Q. How was your journey in becoming a disc jockey for one of United States biggest Latino market, especially since you work in La Mega 97.9 and Power 103fm?
A. It was quite an interesting one. I wet to college and studied radio. Communications really. I graduated with a major in Communications and a minor in journalism. I always wanted to be on radio because it was connected to music. No puedo vivir sin música. Es lo que me controla. I didn’t trust a school telling me they were going to “guarantee’ me an internship wherever I wanted to go. A mi nadie me va a vender un sueno. So I started looking for radio stations promotions team, just to get my foot in the door. I finally got an answer after about 3 months asking to come in for an interview. So I did. And within a week I was officially part of Univision new Reggaeton Station La Kalle 105.9 (which is now x 96.3 ). I started from the bottom. Handing out flyers setting up clubs for live broadcasts, promote parades, you name it, we deed it. Like slaves but so happy to be there it wasn’t even funny. I loved proving myself, and getting closer to my goal, ON AIR. I loved having control, I loved being in the street, because I was from the streets, you feel me. The best parts were the call ins. One day one PD Bryant Pino asked if I wanted to be on radio and do overnights. Dj Kazzanova and I were one of the few who had already been rocking out to Reggaeton y el movimiento Urbano. We were Boriqua, we knew the flow. So I said hell yea! And that’s how I stared in the 12mid-6am shift, 6 days a week while still attending college. That’s was the craziest part, balancing it out. I started making a name for myself; people don’t always realize that the overnight shifts are beneficial. Main people leaving clubs, meetings, djs, artists, basically its NYC this city really never sleeps. Stef La Kallejera started to sound, and long story short they gave me 7-12mid Monday through Fridays, and Saturday’s 6-10pm. I ended up graduating from college being the number one youngest Latin female Dj, with the #1 show in the Hispanic market for nights, and #3 in the general market at nights. I did some numbers, hosted numerous concerts, and had interviews with many artists both Spanish and English. I was living it up. Reckless 20 years old. I ended up graduating while having the hottest show at the same damn time. The radio changes up all the time. It’s notorious for that. Univision changed up, Luis Jimenez was in the process of coming, and it just changed. I went to Miami hosted a job with el Zol 95.7 SBS Spanish broadcasting systems a Florida station. Started overnights again, moved up to weekends, and got offered a position in the morning show el Vacilon. I worked the morning show then got permission to start the first and only Latin Urban show. Sundays 6-8pm called Invacion Urbana. The show started doing well. I worked in el Vacilon until Jesus Sala came and took over the station. Due to some personal problems, I decided to go back to NYC with my husband and a newly born daughter. Jesus asked if I was interested in getting transferred to SBS New York, La Mega. I said of course, and so that’s what lands me here back in NYC. I was brought to Amor 93.1 because it was supposed to become a Spanish top 40 station, they eventually decided to go back to balladas y musica romantica, which was the original demographic of the station. So, they brought me to Mega. It’s been a rollercoaster; I can’t even start to tell you the type of bullshit I’ve had to deal with being a female in such a close minded, ignorant male dominated company. It is possible to prevail though. I am finally on air at mega 97.9 Sundays 12min-6am. I’m going to leave it like this, what goes on in that company is out of a damn novella. I’m more than happy with this shift for now, because that station has never had a female jock that has consistently been on air. Gloria was moved to Amor, y la Munequita se fue pa otra emisora. I mean a real female personality. There is a reason. The same reason they’ve been making it so hard for me to get in and eat. So, I made some progress, and I definitely will continue to make more. It’s just a matter of playing the game right, being dedicated and disciplined. The radio game is no joke. It’s wild. You have to have thick skin. Caer es permitido. Levantarse es obligatorio. I also have a radio show in Santo Domingo, RD Sundays 6pm-8pm called Invazion Urbana, the same show I had started in Miami. I know have almost 2 years strong with the show in Power 103.7fm.
