DJ Felli Fel: Worldwide

In Los Angeles, DJ Felli Fel controls the airwaves on urban music destination Power 106 FM. But recently, the Southern-bred jock grabbed national headlines when it was announced that he had signed a deal with Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def/Island Urban Music, a division of Def Jam. As it turns out, Felli Fel is much more than a local radio personality—he’s a hitmaking producer with enough juice to get Diddy, Akon, Ludacirs and Lil Jon on his debut single “Get Buck.” With the single’s video getting spins and his debut album Go DJ currently in the works, the Heavy Hitters member is out to conquer the world by making universal hit records that will keep the party live (look no further than his recently-leaked second single “Finer Things” with Dupri, Kanye West, Fabolous and Ne-Yo). This triple threat took time out of his busy schedule to talk with XXLMAG.com about his history, how he got his deal, and how he feels about radio DJs playing their own records.

For those outside of L.A. who might not be familiar with you, give a quick introduction.
For those that don’t know, I do radio in Los Angeles for Power 106 FM. People should also know that what got me to radio was actually producing music. I’m originally from Atlanta and I used to do jingles out there. I moved to L.A. during high school but then my family moved to Dallas, Texas. That’s where I got involved in radio.

So you were producing music before you actually got on the airwaves as a DJ and personality?
I started off as a house party DJ. A buddy of mine that would do house parties with me showed up one day at a party with a SP-1200 drum machine. That’s what got me in to producing. I was probably 16 years old at the time. I learned how to work that machine and I ended up getting one of my own later. I kept learning the machine and doing house parties up until I was 19 and that’s when I DJ’d my first club. I wasn’t even old enough to drink, but yet I was working clubs. By age 22 I was working all of the big clubs in Dallas. I started DJing on a community station every Saturday night doing a mix-show. I then got the opportunity to do commercial radio for a Spanish Tejano station, which played stuff like Selena and La Mafia type music. I took that job just for the opportunity of doing commercial radio. I ended up going back to community radio just so I could play the music that I wanted to play.

I was still working on jingles and I ended doing an intro for the big hip-hop station in Dallas, K-104. There was a show called “Tight At Night” and the intro I did was an original track and a rap. They ran that jingle for a whole year and one day I received a call from the Program Director and he offered me a job. The jingle that I did for them kept getting requested by callers, and this was just an intro for a show!

So then you made your jump back to commercial radio?
Yeah, they gave me my own four hour mix-show late at night. After doing that for a year, they gave me the six to ten p.m. slot.

What brought you to L.A.?
I initially came out here to just shop my beats. I ran in to E-Man from Power 106, who just happened to be the music director for the station. He was familiar with me and it just so happened that they were looking for a night-jock. I didn’t even know about the job opening, but he explained that they were looking for Mix DJ/Air Personality. He set up a meeting with Jimmy Steele, the Program Director at Power and he asked me to make a tape. I went back to Dallas and I recorded the next show that I did on the air. I sent that in and within a couple of weeks they offered me the job at Power.

You’ve been there now for about seven years now?
It’s been eight years that I’ve been out here breaking music. I’ve always produced and done tracks for a lot of different artists. I did one on Cassidy’s first album. I’ve also done stuff with Fat Joe and 2Pac & The Outlawz.

With the position that you have at one of the largest hip-hop stations in the country, do people often raise their eyebrows when you’re shopping beats to artists or playing stuff that you’ve worked on? You know, like a conflict of interest?
Nah man, only people like you who ask those questions. Not people at the labels. Anybody that knows me will know that I won’t play a record if I don’t think it’s hot. I also don’t expect anybody to buy one of my beats unless it’s hot. I don’t mix radio with my music shit. If that was the case, I would be playing three artists on the air every night.

I ask that because I know that people do talk…
I try not to talk about it so people won’t talk. People tend to take things out of context in interviews and that’s not cool. Everybody thinks that in radio the DJs are getting paid on the side to play records and that’s not how it works. That’s not how it works at Power 106. If you’ve got a hot record, it’s going to get played. If you don’t, then it’s not going to get played. Any executive at any label will tell you that’s how we get down here at this radio station.

