10 Questions with ... Chuey Martinez
August 19, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My career started early at the age of 16 in Phoenix at 103.9 "Arizona's #1 Party Station," doing research, promotions and working on the street team, which gave me the skills that helped me get on the air -- no lie! I briefly went to Emmis and worked at Power 92, but stopped working there to go to school and play football in college. Univision Radio was my next career stop, where I finally made it on the air doing the overnight shift with my two buddies, which was incredible experience. After that I moved to Los Angeles and slept in my car because I had no money for rent. I got a gig working on the street team at KIIS FM, then went to SBS and worked at Latino 96.3, where I started on the street team, then moved up to the night show, drivetime, then mornings. I then moved back to KIIS FM and have been here for five years.
1) In addition to radio, you do a lot of TV. How did the opportunity to do that come about?
When you work in radio, you are given such a massive platform that it naturally exposes you to all aspects of media, especially in a huge market like Los Angeles, where the opportunities to do other projects are always there. Hosting, producing and developing television projects are great, but there is something really special about being in the studio every single night that cannot be beat.
2) Talk about your Travel Channel show. How did you get into that?
I hosted a show called "All You Can Meat" for the Travel Channel, and it was probably one of the best experiences of my life because I got to travel the country with an amazing crew, explore several great cities, and eat some amazing food! I landed the show just like any other gig -- meetings, more meetings, and on-camera tests. Traveling the country looking for the best BBQ definitely did not suck!
3) You sound great on KIIS. What's your prep regimen?
Thank you! I prepare by keeping on the pulse of everything that is happening in the news and pop culture throughout the day and week -- connecting to social media, reading blogs, websites and industry publications. I usually give myself about an hour before my show to get everything together.
4) What would you say is your favorite part of the job?
I have two favorites! First are the people I get to work with. My mentor John Ivey and the incredible KIIS team really are the best I have ever worked with. Second are the listeners! We have amazing listeners and I love hearing their stories, taking their requests, and connecting with them on a daily basis. I love helping the listeners get through their long day, and even helping some with homework when they call in to the show.
5) What led you to a career in radio?
A radio station came to my high school and a jock by the name of "Super Snake" was there doing giveaways, getting the crowd pumped up and giving away CDs and T-shirts. I was so inspired by him and I told myself, "I can do this and I would be happy doing this for the rest of my life." After that, I applied at my local radio station until I was hired. I filled out applications every other day until they hired me. Persistence is something I do, not lack -- Ha! I was 16 years old when I was hired at my first station (They thought I was 18 because I was so tall, but no one ever asked).
6) Were there any particular radio stations or air personalities who influenced you growing up?
I loved Power 92 in Phoenix and 102.7 KIIS FM, Power 106 and 92.3 The Beat in Los Angeles. Super Snake, Theo, Big Boy, Rick Dees and Angie Martinez were all my influences growing up.
7) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
A lot of Spanish music ha ha ha! I love Rancheras, Spanish Rock, Urban and Salsa, Merengue and Bachata ... I love it all!
8) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
That I am a big Teddy bear! I'm 6'4, bearded, very intimidating on the exterior, but when you get to know me I am just a big softy :)
9) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Hmmmmm, I would have to say either Prince or Madonna. I have met both of them, but never interviewed them. That would be awesome.
10) Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
I love being with my family and my dog. But I really do love to work. I've been working since I was nine years old and I would have to say having such a cool job that you love makes it a fun hobby.
What was your last non-industry job?
I was a ride operator at a theme park in Phoenix, and it was a blast. All we did was eat pizza and make the roller coasters go faster so the kids would cry -- pure comedy! Ha ha ha...