JoJo Lopez: Grew up in Southern California, had a lot of family in Northern California. Wouldn’t go anywhere without my walkman. Was lucky enough to grow up listening to some really great radio in the 90’s. Worked in Bakersfield (KISV), Fresno (KSEQ & KWYE), Las Vegas (KVEG) and eventually ended up in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California where I’ve been happily living and working radio since 2006. (Click “NEXT” for the next question with JoJo above or below)
RF: You hold MANY positions along with being the OM. Tell us what makes your morning show great…
JL: I am definitely NOT the person to toot my own horn, but others tell me they think I’m funny. One of those people that I’m very thankful for at the moment is our CEO at Mapleton, Jim Shea, who believed in it so much, that I’m on in 5 markets now, including Spokane, Monterey / Salinas, Medford and Chico. I like doing topical song parodies, it comes easy to me… and I’m “the guy” that always has trouble doing “life stuff” that’s easy for the rest of the world… people find that funny I guess. If something “can go wrong” it usually “does go wrong” for me.RF: Who are some of the morning men in Rhythmic that you look up to?
JL: One of my favorites when I was a kid was John London who was doing mornings on KKBT in Los Angeles he was so creative, funny and natural sounding and I loved that he didn’t need to necessarily sound like a “hip-hop” dj to be a top rated morning guy on a “hip-hop” station. In the early 2000’s there were too many DJ’s trying to be something that they weren’t… adding a bunch of “yo son” and “naw mean”s?” to their on-air presentation. None of them talked like that in real life. Be yourself… shouldn’t matter what format you’re doing. Today, JV and Rico at KYLD in San Francisco are the best at that. Love their show.RF: Where do you see yourself in 5 years.
JL: I love where I’m at and what I’m doing. I couldn’t dream up a better scenario than being syndicated in bigger markets and being able to live where I want to live. That’s one of the things I hated about radio early on. If you wanted to progress in your career, you had to pack your bags and move to some city you’ve never even been to before. Technology is changing that. It’s like 70 degrees year round here in San Luis Obispo, I’m 5 minutes from the ocean, I love it here. I’m glad that technology is at a place where I can progress in my career and not have to pack and move. I hope to expand on that in the future.RF: What’s the hardest lesson you have learned so far about the business?
JL: We could all be gone tomorrow. Everyone is expendable. I used to have that, “they need me… who else can do this?” attitude, being that I’m the Operations Manager of our 4 station cluster in San Luis Obispo, Program Director of 2 of those… but the sad truth is… I don’t care who you are or what you do… you are expendable, and when it’s time to cut budgets… any one of us can go and the show will go on without us. I’ve seen it happen to too many good people. It’s tough, but it’s part of the gig.RF: What celebrity was you best station visit/guest and why?
JL: Mike Tyson. I was doing an impersonation of him on the air, and someone at the station told me that he had heard it and wasn’t happy. I laughed it off, until a few days later when a Bentley (license plate: Tyson1) pulled into the parking lot. My heart stopped and all these thoughts went through my head about how I could probably sue him after he beat me up, and the story would be great to tell on the air… I was scared FOR REAL. Turns out he was actually the nicest guy on earth, he DID hear the impersonation, and LIKED it… he said he thought it was good, and he could appreciate that. He did like a 2 hour interview with us, it was really great radio. There were no questions he wouldn’t answer.RF: Who do you predict will be super hot this time next year (artists)
JL: We’re starting to see a bunch of very talented new artists, that turn into one hit wonders, so it’s hard to say. Obviously I think Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Rihanna will be relevant for years to come… but some new artists I’m really into are Iggy Azalea, Kid Ink, Phantogram, and Eric Bellinger. A lot of great hip hop music is coming out of the bay area right now and I hope Sage the Gemini & Iamsu are around for a while. The EDM sound isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and I suspect Calvin Harris, Zedd, Avicii and Martin Garrix are the names we’ll be hearing for a while to come.RF: What’s the greatest things about working at your station?
JL: Since 2006 it’s really been a project from the ground up. San Luis Obispo is a pretty small market, and we’ve taken a radio station that nobody really cared about when I got here (the previous owners sold it in 2006, because it was the lowest biller for them at that time), and turned it into a powerhouse and a heritage leader in the market. It really is “my baby” and it’s been a product of blood sweat and tears since then. We’re all really proud of what it’s become.