Terry Torres is an undeniable presence behind the mic—dynamic, vulgar and totally hilarious, it’s not a stretch to see how she nabbed the Best Radio crown in this year’s Music Award poll (and as the first online-only radio host at that).
“My name came from my grandfather,” Torres, fresh out of the hospital after suffering from painful gallstones, told the Current. “He called me La Reina de la Calle, the Queen of the Streets.”
It’s been two years since Torres reworked that old nickname into the Kueen of Krunk alter-ego, taking it to the airwaves at Chop Shop Radio. The online broadcast—run out of the living room of station host and lead producer DJ Chop and broadcast 24/7 at chopshopsa.com—bills itself as SA’s number one source for local hip-hop and R&B. As her name suggest, Ms. Krunk is the kueen bee of the operation, using her Tuesday 7-9 p.m. broadcast to support any number of local artists and causes on her show.
“Our main goal is to support local artists,” she said. “It could be hip-hop, R&B, conjunto, as long as we’re holding up the community. I interview the artists about where they come from, about why they do it, and what’s the message they’re trying to get out to the fans, and getting out a positive message overall.”
Torres recounts one of her favorite broadcasts: “J.T. Street (host of Street’s Corner on Fox 29) came on the show a couple years back. I put him on the spot and made him freestyle with [local rapper] Kalu. His eyes about popped out of his head, but he went for it. He didn’t do bad, either.”
True to her focus on the local scene, it’s been through grassroots social networking that the Kueen has culled her fan-base. Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, even LinkedIn: you name it, Torres is on it. Of course she has also received a little help from friends in not-so-low places.
“Low G from Swisha House took me on tour with him, and I opened up for all his shows,” said Torres. “They all loved it, seeing a full figured woman who knows how to dance, knows how to drop it low. They just loved my energy, and have done everything to support me since.”
She’s also thinking beyond local.
“I’m looking up there with Monique, the next Queen Latifah, or George Lopez,” says Torres, a single mother of three who also takes care of three blind brothers. “[But] for now, I just want to get my bills paid off. It’s hard.”
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