KCRW announces new co-hosts of Morning Becomes Eclectic, Novena Carmel and Anthony Valadez

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KCRW President Jennifer Ferro and Program Director of Music Anne Litt announce today the new co-hosts of  Morning Becomes Eclectic  (MBE), Novena Carmel and Anthony Valadez. MBE, the station’s flagship music program, weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon, has been a powerful source of music discovery since 1978. This is the first time two hosts will lead MBE.

Novena and Anthony both come from KCRW’s after-midnight roster, where unique and exciting voices have the opportunity to experiment and bring adventurous listeners into the KCRW fold. From podcasts and livestreams to viral videos, Novena and Anthony have collaborated extensively over the course of their years-long friendship. This authentic camaraderie and willingness to explore and experiment will make for a natural synchronicity as co-hosts of Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Morning Becomes Eclectic abides by the ethos of  KCRW Music : Play what you love. The effervescent Novena Carmel loves timeless — and timely — music; whatever makes her antennas tingle. She is driven by her lifelong passion of sharing music with the masses. L.A.’s beloved Anthony Valadez brings his considerable DJ experience, turntablist skills, intrepid spirit, and positive energy to this dynamic duo. Together, they will usher in the next era of music discovery and exploration at KCRW, the innovative public radio station well known for helping launch the careers of many celebrated artists.

“I am so excited to pass the torch of MBE to Novena and Anthony,” says Anne Litt. “Novena is pure joy and Anthony is the heart and soul of Los Angeles. Together, they will explore fresh, new ways to reach music lovers globally.” She continues, “My journey will be to delve deeper into my role as Program Director of Music, bring our roster of incredible DJs to their fans, and capitalize on the boundless talents of our entire music department across all of our platforms.”

Novena Carmel photo by Larry Hirshowitz
Novena Carmel. Photo by Larry Hirshowitz for KCRW.

Of her new role, Novena says, “I feel ecstatic and a bit like I’m dreaming. I greatly admire Anthony’s work and what I would call his ‘creation ethic;’ he seems to never stop creating and finding inspiration for creativity everywhere. We already have a lot of fun and exciting ideas for the show, and I’m so looking forward to collaborating more with the KCRW team and connecting with the listeners.”

“I’m excited to wake up with L.A. and Novena,” says Anthony. “She's my best friend, but what I admire the most is her ability to stay positive and always add perspective.” Of his new role, Anthony notes, “I'm a fan of the show's celebrated history and hope to be an extension of it moving forward. It’s not a position I take lightly. I've always wanted to be at the intersection of ‘culture’ and ‘institution.’ KCRW has been the launching pad for ideas that fuse tech, social media, and execution of music discovery. These varied platforms have given me creative freedom to spotlight emerging artists and talent, and while I get the sense my aesthetic is perceived as ‘the sound of LA,’ in reality, it's the sound of the world."

Anthony Valadez photo by Larry Hirshowitz
Anthony Valadez. Photo by  Larry Hirshowitz for KCRW.

Morning Becomes Eclectic continues to be a haven for music discovery, and the two hosts will double the reach for unearthing new artists. New albums will be debuted. Exclusive, in-studio live performances will resume as soon as it’s possible. In addition, the new format presents countless opportunities to extend MBE well beyond its on-air end time of noon. “ Obviously you’ll have the variety of two hosts instead of one, but we’re looking at ways to include even more voices that represent the KCRW community and beyond, including KCRW DJs, musicians, and listeners,” says Novena. “I believe that cultivating and nourishing community and connectedness, now more than ever, is so important, and that’s part of what I’m hoping the new format will allow. Music will always be one of the main conduits of making this possible, and from there the possibilities are endless.” “I love that we all want to be bold and daring,” continues Anthony, “KCRW is held to such a high standard. Let's go higher! Something new implies a fresh palette of ideas and colors. This new format will allow us to venture into something that's never been done before.”

Music is part of the genetic code of KCRW,” states KCRW President Jennifer Ferro. “Our approach to this important role of MBE host was to really push the boundaries of what it means to be a DJ in today’s on-demand world. Novena and Anthony, together, make a powerful and joyful duo who will help KCRW be where the people are and share the magic of KCRW music. With these new hosts plus Anne Litt solidly at the helm of our strategy we are ready to define a new era in music.”

Anne Litt. Photo by Jason Kramer
Anne Litt. Photo by Jason Kraemer 

In 2019 Anne Litt became KCRW’s first female Program Director of Music and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic. She will continue hosting the show until after the New Year, and then remain an on-air presence with her own show; time and day TBD. As she prepares to hand over hosting duties, she notes, “it’s been a privilege to have been with you during these challenging times. I leave MBE in the most capable of hands, and am truly excited to see our new co-hosts in action.” 

Novena Carmel. Photo Larry Hirshowitz.

More About Novena Carmel:

Novena Carmel was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area surrounded by her mother’s record collection, classical music books atop her piano, and a deeply rooted musical legacy. Her father, Sly Stone of Sly & The Family Stone, instilled in her the love of the funk and the brilliance of “everyday people.” Her family’s decades-long connection to Brazil along with her Japanese-bilingual elementary schooling, further expanded her world-view. Inspired by the guidance of one of her best friends and mentors, her grandfather, she moved to Los Angeles at 18, to attend UCLA, and graduated with degrees in Mass Communications and African-American Studies. She has been a proud LA resident ever since with a deep appreciation for the city’s contributions to the global cultural landscape. For the past 14 years, Novena has worked in entertainment booking for Temple Bar Concepts, which owns and operates live music venues and cultural havens throughout the LA area including famed Temple Bar, Zanzibar, The Virgil and Townhouse & The Del Monte Speakeasy. During this time she was also a member of multiple music groups, leading to the opportunity to perform at Lollapalooza, Warped Tour, Abbey Road and Coachella. She launched her DJ career six years ago, which quickly took off, fueled by her lifelong love of sharing the music she loves with people, infectious energy, and ability to read a room. As a DJ she has worked with Natural History Museum, “The Squad,” California African American Museum, the Underground Museum, Soul in The Horn, Dublab, Stones Throw Records, Ace Hotel, Amoeba Records and many others. In 2018 Novena was invited to join the DJ team at KCRW, and has quickly become popular through her quirky sense of humor, energetic spirit, and expansive and personalized music collection. She is currently not in a band, but enjoys singing with her soul and jazz choir, The Voices of Creation.

Anthony Valadez. Photo by Larry Hirshowitz.

More About Anthony Valadez:

Anthony Valadez is a native Angeleno; a DJ, producer, and radio and podcast host. Dating back to skipping 6th period during his senior year in high school, he became part of a cast of rotating DJs on KVCM. He would later land shows on KCSN, KPFK, Dublab, and KROQ. He joined KCRW in 2008. His show has been championed by the likes of Childish Gambino, Khruangbin, Ty Dolla $ign and Julian Casbablancas for Valadez’s celebration of music discovery. He has held DJ residencies in Los Angeles including the legendary Temple Bar and the Natural History Museum for their First Fridays series, and in Las Vegas at the SLS. He also served as host and co-producer for three seasons of  Crate Diggers  on Fuse TV. The show documented the art of digging for recorded gems with top record collectors across the United States. He was hand- selected by Jennifer Lopez to open for her 2014 homecoming show in the Bronx. He has remixed official releases for David Bowie, Ozomatli, Local Natives, and has released three full-length albums of his own on indie label, Plug Research. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with Prince, Ben Harper, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bruno Mars and was voted Best Club DJ by the LA Weekly's Readers Poll in 2016.