Page 31 recently spoke with Power 106's assitant music director and Love and Hip Hop Hollywood star Yesi Ortiz in an exclusive Q&A interview in which she discussed her new single Aint My Fault, her volatile run in with Ray J, being hit on by artists, and her rise to success in the music industry. Check out the full conversation below.
Page 31: You’ve had such a celebrated career on the west coast at Power 106. How did you ascend to this point of your career?
Yesi Ortiz: Thank you man! I’ve been doing radio for like 13 years and I’ve been at Power now for like 8. It’s been a long journey (laughs). I started in Vegas and made a lot of mistakes in Vegas. Then I went to Mexico and had some trail and error and was successful. When I came to Power it was really like a dream of mine. I was always around wanting to learn everything, just being nosey wanting to know how everything works. I eventually just became the director at Power 106, and I’ve continued to give artists advice on how to get their records played. There is just a lot that goes on behind closed doors that people have no idea about.
P31: I’m sure there is a lot of behind the scenes footwork that goes into it all. I know a lot of people refer to you as “the voice of L.A,” how did you feel when you were given that title?
Yesi: It was weird to me. I was like ‘wait, what?’ I’m not the voice of L.A! To be honest it was a little uncomfortable because it was a lot of pressure and it was flattering but I didn’t want to let anyone down. Before that there was no title, so it was less pressure.
P31: For a lot of people, their first introduction to you came through VH1’s Love and Hip Hop Hollywood. Tell us about being approached to be on the show and your initial reaction.
Yesi: Yeah. When I got the confirmation I was going to be on the show I was like ‘wow…I’m on the show? Really?’We had talked about it, my team and I. We talked about the pros and cons of doing this type of show and if we should or should not do it, but we thought it was the perfect platform for people to get to know the face behind the voice. When I did all the interviews I gave them my honest truth about how I felt about certain things and next thing you knew I was on the show!
P31: With reality television, the perception is that a lot of the events you see take place are staged and unreal. One of the biggest storylines for you was having Ray J kicked out of the radio station after a big argument. How real was this situation?
Yesi: No that happened for real! He really came up there drunk. I wasn’t expecting that. I was confused. People don’t realize the whole scene was really like an hour and a half, they chopped it up. We were trying to figure out if he was mad about the Morgan situation or if he was upset that I wasn’t playing his music. Ray has been a friend of mine for years and you know they say when you love someone the most you hurt them the most. I just didn’t understand it.
P31: It took a lot of guts for you to call security on him and compromise your friendship. I know you all just filmed the reunion and not to spill the beans but how was it to be in a room with everybody?
Yesi: When we all walked into the room everybody was icing everybody. Everybody was on edge and you could feel the tension in the room. There had been so many problems and arguments with other cast members but I wasn’t worried about much of that because I’m not involved in that story line. I was just really worried about Morgan, Princess and Ray because I really care about them. They are family to me. I went in it saying, okay, i’m going to tell the truth and it’s going to hurt you but I rather tell the truth then try to comfort you with any kind of lie.
P31: Before you go we have to talk about your new single Aint My Fault.
Yesi: Yes! Aint My Fault features Young Berg and Verse Simmonds and i’m excited about it. I had been talking to Berg about working together and I had been in talks with a lot of producers, writers and artists about a project that i’m trying to present and Berg said lets use this platform and figure something out. It’s a very catchy radio song and I love it. I think a lot of people are embracing it.
P31:I have to ask, when you and Berg got in the studio did you get the Teairra Marie treatment with the roses and champagne all around?
Yesi: (laughs) No not at all. He respects me very much—not that he doesn’t respect anyone else but we both have a very professional partnership and I helped break his first record ever so we have that mutual respect. Teairra Marie is a very beautiful woman though, so you know I can’t really fault him—
P31: Well a lot of people view you in that light as well. I know Common recently played F, Marry, Kill and had some nice things to say about you.
Yesi: (laughs). Oh yeah!. He said he would F me, then marry me (laughs). Common is something else.
P31: Being an attractive woman in the industry do you have to deal with men trying you a lot?
Yesi: Yeah, you know who it goes. You always have guys and artists trying to run some lines past you and trying to see if it works but I don’t allow it. I told myself coming into the industry I’d never become a woman that would need that to advance. I think throughout the years I gained the respect of these artists and they can see I really do love the music and being in the studio with artists and giving them feedback on their projects. I’m just glad to be a part of all that.
Follow @YesiOrtiz on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with her latest developments and visit YesiOrtiz.com to see the new music she thinks should be on all of your playlists.
-Interview by Gregory Calvaire