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Judy Torres interview..'09


New Member
Freestyle.FM Dee Jays
1. You are best known for your freestyle dance hits "No Reason To Cry" and "Come Into My Arms". How did you get into freestyle? Did you enjoy the ride?

JUDY TORRES: I didn't actively pursue freestyle music, so to speak. I auditioned for a producer named Mickey Garcia, who was looking for a singer to sing his music. He had given me a song called Love's Gonna Get You and his other singer, Vicki Ryan a song called No Reason to Cry. It turned out we didn't like our songs, so with Mickey's permission, we traded songs...I LOVED No Reason To Cry. The rest is history. Did I enjoy the ride? Of course, I did! I'm still on the rollercoaster and holding on very tight! It was an exciting and magical time, and it is still very magical to know that our fans are so devoted to the music. It is almost cult-like! LOL..Seriously, it is a true blessing.

2. For many years you have been a DJ on KTU in New York City. A station known for dance music. Your show was called "Freestyle Free For All". How did that gig come about?

JUDY TORRES: I've been a dj on WKTU, proudly for 12 years now, hosting Sunday Night's KTU Freestyle Free For All on Sundays from 9p, - midnight. I had performed back in 1997 for KTU during a summer concert and I had a chance to talk, really talk to the audience. I was asked to talk to them to "stall" as we were waiting for another artist who was running late. So I talked...and I talked...then I performed and was aaked for an encore, which was just so amazing!!! About a week later, I received a call from KTU's then program director, Frankie Blue. He asked me, "Would you like to be part of the KTU dream team?" I seriously thought he just wanted to hire me as part of the staff, not on-air staff. I proceeded to tell him that I can type and have legal secretarial skills (funny, isn't it?) and he happily explained he wanted me to be on air. Two weeks later, I was receiving training and the rest is now part of a great history in my career.

3. I also heard that KTU just recently canceled your show. Any reason why?
What are you doing now?

JUDY TORRES: Yes, as it is said, all good things come to an end. I was called into the office of our present program director, Rob Miller, who informed me that the ratings had slipped. And in radio, ratings are EVERYTHING!!! I thought it was the end and I was getting laid off as a large percentage of people have been let go from the company. To my surprise, Mr. Miller told me he wanted me to remain on staff, and told me my talents are appreciated at KTU. That was great to know. I am now on Sundays from 4pm to 8pm, playing KTU"s regular rotation. In all things you must find the blessings. I am blessed to still be at KTU, a HUGE major market. It is a great thing to be able to say you are on air in New York City!!! I am blessed to be part of the KTU family...I have seen many come and go and I am a survivor indeed. I also am proud to represent Latinos on the radio as there are not many in the English market! I have an opportunity to gain respect from my peers in radio as a "real" dj, not just a specialty show host. My boss has been wonderful to me, coaching me amd making me feel good to be there! Never question what God does - I'm sure he has some amazing plans for me, and all this is preparing me for something better!!!

4. Your latest single "Hello No" is a far cry from freestyle.
You seem to be following the times, what was the inspiration for this song?

JUDY TORRES: The inspiration for Hell No was my sister. She was experiencing abuse from her at-the-time boyfriend, and after many months finally confided in me. I was very upset, that's an understatement. But I told her to pack her bags and stay with me...I'm proud of her. She did leave and she is so happy and she's my hero. I experienced witnessing abuse - my mother was abused for a LONG time and finally left but it leaves emotional scars. so this issue is VERY important to me, and I just want to empower people to leave those situations.

5. Did you write and/or produce the latest single "Hell No"?

JUDY TORRES: I did indeed write Hell No. The co-writer, Michael Grant, was also the producer. I was given his track (just music) to write to and immediately I knew I wanted to write about empowering people to leave abusive situations.

6. looking back, do you have any favorite moments from the days of freestyle?

JUDY TORRES: Looking back, sure I have favorite moments. I remember the night at Palladium...I was terrified of going onstage. I almost had a panic attack and Nayobe calmed me down. She said, "Girl, don't you worry about nothing! This is your night, you hear me, girl? Somebody get her some water NOW!" It was the first night I used my motto: "I may be chunky but funky..." That night I finally received respect from the people. Another moment that is a favorite of mine was receiving a standing ovation at Madison Square Garden before I had a chance to say hello. It was just an exhilirating and validating moment for me in my life. It said, "Judy, you've done a good thing."

7. What kind of music do you listen to (besides dance music)?
Any favorite singers, songs, etc? Last CD you bought?

JUDY TORRES: Besides dance music, I LOVE musical theatre and American Jazz standards...so I Love listening to Michael Buble, Kristine W., Idina Menzel, Linda Eder...I'm a musical geek...LOL. Of course, I love Pink, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and many others. The last cd that I purchased were three on the same day: Estele, Sugarland and John Legend...all three completely different types of music.

8. Do you think freestyle will ever make a comeback?
Will you ever record a new freestyle song?

JUDY TORRES: It is difficult to say whether freestyle will make a comeback or not. I have observed that the music and radio industry really treat freestyle as a "classic" genre of music, just like disco. We never hear about a new disco song right? That's what has happened with freestyle. Many of us, including myself, have recorded new freestyle material but then won't get ANY radio support - that is the catch 22. For me, I know it is necessary for me and my music to evolve in order to survive....so I think if freestyle does come back, it will most likely be called something else.

9. Do you have plans on recording and releasing any new music?

JUDY TORRES: I am currently in the studio writing and recording new material, which I am very excited about. I have the chance to express myself more artistically than I have had in the past, and that really inspires me to focus on matters that contain real substance.

10. If an artist of today were to do a cover of "No Reason To Cry" who can you imagine doing it?

JUDY TORRES: If an artist of today were to cover No Reason to Cry, I can imagine many people doing it - it just has to be done differently. i think it would be awesome to see Mary J. Blige or Evanescence or Pink recorded it...I'm certain that they would put an amazing spin on it.