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Interview: Q&A

Summer Jam 2017: Behind-the-scenes with Hot 97’s TT Torrez

The team at HOT 97 has been hustling hard as they approach Summer Jam 2017 at MetLife Stadium this Sunday, June 11. The annual event is sure to be yet another iconic moment in hip-hop with Stadium Stage performances by Chris Brown, Fat Joe and Remy Ma, Migos, DJ Khaled & Friends, Trey Songz, French Montana & Friends, Tory Lanez, Joey Bada$$, Desiigner, Funk Flex & Friends, Konshens, Charly Black, and Jidenna. Plus, Faith Evans presents 20 Years of B.I.G.

The Festival Stage is not to be missed with Young M.A, A Boogie, Don Q, Dave East, Lil Yachty, D.R.A.M., PnB Rock, Casanova, and PHresher. Held just outside MetLife Stadium – this is the premier platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent prior to the Stadium show.

It goes without saying that a festival of this caliber takes months of planning and countless hours of hard work. We caught up with HOT’s Music Director and Radio Personality, TT Torrez, who plays key role in putting Summer Jam together year after year. Even with her very hectic schedule, she still managed to squeeze in a little face time to give us a look behind the scenes. Check it out below!

Q&A: TT Torrez

HipHopCanada: Tell us your background with HOT 97 and how your involvement with Summer Jam became what it is today.

TT Torrez: When I joined HOT 97, I inherited the role of booking the acts for the Festival Stage. As Music Director, I’m constantly listening to new music, checking out who’s coming up in a big way. So it makes sense that the MD concentrates on the Festival Stage where more of the emerging artists perform.

HipHopCanada: Summer Jam is historically known for it’s surprise guests and some of the most iconic moments in hip-hop. With that said – what’s your secret to setting a new bar year after year?

TT Torrez: It’s important to actually look back on the year before, as well as the year in music, and see what people liked, and what people wished happened. Then, you do your best to make that happen!

HipHopCanada: Last year Summer Jam went international for the first time in Tokyo, Japan. Can you tell us about that experience and will this also become an annual event?

TT Torrez: Summer Jam Tokyo was crazy! To see that many hip-hop heads outside of the US was monumental. Hip-hop is crazy big in Japan; and bringing Summer Jam there really shows just how international the HOT 97 brand is. It just proves it’s one of the only radio stations that could reach across countries and cultures like that.

HipHopCanada: And to those aspiring to what it is that you do (curating, organizing music festivals) – what advice would you give them to make their festival stand out the way that Summer Jam does?

TT Torrez: Always remember that a concert, festival, whatever…it’s about the fans. It’s not about you and your ego, or need to show off your brand and how big you are. It’s about creating an experience for the fan. That should always be the number one thought in your head!

Interview conducted by Rosa Jason for HipHopCanada

HipHopCanada will be live inside MetLife Stadium this Sunday. Keep it locked for our official Summer Jam coverage!


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