Joey Perez has become synonymous with the entertainment industry in Hanford and the Central Valley since he started his company J-Live Entertainment when he was 16 years old.
Perez, who was born and raised in Hanford, made a name for himself promoting local talent competitions, becoming an executive with the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, starting his own mixed martial arts promotion — 559 Fights — and building his entertainment company.
And now, 14 years later, Perez is trying to become synonymous with breakfast through his morning radio show — “Eggs, Bacon & Joey Radio Show.”
A little over a year ago, Perez was given the opportunity to host his own morning radio show — the KFUN Morning Show — from 6-10 a.m. in Hanford.
The show has become such a hit, reaching 235,000 listeners, that Perez signed a one-year extension with HYS INC DBA KFUN to continue working on the show.
Only now, the show will be called the “Eggs Bacon & Joey Radio Show,” and it will be syndicated on several radio stations throughout the entire Central Valley and even in San Francisco. The show is also available online at ww.kfunradio.com.
“My dad was in radio for 20 years and my mom dabbled in it also,” Perez said. “It was in my blood. I tested the waters a bit while doing other things but the financial ends weren’t right. I was focused on my day job. When they gave me the opportunity, I thought I’d get fired after six months. I had to build the show from the ground up. I didn’t know what I was going to talk about.”
What Perez created was a show that resonated with his local audience. He covers all topics, including politics, pop culture, sports and news.
“There are no rules,” Perez said. “This is a show about what people are talking about. I want to ask you what you think about things.”
Perez was more than comfortable getting in front of a microphone and talking — it was something he had been doing as the owner of J-Live Entertainment over the years. But he didn’t quite know what he was getting himself into with a radio show. He said it took him about three months before he started to feel comfortable on the airwaves and get comfortable with his own voice.
One vision he had for the show was to make it more than just a local show. He talks about local events and news topics in the area, but he also wanted to give it more of a national voice. He wanted to talk about things that would interest listeners around the country. Perez said the format of the show will continue to evolve.
“The show is growing every day,” he said. “I’m growing as a person so you’ll see that over the next few months. When I first started, I wasn’t talking politics, but I’m so intrigued by it that I brought it into my own show. Whatever I am into or entertained by, that’s what I bring to the show.”
Politics and even sports can be a very divisive issue so Perez said he likes to keep his personal opinions aside, but he isn’t afraid to express himself if he feels the need.
“When I’m adamant about something, or something tugs on my heart, I will give my personal opinion,” Perez said.
Perez is a busy man these days, hosting a radio show from 6-10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, he has his business to run and a wife to make time for.
“My wife tells me, ‘you’re going to run yourself too thin,’” Perez said. “’Give yourself enough time.’”
Perez finds the time he needs to juggle everything.
“My prep for the show takes place in bed before I’m about to go to sleep,” he said. “I’m recapping what’s going on from the day before. I have to learn how to adjust my schedule in order to create the show. From 6 to 10 [a.m.], its radio, then 10 [a.m.] to 5 [p.m.] it’s J-Live, and then before bed, its prep time for the show. Sometimes I have to learn to shut off my business.”
One thing Perez never shuts off is his love for home — Hanford and the Central Valley.
“I take major pride in being from Hanford,” he said. “When I was 16, I had so many dreams and aspirations. Sometimes our youth, being from smaller communities, they think they have limited options. But there’s so much out there once you explore, and if you put your mind to it, you can create your own opportunities.”
That love he has for home is why he continues to promote shows featuring the plethora of talented individuals from the Central Valley, and why he will continue to do so.
“If anybody believes in the Central Valley, it’s me,” Perez said. “There’s a lot of people embracing the talent here, but I’ve been adamant about promoting Central Valley talent and believing in them to produce the shows I have. From fighters, to singers to barbers now, it’s all local Central Valley talent.”
The radio show provides Perez with another platform to promote the local talent. He has had several participants on his show to talk about what they are doing, giving them another avenue to express themselves.
And now with Eggs, Bacon & Joey Radio Show becoming syndicated, Perez has the chance to reach an even larger audience, which will only bring more ears to the Central Valley.
“I’m just a guy from Hanford trying to do great things with my life,” Perez said. “And I think this show, every morning, if given the opportunity for people to tune in and listen, they will enjoy it. There are no rules or an organized structure. Let’s just have a good time and talk in the morning.”
And let’s talk over Eggs, Bacon & even Joey.