10 Questions with ... Matthew "MQ" Candelaria
March 10, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started as a volunteer in 1999 at KANW. Intern at KZNM from 2001-2002. I worked my way up from weekends to MD/nights at KKSS (Kiss 97.3) from 2003-2014. I made the switch to KAGM (Power 106.7) as MD/nights in April 2014 - Present.
1. What got you into radio?
I was 9 years old and was visiting my uncle John 'Candy' Candelaria at KPRR (Power 102)/El Paso, TX. It was the first time I had ever seen a CD, he gave me my first one, an autographed copy of Tag Team "Whoomp! There It Is". I watched him controlling carts, DATs, CDs, and he had a huge mountain of tape from the reel-to-reel machine on the floor behind him. I was instantly hooked to radio and DJ'ing.
I came back to Albuquerque and started recording my favorite DJs on cassette tapes like Scrappy & Silver on Wild, Tony & Jackie on Kiss, DJ Lopez, Johnny Von, Chico Banana, Big Benny, Robb Royale, Chaz Malibu and Mr. Clean. I would buy the songs they played and write down exactly what they said. I would practice imitating their breaks every night (instead of doing homework). My very first public gig was DJ'ing my 8th grade Valentine's dance.
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Up until the age of 9, I wanted to be an astronaut and walk on Mars. Once I discovered radio, all I wanted to be was a "Radio DJ" even though it sounds very cliché.
3. Who was your favorite character in Breaking Bad?
Jesse. I felt bad for him because every time he found a way out, he would get sucked right back in. Damn you Walt!
4. Albuquerque seems to have a lot of radio signals and a lot of direct format competition. How do you stand out as an air personality?
I noticed the nationalization of radio years ago and felt the best way to stand out was to become "hyper-local." I will often go out to high school events like football and basketball games, pep rallies, DJ for their lunch break and support community service events. I also invite local MC's in to Freestyle on Friday Nights. Getting out in front of our listeners is the most important thing because they realize we pay attention to the things that interest them. They realize that we are all about Albuquerque, not just another voice being pumped in from San Antonio or other markets. I am LIVE & LOCAL which has become what our local cluster at American General Media is all about.
5. What would probably surprise most people about Albuquerque?
Yes, we are a part of the United States! Walter White is NOT real and we are not overrun by gangs selling blue meth. Come visit Albuquerque during the Balloon Fiesta, it is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. (Plus you can visit your favorite Breaking Bad filming locations!)
6. What's your favorite song on the station right now?
Rae Sremmurd & Nicki Minaj "Throw Some Mo" Every time I hear it I have to turn up my radio!
7. If you weren't in radio, what do you think you'd be doing professionally?
I would be the worst surfing instructor in Hawaii. Please keep in mind that I have never surfed in my life, but who wouldn't want to live in Hawaii!?!?
8. What do you like to do with all that spare time you have?
Spare time?? With the little spare time I have, I love to spend it with my wife and two boys. My wife and I have opposite schedules so any time we all have together is very important to me. We love watching movies, playing video games, going camping and taking summer vacations together.
9. If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
Minute To Win It. I make listeners do some of the challenges to win prizes so I am getting pretty good at the challenges!
10. You've been at this awhile and certainly experienced enough to offer some advice to young talent getting started in radio. What do you think would be your strongest piece of advice?
The thing that several people have taught me is to BE YOURSELF. Talk to your listeners as often as possible and learn what interests them in music, TV, social media, video games etc. Pay attention to your peers in this business. I have learned so much from my co-workers like the way D.J. Lopez programs our station and the promotions he creates. Double J's show prep for his morning show inspires me. I am always amazed with Johnny V's imaging; he makes our station sound major market.
If you had to eat one type of meal everyday for a month, what would it be?
Couldn't pick a type, A footlong chile dog with cheese and onions from the Dog House with fries and a Dr. Pepper. The Dog House is often featured in Breaking Bad and is a real place!
Sexiest artist on the radio today?
Young Thug, how can anyone resist that voice! LOL!!