PRIDEINDEX: Tell us about the circumstances surrounding the founding of Get Bent Radio and why do you believe it’s so important to the LGBT community?
JONEZ: Bent Radio was founded in 2009.I was looking for a way to reach the entire LGBT community. Many others had already started doing online radio so I decided I wanted to produce a show of my own but not host it. The original host cancelled at the last minute. I found myself with a show but no host so I decide to host the show myself. For about a year I was joined artist Lester Greene co hosted along side of me then in fall 2010 I started hosting the show exclusively. Bent Radio is important to the LGBT community because it brings you real people topics and entertainment as it relates to our community. The content is presented in a way that is fun, interesting, and uncensored, but still on an informative level. We are also strongly supported by the mainstream community. Bent Radio seeks to make an impact on all who can benefit from our shows.
PRIDEINDEX: Describe any notable challenges you faced and how you overcame them to bring Get Bent Radio to the market place.
JONEZ: The shows were originally scheduled twice a month but with the number of shows on the market and start up shows popping up every day I found I had to increase the shows to once a week. It takes a lot to produce a show and then adding other projects I’m working on plus personal responsibilities it can be overwhelming but with time management and a strong will to succeed I make it happen.
PRIDEINDEX: How do you decide which topics to cover?
JONEZ: I try to seek out topics people can relate to and find interesting as well as topics that people want to hear about but won’t necessarily talk about. Bent Radio doesn’t force its views or opinions on others but we are not concerned with being politically correct. Our mission is to educate, entertain and inform, and this is the basis of our topics.
PRIDEINDEX: Where did you receive your formalized training in Marketing and Public Relations?
JONEZ: I actually have not received any formalized training in the field. I am self taught on many things. I’ve always had a Passion for writing, people and helping them with their individual endeavors. I love to give back. People would come to me often for advice with bios, press releases contracts etc. Working in this industry has also provided me the opportunity to learn firsthand from experienced professionals. My current position of several years as a Training Manager in a corporate setting has given me public relations experience to assist in bringing out the best in people. I apply all of that knowledge and use it to my advantage.
PRIDEINDEX: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about you or work?
JONEZ: I thinly the biggest misconception is that I somehow have it easy. This could be attributed to the calm easy going manner I usually display. With the industry being as demanding as it is and constantly changing I struggle just as hard as the next person on a daily basis in my goal to succeed. It’s an ongoing battle and the hustle never stops.
PRIDEINDEX: Tell us about Lez Nation and some of your other business ventures.
JONEZ: LezNation started out in 2007 as an online blog for lesbian women of color. The content included interviews, artist features and at one point a lesbian health section and a spirituality column. In 2009 it expanded to LezNation Media to include content for the LGBT in general. The blog itself is no longer in existence but LezNation Media serves as the umbrella under which Bent Radio operates. Past articles and features can occasionally be found on the Bent Radio website blog at www.getbentradio.com. Projects wow…2011 will be a very busy year for me. I’m currently involved in projects with KZONE187 which is the 24/7 online urban LGBT radio music station founded by my business partner Kaution Hill of Kaution Media Works. I am on the founding committee of Sisters of the Secret Storm and we will be hosting our first annual High Tea benefit this year in which proceeds will be donated to the fight against domestic violence. Bent Radio is also a sponsor for Team Big Leagues which will provide epic pride events for lesbians in 2011 which will cover the cities of Philly, DC, and NYC.
PRIDEINDEX: What do you like to do outside of your hosting duties at Bent Radio?
JONEZ: Outside of hosting Bent Radio I read every chance I get. I have southern roots so I love to cook and music has always been a big part of my life as well. I try to enjoy any down time I have peacefully because I’m usually very busy. In addition to Aurora Jonez radio personality I’m also a mother of two young men ages 17 and 21.
PRIDEINDEX: What’s next for horizon for you?
JONEZ: I would like to see Bent Radio on a more visual level. Video and television production is definitely on the horizon for us in the near future.
PRIDEINDEX: Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
JONEZ: I would like to thank all of my fans and supporters over the years LezNation and Bent Radio has been I’m existence. There’s nothing like making a difference whether it’s big or small. I am extremely humbled and appreciative that the community has accepted and Bent Radio and myself as a voice in our community.