Las Vegas is known for its wild nightlife, so it comes as no surprise that the house music scene here is flourishing as well. This week I had the chance to catch up with Edgar Arana from XRadio.biz House, an internet radio station that is literally house music, all day every day. I got to check out the studio, based right here in Las Vegas, and heard all about the station’s DJs, upcoming plans and success in the house music world. Here’s what Edgar Arana had to say…
Marc Jay: I’m here with Edgar at XRadio.biz one of the newest radio stations in Vegas and we’re here for your primetime show, would that be right?
Edgar Arana: Yeah, the show is 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, on XRadio.biz/house.
Marc Jay: This is an interesting radio station because 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, you are playing nothing but house music.
Edgar Arana: That’s correct. We started with XRadio.biz as a variety radio station and based on the feedback from all of our listeners, we grew open to launching XRadio.biz/house, which is going to be dedicated to house music 24/7, seven days a week, with local DJs here from Las Vegas as well as renowned DJs from around the world.
Marc Jay: Obviously, most of the people that read this on Clubplanet don’t necessarily live in Las Vegas, but this is an internet radio station accessible to anyone throughout the world, correct?
Edgar Arana: Right, this is an internet radio station… basically we are a radio station broadcasting on the internet and creating a network for the mainstream of independent music. So we function as a full-blown radio station but we decided just to broadcast via the internet.
Marc Jay: Now, years ago it went from AM and then to FM and now everyone listens to Satellite radio. Do you think the next generation will only be listening to radio on the internet, and if so, when do you think that would that happen? Will people be able to get internet radio in their cars?
Edgar Arana: Based on some marketing and studies that we have done, internet is a basic utility for people, like power or water; it’s a daily necessity. Also in studies on radio, FM is going to be fading away and we’re going to move towards internet broadcasting to reach audiences worldwide instead of just focusing on the local market.
Marc Jay: So your show is on from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., but tell us about the other DJs and the other shows you have.
Edgar Arana: Currently, on the house station during the week, we have Jeremy Womack, who does a variety show, a talk show promoting all of the house DJs. He goes from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Then we have Rick Rosen doing a sports show for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. The reason they’re on the house station is because MMA uses house music as the background for all their fights. Then they follow from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. with “Global House Life” and then we have a DJ from the UK, Damien Jay, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. playing “On the Street of Grooves.” During the weekends we have DJs going from 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. mixing live in our studios.
Marc Jay: Now I know you’ve mentioned that special guests come in. Who are some of the guests you’ve had come through the studio in recent months?
Edgar Arana: We’ve recently had Rob De Boer and Bad Boy Bill and we’ve had Darude. We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls; actually, Gabriel & Dresden just called last week, so we also do phone interviews and chat interviews. We also have DJ Chris Garcia on our roster, as well as Luca aka “Digital Boy” as part of our roster and Darude has signed up with us as well. So we’re going to be talking to other DJs, I can’t name that right now, but we’re in negotiations with world-renowned DJs that are favored here in Vegas. We’re going to be having a network show, basically broadcasted from wherever the DJs are in the world. When they’re local here in Las Vegas they can come to the studio and play live, but if they’re touring – Mexico, London, France, or wherever – they’re going to be broadcasting from wherever they are.
Marc Jay: So my understanding is that these DJs can be in their homes, on the other side of the world, and be doing an hour show for you, live from their country and you’ll be transmitting it from here.
Edgar Arana: That’s correct.
Marc Jay: Wonderful. So, what were you doing before you started doing house music radio? I know you’ve always been a house music junkie – I used to see you in the clubs jumping up and down with your glow sticks – how did you get into dance music?
Edgar Arana: I got into dance music back in 1990 by watching DJ Taylor back in L.A. He used to play at a club called Fantasia inside The Westin Bonaventure Hotel. I used to carry his records inside and outside of the club and I fell in love with what he was doing back then with the old house music, like C+C Music Factory, Frankie Bones, Tony B, Richard Vission and all of those guys. He actually trained me to open for him and since then I’ve been involved with the house music genre, either directly as a DJ or as a marketing person to promote house music.
Marc Jay: I understand that XRadio has some events coming up and you also do your own events and promote. What events have you done in the past and what do you have coming up?
Edgar Arana: Currently we have “We Love House” at Blush every Wednesday, where we have local DJs as well as international DJs come in to play. This particular Wednesday we have Tommy Lee and DJ Aero playing and we had Steve Aoki play a couple weeks ago. We also have a party at Sapphire, a “Listeners Appreciation Party,” and we’re also in negotiations with about five other clubs right now to do a house night for them.
Marc Jay: It’s funny, as we stand here inside XRadio, we look out of your windows and can see the Vegas skyline and the hotels. You’ve also got a lights and a disco ball in here… do you turn this into some sorty of a mini-club at night?
Edgar Arana: Actually, as soon as it gets a little dark, the lights go on, the disco ball fires up and it’s basically a mini-club here in the studio. We have glow-in-the-dark wallpaper [laughs] that has our logo on it, so it becomes like a party for DJs. We want the DJs to feel like they’re mixing at a club when they’re mixing here live. We give them that environment so that when they go back to the club they’re comfortable and ready to play for a club venue.
Marc Jay: It sounds like you’re enjoying yourself just as much as the people who are listening from their homes.
Edgar Arana: I have fun every day. We have a very interactive tool, we have a chat room. If you go to XRadio.biz/house and click on social network, you can check it out. I interact with my listeners via chat; that’s the new way of interacting with them. People don’t want to talk on the phone anymore, they don’t want to be calling in, so by interacting with them in the chat room it gives us feedback of what type of music they want to listen to, how we are doing with the shows, etc. We like to know what they want, music-wise, and we run our shows based on our customers’ feedback.
Marc Jay: I’m looking at it now and there must be 200 names up there, so you actually run this in a way where they do the programming? Can they select the songs they’d like to hear?
Edgar Arana: Yes. We do a lot of our mixes live, but we try to accommodate if somebody has a request and we try to mix it live for them. There are other shows that are pre-recorded and play during the wee hours of the night, like from midnight to 6 a.m., but we are going to be changing that. Right now we are in the process of hiring a 24/7 crew to be here with DJs. On the weekend they do one hour shows, live, every hour. During the week, during prime time, the shows can range from two hours to four hours each.
Marc Jay: So just to recap so people know, how can we find your show – the best show, I’m not being biased at all [laughs]. It’s on from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. but where can people go to find it?
Edgar Arana: It’s really easy just go to Xradio.biz/house, then click on “listen live” to hear the broadcast, and if you want to chat with me live then go to “social network” and go directly into the chat where you can interact with me.
Marc Jay: And my final question, for the people who listen to this outside of Vegas, do you give them advice or tips on where to go out?
Edgar Arana: We do that during my show as well as Damien’s show, but we have a show dedicated to that with Jeremy Womack, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. He’s the guru of the nightlife here who instructs and gives ideas to all the people listening around the world, what’s hot and what’s happening at the clubs and hotels here in Las Vegas. So he spends four hours daily discussing what hotels to go to, food, restaurants, nightclubs, parties, etc.
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