Conversation with multi-talented Joey Mannarino
We are sharing our recent interview with multi-talented Joey Mannarino.
As someone who got their start in music and R&B radio, how did becoming a TV political commentator come about?
Well, I’ve always had a big voice and big reach. I guess that’s from doing radio for many years. My radio shows were always based around music, but I was always talking about something and giving an opinion on something. I’ve never been one to shut my mouth on any topic. So when the election of 2016 rolled around, of course I gave my opinions on that! Not everyone exactly expected my opinions to be what they were. I actually lost a lot of people because politics is quite volatile. But, with the following I have and have had for years I found a lot of people pushed me to kept talking about it. Honestly, the whole YourVoice Radio thing came about quite naturally. I was on Twitter often about the election, and YourVoice was just getting started and did an interview with me. Some time later, I was brought on as a cohost. Their brand has skyrocketed since the election, because they called everything right. So, I have been there since and it’s been great. So, I never did plan on doing political commentary whatsoever, but apparently given the way people have been following me for it, I’m glad I did.
You said you’ve lost a lot of people since you started the political commentary. What do you mean?
Well, that’s just how it goes. You have 50% of the country that feels one way and 50% that feels another way. If we all agreed, we wouldn’t even have to have elections. The last election was probably the most volatile of our time. You had two choices that couldn’t have been any more different from one another. So, for that reason a lot of people got alienated since I was not exactly shy about where my support was. That’s to be expected. What isn’t expected is that we’ve been done this election almost a year now and the wounds are still as open as they were when it happened. It’s quite wild!
Do you ever miss your radio days and do you ever see yourself going back?
I never left radio really. I mean when I joined YourVoice America, it was a radio program. They’ve evolved into so much more since then. Television was never where I saw myself. I’ve always learned to just go with the flow of things. So when they became more of a television based platform, I was there. But, I’m still involved in radio stations and such but more so behind the scenes now. I don’t publicize it. When I was in radio I never relied on interns and other people. I always learned how to do everything myself. So when I was no longer on the air, I could still run things. It’s a blessing. But, being on the air I do miss greatly. There’s no saying that I won’t go back. Radio is actually much easier. You’re not seen. I could do the radio in my pajamas and have my hair unkept and it didn’t matter. For television, you have to prepare yourself. And of course, with television you’re not dealing with music. I love music. I miss sharing the music. I got into the radio by chance from loving music. That’s the one thing I miss the most.
You have a massive following on Twitter. How do you differentiate between your radio audience and your political commentary audience?
I don’t. I never try to. You’d be surprised how many of the people that started following me from radio still follow me today. Now, I don’t know that they watch what I do now, but I still hear from them. When I was on the radio I was always so personal with everyone. I answered the phones myself and I was notorious for being on the phone the whole show, during the music and commercial breaks. I just love people. So of course, I still interact with so many. Twitter, to me, is a political platform now. It’s not the same like Facebook. So basically, the Twitter and all the social media it’s just an extension of me. I put what I’m thinking about. It just happens that I’m thinking a lot of politics and the news since that’s what I’m doing.
What does the future hold for you? With all the politics do you see a political run in the future?
That’s a funny question. I don’t plan on it but then again I never planned on doing almost any of what I’m doing now so I won’t say never. With all that I’m seeing lately though I do want to get my generation more involved in helping their country out. Colleges are not exactly great for differing opinions, and if you are a Conservative in a college setting you are not going to get to express that with a lot of love. So, given the platform I have now, I’m looking at more ways to get millennial involved in making a difference for their country. We actually have a lot doing things, and they’re not getting highlighted. I’m going to be highlighting that more. We need to!
Given that you’ve had so much success at such a young age, what do you attribute that to?
I attribute any success I’ve had to being open. None of anything I’ve done came without making a lot of changes. When I got called to do radio, it was something I had never thought of. Most people they get into a point in life, where they just say “This is what I’m going to do.” and they don’t keep their options in life open. I’ve never been that person. When you’re open to opportunities, they come. You just have to take it.
To get a bit personal now, you’ve just moved to London recently. How do you like it?
London is another example of just doing what comes to you. If you told me three years ago I’d be living in London I’d have looked at you like you were crazy. Actually, if you would have told me that I wouldn’t be living in Philadelphia I’d have looked at you crazy. London is unique and wonderful. I’ve been here a short time, so of course it’s not home yet. With that being said, it is a beautiful place and I’m truly loving it for now.
While we’re a bit personal, how about relationships? How do you balance your schedule and work with a dating life?
You have to be careful and make sure that the people you have around you are there for the right reasons. So, as far as schedule and stuff like that if I want to have someone in my life they will be there. When someone matters, you make the time. Also, you don’t waste your time. If someone isn’t worth your time you don’t waste a second on them. There’s not enough hours in a day to waste even one with someone who doesn’t matter. I’d rather be alone in that case.
Can you share any advice for those out there who want to get into television or radio?
You have to keep open to every opportunity. You don’t say no to anything. So many people turn down positions because they’re not perfect. I hear it all the time. I never will understand that. If something good presents itself, you go for it. You have to start someplace. Also, be sure to know your brand and not degrade your brand. Never dim your light. So many times you will encounter people who will try to use you to build their brand. There’s teamwork and then there is something else. Teamwork is great. You have to build the company you work with, but never dim your light. Never lose YOUR identity.