Ohio based radio personality took the time out of her schedule to chop it up with us about her journey as well as the music scene in Ohio. Check our convo out below!
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.
You also do a thing every year called, ’12 Days Of Christmas’ – can you tell the readers what this is…
12 Days of Christmas gives 12 girls a chance to live their dreams for a day, by functioning in the career field in which they aspire to be. the process is filmed and turned into a mini-series. And the winners are invited to a “Present and Pamper Party,” where I provide hair/nail/makeup services snacks, and gifts. My panel and I pick from submissions, match each girl with a woman in the career field, and the spend a few hours together. 2017 will be the 4th annual project. This has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done with my life. For me, I wants girls to know, regardless of what you want to be, it’s possible, because there are already women dong it. We’ve had everything from a plus-size model, to a veterinarian, to a mortician. It’s cool because I get to learn too.
I was compelled to ask you this a couple weeks ago through text (this question would have never came up if we weren’t friends on Facebook) but where did you get the moniker Lil’ D?!
lilD is an acronym. The l i l stands for “life, intelligence, and love,” three things I keep with me. The D stands for my cousin Damon, my friend Doug, and my aunt Donetta. These are three people who have passed, who I keep with me. I usually lie and tell people my real name is Daryl lol
Do you have an end all goal in this entertainment industry? Is television something you’d wanna pursue?
My ultimate goal is to be on a syndicated radio show, have a Chuck Taylor endorsement, and a permanent building for You Go G.I.R.L. Those goals are currently on my vision board. I would love to do television, something like “Wild N Out,” where I can be goofy, but also something like “Law and Order: SVU.” I love acting and it’s always been something I wanted to pursue.
You’re also a cat person, did you grow up with cats or were they creatures you found to be loyal companions later on in life?
My family hates cats lol. I wanted a dog, but didn’t have time to house break one, so I got a cat. The black ones were half off, but when I put my hand up to the cage, my cat touched my hand with his paw, so I paid the extra money and got him. My other cat was an accident. I was at the vet and simply asked how much he costs. The vet brought him out and I bought him. I hate how people call me a “cat lady” because I have 2 cats. It’s annoying. I wouldn’t be a “dog lady” if I had 2 dogs. Cats were regarded as gods in ancient Egypt, and I think we have a lot in common: they’re independent, self-sufficient, smarter than people think, and can be jerks.
What is something that we can all as human beings learn from cats?
The biggest thing we can learn from cats is that everyone communicates in their own way. People say cats don’t love their owners. They do, but in their own way. One of my cats will sleep in whatever room I’m in. He won’t sleep in my bed or anything crazy like that, but if I’m on the couch, he’ll be in the living room. If I’m in the bed, I’ll wake up and see him in my bedroom. They’re very independent, but they show their love in their way. A lot of times, humans expect other people to react the way they would, and they miss that the other person is displaying the desired emotion, just not in a way you would like. Every action is a result of a person’s reality, so we must learn to step outside of ourselves and see life from their point of view, so that our perception is closer to their reality.
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.
You are originally from the south – what is something you miss about Louisiana?
I miss the FOOD in Louisiana!! We had gumbo for lunch in elementary school, and I didn’t know that wasn’t normal until I moved to Ohio. I miss Mardi Gras, Southern Maid Donuts, and Monkhouse Seafood. But most of all, I miss my family. Being able to sit in my mom’s room and just watch tv. Sitting on the porch with my dad and talk about nothing. I’ve been in Ohio 9 years, and it’s hard to miss so much. My friends have kids, my parents are getting older, my cousins are growing up. It’s a part of the game, but it’s hard.
Do you see yourself staying in Ohio the rest of your life or getting the hell up outta there at some time?
I have a lot of love for Ohio. I found my swag here, established myself here. But I want to go back to the south. Not Shreveport, but maybe Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, or Charlotte. No more snow!
Random but do you ever think how white of a state Ohio is? lol. Compared to places that I lived liked Vegas, New York, San Antonio…when I go back to Ohio it just feels off lol.
Ohio didn’t feel white to me until I moved to Columbus. Toledo, and especially Cleveland, can be so hood. Because I do urban radio, I’m going to be around a certain crowd. And the only place it’s been difficult to find that crowd, is Columbus. Some of the clubs downtown give off the impression that they don’t want black people in their clubs. There aren’t very many hip hop clubs here. I actually tell my friends that this is a “bigger, whiter Shreveport.” I can find urban events, but it’s a little harder. I love so many different things, though, so it doesn’t bother me.
Top 5 Favorite Rappers of All Time…
Tupac, Nas, Ludacris, TI, J Cole
Top 5 Radio Personalities of All Time…
Charlamagne Tha God (nationally syndicated morning show ‘The Breakfast Club’), Wendy Williams (former radio personality, current tv personality), DJ Hot Sauce (personality/Mixshow Coordinator/Mixer, WGCI Chicago), Jay Tek (personality/Assistant Program Director, Hot 107.9 Atlanta), Peetey Greene (the greatest man to ever touch a microphone; look him up.)
What city in Ohio has the best music coming out of it?
I love the music coming out of all the regions of Ohio because it’s so different, but overall, I think Cincinnati has the best music coming out of it. I’m southern, so I’m a little partial to Cincinnati. They’re so close to Kentucky that they have a slight southern influence. But the music is quality, diverse, and has a real future. Cleveland comes in a very close second.
What city in Ohio that you have been in has the best atmosphere?
I think Columbus has the best atmosphere. People here are the friendliest in the state. My listeners are so encouraging, from the moment I started here. I feel safe here. And I feel loved here. Cleveland is a very close second.
Highlight of your career thus far..
The highlight of my career was the 2016 12 Days of Christmas “Present and Pamper Party.” My grandmother passed in 2015, and I struggled to get through the project that year. The Present Party didn’t happen because it was the day of her funeral. So this year, everything went right. I was in that hair salon, watching these kids come in as quiet strangers, and leave dancing, smiling, and feeling beautiful with their hair, nails, and makeup done. Their parents were so happy and thanked me, but I wanted to thank them for raising such amazing girls. Seeing those kids happy, and everything gong right this year, was my grandmother telling me that she’s proud of me.
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.
Thank you for your time fam, but also thank you for being someone I can look UP to and look to for advice!