10 Questions with ... Brooke Diaz
May 5, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Other Web: facebook.com/brookediaz925 & twitter @missbrookediaz
- 95.5 WBRU - Providence, RI (2004-2008) - While at Brown University, I got roped into working at the radio station that was run by Brown students but had a professional sales staff and ran as a professional radio station - label reps, commercials, ratings etc. It was a great way to get into the business- I got to run my own show, be Music Director, Programming Director and Promotions Director all by the time I graduated - which REALLY prepared me for the radio business lifestyle!
- 95.3/102.3 The Breeze - Longview, TX (2008-2009) - First job after college, hosted the mid-day show 10-3, HOT AC/TOP 40
- 92.5 The Wolf - Denver, CO (2010-Present) - Morning Show Co-Host/Mid-Day Host and now Music Director
1) Hey Brooke! Tell us, how did you first get into radio?
During Orientation my freshman year at Brown University - a friend of mine wanted to check out the radio station but he didn't want to go alone - so I went with him. He ended up being the web man for the 4 years we were in school and the head honchos loved my voice and asked me to be on air - and I was. It was commercial/professional radio station run by Brown students with a professional sales staff. I got to experience all of radio - Promotions Director, Music Director - put on 15,000 plus people concerts before I was able to even have a drink with the musicians - working a 60 hour a week job for free while going to an Ivy League school - not the smartest thing to do but what a great time!
2) Tell us a little bit about Denver and the KWOF audience. Are there any listeners in particular who have made a big impression on you?
Denver is the most intense country audience I have ever been around - and what is so interesting - is how diverse their interests are. A third of Denver misses the old country sound - a third of Denver wants more Texas country to make it on the airwaves, and the final third of Denver LOVES the pop/rock/country sound that country music is right now. I listen to every listener - they have all made an impression on me, and I can't wait to see what Denver/KWOF audience falls in love with next!
3) You are the KWOF Music Director. To be working in a director position, in a large market, for a reporting station at such a young age is very impressive! How did that happen!?!
Originally I was brought on to KWOF as a morning show co-host and mid-day personality, and that worked well for a year. As the station grew to a reporting station, and we got a lot busier, I naturally took over a lot of the responsibilities/tasks for our PD Jonathan Wilde (who was also driving the morning show) - I'm a multi-tasker and a bit of a perfectionist, so it was just natural to start sitting in on meetings/planning remotes etc. As more music came into the building - our target demo just so happens to be just like me, female, mid 20s, single - and because I became the 'face of the Wolf' as 'bar girl' at every remote - I was the one talking directly to our listeners. Jonathan Wilde would ask what I heard on the streets and what my opinion was - label reps knew me well from working all their artists and events etc...so when my fourth year began, it was natural transition to give me the title of the role I kind of just took over.
4) In your opinion, what were some of the biggest surprise hits and misses in the Country format over the past several months? Is there any artist that you feel has been somewhat underrated, and you would like to see grow in 2013?
One of the biggest surprises for both Jonathan Wilde and myself has to be Little Big Town's 'Pontoon' - they have had the best vocals for YEARS but were never able to break into superstar status, and to be honest, we just weren't fans after the initial listen. Then the song caught on like wildfire and you couldn't escape it - now you don't want to! Their follow-up with Tornado is just amazing and they are finally getting the credit they so long deserved! As for artists - I think Lee Brice, Jerrod Niemann, and Billy Currington are all underrated artists. Lee is a beautiful and genius songwriter, Jerrod can sing you a party song or a ballad and you just love him immediately. As for Billy, he comes and goes but I hope to see more of him soon - I really am feeling the new single 'Hey Girl' - we will see!
5) Did you initially want to work in the Country format? If you were not, which other format could you see yourself doing?
I have always been a big fan of Country music - but I didn't think I exactly had the personality for it. Most women in country radio have the blonde, sweet, southern accent kind of thing going on - and I am definitely opposite of that. Raised by a single mom, and being 1 of 5 kids - I have a lot of sass, a lot of sarcasm, and am currently rocking a leather jacket with purple/pink highlights. I never thought country radio would come calling - until they actually did. I work up a softer side of my personality on air, still with a little sass, but the audience knows I'll rock out with them at a Brooks & Dunn concert any day of the week. If I ever left the Country format, I would probably go back to the top 40/hip hop genre I was trained in. I currently help out our sister mix/top 40 station just because I love all the music so much I stay informed on every artist/single, it's fun to have a mix of music.
