I surf the web A LOT and I listen to a lot of different stations (mostly urban format) and one station in particular is Radio 103.9 (Cumulus Media) in New York City.
I found Roxie Digital on IG and admired how she would post show content about television shows such as Scandal, Love & Hip Hop, RHOA, and everything else that everyone else is talking and tweeting about.
She uses this information for her weekend show on Radio 103.9 which is one of the most important ingredients necessary to becoming an effective radio personality.
So of course, I had to reach out to her and ask if she wouldn’t mind sharing her expertise with This Radio Chick Rocks. She said “yes”!
Whenever you’re in New York or surfin’ the web (or in your app store), make sure you look up Radio 103.9, New York’s best mix R&B!
How long have you been in the radio business?
I have been in the radio business for 11 years!
Have you ever been in any other markets? If so, where and for what station?
What is more enjoyable/different?
All of my radio experiences have been enjoyable and different, but more importantly a learning experience that has helped me grow as a radio professional
What was it about radio that struck your interest?
What I love about radio is its intimacy and the influence you can have from the use of your voice.
Would you say it’s hard to work with/for women in radio than it is to work with/for men?
Radio is a hustle 24/7 for both men and women. Nothing is easy, but I would have to say as a woman, I have had some very unique experiences.
What do you think is the most challenging being a talent in your career?
The most challenging aspect of being a talent in my radio career is the hustle because everyday we see new changes and we are in the business of “keeping up with what’s new” so we have to do our jobs as well as be in the know of whats going on locally and globally and with the climate of our current culture—it can be a challenging task at times.
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?
Yes I do have a mentor in radio. My mentor is Deja Vu of 107.5 WBLS-FM in New York and she has helped me put situations in terms of my radio career into perspective especially during times that I felt little confidence. She is very motivational and has been the voice I need to believe that I am built for radio!
What do you think about most female personalities “losing touch” with those who aspire to be where they are? Have you ever experienced this?
I have not personally experienced fellow female personalities “losing touch” with those aspiring to be where they are, but I have seen it and I feel like that is a confidence issue. At the end of the day, it is about passing the torch. We are looked up to, the standard, and the teachers who give our “students the tools and knowledge” to make it to graduation.
(Roxie w/ Radio 103.9 APD, Raphael George)
How important is it for a female in your industry to reach out to other females to network, bond, learn, teach, etc?
To me, it is in my core to network and give back to others—-especially other females in the radio industry. It is important because there is someone to relate to, someone to learn from; a source to ask the questions no one else may be able to understand. Due to the nature of our business, support is essential or you get lost in the hype!
What makes a good radio talent?
A good talent does more than get on the mic and plays your favorite song. She gets in her listener’s head, she’s interested in likes and dislikes, she is involved in the community, she is as much a part of your life as you are hers ….she is just like you!
Is being an announcer where you want to retire? Do you want to lead in your industry at some point?
By the time I retire, I would love to provide opportunities to others in the radio industry by owning my own radio stations in both the US and the Caribbean. I want to cultivate careers and be the catalyst for a new breed of media/radio personalities across the country. I will do this through mentorship and building stations that will act as more of a learning institution than studios with mics!
Who are most difficult to work for: male/female managers?
In my opinion, male managers are more difficult to work for at times because of ego.
How challenging is it to come up with the topics of your show?
There is little to no challenge in coming up with topics for my show because there is always something going on in the world, locally, or personally…I draw from everything in life to engage my audience
What inspires you everyday in reference to your show topics?
My inspirations in reference to my show topics are music, the youth, what’s going on in our communities and love.
How do you respond to women in the media who become out of touch from those trying to reach that particular level of success?
I am an advocate for creating your own lane in life. We are all different in terms of how we reach our own success. My response to women in media who become “out of touch” is to allow yourself to step “outside the box” once in a while in addition to staying true to yourself.
There are many women in internet radio who consider themselves “true to the game”. Is there a such thing? Terrestrial radio verses internet radio.
Again, as previously stated in my last response to the last question, we are all in our own lanes and come with our own level of confidence. We are all working towards the same goal at the end of the day and that is reaching the masses through our message and using radio to get there. If the particular place you are in life is “true” to you then so be it—as long as you are doing the game justice.
Is there pressure to “look” a certain way in radio? (to be considered for hosting, television, other opportunities)
I do believe there is pressure to “look” a certain way, although it is radio, when it comes to hosting and TV opportunities, we all know the deal….the prettier you are, the longer hair you have, the skinnier you can be is always an advantage, however, thankfully opportunities are opening for women who can express themselves authentically with curves, short or natural hair that are just as beautiful and relatable —-I think society is moving is so many different directions that the pressure is dissipating
Have you ever been fired?
No, I have never been fired.
