Monday, November 29, 2010
(Red Hot Interview) WIth Radio Host Melissa Sweets From Urban Latino Radio
Tell my readers who you are and what you do.
Hello readers! I am Melissa Sweets, grew up in the late 80's, half in Union City, New Jersey and the other half in Houston, Texas. I was lucky enough to be able to travel from a young age and be friends with people of all sorts of cultures & nationalities. I'm an only child and 2nd generation Latina from a Colombian mom and an Argentine dad. I grew up listening to salsa, merengue, freestyle, old school ballads, rock, alternative, techno, house, hip hop, and r&b. I fell in love with music at the age of 5. I played the violin, clarinet, and the piano. I used to sing in choir. I've always wanted to work in media and have tremendous thirst for knowledge. I read and write a lot. I ask questions about everything. I have to know everything. I love to stay informed and I love expressing what I think.
I started out doing A.M. and college radio. I went to college to minor in Communications and major in Media Arts. Right now I'm young, energized, willing to learn, and I help many up and coming artists and djs. I just love it -the music and the people.
I network, I connect with people that need models for photography, modeling, music videos, etc. I intern on F.M. radio for a NY Spanish station. I do all types of production work. I blog I direct photo-shoots then edit the best shots. I am always on top of everything, researching the latest entertainment news. I conduct interviews for concerts, big events, and movie screenings. I have my own website. I facebook, I tweet and I am on the radio. I host two shows: @Frnstageradio with Pretty Lou which is dubbed the most controversial online radio show on Mondays to Thursdays 10pm to 1am, where we interview the hottest artists, we do crazy topics that no one else will talk about and we bring up and coming artists to get judged live. I also have another show I co-host which is on Fridays @TheBadSweetShow from 1pm to 4pm with Bad Ass Brunette Rosie where we play the best tracks that people send us, we gossip, we joke, we talk about sex, and are always able to get our special guests to open up about their love life. Both of the shows are on www.urbanlatinoradio.com ; I also help produce @TheSyndies weekly TV show on www.thisis50.com with Maya the B, Randa, & J. I am continuously going to school as getting my masters is my goal. When I’m not doing any of this I'm with my 3 year old son, who is the love of my life.
How did you get into radio hosting?
I started out working at my college radio station in NJCU. As soon as I registered for school, I marched in there and introduced myself to everyone. They loved me and put on the mic right away. Soon after, I was re-introduced to an old dj friend who was then starting to work for a new am/internet station in Paterson, NJ. I started out as an intern but they needed a girl to get on the mic. I jumped on right away. If I wasn't at school, at work, or with my son, I was at the station. Sometimes I would bring my school, my work, and my son to the station!
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be a radio host?
Love music! Get a degree in the media field, you don't have to but you're ahead of everyone who isn't. Create a demo with your best work (interviews, drops, audio/visual) Create a youtube channel, twitter, facebook… social networking is key. You have to know people! Unfortunately, sometimes it’s about who you know not what you know. You have to have a great personality and be able to take criticism. You can’t show one ounce of insecurity. Always be confident. Smile even when you're feeling down. Be nice to everyone because you never know when you're going to need them. Plus, kill them with kindness, always be professional and don't lose focus. Always be cool.
What adversities if any have you faced being a female in the industry?
Ugh, what haven't I faced? Sexual harassment, disrespect, girls talking about you, cyber slamming, made up web pages talking about my personal life, inappropriate phone calls/texts. The list goes on and on, but since I am under no contract with anyone there is nothing I can do unless it leads to something serious. But you learn how to be tough and deal with it.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
I'm not sure how to answer this. I feel like every little thing I do is a big achievement all in its own. Whenever I am able to organize an interview with a great artist, it feels like an achievement to me. Whenever I am able to be on-air and entertain or inform an audience, it is my achievement. Whenever, I am at events interviewing guests, making them comfortable, able to start up a great conversation, and not just a boring Q & A, that’s an achievement.
Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
Still working hard, still in love with what I'm doing, and an important bilingual figure in journalism and/or radio. I've got the best of both worlds and I know how to use it.
What are your thoughts on the current state of hip hop?
It's evolving like everything should evolve. With so much technology at our finger tips of course it’s going to change. When hip hop first started in NYC in the 70s it was created through looping breaks with simple raps plus you can’t forget the beat boxing. They used hard funk, rock, and records with Latin percussion. Now you can hear all types of influences. It's always been a means of expression for the urban culture and it still is. Hip hop is not just music. It’s a way of life, and it will continue as long as people still have a love for it like I do.
What are your thoughts about the million mixtape djs that have popped up over the last couple years?
You can't stop people from doing what they want to do. I mean you could but then you'd go to jail. Anyways, maybe they suck but maybe they don't. No matter what people will do what it takes to promote their work. Technology has made it possible for anyone to be an overnight internet sensation. Some work hard, others don't. You can't hate either which way. It’s a catch 22.
What other endeavors do you have coming up in the near future?
I am currently working on a web series with an up and coming actor/director from Washington Heights. It’s basically a reality show and it’s the funniest thing EVER. It’s not scripted so we get to improv everything. We've got a great team plus I enjoy the comedy. Doing comedy is something I really want to continue doing.
What mass media sites can my readers go to to learn more about you and your impact on the game?
I have a website that is up and running but still a work in progress: www.MelissaSweets.com plus I'm hilarious on twitter. Check for me on @MelissaSWEETS yet, my Facebook is still my favorite for posting up random & daily stuff.