Alichia Cruz is a true #RadioChick! You think you know her as one half of The D.A. (co-hosting w/ Dre Johnson, Saturday’s from 3P to 7P on 92Q) but she’s been a spit-fire in this game for a long time.
I met Alichia Cruz (I can’t really remember) after I started working at Radio One and since then, she and I have bonded like true sisters; talking about our children (she’s a mother of two), our relationships, radio, life, you name it!
She’s funny, honest, creative, smart, talented and nurturing. She loves being in radio but being a wife and mother is what she’s most proud of! One of the reasons why I admire her so much! Read her story to find out more.
92Q Baltimore / Urban / Saturday 3-7PM & The Bill Press Show D.C. / News & Talk / Mon-Friday 6-9AM
How long have you been in the radio business?
About 13 years, give or take…I started fresh out of high school and took some breaks in between gigs.
Who helped you get your start in radio?
All of my teachers at The Broadcasting Institute of Maryland were really great mentors, especially my radio instructor, Bill Riley.
Damon Shannon aka D’Shan, former Program Director of WOLB AM (92Q’s Sister Station), was the first person to hire me as an unpaid intern and later put me on payroll as a part-time Board Operator & Promotions Assistant. I was so grateful for D’Shan because he was the only Radio One person to respond to my hundreds of voicemails. I literally called and left messages for every single jock on 92Q and reached out to handful managers on all of the Radio One Baltimore Stations.
George “Wookie” Kreiner, former Programmer of Ocean City’s OC104 FM, gave me my first on-air job or allowed me to audition for it. I had to compete against two women that had zero radio experience…so yeah, good thing I got that job. That would have scarred my ego. I was 19 years old and I can’t even tell how overwhelmed I was to get that low paying Morning Co-Host job. I was sittin’ on top of the world…*cue the Brandy instrumental*
Are females harder to get along with in radio?
I wouldn’t say “harder”…It’s more like “different”. I feel like sometimes you have to take a little more caution when dealing with certain females but really that also applies to certain men that I’ve come across in the business. Honestly though, I can’t recall having any issues with any fellow female jocks…I’ve been annoyed a few times but never any real conflict. I think it could be that we are typically the minority and tend to empathize for each other, especially the moms. Sadly, radio is not a mom-friendly occupation.
Do you think it’s a lot of competition?
In general yes because there are ton of people that would love to do what we do…. but on a personal level, I really don’t stress over it. I am probably being overly optimistic and hippy-like saying this but I feel like there is only one Alichia Cruz and as long as I do “me” to the best of my ability, continue to get better, learn, grow, and push myself forward…I will be ok. I’m only competing with myself.
What is your LET IT GO song? (one that you would absolutely lose your mind listening to)
I have a few.. I really lose my mind to but the one that has comes to mind is a classic Michael Jackson’s PYT… it takes me back to my debauchery filled bartending days.
You’ve interviewed a lot of celebrities, was there ever a time you had an uncomfortable celeb interview where it went terribly wrong? Describe.
I did a phone interview with legendary director, Bill Duke, once and it was after a long hiatus from being on-air. I was mainly a production geek during that time and I wasn’t prepared mentally …It was so dry and I really sounded nervous and just extra green. I’m sure he was like “who gave this rookie my number?” Luckily I was able to edit the crap out of the audio and salvage my dignity.
Who was the best celebrity encounter and why?
Hands down Paul Mooney!!!Funny part is I wasn’t even in the biz at the time. I randomly saw him coming out of the Laugh Factory on 42nd in Times Square and with liquid courage, I approached and complimented his work. To my surprise, Paul looked around and at his watch and said, “you got somewhere to be? You wanna grab a quick drink right over there?” and pointed to a bar about a block away. I was stunned but agreed.
So we had a drink .and I got a few questions in but like a true artist /comedian, he was more interested in my life. I learned that we are both LEOS, which may explain the instant coolness between us…but the most indelible piece of that conversation was he asked about my nationality.
When I told him my dad was from the Philippines, he said
“Oh so you are n***a then! You know your people are the n***as of Asia!”
I laughed but he didn’t. He was like “no seriously, look up Negritos. They are little black people that were on those islands before the Asians and Spaniards came along.”
I was amazed. After our one drink, he hopped in a cab headed up to Harlem and I jumped on the bus back to Jersey, with my mind completely blown. Did Paul Mooney just take me to school? Why yes he did. The info he shared was not only funny in it’s delivery but it was accurate. For this he was the best celeb encounter.
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
Not sure about the biggest but when I meet folks at events, they are shocked that I’m down to earth, easy to talk to, and friendly.
What don’t people get about music when it comes to radio?
I think the main misconception is that the jocks can pick the songs and how often they are played. Unfortunately, that is not the case in terrestrial radio.
Who do you most admire in the radio industry and why?
I love Wendy Williams. I don’t get to watch her show much but I love her “come up” story. I love her honesty and fearlessness. I know she goes in on people but she also checks herself when needed, well at least in her books. She was very honest about her past and mistakes. I respect that. When I read her autobiography and couldn’t put it down. I love her tenacity and individuality the most.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Happiness is a choice! Choose to be happy!
& You are what you think. Meaning your life is just reflection of your thoughts.
If given the chance, I’ve always wanted to try:
Being a jingle singer or being like an Ashanti….and sing some hooks lol. I’m a beast shower singer.
What’s the biggest misconception about women in radio?
We’re all DIVA-like.
Where do you see urban radio in the next 10-15 years?
I see it becoming more sophisticated and creative…but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
What do you think is wrong, if you do, with hip hop and R&B?
There is a lack of depth, soul, truth in most hip-hop and R&B…and I think of the urban music we hear focuses on the superficial. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a prude but some balance would be nice. I love a good ratchet or party song like the rest, but I also like substance. I haven’t too much substance in a while.
Who do you think is the most underappreciated artist out there right now?
Beyonce, lol just kidding. I do think however, that in certain industry circles, Rihanna, doesn’t get the props she deserves. She was an Island girl with regular poor island parents. She was a wild card, I’m sure. She gets flack for her lack of range but the girl has hits, many hits.
I also think B.O.B. is underappreciated. He is a true musician that actually plays instruments. He can also really rap and freestyle…he got them bars son.. I think he doesn’t get as much street love because he’s had so much mainstream crossover success.
And I think Fabolous is underappreciated, as well…I think he has the rare talent of rapping to women without sounding corny or trying to be sexy. He makes you forget all about that janky tooth.
Who’s in your iPod/radar?
I really like the new B.O.B song and I’m interested in hearing more as he progresses. I think he’ll be around for a minute or two. I’m also still rocking loving the Beyonce album..i love how she flipped game and went against the grain. Courageous…ballsy…love it!
What do you want your legacy to be?
Deep question… A great mother, an innovator, a good person and I hope to inspire as many people as I can in this life.
Biggest regret is….
I don’t have any. I needed to have all the setbacks and bad experiences to grow, be humbled, understand my strengths and value what’s most important. The only thing I would say to my past self if I could is…
don’t show all your cards,
nothing great comes easy and
make this life your masterpiece.
How can people reach out to you?
IG & Twitter @tweetACruz
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER/IG @JustKiKiBrown
FAN ME ON FACEBOOK @MsKiKiBrown
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