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The LAist Interview: Garth Trinidad

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Garth Trinidad is familiar to most LAist readers as the host of "Chocolate City" on KCRW, a show that contributes to a local radio scene that makes Los Angeles the envy of listeners across the country (fortunately for them, there's online audio streaming.)

Thanks to Garth's radio presence, heaps of hip hop, soul, jazz, and all sorts of underground and non-mainstream music is broadcast over FM radio that otherwise would be heard by far fewer listeners. As you'll read below, he puts his stellar music taste to work outside of the station.

1. Age and Occupation:

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30, Hustler of urban alternative music culture—DJ, producer, consultant.

2. How long have you lived in Los Angeles and what neighborhood do you live in?

30 years, Crenshaw District.

3. How did you come up with the concept for "Chocolate City" and find your way to KCRW? How has the show changed over the years?

I discovered KCRW post-high school, started as a front desk volunteer while in college, began subbing for DJ’s on occasion, was granted a late night time slot soon after, and struggled to come up with a name for the show. It came down to 2 names, which I asked the other DJ’s to decide on—"Chocolate City" was it.

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The show has evolved as my ears have matured with the influence of peers, mentors, and resources. I’ve dug deeper into jazz, soul, reggae, and been turned on to world music, progressive dance, electronic music, etc.

4. What are some of the best things about the LA music scene now?

Dj’s that aren’t scared to be different…they’re out there, they’ve been there all along…always depends on who’s listening. Also, all kinds of folks are moving here, becoming a part of this bourgeoning scene—Jay Dee, Common, Andre 3000, Saul Williams, etc. and LA has indy institutions that continue to strive for progress—the Stones Throw camp, the Temple Bar, the Soul Children Collective, I & I Productions, the Root Down, Soundlessons, Beat Junkies, etc...

Keep reading after the jump for more with Garth Trinidad.