Baristanet Profile: Michael Aquino

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photo courtesy of Mike Peters Photography

Name: Michael Aquino

Where do you live? Bloomfield, NJ

When did you move there? 2006

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Union City, NJ.

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion? I am a podcast producer, composer, and an audio engineer for Cocotazo Media. We create audio fiction and music by independent artists of all backgrounds. Our main focus right now is our audio fiction podcast series Timestorm which is being produced with support from PRX and the Google Podcasts creator program. It’s a story about twins from Newark, New Jersey, who are sucked into an inter-dimensional portal. They travel through time to uncover hidden moments from their culture’s past. Along the way, they meet people from Africa, Europe, and the Americas who have left their mark on Puerto Rican heritage…only their names aren’t found in history books. It’s so exciting to work on! Oh! And I also write and perform my own music.

Coffee, tea or … ? Coffee x2/day!

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day? When not working, going for a hike with my wife and co-creator of Timestorm, Dania Ramos. There are so many great local spots!

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Hmmm…man, that is a tough one. I’d have to say Boonsong Thai.

What’s on your nightstand? Books about audio fiction and Weird NJ.

What are you listening to? A lot. Recently discovered and love Combo Chimbita, Pedro the Lion, Sharon Van Etten, La Dame Blanche, Bomba Estéreo, and my obsession – Hurray for the Riff Raff.

What are your current indulgences? Daily walks, going to the Montclair Y, and finding some great local coffee/beer/cider.

What talent you would most like to have? It’s a talent I could (probably) never have – flying.

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about your town? The cut through off of Broughton Ave in Bloomfield that goes by Clarks Pond. I feel like it’s a hidden level on a video game. Keep an eye out – you might catch me running through there!

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? It would probably be more like a party, “Yo, that kid was full of love.”

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