10 Questions with ... DJ ZOG
April 7, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) When did you start working at Power 96 in Miami?
That was 18 years ago and I had less grey hair.
2) Eighteen years later, you're still on Power 96 ... what's the secret to your longevity?
The secret is, don't make too much money. That way when budget cuts come, you're always safe!
3) When are you in the mix on Power 96?
Monday through Friday I do the live "5 O'Clock Traffic Jam" mix show. On a weekly basis, we get about a million listeners, so a few people are listening in Miami!
4) A lot of Mix Show DJs prerecord their sets. Is there an advantage to being live?
It's an energy thing. You can maximize the mood with what's going on at the moment. You know if the weather happens to be really good or gloomy, you can always match that atmosphere with the vibe, or whatever, so, I'm live 99% of the time. I'm always live! And even if I'm prerecorded, I'm live any way! Some how, some way, I'll figure it out. It feels good to be live. 'Coz you can tweet about it as it happens. That's how I do it.
5) When you're in a club, you can feed off the energy of the crowd to decide what you're going to play. What about when you're deciding during the live mix show, what do you feed off of?
Social media, our text messages, our Power96 text messages are live obviously when people are texting into the radio station. Having people say, "You suck!" tells me to change the song immediately. Or, "You're amazing!" well, I'm going to keep going with what I'm doing.
6) When you hear new music, what is it that resonates with you to know that you need to play this song or that you're going to play this song?
Is it going to better my reputation? Is it going to get me any more girls? Are people going to think I'm amazing, or are people going to think that I suck? That's what I'm thinking when I'm listening to new music. I mean, for the most part, is it female-friendly? You know ... please the females! Trust me!
7) You spin around town in Miami and Fort Lauderdale; what are some of the clubs you're currently at?
I do Passion Night Club at The Hard Rock [Hollywood, FL], one of the biggest ones down here in South Florida, a couple of Blue Martinis. I go to at least New York once a year. I'm going to Belize next week! Did Brazil, did Dallas, Texas two months ago. I'm getting around, I'm getting around the block, as they say.
8) Is there a DJ ZOG sound?
It's not a sound; it's a vibe ... it's an energy! You know when you go to a ZOG Party the energy is going to be at 10! That's what the ZOG sound is! I play songs for the crowd. I feed off the crowd. I don't play my favorites songs; I play the crowd's favorite songs. Which every DJ should do.
9) So you're the ZOGINATOR! Z-O-G-I-N-A-T-O-R, ZOGINATOR!
You obviously were the spelling bee champion in school, 'coz you did well! Yea, man it feels good when you're in front of a lot of people. And whether it be singing along to the song, or putting their hands up in the air, or jumping up and down, I mean whatever makes them feel good. I'm happy to be somebody that can provide that energy, and that happiness to people.
10) When you first went on the air 18 years ago, where you DJ ZOG or did you go by another name?
I was always ZOG. It rhymes with dog. Three letters, very easy. It was later on they started making fun of my real name, 'coz ZOG sounds a lot better than Oliver. That's a nerdy name. Oliver? Who is this guy? Where do you work? A library?
When you're on the air, are you just DJing, or are you talking to the listeners?
I read some tweets. I feed my own ego when I see text messages, and tweets about how amazing I am. I go ahead and read them on air, just to reassure myself, and reassure everybody of how awesome I can be.
Do you ever read the mean tweets? Although I'm sure there are none of those...
It's funny, but I actually do! It actually puts my ego in check. And I'm okay with that. But yes, we do read the mean tweets as well because we call them out and everybody ends up being on my side any way! Nobody has time for haters!
We're going out to eat tonight in Miami, where's a good place?
That's a good one, how about, I'm a Capital Grill fan and we'll have appetizers at Morton's.