By Moses Leos III
Former Uhland resident and current Warbucks Music Group General Manager Yoli Romo knows how popular Tejano music is to the area.
It’s that knowledge that drove Romo, along with Warbucks owner Randy Saenz, to start up a production studio in Kyle for a television program, Viva Tejano TV, that caters to the Tejano music community.
For Romo, the family-friendly show is a way to further advance the popularity of the music genre.
“It’s bringing attention to the artists that are here, the artists of the past and artists of the future,” Romo said. “It also is a positive note for the kids.”
Their production studio was an endeavor Saenz started in September 2015. Saenz sought to produce a Tejano music program that was family friendly. As the group sought a location, they began to brainstorm on the format of the show.
One idea focused on highlighting the Tejano nightlife and club scene.
Instead, they opted to have a program where “even kids can watch with no problem,” according to Romo.
“On the TV show, (performers) sit on our sofa and have a great conversation as if they were at my house,” Romo said. “It’s all about promoting the artist. It’s about them and not us at all. It shows what they are like behind the scenes.”
Finding a location for their studio became their next task. After looking at possible locations in Austin and San Antonio, Saenz settled on opening the studio in Kyle.
According to Romo, Kyle was the “mesh point” between Austin and San Antonio, which hosts some of the genre’s most popular performers.
“Tejano music is something that is well known in the area,” Romo said. “It’s from here.”
Once they found the format and how to broadcast the show, which is done through Time Warner Cable, the duo then started taping their program.
They are doing so by rotating their staff to allow everyone from experienced professionals to college students to produce the show. For Romo, giving an opportunity to those who may not have it was an important factor.
“We’re giving an opportunity to those that produce TV shows and editors that might be going to school and bringing them in,” she said. “We’re also giving photographers that want a chance, we give them a chance.”
It’s coupled with a rise in Tejano music, according to Romo. She said there is a heightened interest in the genre from the younger generation. One difference is the genre is attracting “younger female artists.” In the 1980s, according to Romo, the genre of music was male dominated.
With Tejano’s rise, Romo said it has led to others starting their own Tejano television programs and media ventures.
Romo said she doesn’t see it as competition, but as as way to “help the industry grow” and “spread the word.”
“You can see that it’s back on the rise,” Romo said. “It’s a new explosion and it’s all positive.”
The ability to not only bring the television station to her hometown, but also further the style of music was important for Romo.
“Tejano is a beautiful genre (of music). There is rarely any cussing … I grew up with it and my kids grew up with it,” she said. “It’s neat to see it coming back.”