Arizona Digital Radio Network breaks barriers of traditional offerings

Arizona Digital Radio Network board members, from left: Daniel “DJ Class” Woodis, Theodore “DJ Sirrom” Morris, Paul “DJ Private” Torres, Michael “DJ Phlava” Johnson and Mark Kincaid, of Marks The Spot Barbershop in Phoenix.(Submitted Photo)

The Arizona Digital Radio Network is just as diverse as the songs the station plays as its leaders and listeners.

Billboards have been placed throughout the Valley this summer advertising the new station accessible on the AZ100 Radio App. The downloadable digital platform allows listeners to tune in on mobile devices anywhere.

Before the digital age emerged to keep up with people’s ever-changing, immediate and vast needs, traditional broadcasting consisted of transmitted programs/information on radios or televisions, relying on stations’ major sponsors and owners dictating what would be aired.

That’s not the case for AZ100’s diverse group of board members and entrepreneurs, Daniel “DJ Class” Woodis, Theodore “DJ Sirrom” Morris, Michael “DJ Phlava” Johnson and Mark Kincaid, of Marks The Spot Barbershop in Phoenix, mixing their music and business skills to orchestrate their digital endeavor.

Touted as “the only Hip Hop station in the Valley,” the station is at 2375 E. Camelback Road, and is ready to disrupt the local radio stations’ way of broadcasting and programming.

Even though the station is an internet radio show “not regulated by much,” they still had to get a business license and pay royalties, Mr. Class said, adding that “they’re official,” and that he will use the platform to become an advocate of abandoning the idea of allowing someone else “to decide to abolish words,” or deem the demographic.

He shared insight on regular radio stations relying on PPM data, the Nielson company gathering information for them used from a minimal amount of families provided a device to help stations determine what people listen to by allowing themselves to be tracked, often followed by a signal picking up whatever sounds they hear.

“This puts you in with the bigger fish so people recognize you,” said Mr. Woodis. “We’re listed as urban because nobody is listed as having that kind of market in Arizona. These other stations will not play it unless it’s their kind of music. I’m a recognizable name who knows the business and nobody controls what I say or program. We are uncontrollable.”

He said Arizona consists of a diverse blend of people from different cultures and places, but their varying musical tastes are underrepresented on the local stations that do not play certain genres.

“These other stations will see that somebody is listening to AZ100,” said Mr. Woodis, a DJ from Baltimore with more than 20 years of experience. “People here are saying, ‘We want to hear this kind of music.’ We have it! And, people will have more choices by the fall.”

The kind of music that includes an eclectic collection of new and longtime artists ranging from Slick Rick to Kanye West, Lil Kim to Cardi B, Nas to Migos, Jay Z to J Cole, according to Mr. Class, an Ahwatukee resident.

“We want to make sure people are up-to-date on Hip Hop not currently in rotation, but it’s still good, quality hip-hop,” Queens, New York native, Mr. Morris said by phone on Aug. 8.

In addition to Hip Hop, listeners can select AZSoul on the app if they want rhythm and blues (R&B), soul and world music from around the globe, Mr. Woodis noted, adding that the station’s goal still applies by featuring artists young and old.

“AZ Soul is good, feel-good music that everybody can gravitate toward,” Mr. Morris said of the digital option for a mature audience. “We’re feeling good. It’s up and running. We’re gaining traction, and we have a lot of love.”

He and Mr. Class say they are pleased the digital radio network quickly gained a dedicated audience after the four business partners sought to fill a void that a diverse audience was reportedly seeking.

“Everything is on the App, you have to download the app. Everything we do, you have to go to the app. You want to book a DJ — you have to go to the App,” Mr. Class said.

Go to: az100radio.com.

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