I wouldn’t expect anything less when it comes to my own music, which is why it’s taken me this long to solidify a record deal and to get my music played on the radio. People think that just because I am here [on Power 106] that I can get my own music played on the station. But what they don’t think about is all of the years that I didn’t have my music played on the radio. It doesn’t matter that I work there. You are not getting your record played if it’s not hot. Working at a station can actually be to your disadvantage because more people won’t take you serious as an artist or producer because you are work there. They just look at you as some on-air personality and don’t give you that respect you deserve.

How do you overcome that?
By doing a hot record. That’s one thing I want to tell any artist or producer and anybody that is trying to get their music on the radio. Go out and do a hit record. There is no radio station in the country that will say, “This record is hot and it will bring listeners to our station but we are still not going to play it.” I’m sure there’s an exception some places, but for the most part that’s how it is. A station at any big market in the country is going to play big hits. If you want your record played, then you have to do a hit. That’s what I had to do and the end result was me getting a record deal out of it.

Give us the details on that record deal…
Jermaine Dupri is out in L.A. a lot because of Ms. Jackson and he heard the “Get Buck” record. He came out for an interview one night on the air and he asked me to the play the record. He wanted to hear it again right there. He introduced the song on air and blasted it off. It had only been out for two weeks. At the end of the show, Jermaine came back in the room and asked me what I wanted to do with this record. He told me about his new situation over at Island/Def Jam and expressed interest in making something happen. I had already been presented with a few other offers from other majors, so I told Jermaine that I would think about it all and get back to him.

A month later after much consideration I ended up rolling with Jermaine’s situation. His offer was still there and the record was getting even bigger. He understood me as a DJ and being from Atlanta that helped. We have a similar style and saw my potential as a DJ/Producer.

You produce all of your own stuff alone?
I don’t use outside producers. I do everything. I explained to Jermaine about my vision of doing an album that gears more towards partying with a little splash of street. That’s the kind of records that Jermaine does, so it was a good fit. Plus Island/Def Jam is a big company and I want to do a big album. They have leverage to get these songs cleared. Just because I have a relationship with Akon or Lil Jon doesn’t mean that I would have gotten them cleared if I was on a smaller label. Their labels want to know what you can do for them, and Def Jam can do something for them.

When is the album coming out?
It’s tentative. There is no exact release date for it right now. But as soon as the “Get Buck” video drops, I will shortly release my 2nd single called “The Finer Things.” The album is called Go DJ and it’s exactly what the title says. DJs are going to love this album because most of my beats are very club with a feel good/mix-show type of sound.

You are on the air almost every night. How do you find the time to make all of this music? I know that you still DJ clubs and probably have a life of your own on your own time.
My schedule is non-stop. When I came out here to L.A. eight years ago, I came out here to work. I am also on-air in the afternoons with a mix-show that I do at two p.m. It’s the “New at 2″ show with Yesi Ortiz. Then I come back later that night and do another show. It’s challenging but I love it. I’m able to do all of this stuff because I put together a team. My manager, engineer, assistant and attorneys all get behind me and help me on a daily basis.

Did you ever consider leaving behind the radio job to fully concentrate on making this album?
Yeah, I have, but as long as this radio station wants me, I’ll be here. Power 106 has done so much to help me out. They’ve believed in me over the years. I’ve seen DJs and air personalities come and go. I know what I have here and I’m real blessed. Am I ready to put all of my eggs in one basket and just produce music? No. Even if I could, I wouldn’t because I still love radio and I still love DJ’ing.

Doing radio is kind of like a fuel for me to produce music. I’m inspired constantly. I will admit that I often hear something that makes me want to go back home and do something along those lines. Being in radio and going to the clubs help me stay on the pulse of what’s happening right now. If you’re a producer and you’re not in the clubs or listening to the radio, then that is the beginning of the end for you.