6) Who are some of your professional influences or mentors?
Professionally - I love the career/influence of Cody Alan/Ryan Seacrest - they have the platform to bring artists they believe in to a superstar level - they could make an artist solely on their word alone, and they work VERY HARD to make sure they have their hands on every aspect of their career/their show/their brand. As for a mentor, I would have to go back to my own mother. A single mom of 5 kids - that woman had 30 balls juggling in the air and never dropped one - and that is how I tend to work. My hands in everything, multi-tasking constantly whether it is scheduling music/emailing labels/planning contests/attending meetings for upcoming concerts etc - juggling is an art form - and thank goodness I took after my mom on that - I think my PD Jonathan Wilde really appreciates it! HA!
7) How does KWOF set itself apart from the competition?
The Wolf really appeals to the young country listener - we really pride ourselves on bringing a new/younger demo to our genre of music. With groups like Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, and of course, Taylor Swift - we can appeal to a younger generation - and we really try to focus on that. Granted, we aren't crazy and alienating our listeners who have been country fans for years - we still rock our George Strait songs, but we work hard on a mass appeal to all listeners, bringing in fans of different genres of music and making them a country listener, instead of only appealing to the built in fans.
8) What is one of the most memorable visits that you have had with a Country artist and why does it stand out above all the others?
There have been so many memorable moments - for so many different reasons! But...if I had to pick just ONE - I would have to say Hunter Hayes. He stopped by our station almost 2 years ago - he was making his first rounds to radio stations, gearing up to release his first album and did a small performance for a few listeners. This 18 year old kid blew my mind - he literally BUILT the song in front of us, every single track, keyboard/guitar/drums/vocals - and then played back the single 'Storm Warning' right to us - it was the most tech savvy and talented performance I had ever seen. In addition - it was one of the very first times I got to be in on the ground level - support an artist before anyone really knew who the artist was. The Wolf rocked out his first single before it was popular too - we got to back an artist we believed it and watch him become the 3 time Grammy nominee Hunter Hayes is now - THAT is what I got in this business for - and am always on the lookout for the next superstar!
9) You've accomplished a lot at such a young age already, so where do you go from here? What is your ultimate career goal?
There are so many places I could go from here, but my one staple is to always stay close to the music. I would love to get back to a morning show - that is my passion, being on air on a superstar morning show and staying Music Director. Ultimately, I would love to steal Kelly Ripa's job (and husband - haha) - or rock out like Ryan Seacrest. That man has so much power to put behind any artist he believes in - whatever he touches turns to gold. If I could grab that sort of platform, I would be able to take ALL Country music/artists to a superstar level, that would be ideal.
10) What is one artist who you have never had the chance to meet, but would like to?
GARTH BROOKS! He is also the one artist that has been on my bucket list to see that I have never had a chance to check out LIVE! When I was younger, he did a sold out beach show in South Texas - it was storming/it was raining like crazy, but Garth went out and still swung from stage wires into the crowd and put on the show of a lifetime (according to my sister who got to go, while I was at home!) By the time I was old enough to check out concerts, he stopped touring, and it has been my one goal to see the superstar man, at least for just one song!
1. You are infatuated with Hello Kitty. Tell us 5 other random things - off the top of your head - that you could not live without.
- The gym - I love to eat, so I need to work it off somehow.
- Cell phone - I need twitter/facebook etc to keep updated on pop culture/new music - and to stay connected with my family I don't get to see often.
- Bathtub - sounds crazy I know, but when I was younger, I studied for exams in the bath, in college, I ironed out my thoughts for my 100 page term papers in the bath - and to this day I get the best ideas for contests/shows in the tub - I know, crazy!
- Sushi - I mean seriously - it is just so good!
- My coat/hat collection - it is FREEZING in Denver about 10 months out the year - I bring a whole new meaning to the term coat closet - and with short hair, there is a LOT of bad hair days going on, so throwing on a cute fedora/beanie is a must most of the time!
2. Tell us, what is one unusual or embarrassing song that you are rocking on your personal playlist right now?
I just can't get enough of 'Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen - it is such a silly, guilty pleasure song that I sing at the top of my lungs EVERY SINGLE TIME it comes on my ipod!