Angie Martinez, one of the major voices in New York radio over the past two decades, shook up the radio world last month when she announced she was leaving her longtime home, Hot 97, and heading to rival station Power 105. Immediately after announcing the move, Martinez went on vacation and returned to the airwaves last Thursday, where on her inaugural show with Power she welcomed Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys, Diddy and Jay Z, among others, all who called in to express their congratulations to the DJ.
Before her new gig is even a week old, XXL spoke to Angie Martinez about the transition from leaving Hot to join Power, some of her favorite interviews on her old radio show and what she wants to accomplish at her new station. The radio may not be ready for what she’s got in store. —Dan Rys
XXL: Congrats on the move.
Angie Martinez: Thanks, man, I’m excited. It’s been one big crazy whirlwind.
You started off with a bang with Jay the first day, Remy Ma yesterday…
Yeah, Remy was yesterday. The first day we had Jay and Swizz and Alicia, and Puff. We had a great first day. It’s so weird, because we had all these amazing people call, but the blogs and stuff, everybody loves Jay, so that’s the one that stands out. [Laughs]
How did it feel to get that kind of support?
It felt awful. It felt shitty. [Laughs] It was amazing. It’s crazy, because people just assume things, like that’s supposed to happen, but I never take that for granted. I’m always humbled when I get support like that. And yeah, it felt great. It made me feel like I’m doing the right thing, I’m on the right path. I made the right decision.
Was there one single factor that made you want to make the switch from Hot 97 to Power 105?
I think, mainly, I felt like it was time for me to have some growth, you know? Once I came to terms with that, that was my initial thought: it’s time for me to challenge myself and grow. So then once I started looking around at what my options are and started looking at what was happening in the market and radio in general, after that it becomes easy. Once you come to the decision that you need something to change, or you need to push yourself or shake things up a little bit, then it’s just about finding the right opportunity, finding the right thing, you know?
So that was it; that was the moment of thinking, “Okay, I’m ready to challenge myself in a different way. I’m ready to shake things up.” And then once I did that, it wasn’t really that hard. The company is huge, and there’s so much opportunity there that the decision’s really not that tough when you look at it, you know what I mean?
With all those opportunities, what’s the challenge you’re looking forward to the most?
Well it’s like starting from scratch, you know what I’m saying? It’s literally starting from scratch. It’s the opportunity to create a whole new show in a whole new place with a whole new team, and the challenge of also growing into new markets to make that work. I start in Miami this coming Monday, and that after that hopefully in the next couple months will be expanding into different markets, and that’s something I’ve ever done. It’s not something that’s necessarily gonna be easy. But I look forward to that. I look forward to that challenge.