10 Questions with ... Jordan Lee
September 5, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Fell into radio after 10+ years as a hip-hop/club DJ. Heavily involved in the Milwaukee music scene, which keeps my finger to the pulse of this city's wonderful -- and often under-exposed -- music scene.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Through independent radio. I've always hated pop and Top 40 radio. Even as a kid I couldn't really stand it. Then I found college radio and fell in love. Radio Milwaukee came along a few years back; I knew some of the jocks, but I didn't get it until I listened for a while. I found that I had finally found radio that is programmed how I and my peers actually listen to music.
2. Who are your mentors?
My boss, Mark Keefe, has taught me more in the past two years than you can imagine. He knows so much about all sides of the radio business, and being a rookie, I've learned a ton from him. Our former Music Director, Scott Mullins, really helped me with my radio 101 when I got on board, and I'm always learning new things from my co-workers: Tarik Moody, Marcus Doucette and Stephen Kallao are a great group of guys to have around you.
3. How would you describe the music on the station?
It's a combo of Indie Rock, Hip-Hop, Soul, Alternative, Electronic and Triple A, but all with a certain "groove".
4. What is your biggest challenge at the station?
Staying outside the box. It's really tough in radio to not be an "Alternative" or "Classic Rock" or "Urban" station. We are trying to redefine what radio programming is all about.
5. You are also a music performer; how does that help you in your day gig?
I've been a scratch and club DJ for 12 years. (Much longer than I've been in radio.) I understand how music affects mood and vibe, which helps me a lot at work. I'm also very connected to the local music scene, since I still play a lot of shows in Milwaukee. It helps me stay connected to what is going on.
6. Tell us about the station's involvement with SummerFest.
We have a great relationship with Summerfest. We co-host the mid-gate stage, broadcast live from the festival, and have great communication with the festival booking. Since we play such a large variety of music, we were able to claim as many as 30+ artists in this past year's lineup, as acts we play regularly on air. No other station in this area comes close.
7. Tell us about the Milwaukee Music Awards the station was instrumental in creating.
We have a deep commitment to the local music scene, and we play a Milwaukee artist every hour of each day. That commitment is celebrated each winter at our Milwaukee Music Awards. We ask our listeners to vote for their favorite local albums, bands, music videos and more. It's just another way for us to push the local music scene.
8. Besides your own, what is your favorite radio format?
I'm a big fan of classic Motown and R&B -- not enough real Soul music is on the air these days. You go to Detroit and it's all-good, but here it's mostly on college stations. But I LOVE funk, R&B and Soul.
9. What do you like best about your job?
My ability to work with people who LOVE what they do. It's inspiring.
10. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Likely right here. I'm committed to Milwaukee for the long haul. I'm way too deep into the local scene to just up and leave. I love radio, but I love Milwaukee more. I'll always be in playing great music, for great people.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Cooking with my wife, watching my son play baseball, and dancing with my daughter. Love the fam!
Last non-industry job:
Alterra Coffee Roasters (what struggling artists has NOT worked in coffee?)
First record ever purchased:
The GHOSTBUSTERS Soundtrack
The Four Tops (with my Dad in '84 or '85)
Favorite band of all-time:
Impossible question to answer