We met in LA! We walked down Rodeo Drive like we owned it! Taking selfies and waving at strangers as if we were in a parade!
In addition to the other radio chicks that I met during our 24 hour trip to LA for the Baggage Claim junket, radio personality Tasha Simone and I clicked almost immediately!
We discussed our passion for radio and wondered why it was so hard for other radio chicks to click the way that we did! I told her about the mission to create a female friendly network for women in radio and without asking any questions, the midday personality for Hot 1077 Birmingham was on board!
Tasha’s so cool, she didn’t even snitch on me when I “borrowed” the salt & pepper shaker from the Four Seasons Hotel restaurant. She a ride or die chick, for real! Haaa!!!
We tweet from time to time and we “like” each other’s IG posts but she dominates her market and I try my best to dominate mine!
She graciously accepted my request to do this interview and after a few weeks of not hearing anything, she sends my email with the title “KiKi’s million questions” (lol…very funny)
If you’re ever in Birmingham, Alabama, look up my fellow Radio Chick/DIVA Ms. Tasha Simone! Tell her I said hey!
Station (market/format/timeslot): BIRMINGHAM/ HOT URBAN AC/ MIDDAY 10-2
How long have you been in the radio business? 18 YEARS
How long were you in the television business? About 5 years consecutively. I hosted a few episodes of a video show circa ’99-’00.
What is more enjoyable/different? Well, I love elements of both mediums. I’m a media junkie in general. Radio is my heart and allows me to participate in creating theater of the mind. In television you have the assistance of visuals and graphics to influence and inform. I’m still involved in film on a weekly basis. It’s not live television. However, because I’m in front of a camera weekly that side of my passion for media is satiated.
Would you say it’s hard to work with/for women in radio than it is to work with/for men? Hmmm….actually no. Working with people is challenging in general. I am the only woman in programming, within our cluster, with her own show. As a woman, an African-American woman, in this position I am accustomed to stumbling blocks. Those blocks have been presented by both sexes. It is also my experience that I have been elevated by both genders. The truth is this, gender equality in the workplace is non-existent. It is an ongoing war. Wars are won battle by battle. I attempt to deal with personality battles before tackling gender wars in the workplace.
What do you think is the most challenging being a talent in your career? I’m unsure of what you’re asking here.
Did you (or do you) have a mentor in radio? If so, who are they and what have they helped you on in reference to your career? My mentor, B Brian, put me on the air the first night of my internship. Over the years his role in my professional journey has diminished, but I still put many of his lessons into play. We speak several times a year and I like hearing his opinion about things in general. I love editing. He was always very skilled in this area. The things he taught me about audio will forever be relevant. He also placed a great deal of emphasis on the relationship between a jock and their audience. Which is one of the reasons my listeners are so important to me. Without them, personalities would be like that age old question about a tree falling in the forest.
What was it about radio that struck your interest? Nothing initially beyond using it to fulfill my internship requirements. I desired to become a news anchor. Abba had different plans. THANK….GOD.
What genre of music do you like to listen to the most and why? I’m all over the place. I enjoy Ali Farka Toure, The Dells, T.I., Ledisi, Big Mike, The Clark Sisters,Gustav Holst, Lana Del Ray, Drummers Ear (aka Rae Sremmurd)……I mean, I really am all over the place. I grew up playing various clarinets and competed on a state level. So my appreciation for music runs deep. That list included African blues, R&B, Hip Hop, Classical, Gospel Oldies, etc…..so yea.
What is your LET IT GO song? (one that you would absolutely lose your mind listening to) Currently….there are two…..”Tuesday” – I Love Makonnen and “About the Money” T.I.
You’ve interviewed a lot of celebrities, was there ever a time you had an uncomfortable celebrity interviews or encounters where it went terribly wrong? Describe.
I read people and their energy well. A couple of years ago Case came by the studio and he seemed “off”. Yes “Touch Me, Tease Me” Case. He wasn’t in the mood to chat and I could tell. It wasn’t an ego thing. After he realized I was sincerely concerned he revealed he was just told his grandmother passed away.
The biggest moment that caught me off guard happened while chatting with Jill Scott. Actually she remembered our chat nearly seven years later when we met u at a press junket in LA last year. She said “How could I forget. You’re a rare bird.” At the time no media outlets knew what she dropped on me. She was getting a divorce. The weight of that information was tangible. I was the first in media to know. We had a very intimate chat that day. I’ll never forget it.
Who was the best celebrity encounter and why? I have had many. Most recently the time I spent with Aloe Blacc. When an artist is so engulfed in their conversation with you that they don’t want to leave…I’ve done my job well. His entire team was profusely grateful for how “prepared” I was for our chat. They were expecting the typical questions. Then they met me. *wink*
What’s the biggest misconception about you? That I have it all figured out. Guess what….I don’t. But I am working hard every day towards getting the answers.
Why don’t people get about music when it comes to radio? Perhaps that is a conduit that can shift your mood, life and expectations (or lack thereof).
Who do you most admire in the radio industry and why? This is a hard one. There’s a cat whom I don’t know much about but I enjoy his cadence. His name is Big Nat. I think he reminds me of a dear friend that died too soon, Bartell Coleman. On air he was known as Bartell Bartell. He was so fly you had to say his name twice! I enjoy jocks who are effortless, original and genuine.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? “No one can be a better Tasha than Tasha.” One more….”to be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. And when you arrive late it’s as if you’re not present at all.”
What’s the biggest misconception about women in radio? Perhaps that we are always the support to the man in charge. That we are only good enough to be the “sidekick.”
Where do you see urban radio in the next 10-15 years? Placing the emphasis back upon the talent presenting the stars of radio…the music. Perhaps a return to the importance of “live and local.” With less syndicated programming.
What do you think is wrong, if you do, with hip hop and R&B? There is such a blending of music happening. The notion of crossover is fading because no one sings alone anymore. Technology has spoiled the human race. We want instant gratification and that is reflected in music today. Men no longer seduce women with enchanting lyrics. Women are more aggressive than men in their lyrics. Because nothing is shocking anymore people lack an appreciation for the demure.
Who do you think is the most under-appreciated artist out there right now? Joe. That man presents real life content on tracks that go hard while still remaining sexy and seductive. I think people sleep on Joe.
Who’s in your iPod/radar? The music I’ve been attempting to digest includes the new D’Angelo “Black Messiah,” Mary J. Blige “The London Sessions,” and J. Cole “Forest Hills Drive.”
What do you want your legacy to be? That I love the Most High God. I truly love and edify people. That I always shared knowledge that was conducive to people becoming better in some capacity.
Biggest regret is….
I thought I had an answer for this question. However, the more I pondered the more I’ve become one of those people who doesn’t “do” regrets. All the challenges of life are purposed. If I spent my energy having regrets I wouldn’t have very much time to live. The regrets exist….but I try to leave them very little room for them to survive. It’s a process.
How can people reach out to you?
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