, one of our top mentors for the Radio Connection
, is a passionate radio professional in the Los Angeles area who hosts “Wigginnout: The Hip-Hop Movement
,” an underground hip-hop program on Adrenaline Radio
. During a recent conversation with RRF, Melody talked about what her program Wigginnout and the trials of being a female in the radio business, and even took a moment to brag on one of her recent graduates, Brian Valdovinos
. Check it out below!
RRF: What sets Wigginnout apart from other hip-hop stations? How do you go about finding certain talent that you’re not finding on mainstream?
Basically, I see them on Facebook [or] social media,I might get a recommendation from somebody locally…just somewhere locally in the state of California that they want me to check out, [someone who] is really working really, really hard to get his or her name out there, and they just need a little push. I’m there to assist them and try to promote them. I think what sets us apart is we’re an underground, independent radio show, and we’re big on promoting underground artists and independent artists…We [also] allow people who have an interest in doing radio to come do our show. If I have a group of kids and they’re saying, ‘Oh, well, I would love to be a radio personality one day,” I give them that opportunity to do that on my show. I give them the opportunity to book the artists, help them set up the questions, just get a whole feel of what it’s like to be on the radio.
RRF: What made you pull the trigger on the Wigginnout concept? Was there a moment in your life where you said, “I’ve got to do this”?
Yes…When I was in New York, I saw so many of the hip-hop artists. They were mainly mainstream artists, but I saw them get so much recognition. And what I do admire about New York versus California is New York will look out for its own.
RRF: What about being a female in the radio business? Do you think the playing field is level, or do you think it’s still a boy’s business overall?
I think it’s still a boy’s business. I think that female disc jockeys, on-air personalities, whatever you want to call them, have to fight for their position. It’s not consistent with women…I think with males, being in the position that I’m in, when people decide to work with them in the radio industry, they pretty much are consistent and know that’s what they really want. It seems like when they’re working with a female, they’re undecided. They’re trying to feel it out, you know what I mean? They always have a back up plan.
RRF: So how do you think women can be stronger in the radio business?
Just being consistent. Not giving up. I think with women, too, we have to aim so high to get more celebrity artists than we do versus independent or underground artists. And I think that’s how we make a name for ourselves.
RRF: Where did our apprentice Brian Valdovinos come into the picture? What did he do for you?
If I gave him an assignment like, “Follow up on this venue. See if we can have this venue on this day,” he did that. If I said, “Okay, call the artist, talk to the artist, tell me what your feel is on the artist,” he would do that. If I said, “Do some research about what’s happening in sports or celebrity news,” he would do that. I mean, there’s no job that Brian wouldn’t take on to support the show.
RRF: Where do you see hip-hop 10 years from now?
I think hip-hop would never die. At one point I did think hip-hop was just a phase that was going to come in and then go back out, but I see the longevity of it. It’s going to go to a level beyond where it’s at now…I see it as being there for a long time.
ADDENDUM: BREAKING NEWS! Another of Melody’s students, Maryam Shepardson, just landed a position at Power 106, proof-positive that women are fierce in radio! More on this in weeks to come!