/4″ Reel to Reel (which was going to be scrapped before I saved it) and an EV RE20.
4) Who inspires you in the VO world? In hopes of not sounding too cliche, I would have to say it started with Don LaFontaine (RIP). It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that I was exposed to online videos where I could actually see voice actors in their daily lives and how they would warm up, or went about their day before and after the booth. I also was inspired by Joe Cipriano, Dave Foxx, Jeff Berlin, Dave Kampel and the entire roster off the WMA (William Morris Agency) CD’s. I really looked forward to my PD’s snail mail in hopes of him giving me a copy of those CDs.
5) Who inspires you in the REAL world? That one, I’m going to have to give to my mom. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here. If it wasn’t for her being tough on me growing up, I wouldn’t be learning the lessons I have today. She’s always taught me to never give up, and to always put God first in everything.
6) If you weren’t working in radio what career would you have chosen? Before leaving to the Rio Grande Valley to work in radio, I was 18 and had taken a firefighter’s exam with dreams of becoming either a firefighter or a paramedic for the City of Laredo. I passed the exam, but was later shut down due to health reasons on the physical part of the exam. I have always had a high regard and respect for first responders, so if radio wasn’t my calling, I would really have hoped to have become a first responder (Police, Fire, etc.)
7) What does it feel like getting sprayed in the face with mace? Haha! It’s quite invigorating! The first time around we used store bought mace for a news package we were working on, I played the suspect, carrying a knife in a dramatization, while my reporter played victim. It brought me to my knees, but was still able to breathe and talk about how it felt. Second time around (different station, different city), we were working on a segment called “Does it Work?” Well, we forgot the store bought mace at the tv station, so when we arrived at our shoot, the local police department was extremely kind enough to lend us their OC (police strength pepper spray). IMMEDIATELY, my eyes, my mouth, my nose felt as if they were tied shut. Couldn’t breathe for a few, and the burn was just so much more intense. My respect to those who have to endure pepper spray and still train to put up a fight while feeling the effects. You guys are the real MVPs.
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