Speaking of the radio, you guys at Power 106 have dominated the L.A. market with no question. Competitors come and then end up switching their formats.
When you have a morning show like Big Boy’s Neighborhood that puts it down and has a beautiful girl like Lucious Liz, Jeff Garcia doing sports, Big Boy, Fuzzy and DJ E-Man, that’s a combination that is second to none and un-matched. It’s the dopest morning show that I’ve ever heard and I’ve heard quite a few morning shows. Everybody that works here—Yesi Ortiz in the afternoon, Syphe, D-Lux & Tito after her, then the homie Miguel in the evenings—makes a solid staff. We probably have the best team that we’ve ever had here. Stations try to duplicate us but they can’t. We crush other radio stations.

  • yooo

    power 106 is the best radio station everr fuck what u heardd every songgg is bad n dey never play old shit like dey do in dallas…n go dj…felli fel is that dude….fuck haterss..

    • venom

      naw 93.5 kday was better before they went commerical

    • tim

      MAN FELLLI IS COOL, BUT THE BEST SHOW ON POWER 106 IS THE WAKE UP SHOW WITH SWAY KINGTECH AND DJ REVOLUTION . THESE MUDAFLUKAS KNOW RAP AND HIP HOP! AND THAT THE TRUTH

      • venom

        hell yea the wake up show is the real hip hop super underground my man

  • Lil Vic

    This nigga is a cornball. He dont support west coast shit he dont support street shit. I live in LA and all power 106 play is timberlake, tpain and pitbull and I like tpain. This nigga is trash and the only reason power 106 is arbitron number 1 is because of all the mexicans.

    Oh yeah first

  • http://www.raptalk.net Lunatic 63

    props styles on another hot interview!

  • Wykid

    nice interview…but how can he honestly say there is no conflict of interest??

    Power 106 STILL plays that song, and IMO its played out. it was hot for about a month or two, but now that shit is over, but power still plays it…he plays his own song, on his show, and he gets royalties off every legal download of the song…how is that NOT conflict of interest??

  • 2wack

    dude is wack, skee is the man

  • saywhat

    this guy is the wackest dj , dont rep l.a. hes’ horrible dj in the club, fuckin suck , fuck this feli fell guy

  • d
  • Noila Boy

    What exactly does this talentless Felli Fel actually do? I mean he can’t rap, has no taste in good music, can’t make decent beats and looks like a fat “taco bell twice a day” bastard.

    Hold on wait….I know……

    Transcript of meeting between JD and Felli.

    JD: What you got for me Felli.

    Felli: Well master, I ain’t really got much, some more commercial rap bullshit, which I don;t even listen to.

    JD: So how you going expect me to do anything for you?

    Felli: Well master, I’ll suck your dick anytime you want, I’ll be your personal whore.

    JD: Alright then, I’ll put you on then!

  • Larry Birdman

    Felli Fell aint shit, that is the most commercial popish – cheesy girly hot-garbage song I have ever heard, he should be ashamed of himself, and why does he always look like such a fag in those pictures, I bet he probably got violated by some gangsters when he was young, he got that look of a b****-ass N****.

  • Robert de Negro

    when will you interview ya boy’s sexy ass styles??

  • Gyeah

    Nobody likes this sucka

  • Trickdd

    5-7 years ago all the djs turn into producers to make money,now dj’n where its at crazy how shit changes but Dj and be-in a producer kind of got similarities basicly you can produce if your a Dj and you can dj if you produce. but alot more DJ’s got the good underground street mixtapes thats the shit i bump fuck all the Albums dropin lately when you can buy a mixtape cheaper and all the songs bang

  • http://www.webcrawler.com what it do?

    im sick of dj’s taking credit 4 other peoples talent. Hes just like that faggot dj khaled

