Every morning loyal listeners tune in to The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show on 106.1 KISSFM. Co-host Jose “J-Si” Chavez, a 34-year-old Mexico City transplant, is a fan favorite for his no-holds-barred sense of humor and down-to-earth sensibility.
And it’s no shtick. Chavez is earnest as they come.
From marrying Kinsey, his wife of 6 years, to welcoming his kids — Cason, 5, and Chloe, 3 — he’s always been an open book.
Even at 23, when he learned that the man who raised him wasn’t his biological father — his mother, who became pregnant at 17, had lied to him about his father’s identify — he shared the heartbreaking experience with fans.
“Our listeners know more about [my background] than some of our closest family members,” the Carrollton dad says. Some relatives don’t even know about some of the struggles Chavez faced on his journey to recognizable radio personality.
Chavez’ path involved living in his truck before breaking into radio as an intern, for instance. Now, a veteran of more than a decade, he helms the nationally syndicated radio show.
In 2013, when the show’s namesake died suddenly at a golf tournament fundraiser for Kidd’s Kidds, Kraddick’s nonprofit that takes terminally and chronically ill children to Walt Disney World, Chavez rose to the occasion in the midst of his own grief, standing in Kidd Kraddick’s place as ringleader of the popular morning show.
After all, the show must go on, and it has, with lots of success, too.
Did you always aspire to be in radio?
I’ve always been interested in entertainment, but in my family there are a lot of people in medicine. I was in the process of becoming a nurse and my counselor asked if there was something I’d always wondered about. I answered radio. Other counselors had told me, “You’re not going to make it.” She looked at me and said, “I think you should try it.” If it weren’t for that conversation, I would have never applied to become an intern.
Is there anything that’s off limits when you’re on-air?
I’m an open book, but it’s hard for me to talk about my kids. There are certain stories I don’t highlight because they’re going to get older and their friends are going to be listening.
Have there been any foot-in-the-mouth moments with Kinsey?
She’s always been so supportive of my radio career that she’s never doubted me or any stories I’ve picked to tell on the radio. She was the only person besides that counselor that didn’t laugh at me when I started going toward radio. She’s been the most supportive human that could have ever come into my life.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
There are so many people who listen to the show and have basically become family. My biggest fear is to let them down. When listeners reach out and let you know that you touched them or made them laugh … I would do this job for free if I could get those every day.
Favorite interview you’ve ever done?
I like the interviews with artists who are just starting out best. The two that stick out in my mind are Bruno Mars and Ed Sheran.
Did you always want to be a dad?
I always envisioned myself married with kids. I never looked at myself as a party animal or playboy. I pictured myself as the dad of a little boy. When I found out Cason was coming, life was made.
How are you different now than you were before you became a father?
It’s incredible how much more responsible you become.
How did parenthood change the dynamic between you and Kinsey?
As a husband, you become the third wheel. It’s hard to get used to at first. But my wife was always making sure I had what I needed, so that didn’t become an issue.
What’s your parenting style?
Most of the time I’m the good cop — with authority.
Favorite spots around Dallas to go as a family?
I like taking the kids to Studio Movie Grill, Pinstack and Dave and Busters. We go to Willowbend or The Galleria.
Favorite way to spend time on yourself?
Going to the gym. It sounds juvenile, but I like to go skateboarding. I like to play video games when the kids are sleeping. And I play guitar.
Favorite way to spend time with Kinsey?
My favorite thing to do is to make a Blue Apron meal together, grab a bottle of wine and watch Dateline.
What’s your best advice for new dads?
I hope they’re present in their kids’ lives. Nothing hurts me more than when I see a little kid trying to get his parent’s attention and the parent’s on the phone. You don’t know when it’s going to be your last day. Take in those moments and cherish them; they’re priceless.
What’s the best piece of advice on fatherhood someone else has given you?
When it comes to my son, to show that a man can have emotion. I don’t want my son to think he has to be a macho man. When it comes to my daughter, to take her on little dates so that she knows how a man’s supposed to treat her.
What do those dates look like?
She likes to go get milkshakes or ice cream. Sometimes we just stay home and she sets up a tea party or we play princess and prince.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t doubt yourself and don’t listen to what others think. Embrace the quirkiness you have and go toward your passion.