Chris Mendez

KUSC Interactive Director

Chris Mendez is a digital producer, musician, and software entrepreneur. In 2011, he completed a Master’s in Communication Management from the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism where he focused on brand strategy and digital product development. Previously, Chris earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry from USC Thorton School of Music where he learned how to record on 2” tape, mix for 5.1 and calculate royalty computations. With over ten years of experience building platforms and experiences for desktop and mobile devices, Chris’s work can be seen through a variety of media devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, Spotify, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi. Chris’s work has received national recognition including two Webby Awards, a SXSW Interactive award, and an Online News Association Award. He enjoys finding new ways to help connect, engage, empower and delight users online as well as shape how stories are told across emerging platforms.

What is your secret skill?

I can make paper roses out of napkins.

Two of your favorite songs/pieces of music ever:

Space Moth. I started listening to Stereolab during Dots and Loops but it is Sound-Dust that has kept me enthralled for years. In the same vein as other concept albums (The Dark Side Of The MoonThings Fall Apart), Stereolab’s mysterious, retro-phonic pop/rock experience really starts with track #2. “Space Moth”, a 7:35 minute overture is packed with ominous, propulsive basslines, moog synths, phased-out drums, layered instrumentation, Francis Dhomont-inspired textures and signature french vocals. Every time I listen to it, I feel like I’m on a cool 1960’s French rocketship heading towards new sonic orbits.

João Gilberto – One Note Samba. I grew up around lots of Bossa Nova music and One Note Samba has really grown to become one of my absolute favorites. It’s all about coming back to that first note…

Two of your favorite TV shows:

I watch a lot of Twilight Zone. The episodes about space and computers are way ahead of their time, the writing is good and the production quality is top-notch. The fact that most of the episodes are in black and white makes the show even better. I mean, just imagine how much work it must have taken to create a single episode on a then “emerging technology” called Television. Phew, tough. I just finished re-watching “From Agnes –With Love” and am curious if Spike Jones used it as an inspiration to write Her.

House of Cards rocks. I really like how the writers are pushing the show to do things you normally can’t watch on broadcast TV.  I mean, was it really necessary for Season 2 to show a frame-by-frame replay of Zoe’s _______. Come on!

Favorite type of food:

Mexican Food = [ tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tamales, chile rellenos, flautas, tostadas, chimichangas, molitas, coctel de camarones, pescado al mojo de ajo, mole poblano ]

If you were a box of cereal, which would you be and why?

Count Chocula because it’s only available during the months of October and November.  Scarcity is a rare thing to see these days