Joseph Arzuaga is coming into autumn and has a lot to offer.
On September 3rd, the Jersey City resident of Bayonne and his team will be in Manhattan at 45th and Broadway unveiling the digital billboard for Club Joe’s, the radio show he does on Amazon’s live radio app AMP. Paper posters promoting the show also come to Journal Square and downtown.
In a recent interview, Arzuaga described these as the fruits of years of work. Four years ago he released All Flowers Die, a collection of poems dealing with life and loss, and last year he released the album My so Called Life as Money Burnz, available on all major platforms.
“We have (now) the audio book (‘All Flowers Die’) that’s coming out in October, a little documentary on it. These are busy times and it’s exciting and exciting and fun and it drives you a little crazy, but it’s worth it. It’s everything I’ve been waiting for.”
Arzuaga also co-hosts the Great American Hip-Hop Debate Podcast (GAHHD) with Fernando Sanchez, Javier Arce and Christian Cabello, which talks about how he and his co-hosts embraced and explored an art form they love.
“We’re a bit older, so our tastes lean heavily towards ’90s hip-hop, ’90s R&B. And a lot of our discussions tend to do that too, but we enjoy the current generation of artists making quality hip-hop,” Arzuaga said. “There’s a lot of fast, microwave hip-hop that nobody’s going to listen to in the next 10 years, so let’s not focus on that. We want to focus on artists that are long-lasting, artists that people like.”
Her favorite part of the show, Arzuaga said, is when the debates take center stage. “Whenever we argue and we go back and forth and pull out statistics or facts or even just opinions, that’s when we really get in our pockets.”
“The times have changed. …
“When we were young, we didn’t have a thousand distractions,” Arzuaga said. “We didn’t have smartphones and tablets and endless streaming platforms and YouTube. … And since our entertainment was so limited, we actually studied the music. We listened to an album for a year or two. And we would know the words, we would know the credits, who sampled what. So you really almost bonded with an artist and/or a group or a producer or whatever. But you kind of felt like you knew them, and then you watched them grow and they dropped their next project, so my love for music came because music eventually was all we had.”
One day Arzuaga discovered that his cousin was a DJ and his cousin subsequently taught him the basics. Arzuaga then told his father that he wanted DJ equipment for every gift-giving occasion. Eventually his father caved in. Over the years, Arzuaga went from DJing to producing music to running the Last Breath Entertainment label and also becoming a military veteran.
His music distributor is UnitedMasters, whose website and deals led him to learn about their new partnership with AMP.
“I thought I was already doing the podcast thing and that’s different because you can’t play a lot of music on the podcast because of the licensing,” Arzuaga said. “But this new app that’s launching is basically you making your own radio show, which was one of my goals anyway — to be on the radio.”
Arzuaga found AMP to be a great platform to practice on, and since they were running a contest where five radio show creators would receive $15,000, he was all the more motivated.
“Little by little, I built up my fan base. Every day, 10 to 12 – every day a different topic. And then a few months later, I got an email from AMP telling me I had won the contest and what the next steps were. We signed a contract. From there it just grew. I started where everyone starts. No followers and we are close to hitting 100 this week.”
Arzuaga is using the money he won from the competition to put back into the show, he said, and unveiling a digital billboard on September 45th and Broadway in Manhattan on September 3rd is the first installment of it.
“It will go live at 2pm (with Club Joe’s merch) and we will arrive at 3pm…” in about 200 Slingshots, three-wheeled motorcycles. “It’s going to look fantastic. AMP will send a TV crew to document it.”
“You use what you have to achieve what you can, and you know you may not get everything you want,” Arzuaga said, “but if you get 80 percent just by using, what you have then everything is fine and when you get extra help from someone you are on the right track.”
Learn more about Arzuaga and all projects he is involved in at https://linktr.ee/JosephArzuaga.
The engineer for the GAHHD Podcast is Efrain Rodriguez Jr. and it will be recorded at Str8 Fuego Studios in Union City.