  • TRUTH

    FELLI SAYS THAT IF YOUR RECORD IS HOT HE WILL PLAY IT? COMING FROM LOS ANGELES I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT IS NOT TRUTH. MANY GREAT WEST COAST. SOUTHERN. AND EAST COAST ARTIST SEND HIM THERE MUSIC AND HE DOES NOT PLAY IT. FELLI WORKS OFF OF PAYOLA MONEY. IF YOU ARE NOT YET A MAJOR YOU HAVE TO PAY HIM UNDER THE TABLE TO PLAY YOUR SONG. FOR EXAMPLE TAKE THE NEW SO SO DEF ARTIST HOT DOLLA… HOT DOLLA HAD HIS BROTHER GORRILLA BLACK PAY FELLI 25,000 FOR A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF SPINS PER WEEK. THE SCAM WAS TO GENERATE A BUZZ SO THAT HOT CAN GET A RECORD DEAL. THE SCAM WORKED AND JD SINGNED HIM. FELLI BROKE HOT DOLLA AS AN ARTIST SO JD OWED HIM FOR THAT.FELLI IS A GREAT DJ BUT IS NOT WHAT HE SAY HE IS. IF YOU HAVE A HOT RECORD AND WANT TO SEND IT TO FELLI HIS E MAIL FOR ARTIST IS FELLIMP3@GMAIL.COM AND LETS SEE IF HE “PLAYS” IT. 1 MORE THING THAT IS BAD IS THAT HE IS A BIG WEST COAST DJ MADE HIS NAME IN THE WEST COAST AND CLAIMS THE COAST BUT DEN NOW SAY HE FROM ATLANTA? ITS CUZ HE WANTS TO TAP INTO THAT MARKET.

  • Boss Angeles

    Felli Fel? Is he serious?? he’ll never be like Khaled becasue Khaled brakes artiss from his region… Felli doesnt support the west coast… the only DJ in a region that supports artists from other regions??? What kind of sense does that make???

  • Robert de Negro

    ay styles when are you going to interview ya boy’s sexy ass??

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  • Trey Stone

    Khaled may be annoying, but at least he gets A-list producers to lace his tracks. this guy is hot sub-Lil’ Jon garbage

  • crenshaw

    his problem is that he thinks that whatever bangs in the club is hot. radio used to play every type of mood like 2pac/Scarface’s Smile. now if it’s not simple and bouncy it doesn’t get played and there are plenty of good songs getting overlooked.

  • The_mightyfuckin’Thor

    K-Dayy!! Julio G is tha Best but Felli is damn good.

  • O

    He’s a bird.

  • Anonymous

    DJs at record companies are probably the most crooked players in the record industry; that is saying a lot, given how many shady people are in this industry.

    I’ve been in this industry for 20 years now and I know that most of the big DJs such as Flex and Felli probably spend like 80% of their time chasing and hiding payola.

    Felli is notorious in LA for payola and lots of other dirty things- its not just cash he takes, I know rappers that have given him drugs, cars, even woman for record spins. Anything does down when it comes to Felli – he is connected with a lot of low life drug dealers in LA and probably dabbles quite a bit in the drug game to finance his business ventures.

    With Felli claiming he is from ATL instead of LA, I am not surprised – just shows you what type of person he is.

  • http://www.myspace.com/shonufflosangeles jonone1986@yahoo.com

    if felli fel knew whats good for him he’d get me a job i’m in the neighborhood every day in l.a. and it seems l.a.’s been soft since felli fel, fell off but i got that ish to put him where he wants to be. by the way felli hold my nuts in your mouth cause they look good there….you seriously need to get me a job if you wanna be up there with diddy and the greats of the industry cause you a sucka

  • styleemusic

    Trash, sad that a westcoast dj does not support his coast he’s got the whole east coast and west on there but no nigga from the west, fuck 106 k-day all day everyday.

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  • fuck this faT muthafucka

    whos this fat smelly muthafucka

    106 has to be the wackest shit ever,

    felli fell, you fat bastard, youll never make it in this industry with that weak shit, Westcoast dont want you and atl couldnt give a muthafuck about you

    btw

    xxlmag sucks xxl nuts

  • amy

    He is a handsome man. Many wealthy/beautiful women on MillionaireRomances.com want to marry a man like him. If I were him, I would check out those hot and sexy fishes to find my true love.

  • HELLAVER

    FELLI STR8…I MET THE NIGGA AH COUPLE TIMES SMOKED A BLUNT WIT HIM BUT HE AINT NOTHIN HELLAVER. HE IS KINDA WAC @ DJING BUT AT LEAST HE GET PAPER AN WHO THE FUC CAN HATE THAT? BUT HE AINT THE ONLY 1 2 BLAME FOR THE WEST NOT BEIN HEARD AS MUCH AS WE SHULD THO…

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