10 Questions with ... Elite 1
October 21, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Thirteen years in radio so far. Six-and-a-half years in South, TX followed by six-and-a-half years in Oklahoma City. I started radio right out of high school and came into radio by chance after originally pursuing a career in music.
1) How did you get your nickname?
It was given to me by a friend even before I had ever thought about being in radio. At the time I was pursuing a career as a rap artist and I was trying to invent my brand. Elite stood for working to be my best and hopefully one day "the" best. The number 1 was to represent the "1 in a million" chance to be successful in the music industry
2) Could you tell us about the work you do in the community?
I have had the privilege of speaking to different groups of youth through a few different programs here in the city. Hosting local events and participating in annual drives and giveaways are always fun. I also work closely with the local hip-hop scene. I use my past experience as an artist as well as my years of radio to assist and advise local acts, in hopes of building a product that can generate income as well as expand the brands of artists.
3) How did you get into radio?
Back when I was performing, I was the opening act for a few shows that the local hip-hop station was promoting. One night, after getting off stage I was approached by the station's PD. He requested to meet with me the following week. All the way up until the meeting, I was thinking that he was interested in my music and I was hoping he would play my music on the air and help me get a deal. To my surprise, he ended up offering me a job. I had never thought about working in radio before. I decided that since it was a way to learn more about the music industry I would at least give it a try. I was fortunate to have an immediate impact with the company and as a result was hired on full time. I remember hearing the owner say to the PD, "This kid is gonna work out." I have been in radio ever since.
4) So what does the future hold for you?
I continue to learn more everyday. I will work on my craft and keep developing my show and brand. I'm also looking to improve and get better and learn as much as I can. I have also gained interest in being behind the scenes as well. Although I thoroughly enjoy it, I have learned that I don't necessarily need to be the one on-air or onstage to achieve some of my goals. I will just continue to work hard and see what opportunities come my way
5) Who were your mentors coming along, those in radio and those who aren't?
I have to give credit to Billy Thorman. He was the man who saw something in me and gave me the chance to get into radio even before I had ever thought about getting into the industry. That being said, by far the biggest mentor that I have had in my radio career has been my current PD Terry Monday. I learned more under his direction in the first six months than I had learned in the previous six years in radio. He taught me what the game is all about and how it is supposed to work. The owner of the company, Mr. Russell Perry has also been a big inspiration to me. I am proud to be a part of what he is building. Radio aside, I have got to say that my biggest influence and mentor in life is my father, Noe. I wish I had listened to him more when I was younger. Now that I have grown up and matured, I can really appreciate everything he has done for the family. He sacrificed so much so that my siblings and I could have a chance in this world. It's amazing what the influence of a good man can have on a person's life. I am eternally grateful.
6) What has been your biggest surprise about radio?
Theatre of the mind. I had never really thought about that before I was the one behind the mic and control board. You can really take the audience right where you want them with the right sounds and effects. You can turn a simple call into something exciting and fun. Also, the perception of celebrity comes with being on air. I may never get used to that. I know I'm just a regular guy who's lucky to be employed. I am grateful for the love though.
7) Can you share the funniest or most embarrassing thing you either witnessed or been a part of?
Let me start by saying that this was not my idea and I had no say in the matter. In the very early stages of my career, I was running the board for a DJ who was in studio. We had to do a ticket giveaway for a concert featuring Master P & 50 Cent. The DJ who was on air came up with the "Pee for Master P contest." He told listeners to call the request line and then urinate over the air. He would time them and whoever could pee the longest would win the tickets. Even though this was a ridiculous and disgusting idea, tickets to this show were a very hot commodity. The lines were jammed from start to finish. Men and women peeing live on the air. I couldn't believe what we were doing. Later that evening, the owner of the station confronted the DJ and expressed his disapproval. I can still remember the look on his face.
8) What advice do you have for those just starting out in radio?
Understand your role in the company and play your position well. Don't forget to brand yourself. It's a crucial part of the process. Once the audience knows who you are and what you're about, give them ways to attach themselves to what you are doing. I myself am going through a re-branding of sorts. You must always keep evolving and keep up with what's going on. It's not as easy at you might think it is to keep a show hot and relevant.
9) What do you like about being on the air? Can you describe it, especially now streaming is also part of your on air duties.
I just love the chance to be a voice. I'm all about representing. There are not too many places you can do that more effectively than on air. It's an honor to be a voice for the voiceless. I have had a little experience with streaming. It's a whole new aspect of being on air. Listeners are now viewers. No more shaggy haircuts and beards or wearing house shoes to work. The song says "Video killed the radio star" and I wanna live baby! Got to see my barber more often and get back in the gym. Got to step it up.
10) Are there some things about you others would be surprised to know?
Aside from hip-hop, I also cover the sport of boxing for our sports division. I have followed the sport almost religiously since I was a kid. I can talk boxing in my sleep. I even have a ring announcing gig coming up in December. I also love to play poker. Texas Hold Em to be exact. We should play sometime. Also, because I am Hispanic, people automatically assume I know Spanish. Unfortunately, I don't. I have made it a goal of mine to learn though
If a genie gave you three wishes what would they be?
I only need one. Eliminate hate from the hearts of men (mankind) so that we can realize how important we all are to each other. Could you imagine the difference that would make?
What are your top 5 favorite songs of all time and why?
I'll give you my top 3:
- "Hi Life" by UGK - this song provides a look at the world through the eyes of a young man who comes from nothing, but still has his desires and dreams of what he understands to be a better life. There is so much I can relate to in this song. UGK knows how to relate such a message with unmatched southern style.
- "That's Gangsta" by Bun B - People use and misuse the word "Gangsta" all the time. Guys are always saying that they are a gangsta or a G. This song defines what a real Gansta should be. (and it's not some thug or bad person)
- "Bring It On Home To Me" (live version from the Harlem Square Club) by Sam Cooke - In this live performance, Sam Cooke displays what true talent really is. His effortless vocals, crowd interaction, and soulful sound accompanied by the live band are truly remarkable. We live in a day and age where our standard for the arts has diminished. Listen to this track and remember what true talent sounds like. What true talent is supposed to be capable of doing. Good music is timeless.
If it had not been for radio, which other business would you have worked in?
I may have kept up with my music. I still have a passion for it and I think that's why I am so passionate about helping others in that field. I could also see myself as a sportscaster, especially if I got to cover boxing. My sister actually competed as an amateur boxer. Maybe I would have been in the gym with her. Only God knows. That being said, maybe I could have been a preacher too.