10 Questions with ... Sonic
January 26, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I go by "Sonic," based off of the hedgehog. When I was an intern on AJ's Playhouse they said I had a "moley vibe," and a very unattractive spikey haircut ... so that's that! My radio path has been adventurous for a normal human being, but for radio and this biz, I would say pretty mild. I started at KHTS as an intern in 2006 with AJ's Playhouse. After that I became the News and Sports Producer for Dave, Shelley and Chainsaw (DSC) on 101.5 KGB. I was soon fired, which was a great decision on their part. I moved back over to KHTS (Channel 933) to produce for Boy Toy Jesse. While producing PM drive, I also doubled as the street/stunt personality for AJ's Playhouse in AM drive. Eventually I moved in as co-host alongside AJ, Geena The Latina, and Hula on the morning show. AJ moved on to a different format, so then we launched "Frankie & Geena" on KHTS. I was now producing and doubling as the night host. After two years, I got a call to help launch WWPW (Power 96-1) in Atlanta for PM drive. Two years later, an opportunity came up to come back to San Diego and host PM drive for KEGY (Energy 103-7) where I am sitting now ... alongside AJ and Hula once again.
1) What was your last non-industry job?
I used to bartend in San Diego, up until 2012, at a couple different spots in the Gaslamp ... a lot of Fernet went missing during that time ... lol.
2) How would you describe your first radio gig?
TERRIFYING! I was a sports/news producer for the DSC in San Diego on KGB. I had no idea what I was doing for a good couple months. They finally fired me, right when I thought I was catching on. They deserved better, but I'm still thankful to this day that they gave me an opportunity. No lost love, though ... great show full of great people.
3) What are you doing, social media-wise?
Social media is another full-time job if you are doing it right. I created what I call a "Facebook Series" named Wanna BMZ. It's a spin-off of TMZ TV. "Wannabe TMZ - Wanna BMZ." It's a fully produced "gossip show" starring whoever is within five feet from me when I decide to shoot one ... ha ha ha. I also fly a drone and make videos, which adds to the arsenal when we include them in endorsement buys. My sales team created a "video bundle" for endorsement buys. I'm super brown nosin' right now. In San Diego, taco shops and Mexican food is a staple. I took my drone on a Taco Tour to our listener's favorite spots. I'm working on something else right now. I wish I could elaborate ... but it's a secret!
4) What is your favorite part of the job?
I would have to say it's the fact that I don't sit at a desk pushin' a 9-5. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not for me. Meeting new people ... from artists, to others in the industry, to listeners who genuinely are excited to meet you. Last but not least, getting ink on All Access ;)
5) What is the most challenging part of the job?
I would have to say, there are not enough hours in the day. Radio these days has changed. Most of us wear a couple hats, or voicetrack multiple markets, or have added duties outside of their show. And then there is social media. Too much to do in 24 hours! You know you are working hard when the weekends are for laundry and running errands.
6) Added any "hats" lately?
Definitely. The Music Director title is something that I have wanted since I came to Energy 103-7. I still have a lot to learn, but it's a new spark in the career path.
7) Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
Aerial photography. Flying my drone. I have some kind of weird obsession with it. I remember the first time I saw a video on Instagram of one of my friends flying his drone with a GoPro. I HAD TO HAVE ONE! *WARNING* This hobby will make you get less chicks instantly.
8) What advice you would give people new to the business?
Invest in your personal brand. Make it happen. Get a MacBook, cameras, whatever it is you need to perform at a higher level. Get your own pictures taken for the website, etc. You get it. If you need to take a video class, pay for it. If you need to take an improv class, do it. Most important, listen to the guy in the building who wears shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. He's probably been in radio for 20+ years and knows what's up.
9) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
You will eventually cross paths with everyone in this business more than once, and every time it is a different playing field, so treat everyone with respect! That record rep who was just starting out? He's now the VP in the New Market you're headed to. That PD you told to GFY at the Chris Brown concert is now the OM at your new cluster.
10) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
AJ, who hosts mornings on the station I'm on now. He and Jesse Lozano started grooming me to be on air at KHTS back in the day when I was an intern. Jesse is one of my best friends on and off the court to this day. Haze helped develop my "jock" skills for sure. Rick Vaughn helped me the most. He gave me my first shot at hosting afternoons when I might not have been ready for that jump. I went to another level while in the Rick Vaughn Camp. Chris Patyk is my current coach and I'm learning a lot from him and John Michael from AMP in L.A. currently. All of the above have gotten a call from a "rattled" Sonic once or twice. I appreciate all of them!
What's the best sweeper/liner you've ever heard?
Besides Frankie V. and I voicing our own Lady Gaga liners ... uhmm, maybe the sweeper that was running on Power 96-1 with Enrique Iglesias saying his favorite thing to do when in ATL was go to ONYX! EPIC! (If you don't know what Onyx is, ask 2 Chainz).