10 Questions with ... Aaron "Tallest DJ In America" Traylor
January 20, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Over the years, I administered radio stations for Clear Channel and Townsquare Media, including planning, staffing, leading, promotion activities, etc. Currently, I host a #1-rated daily music program that airs in numerous mid-sized markets across America. I'm a published author of "The DJ Chronicles: A Life Remixed," which was published and distributed worldwide; currently in its 2nd edition. I've also earned the honors of 'Best Radio Personality' year-after-year in our annual town surveys and won an E.B. Craney award for 'Best Radio Promotion.' I add personal flair to the latest hit music on the nationally syndicated 'Popcrush Mini-Mix' program. Finally, I'm a touring festival and club DJ who's been on the road with T-Pain and Sir Mix A Lot. I've also performed alongside many major stars like Kelly Clarkson, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, The Crystal Method, Bobby Brown and more!
1) How would you describe the landscape of your radio market.
I am currently in a small market that very much still pays attention to local radio! I once feared that we might lose our audience to iPods and streaming smart phones, but it occurred to me that in a town this size no one bothers to plug their devices into their dash for the grueling seven-minute commute.
2) If you could add one full-time position to your budget right now, what would it be?
Without question, I'd hire someone to handle our YouTube channel and video production. Our station is really just starting to experiment with our channel and knows that this layer of media is another very exciting way to connect with our listeners. I just want our videos to be as good as our radio broadcast and that just needs one dedicated position to make it happen.
3) "Local, local, local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community.
I knew a Top 40 station would be a challenge in such a Country-dominated market. The only way we could succeed was to hyper-focus on our local university and its students. We took the school team colors and incorporated them into our logo; we changed the name of our station to sound like what the students nicknamed our town ("Zootown" - "Zoo FM"), and even signed on to play the music at all home football and basketball games. Even if most still liked Country, at least they respected how local we were.
4) What music do you listen to when you are not working.
Ha ha! See, the problem is, I work around music that I love dang near 15 hours a day! When I'm not on the air, I'm playing at some dance party or special event. By the time I am not working, I don't WANT to listen to music! Honest truth? When I'm off the clock I tune into AM Talk. I usually catch Coast to Coast AM late at night. That show freaks me out.
5) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I love me some Baka Boyz! Their radio weekend mixes and hype personalities blow me to smithereens each weekend. I soooo want to meet them someday just to tell them how much they shaped all aspects of my career.
6) Are you wearing more 'hats' than you have in the past?
Yup. And I love it. My radio show just got picked up in numerous markets and across the state in which I reside. Plus, my mix show is distributed across all Top 40 brands in my company! It's a heck of a lot more work, but I begged for it.
7) What are you doing social-media wise?
Before Facebook and Twitter really started to become a tool for radio, I predicted the gold rush before most. I felt that it was the easiest way to promote our brand for free! I went on an obsessed mission for about three years trying to connect with every single person in my town who had a Facebook or Twitter account. By the time I was satisfied, I had nearly 80% of our population as followers or fans of our profiles. I'm still not really satisfied...
8) What is the current state of the radio 'talent pool'
We've got the die-hards who will be there until they retire. Then you've got the tech savvy middle-aged jocks who seem to be catching the wave of all this multimedia at their fingertips. This group knows old radio, but now has so much more to play with. Finally, you got young ones who are struggling primarily because of their lack of anyone really taking the time to teach them properly. It's not that we don't want to help them! We are just so overwhelmed with our own workload.
9) What's the biggest gaffe you've made on the air.
This wasn't my fault! Somehow the cart numbers got switched and one of my 30-minute EDM club mixes wound up airing in the afternoon on our heritage Country station. One of the DJs told me the ranch and home supply store in town had the station on in the aisles and had to scramble to change the dial when they heard Lil Jon and LMFAO.
10) One more thing, you say you are the "Tallest DJ in America." How do you know this to be true?
Lol. Who knows anymore nowadays? Any teenager over 6'10" with a laptop could easily take my title. I also heard that Shaq debuted his first DJ set in Vegas recently. So, there's that. Ah, well. At least I can claim that I'm that I'm the Tallest FULL-TIME DJ in America. Not as good of a ring to it, though...