This week we have the voice of midday radio for power 98.3 That Girl Fel in the She’s Trending interview corner. Who would have thought the shy, hardworking student from Mesa, Arizona would blossom into one of the most recognizable voices in Arizona radio. That Girl Fel has earned the honors of best midday radio personality and has inspired many in her community through her love for connecting with others. That Girl Fel has proven that being there for the right reasons and hard work will help you achieve your goals.
ST: Who is Felicia Macias or That Girl Fel, what do you do, and why?
TF: That Girl Fel is hopefully somebody that you listen to on a daily basis, Monday Through Friday from 10am – 3pm on Power 98.3. Who does not love listening to radio? As a kid growing up, I obviously listened to the radio a lot. My family is very much into music, especially my dad. He can listen to a song over and over again. I think it all clicked the first time I won something on the radio. Shout-out to Coco Cortez, because she was the one doing middays on the radio at the time. After that first time I won something on the radio, I would tend to win a lot of things on the radio and I really believe that made me want to get into radio a little bit.
ST: Tell us a little bit more about your background. Where did you grow up?
TF: I am an Arizona native that was born and raised in Mesa. I have four sisters and I am the middle child. I attended Red Mountain High School for a little bit, but I graduated from Skyline High School. I was definitely the type of student who was shy, focused on their work, and was not really interested in hanging out with a lot of people. I also had a job in high school as well.
ST: When did you develop a love for radio and were there any radio personalities that inspired you growing up?
TF: Winning on the radio at an early age definitely helped me develop a love for radio. While I was in high school I took my elective classes at the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) and earned my credits by participating in the Radio Broadcasting program. I feel like my passion for radio grew while I was in the radio-broadcasting program. Being in the program gave me confidence and made me feel like I could actually be good at doing radio despite being a shy person at the time. Some of the radio personalities who influenced me were Karlie Hustle, Melissa The Midnight Mamacita, and Mini Salas. They are all amazing women that I look up to.
ST: How did you get your start with Power 98.3 and do you remember your first day on air?
TF: I started with Power 98.3 as an intern and was able to get school credit for being apart of the street team. I worked my way up to where I was able to get paid for being apart of the street team. Then I started to work my way into the studio “board oping” which means you push buttons and make sure anything that needs to be played on the radio gets played. I was working my way up during a time when Power 92.3 was transitioning to Power 98.3 and we all thought we were going to lose our jobs during this transition. Everyone was making sure they had their resumes updated and their airchecks were put together. I had never been on the air before so I did not have an air check to put together, but Karlie Hustle wanted to make sure I had something to send to people. I can remember her saying, “Fel this weekend, feel free to crack the mic. If Bruce has an issue with it, he can call me and I’ll explain it to him.” I can remember being on the radio for the first time on some random overnight weekend shift and nervous. I was on air from 12am – 5am on a Saturday. Bruce was the boss at the time and he said, “I don’t want to say anything that is going to make you walk out of here with your head big, but that does not sound like the first time you have been on air.” He was definitely impressed and allowed me to continue being on air. While I was on air, I would just go by my first name Felicia. My personality has always been there, but “That Girl Fel” actually came from my email address (laughs)! My Current boss was wondering why I was still doing radio part-time and wanted to make me full time. He asked me for my email address because he wanted to shoot over some information. The first part of my email was “That Girl Fel.” He liked the name and told me I should use it more on the radio, and since he was giving me a full time job, of course I was going to use it (laughs)!
ST: You have had the opportunity to interview and hangout with so many different artist/celebrities. Who are the top 5 artist/celebrities who have interviewed or kicked it with (I’m just going to assume Mya is #1)?
TF: Mya has definitely made it into my top 5 if not #1. We have hung out enough for her to earn her spot into the top 5. Going back to high school if you asked anyone, they would tell you that I was one of Mya’s biggest fans. My sister and I had a room full of Mya pictures on the wall. Out of all the times we have hung out I have only interviewed her once. I can remember saying a long time ago that if I could be friends with Mya I have succeeded. Well a goal has definitely been met, and I can say that Mya is my friend. My first interview ever as a full time jock was with Blackstreet. They all came in on a weekend, we did the interview live, and it was a milestone for me. Every time G-Eazy comes into town it’s pretty fun. I’ve interviewed him, we’ve taken shots together, and we have been to few after party/club appearances together. The best phone interview I have ever done was with Ne-Yo. Phone interviews can be awkward at times because you cannot read their body language or see when someone is about to talk, but Ne-Yo was so professional because he has been on both sides. He has interviewed people and been interviewed a number of times. He knew what to say, how to say things, and it just went well. For the fifth position, I’ve never interviewed this person but we have shared an experience before and she is my next goal. Rihanna is going to be my best friend one day (laughs). The first time I met Rihanna, I was doing weekends and it was a Saturday or Sunday morning. She was in town and performing at the Arizona State Fair. Normally, when you are on air no one is looking at you, so on this day I did not feel the need to get ready. My hair was looking a mess, I barely had my makeup done, and I had no clue what I was wearing that day. I’m in the studio and I get a phone call from staff letting me know if someone tries to buzz in let them in because Rihanna and her team are going to stop by. I was excited, but then I remembered how I was looking at the time (laughs). She came in to do an interview with the morning show at the time. I could see when they were done with the interview because they came out and started taking pictures while I was in the on-air studio. I was excited and kind of wanted to go out there but I remembered how I was looking. They were waiving at me to come out of the studio to take a picture, so I came out of the studio and let everyone know I did not want to take a picture because of how I was looking that day. Rihanna insisted I come take a picture, and when Rihanna tells you to take a picture, you have to do it. Till this day I have no clue how the picture came out because it was taken on someone else’s camera. I also remember her asking me about my lip piercing at the time because she was looking to change up her look and become a little more edgy. One day we are going to be best friends.