How did you bounce back?
Although I have never been fired, I am a true hustler and I can bounce back from anything with my unique skill sets
What genre of music do you like to listen to the most and why?
I listen to R&B and Caribbean (Soca/Zouk) music the most partly because I grew up on this music in my household and have worked primarily in Urban Contemporary/Adult AC formats. However, I do enjoy a mix of genres from Top 40 to Jazz.
What is your TURN UP song?
My current TURN UP song is …… “B*tch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna …lol
You’ve interviewed a lot of celebrities, was there ever a time you had an uncomfortable celebrity interview where it went terribly wrong? Describe.
I once had an interview with Swizz Beatz that was just uncomfortable because he just wasn’t into the interview. It was very early in the morning and he kept giving me one word answers and the interview was one way. I want to blame it on his early morning flight and fatigue and I definitely want a do-over ..lol
Who was the best celebrity encounter and why?
I always say the best celebrity I encountered was COMMON…he is so down to earth, personable, and funny!
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
The biggest misconception about me is that People think I NEVER sleep …totally NOT true …I get at least 4 to 5 hours a day!
Why don’t people get about music when it comes to radio?
I think people don’t get that we don’t just play anything on the radio …I can’t count the number of music I get submitted to me and people just expect me to play it right there on the spot! There is a process to everything in life folks! People’s actions as of late when it comes to music on the radio is definitely a sign of the times!
Who do you most admire in the radio industry and why?
The person I most admire in the radio industry is no longer in the industry but has definitely made her mark …it is Wendy Williams! I’ve always admired her for her bold approach on the radio, drawing people in with her stories (She is a great storyteller) and she is truly an entertainer. Wendy is definitely one of the best to do it—-Queen of All Media!
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
The best advice I ever received was from both my high school Social Studies teacher and former President of Def Jam and record exec Kevin Liles and they said “You will always be learning, it is okay to be an intern wherever you go because you are a student of life!” In fact, Kevin Liles even referred to himself as an intern at his present position in life and that he learns something new everyday! That advice alone helped me to appreciate my learning process in the industry and my journey.
What’s the biggest misconception about women in radio?
I don’t think there are many misconceptions particularly about women in radio as there are about women in media in general. I think women who are actively involved in multi-media platforms have the misconceptions that they are workaholics and do not have much of a social life. Part of this is true, but it is doable—you always make time for people and things you want in your life. I am living proof of all this!
Where do you see urban radio in the next 10-15 years?
Everything evolves ….Urban radio will be revamped and listened to differently! Artists are challenging themselves musically. Currently, we are in an age of social media and we are all expressing ourselves in an honest and authentic way! I am excited for urban radio in the next 10 to 15 years and being a part of the change!
What do you think is wrong, if you do, with hip hop and R&B?
Hip Hop is too generic and has no real message these days! I remember when people used to watch music videos or wait for shows like Music Box to see the latest video and artist interviews ….today that is non-existent! We are not as excited about the visual or lyrical part of the music industry anymore! It is sad when a culture is disrupted in this way, the music industry needs healing.
Who do you think is the most under-appreciated artist out there right now?
Who’s in your iPod/radar?
As far as who is on my IPod/radar …I am feeling Mali Music, Sam Smith, Drake, Jidenna, Jazmine Sullivan, Kendrick Lamar, and K. Michelle just to name a few
What do you want your legacy to be?
I always say I want my legacy to be that I created opportunities for others to grow, live their dreams, and fulfill their goals whether it be through creating jobs, mentorship or teaching others what I’ve learned through my personal and professional life! I want to be known for working towards the advancement of my community and moving the culture forward!
If you could give advice to someone wanting to be a radio personality, what would you say?
If I were to give advice to someone wanting to be a radio personality today, I would say take everything you learn in life as a stepping stone to helping you get closer to sitting in front of that mic! You will be surprised at how much your life experiences will contribute to your professional life. Also, hone in on your people skills and focus on skills you may not think matter but are very important..like reading, listening, communicating clearly with others, research, and socializing/networking at events. Its the little things that takes you big places!
Biggest regret is….
Ideally I can say “nothing” because everything in life happens for a reason….I truly believe that, but I do have to say I regret not pursuing a career in teaching. Initially I started out at St. John’s University Queens Campus as a Spanish major with intentions of teaching high school students, but that changed once 9/11 happened my freshman year and I made the decision to follow my inner dreams. September 11th was a turning point in my life and I am thankful of my decision to follow my calling in life. Although, I did not pursue teaching, God graced me with an even bigger blessing of allowing me to work with kids through my non-profit campaign, the No Disrespect Campaign! Again…everything happens for a reason!
How can people reach out to you?
Checkout these stories of some talented radio chicks around the US:
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