Angie Martinez Tells All: The Stories Behind Her Classic Interviews

Her Start in Radio

Angie Martinez: “When I was 16, my mother moved me out of Brooklyn and sent me to Florida to stay with my family for a little bit because I was being bad, not going to school and stuff. I interned at Power 96 in Miami when I was 16 and when I came back to New York and I was 18, I started interning at Hot 97 and I’ve been there ever since.

 

I knew that I loved the music, I knew that I loved the culture, I had an interest in radio because my mother had been in radio so I had been around it a little bit.

 

“Listen, I was young, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with myself. I knew that I loved the music, I knew that I loved the culture, I had an interest in radio because my mother had been in radio so I had been around it a little bit. She wasn’t on air, she was a program director. She did mostly jazz music, she worked at Sirius at their world channels for a little bit. She loves me on the radio, she thinks it’s great. There was a time when it went from, I was Shirley Maldonado's daughter to she was Angie Martinez’s mother. She always got a kick out of that, which was cute.

"I just had this thing in my mind that I was going to work in every department and learn just the business of radio. So, I did. I interned in the promotions department, I drove the vans, I got the coffee, I worked for the general manager as an assistant, I did everything. I was street team. I did that for a long time but I also learned how to run the boards and do the technical stuff so that by the time I was in my young 20s, I knew how to run the boards. I pretty much knew how to run the radio station and then I started getting opportunities to crack the mic a little bit and then I realized, this is what I wanna do. Once I started doing that, it was like, ‘Okay, I get it.’ 

 

On the radio, you have a little more freedom, you can interview for a little longer, people were more invested and were more patient. It was a good place. I was lucky, it was a good time in New York. There was a lot popping here."

 

“Honestly, it’s so terrible to say this, I don’t remember my first interview. I want to say it was Group Home or one of those guys, maybe Jeru the Damaja, it was around that time. It was cool because these were all local artists and then they were popping on the radio station. It was all about New York at that time and I was starting. So all these artists, like Mobb Deep and even Wu-Tang, and all these artists are coming out of New York and I was this kid on the radio who loved it. I learned how to do my interviewing then. On the radio, you have a little more freedom, you can interview for a little longer, people were more invested and were more patient. It was a good place. I was lucky, it was a good time in New York. There was a lot popping here."

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