Our Kind of People

'Brady on Air': 107.1 The Monkey DJ hosts a show for South Mississippi Millennials

The topic of conversation Tuesday evening turned to Tinder, Ariana Grande and gas station coffee as Joe Blum, 21, and his co-worker, Mattie Hayes, began to get ready for their shift.

As Blum took a phone call, Hayes put on headphones and snacked on a strawberry wafer.

Blum says he's a typical millennial. He enjoys extra shots of espresso in his coffee and is a vegan who frequents Gulfport's Good Karma Cafe. He's shy about dating but refuses to download Tinder, an app-based dating solution. His celebrity crush is Ariana Grande, and he doesn't care that she licked doughnuts in a pastry shop.

During their downtime in the office, Blum and Hayes often record videos on Snapchat and send them to followers, and he is glued to his Twitter handle.

Many of Blum's followers, though, are not people he's met. Many are random listeners, and some of those would say Blum is a bit famous in South Mississippi.

Blum is "Brady," the radio personality behind the show "Brady On Air" at 107.1 The Monkey. A Detroit native, Blum moved to the Coast in March to host his own evening show, accepting a position from Alpha Media.

"My show has really evolved in the past few months," he said. "I describe it as a morning show at night." Blum, with help from Hayes, often discusses popular culture and hot-button news stories during the four-hour run of "Brady On Air." Most of the conversations are natural and unscripted, for Blum and Hayes just talk about whatever randomly comes to mind.

"It's a combination of stuff I've had in my head all day," he said. On Tuesday, he and Hayes argued over British singer Ed Sheeran's luck with the ladies.

Blum dropped out of community college after one semester to pursue a career in radio. When he was in high school, he would visit stations in the metro Detroit area as often as possible.

"I would skip class a lot of the time just to hang out at radio stations," he said.

After high school, he landed a host spot at a country music station. From there, he was promoted to co-host and executive producer of a Top 40 station's morning show. A couple of years ago, he made the microphone a permanent part of his body, getting a tattoo of the device on his forearm.

Blum said on air he is personable, uses social media to attract a younger crowd and talks about lifestyle issues people like hearing about.

"Radio has changed so drastically," he said. "You're no longer this mysterious voice in a box. You're one of them."

Blum and Hayes interact with their listeners every night.

"We try to incorporate a lot of social media into it," he said. "We're really big on Snapchat."

Many listeners will send them videos asking what they are up to or requesting songs.

Although Blum said he is "extremely shy," he is confident in the studio and opens up to listeners.

When he first moved to the Coast, he shared a video of his empty apartment. He had been using a sleeping bag as a bed.

"The movers had lost my stuff for literally three weeks," he said.

Blum and Hayes do produce several clips throughout the night, including the "Say What? Story of the Day" at 6:30 p.m. and the "Random Question" at 8 p.m.

Blum said he hopes "Brady On Air" will continue its success in South Mississippi.

"The future of radio is about relating to your audience and listening to them, too," he said.

"Brady On Air" runs Monday through Friday from 6 -10 p.m. on 107.1 The Monkey.