Locals of

Locals of Los Angeles: Kim Valderas

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Kim and I met freshman year of college back in New York – where we instantly bonded over the common theme of getting sh!t done in a timely fashion, or as we called it “making moves.” Nowadays, we’re making moves geographically and we’re both out in Los Angeles. Kim has been doin’ her thing in the music industry and from what I’ve noticed, when she’s not working her 70-hour work shifts, she’s cruisin’ down any LA side street jammin’ out to some Paramore or some other up-and-coming band you’ve never heard of. Either that, or yelling at how people drive in LA. Everyone, meet Kim:

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Age: 23

Hometown: Flemington, NJ

Neighborhood in LA: Hollywood, CA

What you do in life/job: Tour Marketing / Artist Appearances @ Capitol Records

How did you end up in LA?

I knew growing up that I would someday end up in LA. The question was how. Last two years of college, I interned for EMI Music/Capitol Music Group in the Tour Marketing department in New York. This was my dream internship. I loved going to shows and putting events together so it just made sense. I busted my ass a lot and devoted my college years to school and interning. When it came time to graduate, I was offered a job in LA the day before I graduated and by the end of the week, I moved out of my apartment in Brooklyn and hopped on a plane to LAX. There were no doubts in my mind about what I was doing. And here I am today. 

 You work at Capitol Records, which is how many people’s dream job? How’d you pull that off?

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I had this fear in college that I would never get a job out of college so second semester of Freshman year I started to apply to internships. First internship was at Atlantic Records and they kept me on for over a year or so and the second one was EMI/Capitol. I stayed at EMI/Capitol up until I graduated. I loved the Tour Marketing team and knew that it was the department I wanted to be a part of. I did tell my boss I wanted to stay before I graduated, but I never thought I would actually be offered the job. Little did I know that he was in the works of making that happen. It all just kind of happened, which is awesome. I think the best things happen when you just let the pieces fall and it did.

What do you like more about LA than NYC?

Like everyone would say, the weather and being near the beach. Also, you can pretty much get a different scene of environment no matter which direction you go in. If you go to downtown, you get the city vibe. Go to Mid-City it’s super suburban. Go to the West side and you get the beach. Above Hollywood, you get the mountains.

Also, the sunsets in LA are ridiculous. Some nights they’re orange, others they’re pink and purple.

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Favorite bar and why:

Bar Stella. Literally fell in love when I walked into that bar. It has a French vibe to it and reminds me of the bars back in Brooklyn. This bar is in the Echo Park / Silverlake area, right on Sunset.

You’re driving down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). What songs have to be on your California playlist?

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This is probably the hardest question. Below is my Top 10 as of today, not in any particular order. This list is something that would change daily depending on my vibe.

  1. Ain’t it fun – Paramore
  2. Bound 2 – Kanye West
  3. Susie Q – Creedence Clear water revival
  4. Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  5. Maggie May – Rod Stewart
  6. Seaside – The Kooks
  7. Your Loves Whore – Wolf Alice
  8. A Dream of You and Me – Future Islands
  9. Pools – Glass Animals
  10. California Girls – Katy Perry (Cause DUH. Why wouldn’t this be on the list?)

Taco culture is big in LA. Where should we go to get a cheap, good taco?

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Cactus on Vine is A+ tacos and burritos. On Taco Tuesdays you can find me at Tekila on Hollywood Blvd. They have dollar tacos on Taco Tuesday and you cannot go wrong there! If you are not near the Hollywood area, I would suggest finding a taco truck. You can never go wrong with the taco trucks here. They are all great.  

Who do you live with?

I have two roommates. One British aspiring actor and one girl who is studying to be a yoga instructor. I know, can it get any more LA than that?

I found my place on Craigslist. A lot of people bag on craigslist, but you just have to know the posts that are legitimate and the ones that you should stay away from.  Plus, you’re more likely to find an affordable place on Craigslist than going through listings.

How do you deal with the 80 degree weather and sunshine literally every day?

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I don’t really think much of it now that I have been here for a year. I just live. All the days in the week blend together and time flies here in LA.

I miss Fall and the rain about the East Coast so when it does rain here, I get really stoked about it when every LA person is like “Fuck, it’s raining? No!”  and then will drive 2 mph on the freeway.

The perfect LA day for you. Go.

I would wake up, drive to Malibu for brunch at Malibu Farms. They have the best breakfast sandwich, coffee, sangria, you name it. SO GOOD. After, I would probably skateboard down the PCH or head down to Venice and skate down there. Maybe do some shopping at Abbot Kinney. I would probably stop at In-N-Out for dinner before heading home to change. At night, you could find me at a show at one of the music venues (Teragram or the Satellite or the Echo) in the East LA/Echo Park/Silverlake area. I like to spread myself out from West to East LA – get the best of both worlds (kinda like that Miley Cyrus song)!

You live in the legit heart of Hollywood. On a scale of 1 to Britney Spears, how glamorous is your lifestyle living in that neighborhood?

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I would give Hollywood a 7.

Everyone thinks that Hollywood is super glamorous with all the lights and the stars on the sidewalk, but it’s not all glitz and glam. I remember when I first came to Hollywood,  I thought it would be a lot cleaner and fancier than NYC…NOPE. The main strip has bars and small shops that sell souvenirs. Near the Chinese Theater and Jimmy Kimmel Live is the main tourist spot, which I completely avoid, although I live right down the block.

There are some really cool bars in Hollywood like Davey Wayne’s where you enter a fridge, literally a refrigerator. There is also No Vacancy where I danced with the Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. I also saw the Johnny Depp walk down Hollywood Blvd towards the Roosevelt Hotel, which was mind blowing because the fake Johnny Depp, particularly Captain Jack(you know, those actors dressed in costume), was across the street.

What is the #1 thing that pisses you off in Los Angeles?

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Hands down, the driving. WHY DOES NO ONE USE THEIR SIGNAL, HERE IN LA?!? Every time I have to drive to the west side during rush hour, my blood pressure rises with the thought of dealing with dummies on the road.

What does your family back in NJ (or the Philippines) think of you living in NYC one day and LA the next?

They love it. What’s funny is when I was looking at colleges, I originally looked into schools in LA and my dad was like “No.” When I was offered the job in LA, he pretty much pushing me out the door. I know they are all very proud, my family back in NJ and the Philippines. I knew what I wanted and I pushed myself to get to where I wanted to be. My dad is very stoked about what I do, despite him wanting me to be a doctor originally. My family thinking that my job is so cool, makes what I do that much more special and awesome.

To follow more of Kim in LA, check out her Instagram (@rahhhkim), her Twitter (@rahhhkim), or her Spotify (@rahhhkim)@rahhhkim


[In our “Locals of” series, we will be highlighting locals of each city we travel to. Go figure. These aren’t just randos walking down the street; they’re people we have personally connected with and vouch for in terms of knowing how to do their city right. They’ve got some juicy deets that might just change the way you see their cities and we want to share them with you.]

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