Leandro Martinez, a junior marketing and management major, came to the United States as a high school exchange student and went to school at Linn-Mar in Marion, Iowa. “I heard about Mount Mercy from a friend and decided that I wanted to study here,” he said.
After going home and working for a year, Martinez got the opportunity to come to the states – and to Mount Mercy.
“My dad owns a disco, and I thought being a DJ would be a good way to earn money. Since I’m on a visa, I can’t work outside of school except for odd jobs, and I thought this could make a little money,” he said.
Martinez explained that the name of his business, DJ Lalo Fever, comes from his nickname Lalo. “My sister couldn’t pronounce Leandro, so I became Lalo. And Lalo Fever was the joke of my manager back home. He would see me and say, ‘Hey! Lalo Fever!’ I thought the name fit,” he said with a laugh.
Martinez admitted that he was a little fearful when he decided to take that first step toward becoming a DJ. “[Director of Counseling Services] Tricia Borelli helped me a lot. I was the DJ at the Music Fest last spring and at the Speed Friendship and the ‘80s Dance and will be playing the music at the Halloween Dance,” he said. “I’m hoping to get more offers for parties outside of Mount Mercy, too,” he said.
Martinez said he bought some equipment in February, but would like to buy better equipment with the money he earns. “The equipment I have is not bad, but it costs a lot for good equipment,” he said.
Most people don’t realize it, but being a DJ is harder than it looks, according to Martinez. Between school and homework, he said he has a hard time finding time to practice. “I would like to practice more. I’m working on my ‘scratching’ right now, which requires a lot of practice,” he said.
Martinez said he is enjoying his time at Mount Mercy. “I’ve always known music would be in my life somehow,” he said. “My friends at Mount Mercy have helped me take that first step.”
Martinez added that he plans to stay in the U.S. after he graduates to pay off his student loans and then maybe he will go to Europe. “I try to go home for Christmas every year but I might not be able to this year,” he said.
For more information on DJ Lalo Fever, e-mail Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Student Profile was written by Cynthia Petersen, Editor-in-Chief, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times in the October 27, 2010, issue.