Q. What is your association with Sirius XM Satellite Radio?
A. I am the principal voice of channel 506 Flow Nacion. I also have my show starting up there in a 3 weeks called “los 10 elegidos” which will air every wed. at 10 pm eastern, Fri. at 12pm noon eastern, and sat. 10 am eastern. Ill also do some free lance work for their sister channel Caliente.
Q. At what age, or when did you realize, this is what I want to do, I want to work as a radio host? And did you ever imagine you would be working for a legendary radio station as La Mega 97.7fm?
A. Ever since I heard Angie Martinez. I wanted to do what she did for women in Hip hop and in the entertainment business, I wanted to do in the Latin game. I didn’t. I really have so many crazy stories and crazy experiences to tell I could probably write a book. All I can say is grind hard, y tu vas a llegar.
Q. What is your nationality?
A. Puerto Rican, Italian, greek and Lebanese. And now my husband is Dominican, lol. I am surrounded by some amazing cultures. Truly blessed.
Q. Were any of your parents into music? Or did you acquire a love for music on your own?
A. Absolutely, there was always music playing and parties in my house when I grew up. And so many different types of music. From salsa, to la lupe to greek and middle eastern music, to Motown, Brazilian jazz, Italian music. So much!
Q. Do you have a genre of music which is your favorite? Or lets say if you were allow to listen to one specific genre of music what would it be, Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Rock, Pop or any other?
A. Everyone knows me for being hardcore Reggaeton. Yes, I love it, but I also love salsa, I would say I could listen to salsa all day. I cook to salsa, release to salsa, ay, soy salsera. I love reggae, trap music, dembow, house , some R&B…meek mill. I have been really into the dream chaser 3 mixtape. Nengo flow, De la ghetto. I’m eclectic. I love all music.
Q. If we were to reach in to your phone what type of music or from what artist would we play to?
A. Nengo flow, Hactor lavoe, Tempo, De La Ghetto or Meek Mill
Q. I’m guessing you have lots of artists, artist’s manager or music labels approach you on a regular basic in hopes of having their music played on the radio, how do you determine what’s an adequate song to play?
A. I listen to it of course. I also grab a few opinions of people I know also have a good ear. I have a great ear for music, which has what has made me so successful at what I do. I know what people look for, so I know if it’s a yes or no. However, I do believe some people, use music as there therapy, are not that good at communicating it. I try and tell people that give me not the best material to go to the studio and work on certain points. Some take it as consejos, and some get offended. Its simple constructive criticism. Maybe it’s also hard taking that type of direction from a “Woman”.
Q. Before you go live on any of your shows do have a list of songs you’re playing that particular day? If so, do you change them at times?
A. Tempo, Nengo, Jadakiss , Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill.
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Q. Do you attend a lot of events or engagements due to your association with the radio stations?
A. Absolutely, premios, conciertos, Peleas, eventos privados. We have access to most of the entertainment in the tri state as well as cities with stations that are part of SBS
Q. Is there any disc jockeys when you were growing up that inspired you in doing what you do? That you heard their voice over the speakers and you said, one day that’s what I’m going to do?
A. Angie Martinez. Jennifer Lopez definitely. I was also always inspired by La Lupe though.
Q. Any advice for any or our young readers that are looking in becoming a radio disc jockey or radio personality?
A. Que no se dejen!!! Keep pushing, keep falling and keep getting back up. Stronger each time. Always stay ahead of the game, never lose the hunger. Ladies, my beautiful ladies. Never compromise your pride and your dignity for anything, no matter how good the payoff will be. It’s never worth it at the end…better to get kicked down with your head up, then brought up with your head down. Hablando claro. I say this because there is so much pressure now. More in the Latin market. Keep re-inventing yourself. You must be able to evolve to reach the next level. You’re not selling out, losing anything. You’re just learning and educating yourself every day. Betting yourself is the key. Become the strongest in the game.