My Unsung Hero: One On One w/ My Mentor Neke Howse

2014-06-10 06.31.52

Neke Howse is the reason I’m working in Baltimore! She’s the first person I called when I was told “we’re moving in a different direction” from my radio job in Pittsburgh.

Let me take it back for a minute: she and I actually met at that station, when I was her intern for her night show at WAMO. I pulled her commercials, got her Chinese food and made her phone calls. She put me to work honey!

If you never worked with Neke Howse, I would say that’s a good and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because you’ve never experienced working with someone who is so passionate about what she does. It’s bad because you really missed out on working with someone who is really passionate about what she does.

Neke was hard on me and for that I’m forever grateful! If it weren’t for her lessons about life, love, career and everything else, I don’t know where I would be today. She didn’t (and won’t) beat around the bush or sugar coat anything. It’s not her thing!

She was the ONLY woman who told me that I was “valuable” and “just as important” as anyone else in this business. When I was let go from my job in Pittsburgh, I was broken and confused about who I was going to be or what I was going to do next.

She listened to me whine and cry, then said “ok, I’m going to say this one time. You’re going to be fine. You are now ready to move on to the next step. You can’t appreciate where you’re going until you realize where you came from. That was just your first step. You have more to do and further to go. You needed this. Now let’s get to work.”

I did EVERYTHING she told me and she did EVERYTHING she could do to help me. She didnt’ hold my hand. She trusted that I heard what she said and that was that!

Neke hired me as a part timer for 92Q. I would drive from Pittsburgh, stay at a hotel across the street from the station and work whatever shift she needed me to work then drive back. It was what she could do and it was up to me to take it and make it mine.

God blessed her with a management job that promoted her to one of the top markets and she left me to fill her shoes. Although she’s a tiny person, those were some big shoes to fill. People still think I am her (people think we sound alike..I can’t tell).

Neke Howse is my mentor, my sister, my inspiration, my “love you, K?” buddy! (inside joke)

I hardly see her because she’s busy running things in DC (WKYS) but I know that if I ever needed her for ANYTHING, she’ll be there! And for that, I am forever indebted to her!

If you ever questioned how I got here (Baltimore), Neke Howse is the reason: (Thank you sis)

Neke Howse 1

Where are you from? I was born in California but my home has always been where I reside at the time.

How long have you been in the radio business?  Whoo a long time over 10 years and it seems like yesterday.

What don’t people know about you? I’m shy until I get to know a person.

What genre of music do you like to listen to the most and why? As K. Michelle would say “I love em all”

What is your LET IT GO song? (one that you would absolutely lose your mind listening to) Gucci’s “I think I love her”

You met lot of celebrities, was there ever a time you had an uncomfortable celebrity interview/encounter where it went terribly wrong? Describe. Yes, I came right out the box with a ratchet question. I did not even warm the artist up.  She politely told me about myself. I learned from that experience and I still feel horrible.

Neke and Kelson (Neke and Kelson) 

Who was the best celebrity encounter and why? It really was not my moment but Kelson’s moment. He was going to meet his favorite artist Mary J. Blige and he was so nervous that I told him let me talk for you. I looked at her froze then started to stumble all over my words. I screwed everything up for him. You had to be there it was hilarious!  I think we both scared her a little. We came across as two weirdo’s. I’m sure of it.

What’s the biggest misconception about NEKE?  People assume that I’m spoiled.  And for some reason I look intimidating.

Why don’t people get about music when it comes to radio? If you have a song playing on the radio that does not make you a star nor does it necessarily put money in your pocket.

Who do you most admire in the radio industry and why? Wow, I have admiration for a lot of people this would take all day for me to answer.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? “Mean what you say”

Neke and Melanie Fiona (Neke and Melanie Fiona)

What’s the biggest misconception about women in radio? I’m not really concerned with misconceptions about women in radio.  I have bigger fish to fry.

Where do you see urban radio in the next 10-15 years? Not sure but I’m very hopeful.

What do you think is wrong, if you do, with hip hop and R&B?  Music comes from such a creative place I don’t really think you can say anything is wrong with it…Can you?

Neke and J Cole (Neke and J Cole)

Why is your job important in radio?  I am pretty much responsible for everything that comes out of the speakers….not sure how important this is but its hellafun!

Why is it so difficult for women in this industry to become leaders in this industry? I don’t think it’s difficult at all. I think you can achieve anything if you work hard and have faith in yourself.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Operations Manager for a cluster.

Favorite catch phrase? “Cool beans!!!”

Who do you think is the most under-appreciated artist out there right now?  The most under-appreciated artist are those who pour their heart into their music but have nothing to show for it.

Who’s in your iPod/radar? I love Stevie Nicks…she will forever be on my radar.

What do you want your legacy to be? That I paved the way for others in this industry.

Neke 2

Biggest regret is….I don’t have any regrets so far…

If you could pick a snack that you could eat all day and it wouldn’t add on any calories, what would that snack be and why? (it’s weird but I’m curious lol)  I could eat almost anything with caramel sauce on it.

How can people reach out to you? Twitter/ Facebook /Instagram @yagirlneke



promo pic 3

 These Radio Chicks Rock too!

The Jazzy, TV, Radio, Media Mogul Chick: She’s Angela Stribling!!

The “Make It Happen Mogul Mommy”: One On One w/ Mugure Crawford

“Google Me Baby!”: One On One w/ iiKane

This Chick 2Pretty For Me: One on One w/ Brittany Waters

Find Out What’s Really Poppin’ w/ Deja Perez!


Published by Ki Ki Brown

Media personality, CEO Nice 2 Media Marketing & Promotions, LLC and Forever a RadioChick that ROCKS!

6 thoughts on “My Unsung Hero: One On One w/ My Mentor Neke Howse

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: