Brandon Anjeleno Opens Up About Origins of Subliminal Radio


There's a saying, "build your dreams, or someone will hire you to build theirs." Not sure who originally said it, but it resonates deeply for me. I worked in corporate radio for 30+ years. My whole identity was wrapped up in my career. Partly because as a kid growing up gay at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, all the names you heard in school to everything you watched on TV, constantly reminded you, that society thinks less of you than your heterosexual peers. I know how truly fortunate I am that my entire family accepted me from the beginning and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Even then, when I realized that I was really good at something I was passionate about, it was easy to let it define my whole identity in the face of external discrimination. I realize that pattern probably isn't unique to being gay, but living life through the lens of discrimination certainly magnifies it -- probably for any minority group. On a side note, how can any minority group discriminate against another minority group when you know the struggle? Be kind to each other.

Radio was always magical for me. As a boy, I liked to listen to distant AM stations, skipping across the ionosphere, connecting my radio to remote cities and countries. Why did the same songs I bought at Tower Records sound so much better on the radio than they did when I played them on the exact same stereo? The personality of the DJs were larger than life! And unlike movies, or TV news, you could pick up the phone and call the DJ. They were accessible in a way that film and TV stars weren't, but somehow, just as famous (if not more, at least to me.) I could literally relate every experience and emotion to a song... First kiss? Will To Power - Baby I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley.  Anyone who listened to the radio could hear the same thing, but have a different mental image and emotional connection to what they were hearing. Nothing except air connected my radio to the DJs that played my favorite songs. I was hooked. I knew from a very young age that I would spend the rest of my life hopefully creating that magic for someone else.

Around 1993 while I was working in Las Vegas, my friend Rik did mornings at one of our competitors. Rik mentioned that they had just hired Holly Adams to be their new mid-day host. Immediately, I asked him if he was talking about the same Holly Adams that worked at MARS-FM in LA. Before he could answer, I shouted, “YOU HAVE TO INTRODUCE US!” I think we met later that week at a concert for Big Audio Dynamite with the Violent Femmes and Public Image Limited (but I could be wrong, because who can keep track, right?). Holly and I connected right away. I've always been a tech nerd and had the first Minidisc recorder ever made. The next thing I knew, I was at her house archiving old recordings of the Import Show that Holly co-hosted with Swedish Egil on MARS-FM, to Minidisc. We've been family ever since.
To tell the story of how Subliminal Radio happened, we have to go back to 2006, when I took a 10 year sabbatical from radio. During that time, Subliminal Radio existed only in my living room as a means to have something good to listen to that resembled radio. In the decade that followed the Telecom Bill of 1996 gutting everything I loved about radio, it had become so homogeneous and boring that I couldn't listen to anything other than KCRW and KDAY. But my story wouldn't be complete without giving Freddy Snakeskin and Swedish Egil proper respect and credit for pioneering House, Techno, and Underground Electronic Dance Music and championing the art of DJ culture on terrestrial (AM/FM) radio. MARS-FM and Groove Radio were rare windows on commercial radio into the rave culture that resonated for so many of us.

After moving back home to LA from San Francisco, I knew that I didn't want to work for "Corporate Radio" in any capacity. So I reinvented myself as a tech consultant - solving complex issues for creative people and learning a ton of new shit in the process. It was the only thing besides radio I was good at, that I really enjoyed.  

When my ex was diagnosed HIV+ in 2010, life as we knew it literally stopped. It changed in that moment and would never be the same. Our sense of safety and security felt like they were ripped away from us, the same way they were on 9/11. We got him the support he needed and he became healthy and undetectable. I'm forever grateful to APLA, AHF, LA LGBT Center and Bienestar, for saving his life -- which is my reason for doing AIDS Walk LA -- more info below if you’d like to join Team Subliminal Radio and walk with us Sunday, October 21st, or can make a donation. We found an attorney at El Rescate who helped us fight for asylum and went through the entire immigration process until he was able to get his Green Card. If we could survive all of that, we could survive anything, right? That's what I thought. But somehow, he had decided that his life was over and started doing really destructive things. I tried to hang on as long as I could, but ultimately reached a point where I couldn't sacrifice my happiness for his anymore. Then, in 2012, a close friend was brutally murdered. I was beyond devastated.

3 years later, I woke up one day and realized I was finally done suffering. It was time to reinvent myself once again. I needed a creative outlet. Only this time, I would combine the things I love. Radio and technology. Little did I know, what started out in my living room was about to become part of my healing journey that would touch people around the world. I’m proud to say that Subliminal Radio has been embraced by different cultures and communities, both gay and straight, domestic and foreign.

In the beginning, I put Subliminal Radio online just to entertain myself while spending countless hours sitting in LA traffic. I shared the link privately with Holly and a handful of close friends. The chorus of comments were all the same. "Why isn't this on the air in LA?" "You could put this on the air anywhere in the world and it would blow up!" While the feedback was encouraging, I wanted to do something that wasn't controlled by or profiting a giant corporation, so I decided to keep it underground and had an app developed. Subliminal Radio "came out" to the public a year later at LA Pride 2016 - the day we lost 49 beautiful souls to an act of gun violence and terrorism at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

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Subliminal Radio - United We Dance® is dedicated to the unicorns who don't fit in. Who weren't cool in school. Who are sensitive and misunderstood. The kid that is struggling to come out to their parents or peers but doesn't know if they will be disowned. To the immigrants that risk unimaginable dangers crossing the border to provide a better life for their families - because staying is worse. To the unarmed black men who are shot in cold blood by the police. To athletes who take a knee in peaceful protest against police brutality and gun violence. To the trans-gendered activists who fight for their basic right to use the bathroom in public spaces. To the young girl who dreams of being president. To anyone that feels hurt and alone who has ever thought suicide might be an option. Subliminal Radio is a safe and inclusive space. Subliminal Radio is very personal to me. If you asked me what I wanted people to get from Subliminal Radio, it would be a sense of inclusion, happiness, and above all, healing, where the only language spoken, is music. That no matter what your background is, or what you’ve been through, you can live your truth. Gay, straight, trans, black, white, brown, and everything in the spectrum -- we all have something in common. United We Dance!

A year ago, I approached Holly with an idea. I stopped by her house and asked her to listen with an open mind -- "why don't we throw a proper house party every Saturday... We’ll do it at your house… Wait, don't say NO yet! All you have to do is wake up! We’ll invite our favorite DJs and friends. We'll do it LIVE on Subliminal Radio and call it Holly's House!" She said YES!!!
Subliminal Radio is honored to have been asked to celebrate the first anniversary of Holly's House from Palm Springs Pride 2018 LIVE WORLDWIDE on Subliminal Radio - United We Dance® 

Join us Friday 11/2: from NOON - 2PM as we Dip Into Pride at Hotel Zoso.

And Saturday 11/3: On the (Arenas stage) with Subliminal Radio Resident DJ Holly Adams and local DJs Gage Hanks, Glitter & Sand

HOLLY ADAMS – one of LA’s favorite House DJs, is one of the most recognizable voices in Electronic Dance Music since the beginning of the West Coast Rave Scene in the early 90s. Holly was part of the original on-air lineup of MARS-FM, Groove Radio 103.1 and grooveradio.com. Holly can be heard as a Local Announcer on 89.9 FM/KCRW. And now, Holly calls Subliminal Radio home as Resident DJ and host of Holly’s House — a proper weekly House party with local, national, and international producers, DJs, friends, family, and pets — all stopping by and taking part in the live broadcast every week — from Holly’s actual house in Santa Monica.

HOLLY’S HOUSE — heard every Saturday night at 6/Pacific LIVE WORLDWIDE on Subliminal Radio – UNITED WE DANCE® — is quickly becoming a phenomenon with thousands of people engaged via our dedicated iOS and Android apps, online, on Tunein, LIVE video on FB, YouTube, Twitch, Periscope, Twitter, and on-demand with our SoundCloud archive.

HOLLY is also the voice of the DAMN Report (Dance and Music News) — heard every hour on the :10s  — exclusively on Subliminal Radio. Need the inside scoop on where to go? Holly shares select club, underground, after-hours, warehouse parties, festivals and events.

Subliminal Radio gives our audience an experience they can’t get anywhere else with 24/7 ORIGINAL, LIVE and LOCAL content unheard of on generic, algorithm-based apps like Pandora, Spotify and iTunes. We prefer human contact over social media. We broadcast LIVE WORLDWIDE from the most intimate underground House, Techno and Electronic clubs and parties to dark warehouses and full-on festivals. We set the absolute standard for superior HD audio quality, we’re innovating both radio and advertising and since we’re not controlled by the FCC, we’re uncensored.

Since our very first week on the air, Subliminal Radio has broadcast LIVE every week from Revival Tuesdays in Alhambra (although we’re taking time off to focus on developing new content). Subliminal Radio is home to some of LA’s biggest DJs: Holly Adams, Terence Toy, Steve Loria, Dyrti Dan, AJ Mora, DJ Orlando, Jaime Narvaez, Ganesha Cartel, Brooks Wilkinson, Devin Magallanes, Brandon (PZ) Jameson, Marlo Morales, Aaron Carrillo, and from Mexico City, Mexican House Unity is joining the Subliminal Radio Crew! 

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re going to be in LA on Sunday, October 21st and want walk with us for AIDS Walk LA, search for Team Subliminal Radio! You can also make a donation on our team page.

MORE NOTES: We’d love to become your new FAVORITE 24/7 MUSIC APP. Text the word GO to 545454 to get the FREE Subliminal Radio APP. Also available in the app stores and SubliminalRadio.net

Brandon Anjeleno
Owner / Operations Manager
Subliminal Radio

Come and experience DJ Holly Adams spinning at our Dip Into Pride Pool Party Kickoff Event at Hotel Zoso on Friday, November 2, 2018!