It's 11:30 on Friday morning, two days before the Miami Grand Prix, and the Jonas Brothers are rehearsing in the performance space at SiriusXM's gleaming new Miami Beach studios. The siblings are about to play a brief "unplugged" set for a handful of fans, but the satellite-radio broadcaster is taking advantage of the trio's presence to record more content.
The "Celebrity Session" set will be broadcast later that day on Hits1, SiriusXM's Top 40 station. The Jonas Brothers also will record two interviews with the Hits1 hosts, one with a fan Q&A before the set and one with a program director from the adult-contemporary station, the Pulse. They finish off by recording radio bumpers, rapid-fire, Krusty the Clown-style.
Previously, the satellite-radio broadcaster, which runs more than 150 full-time channels to more than 34 million subscribers, could only have done this kind of thing at its existing studios in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Nashville. By opening the facility in Miami Beach, which includes studio and recording spaces as well as office space for marketing and business employees, it hopes to take advantage of the city's growing cultural capital as a high-end destination popular with celebrity musicians (Joe Jonas lives here, for instance) as well as its prominence in the Latin music industry.
"Miami has always evolved, always been a passionate hub for music and the arts," says Scott Greenstein, president of SiriusXM. "We want to try to find a way of making the first bilingual, bicultural studio here."
The company has been using the studio space at 23rd Street and Collins Avenue since late March, hosting shows during Miami Music Week with acts like Diplo and Rüfüs du Sol. However, SiriusXM decided to time the grand opening with the Formula 1 race and brought in plenty of talent to mark the occasion.
The Howard Stern Show, the company's crown jewel, aired live from the Miami studios May 1-3. LL Cool J, who emceed the drivers' introductions before the race and features as the voice of Rock the Bells Radio classic hip-hop station, hosted a show with DJ Khaled, Uncle Luke, Trick Daddy, and Trina. Bravo host Andy Cohen hosted his radio show from Miami, and Jon Bon Jovi recorded a session for his band's Bon Jovi Radio station. SiriusXM also covered the Miami Grand Prix all weekend, including a concert at the track by Maluma, and broadcasted the race live.
Of course, the company is most excited about the new studio helping to increase its Latin-music footprint. It's launching a new Latin pop channel, Hits Uno, which will broadcast music from Bad Bunny, Rosalía, Karol G, and Rauw Alejandro. Plenty of Latin music stars visited the studio during the opening week. Carlos Vives performed a live set for the Caliente channel on Thursday, while Becky G appeared for a live town hall on Friday.
Mr. 305 himself, Pitbull, also came into the studios for an interview on his exclusive channel, Pitbull's Globalization. The company has long been affiliated with the performer and his SLAM charter school network, even supporting the student-run SLAM Radio Network, which airs on SiriusXM channel 145. Greenstein hopes the new studio can provide an even greater resource for Miami.
"I'm hoping we discover talent in Miami," he says. "We've seen the quality of young talent that can come out of here."
Programming from SiriusXM's Miami studios is available for subscribers live on satellite transponder-equipped car radios and live and on-demand on the SiriusXM app and website.