Lil’ D thank you for taking the time to talk to us. I know you from running in similar circles back in Bowling Green, Ohio. Little did I know I would someday be entering the field of work you were currently in. That field is radio – how did you get involved in the radio industry to begin with?
Well I never wanted to do radio. I was going to be a rapper; my goal was to be the next Tupac lol. When I was 17, back in Shreveport (Louisiana), I heard the night jock having a freestyle contest on air. I called in and won a few times. Then the new night jock came, and he did Freestyle Friday too. I won on his show 9 weeks straight, and he had to retire me. He kept my number, and would check on me from time to time. He wound up getting fired, and hired back. He called and told me he was coming back, and asked if I wanted to be on his show. I said “I guess.” And the rest is history.
Being in radio you’ve realized how important it is to market and promote yourself without any help or backing. You’ve started #WordEyeHeard Radio as well as G.I.R.L. (Grinding In Real Life). Describe the importance of self-promotion as well as what G.I.R.L. means to you?!
Nobody will promote you like you promote yourself. With so many people doing, and wanting to do, what I do, I have to find a way to separate myself. I started You Go G.I.R.L. because I wanted girls and young women to know that you can accomplish your goals and keep your morals. I was a straight-A student most of my life. Never been in any real trouble. Yet, I don’t have many memories of anyone simply saying, “you can do it. I believe in you.” So my self-esteem was non-existent until my 20’s. I thought I was ugly, nobody would ever like me, and I believed that I wouldn’t make it in radio without being like “all the other girls,” with a full face of makeup and revealing clothes everyday. The first time I looked in the mirror with no make-up and realized I was beautiful, was 4 years ago. I started You Go G.I.R.L. that year. If I can help 1 girl make a better decision because she believes in herself, my job is done.
I believe there was a certain time in your life while in your radio career that you were living out of your car/hotels…what was this like? How did it motivate/propel you to bounce back? What did it teach you?
After I got fired in Toledo, I was doing part time radio in Cleveland, but wasn’t making enough to move. Couldn’t afford rent, so I moved into a motel. A nasty, hot, motel that was $228 a week. When I didn’t have it, I had to sleep in the car. I remember having $9 for the week, because after the motel, and the gas money to drive to Cleveland for my show (Saturday 9a-12p), that was all that was left. My motel was up the street from a truck stop, so I would get the buffet to go, and eat off of it for a few days. Once I had a loaf of bread and peanut butter and jelly, and I ate 3 sandwiches for the day. And that was it. My dad said to me, “just come home and start over and get yourself together.” I said “I can’t. I’ll be out of radio again.” That’s when I realized how much I love this. One of my friends said to me, “as bad as things are now, that’s how good they’ll be.” I held on to that and was determined to make that come true. And I did. The biggest lesson I learned from that experience was that happiness is not tangible. I found out who really cared for me, and I loved myself enough to not give up, no matter how hard it got. I cook most days, simply because I have a stove. Think about that. Grateful doesn’t quite describe it.
If you could tell the readers one thing, what would it be?
I have no rhythm. I’m flat-footed and wear custom insoles in my shoes, so I won’t have pain when I run. I just learned how to do my makeup a year ago. I have thick, coarse natural hair. I pay every one of my bills on my own. Nothing ever came easily for me…..but everything has come.
Full article here.