Interview with Joey Mannarino

Joey Mannarino is a radio personality from Philadelphia. We have conducted an interview with him.

What was the weirdest moment you have ever encountered as a radio personality?
There have been a few weird moments, but that many. The one that sticks out to me is when I got a caller about a year ago, and he said he was a drug dealer and told me exactly where he was and what drugs he was selling. He told me to tell all my listeners where to find him so he could make some money. I would bet anything that it was a prank, but who knows? People are crazy. Other than that, I have wonderful moments and cherish them all.

What are your views about indie artists vs those signed to a label?
It’s two completely different ball games. Obviously, the signed artists have a major advantage over the independent artists as far as radio goes. Their songs gets serviced to every single station, every single time. It’s not hard to push your music out when you’re on a major label. The difference is in your control. When you’re independent, you release when you feel like and how you feel like. If you want to release twenty songs a week, no one will tell you no. When you’re an artist on a label, you could have an album held up for five or six months and they don’t care. So, there’s plus and minus for both ends, but I don’t know a single independent artist that would turn down a major label. They’d be crazy and the only reason they say otherwise is because the labels aren’t talking to them.

How did you become a radio host?
I love this question and no one ever believes my answer. I was taking a nap and I got a call from my current boss. She knew me from an interview we did a few months prior. She called me and said that I would be perfect for radio and I should come in and do an interview for a position on the air. I thought I was dreaming or something. I never had thought of radio and at that moment in time I was taking a nap. So anyway, I went in for the interview and they told me that they wanted me on the air. A month later, I was training for my first night on the air. I’ve moved around to one other station, and then came back home to Heat 100 Radio with my boss Simply Monica. It’s been a fun ride, but there’s no way I would’ve done it if they didn’t call me up. I never thought to do it until that moment, and now that I’ve been doing it I don’t know why it took me so long!

Which kind of preparations do you make in advanced before conducting interviews with celebrities or guests on your radio show?
Not as much as you would think, and I hope it doesn’t show! I look them up. That’s about it. I have a great knowledge of pop culture, so nine times out of ten I know the artist more or less. If they’re a lesser known artist it’s more difficult than a well known artist, because you have to create an interest that is not necessarily there. People should be more interested in upcoming talent, but they aren’t. So honestly I find that more challenging. When you give me a Will Downing, Patti LaBelle, Meli’sa Morgan or someone of that caliber, I can have a blast and the preparation is not so bad. It’s moreso just making sure that we have a conversation rather than a question and answer. All interviews should be conversational, that way the listener feels as if they are listening into a conversation rather than a Ted Talk.

What are your ways to connect with your listeners?
There are millions of ways. It’s funny, I was at a party the other night for my boss’s birthday and someone from the station said that I have a “built in following”. It’s funny but it’s also true. I guess in some way I have a personality that just draws people in. You connect with your audience by honestly listening to what they say. When the listeners call me up on the air, or send me a message or letter or whatever it may be - I actually take the time to listen. There would be no show unless there were listeners. I would be talking to myself, and trust me I do enough of that when I’m at home alone. So when I’m on the air, the connection is everything. If there’s no connection, then they might as well not listen to me. I wouldn’t listen to anyone who can’t connect. You have to connect and everyone does it in a different way. You also have to do it when you’re not on the air with social media. If they only can feel connected when you’re on the air, it’s just not enough!

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