ST: What’s more important…Ketchup & Hot Sauce on your hash browns or Tajin on your fruit?
TF: I do enjoy both, and I go through phases. If I had to choose one, I would definitely go with the hash browns, ketchup, and Tabasco hot sauce. I feel like I can enjoy fruit without the Tajin right now, and it would be cool. If I just had a plain hash brown I would be missing something.
ST: You definitely have one of the best sense of style in radio today. Whether it’s your hats, screen printed shirts, or button down shirts, there is always something unique to you. Over the years we have noticed your love for crop tops. What’s your infatuation with crop tops and how do you maintain your amazing stomach?
TF: T-shirts are really my go to because I would never wear a crop top to work, but when I go out to an event or something I definitely will wear a crop top. To be honest, I do not workout a lot. I feel like in high school I built up my metabolism because I use to run a lot and right now I don’t have to do much to maintain my stomach. I have been trying to get on myself lately to workout because it’s good for blood circulation, great for the heart, and I can throw in some exercises for my abs. I think the key is to flex your stomach muscles at all times and nutrition.
ST: If you were to go on a road trip from Arizona to New York and could only listen to 3 albums, what 3 albums would you choose?
TF: First and foremost, I would fly there and probably listen to one or two albums. This is always a tough question because my music taste varies depending on the day. If I had to choose right now for this road trip, I would choose Erykah Badu Mama’s Gun album or Erykah Badu live. I would need a current hip-hop album and would choose Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN album. Lastly, to spice things up in the car I would add in Selena’s Greatest Hits album.
ST: You were voted best midday Local Radio Talk Show or DJ and featured in Arizona Foothills Magazine as one of the best in media. How does it feel to be recognized by the community as one of the best in Arizona radio?
TF: Anytime you get recognized for doing something that you love, it feels amazing. Whether it’s Arizona Foothills Magazine or someone calling in on the phone lines showing love, which happens often. Sometimes it feels weird to me because I am just being me. I do like to connect with people and I am interested in what people are doing, what’s on their mind, and what they have to say. I think the listeners really appreciate that. It really does feel good to be recognized for doing something that I love to do.
ST: We love that Power 98.3 gives back to the community. We enjoyed watching you give back by paying for people’s meals during Operation Give Thanks. What was that day like for you and are there any plans for future Operation Give Thanks?
TF: There are future plans for Operation Give Thanks and it is something as a station that we do. It really feels good to give back to the community and also see their reaction when we pay it forward. I can remember how thankful people were when we paid for their meals at Panda Express and they were completely surprised. Most recently we were at Walmart and saw a mother with 3 children buying pots, pans, and other household items. I am not sure about her situation but to be able to experience the joy with her after paying for her was a great moment. These moments are so unexpected and having the opportunity to brighten someone’s day makes me feel good. On one of my birthday’s I would like for people to do random acts of kindness by giving to others instead of giving gifts to me. A smile or even just acknowledging someone can go a long way.
ST: Do you have any advice for people who are trying to become a radio personality?
TF: My advice would be to work hard and let people know that you are there for the right reasons. If you are only in it to meet celebrities, hangout, and have fun, you are in it for the wrong reasons. You should take pride in your work and be proud of your accomplishments. You are going to have to make sacrifices to succeed. There are times where you are not able to go to every show or event because a radio station still has to be ran. I have had to miss out on family gatherings, birthdays, and events to get to where I am at, but it shows I was there for the right reasons. Once you have paid your dues you still are going to have to work but you will have more time to enjoy events, be in charge of meet & greets, and attend concerts. Just always remember to work hard and make sure you are there for the right reasons.
ST: With all of our interviews, we like to sign off by saying thank you! We know you’re trending, which is why we chose you to be one of our featured guests. In honor of the tradition, we would like you to finish the sentence…I’m trending because…
TF: For whatever random odd reason somebody decided to give me a full time job doing what I love and I love being able to connect with people on a daily basis.