While the rest of the country thinks about ‘Duck Dynasty’ when the city of Monroe is mentioned, BJ Bell has taken the task to highlight more events and culture of the Northeast Louisiana City. The former University of Louisiana at Monroe student has built a resume that includes assistant coaching boys’ football and serving in the National Guard and U.S Army. Through a connection in the radio industry, he was able to begin a new career as one of the best on-air personalities in Roe City. When he’s not on air for Monroe’s 100.1 The Beat, the current radio personality and former armed serviceman is building a promotion company. 2014 is the first year that after dabbling in support for business and affairs for the past seven years. Now with an establish Facebook and radio audience, Bell is now in the process of spreading word of mouth about himself and his new venture.
Amps- Where were you born and raised?
BJ- Monroe, Louisiana.
Amps- Did you play any type of sports in school?
BJ- I played in the band at Carroll High.
Amps- What did you do after you graduated?
BJ- I graduated in 1995 and then I went into the military. I was in the United States Army for 17 years. I’ve been everywhere. I went to war, I’ve been to Iraq and a lot of different other places.
Amps- Why didn’t you make a career out of it?
BJ- I got hurt when I was on active duty so when I got out I went into the National Guard, and I spent six years in the National Guard.
Amps- What was your next step once you got out of the service?
BJ- When I was in active duty, I coached some football when I was in Kentucky, some high school football and some semi-pro football. I actually came back to Monroe to coach football, but I got a call from the radio station. Back in the day I used to hang out at the radio station with a guy who we all know as” Daddy Ro” and they remembered me from hanging out with him. They knew that I was back in town from the military and they called me up and said, “Hey, we need an on air personality would you be interested?” I was up there the next day.
Amps- What radio station is that?
BJ- KRVV 100.1 The Beat.
Amps- Is this something that you’ve always wanted to do?
BJ- Yes, it’s my passion. I’ve always wanted to be on the radio when I use to hang around Ro. I’ve always wanted to be on the radio, but I just didn’t know if I had what it takes. On the radio they call it on the air personality, it is straight personality. You can’t teach someone personality. I guess I’m doing well; I’m going on my ninth year at The Beat.
Amps- You are a DJ at the radio station and a promoter as well. How did you get into becoming a promoter?
DJ- Thanks to the social media, when you through these type of events you just let everyone know where you’re going to be. I started off just posting things on Facebook. I have a huge Facebook audience and I like promoting. I like to see my hard work pay off. I like to promote these events and then look into the audience and see the thousands of people or however many come. That shows me how my hard work pays off; if I look out in the audience and I don’t see a whole lot of people that means that I need to work a little harder next time so I enjoy promoting.
Amps- How long have you been promoting?
BJ- Out of the nine years that I’ve been on the air, I would say 6 or 7 years. My first two years on the radio, I was focused on radio trying to get my voice right trying to get my levels right, you know learning about the production part of the radio. So I said ok I’ve got this down now let’s try this promotion thing.
Amps- So how is that going for you so far?
BJ- It’s going well. I actually opened up my own small business called BJ Bell production LLC and this is my first year and it’s going well very well for me.
Amps- A lot of people want to become a promoter, but just don’t really know how to go about getting started. How do you go about doing that?
BJ- It’s all about your grind, how hard you work. It’s not just posting on Facebook it’s not about handing out flyers. Word of mouth is one of the best promotion tools. My question is: How bad do you want it? This business is all about grinding and we are in this small market here in Monroe. There are not a whole lot of venues, not a whole lot of clubs, and there’s not a whole lot going on so you just have to work hard.
Amps- How do you get your clients?
BJ- Well, the radio helps and I have been there for nine years. Once your name gets out there, then it goes from there. It’s all about everybody knowing who you are. I have a good track record around here with events so far. A pretty big following and social media helps a lot.
Amps- What’s your next project?
BJ- Well, we are working on different things so I can’t really say right now. We’re just trying to do something different. We had our first Crawfish Festival here in Monroe not too long ago. We’re just trying to do things a little different just trying to switch it up a little bit, because the people here are tired of the same old same old. Like I said earlier we’re just trying switch it up a little bit.
Amps- How can people follow you and what you are doing?
BJ- Well, they can follow me on Facebook: BJ Bell. Twitter and Instagram: @wideopenradio
I just want to thank Amps Dallas for coming down to support me. You guys have a good track record. I remember Amps Magazine from when it first started years ago.