By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
If you’ve hit the scan button on your radio anytime recently, there’s a pretty good chance it stopped on the voice of Frankie P.
Hitting the airwaves fresh out of high school in 2010, he’s become one of South Florida’s busiest radio personalities and DJs. Frankie P commands Y100 Miami during the coveted weekday drive-time from 2-7 p.m., as well as the high-profile slot’s morning counterpart from 6-10 a.m. on WILD 95.5.
Beginning as a promo kid at the now-defunct 97.3 The Coast, he quickly advanced from intern to producer, moving on to produce a Kiss Country 99.9 morning show. He followed that with his own night show at Hits 97.3, which relocated three years ago to Y100.
There, the DJ’s on-air enterprises have given him something of a cult following. For example, on Thursdays, Frankie P turns into a mentor as he hosts “YHigh” with high-school students from Broward and Miami-Dade counties, giving them the chance to experience the radio business from behind the mic.
Off the air, the Pembroke Pines resident hosts his “Random Ish” podcast on the iHeart Radio app and gigs weekends at area events and clubs, including American Social Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale.
“I know people say I work too much (which is true) but I’ve always believed that hard work beats out talent when talent doesn’t show up,” says Frankie P, the rare California-born Mexican-American raised in Miami. “Since I don’t consider myself naturally talented like other amazing people in this industry, I’ve always felt the need to push myself harder to compete with everyone.”
When asked his age, Frankie P would only answer “under 30.” He was much more forthcoming, however, with our standard set of Quote Unquote questions.
Aside from the weather, what do you enjoy most about South Florida?
Cafecito and croquetas! All jokes aside, there is no place else like South Florida! As a second-generation Latino who actually got to live in Mexico City for a while, I love that certain parts of South Florida feel like you’re in your family’s home country. There’s so much diversity and culture that gets mixed together, and you learn so much about other people and their way of life. Also let’s be real. The coldest it gets here is like 55, and although snow is fun, there’s a reason why so many snowbirds come down here during the holidays.
Aside from the weather, what do you dislike most about South Florida?
I could really do without all the never-ending construction on the Palmetto.
Like, can someone explain to me what exactly they’re always doing?
Are you a beach person or a pool person?
Considering I’m terrified of deep water, I’m going to go with pool person. Seriously, how do people just jump off a boat and swim around in deep water and not worry about what’s lurking around under them? There’s sharks, giant man-eating fish, the kraken…. I do, however, love sitting on the sand if there’s a bar nearby.
When in your life are you or have you been the happiest?
The day my girlfriend, who’s waaaaaayyy out of my league, reluctantly agreed to date me (kidding … but not really.) Seriously though, there are so many! When my mom went into remission after battling breast cancer for almost a year is definitely at the top of my list. Close second though has to be when I got hired at Y100.
What do you do when you’re stuck in a traffic jam on I-95?
Straight-up curse people out but with the windows up and without making eye contact because I’m all bark and no bite, so nobody actually knows I hate them in that very moment. But for real, why is there so much traffic at noon on a Tuesday? Also your boy is definitely not trying to spend that $10 to get on the express lane … although I have thought about it! Then again, haven’t we all?
What music are you listening to now?
This is going to sound super-cliché, but a little bit of everything! As a club DJ in South Florida, I have to know all kinds of genres because music scenes are different. Songs that slap on South Beach get no reaction in downtown Fort Lauderdale. What I listen to depends on where I’m going or the time of day. If I’m on my way to a club to DJ I’ll actually put on some of my favorite pop-punk songs from when I was in high school, from artists like All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, etc. But if I’m on my way home, I totally put on a super out-of-pocket country playlist because, yes, even DJs get tired of listening to all the same music at work. If I really need to mellow or I’m having a low-key meltdown, I’ll just bust out the John Mayer. Honorable mention has to go to Post Malone. Beerbongs & Bentleys constantly gets played no matter what time of day or where I’m going.
Are you a fan, and if so, of what?
Man, you’re really getting all the super-corny answers out of me, lol, but I’m a huge fan of radio people I look up to. Definitely a huge fan of [Y100’s] Elvis Duran, having grown up here in Miami listening to him. So it’s totally mind-blowing that I not only work with this legendary dude but I can actually hang out with him! Also I’m a huge fan of another radio personality named Bobby Bones. He’s like the Elvis Duran of country radio.
What are your social media handles?
I always use @itsFrankieP for everything.
Who is your real-life hero or heroine?
High-school kids these last couple of years are my heroes! I’ve been super fortunate to host a lot of pep rallies and have kids from different schools on my show over the last few years and they are truly spectacular and resilient. It was never more apparent to me than when Parkland happened and all these teenagers banned together because they cared about each other.
If you had to choose: Rocky or Raging Bull?
I feel super uncultured because I had to google this — please don’t judge me! Oh, and I have no idea what to answer.
What car are you driving now?
All-black Dodge Challenger.
What do you like most about yourself?
Am I interviewing for a job right now because this is definitely a job-interview question? I think I’m going to go with my work ethic. Some people just have that natural star power and that’s awesome, but with me, I just had to get good at things through practice.
What places in South Florida do you recommend to guests visiting from out-of-town?
You’re totally going to make fun of me but I love tourist stuff, so do all the cheesy Miami attractions! Do the Star Island tour, get pictures with the Wynwood walls, hit up Versailles for lunch, do an airboat ride out in the Everglades, spend a day on South Beach — just do everything that pops up on Google because South Florida is awesome!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Definitely my height. Not that I’m salty about being short. True story: I have a baby-face and I’m super short so a police officer once pulled me over to ask why I wasn’t in class and then apologized when he looked at my ID and realized I was old enough to buy him shots at Chili’s.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of amazing things working in radio, specifically at Y100, but my greatest achievement to date was the day I invited students from Parkland to come share their stories and ideas on the radio. What they didn’t know is I had a surprise waiting for them. I was able to get 40-plus kids from high schools all over South Florida to wait in studio before they came in. When the door opened, the students cheered for these brave survivors and showered them with love and support. I stopped playing music for two hours and let all these young minds share their thoughts, concerns and ideas about how to protect students from other tragedies. It is and will always be my reminder of why I love radio. It’s being able to connect with the people in my city and give them a platform when they need it most.