In the era of ubiquitous SoundCloud mixtapes, Jezenia Romero, DJ and founder of the music label Bunny Jr. Tapes brings back the tactile and nostalgic pleasure of physical cassette tapes. That euphoric feeling of being an early 90s kid or teen, waiting for your favorite song to come on the radio (in my case SWV’s Downtown and Jade’s Don’t Walk Away) and hitting the record button on your tape deck. Or hanging out in your room and pulling out the accordion style booklet to gaze at the dope album art and read those amazing lyrics that a cassette experience offered.
On the label’s site, you can purchase cassettes ranging from $7 to $10, and be shipped an affordable piece of art that’s a closed edition. You can touch and feel it, and then pop it into a tape player. The heartbeat of Bunny Jr. Tapes is its collaborative spirit; Romero is constantly partnering with artist friends and creatives. There are several tapes co-curated by artist Jordan Nasser, like Respect Your Elders, which schools listeners on iconic singers from the Arab world, or Cumbias and Comida to quench that thirst for sultry cumbia classics. There is a tape for every mood.
For the L.A. native, owning a femme-founded business and repping womxn is paramount. Romero aids her twin sister Jazmin, a jazz/soul singer and electric guitarist, by supporting and promoting her gigs. Romero also works with Guadalupe Rosales, founder of the Veteranas and Rucas and Map Pointz IG accounts, now solely overseeing the Veteranas and Rucas IG page. Next up is New York City this weekend at MoMA/PS1, where Romero is dropping ten mixtapes by ten WOC artists. And to think this all started when she bought a tape recorder for $10 under a bridge from a homeless man with an eBay account. Crazy right?