I get a ton of questions via social media and email from people all over the country inquiring about career and life. Since I can’t always get to them all I wanted to create this section to highlight some of them. Going to try my best to update regularly so check back often. Okay, C’mon…Ask me anything! xo, Devi
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN RADIO?
While I was still a student at Cal-State University Northridge in So. Cal, I worked on a couple online radio shows with a group of friends (who remembers Zombie Radio?!) and we started getting a big buzz in L.A for throwing parties and having big name guests from the underground hip hop world on our show. That’s how I really got my feet wet and learned how to network and share my personality. Soon after I was able to land an internship at 93.5 KDAY in Los Angeles with on-air personalities Tha Goodfellas who had a night show. I started out doing their show prep, getting them food, letting their guests in and finding ways to help build on their already amazing program. From there I started helping to book guests, doing a weekly entertainment report, and shadowing other shifts and positions at the station including working in promotions. Eventually I was able to work my way up to Music Director and On-Air personality. Romeo and Dejai were the first people to teach me radio and show me the ropes. I owe so much to their mentorship and support!
What are things about your journey in radio people don’t know?
It has not been easy! Most people see where you are but don’t see how you got there. I’m very blessed to do radio at a high level and make a living doing what I love but when I started, I spent the two years working completely for free while still holding down a full time job and going to school. Existing off 4 hours of sleep everyday, I had sleep down to a science…Sleep from 12am to 4am, and then start the day all over. Some of my early gigs before I had my own show included: Being an assistant at Universal Motown/IGA, Doing the weather and traffic report for the Steve Harvey Morning show, Being the local show producer (board-op) for Wendy Williams’ radio show and doing a nightly entertainment report (in the days before you could pull up stories on a blog) called “The Dirt With Devi Dev” for radio legend Theo’s quiet storm show.
You have interviewed so many different people in entertainment, which one is your favorite?
Hmm this is hard! There are specific things I love (and sometimes loathe) about each interview I do. Being a west coast music head, I still love a 2009 interview I did with Warren G because he shed light on his relationship with Snoop and Dre and the Death Row era (specifically why he wasn’t signed to Suge.) I had a lot of fun during one of my first interviews with Kanye because he was in a talkative mood and ended up sitting with me for 2 hours (His label has scheduled us for only 15 minutes!) and talking about his family and fashion (this was ’08!). This year I was blown away by my most recent interview with Kendrick. He shared so many life lessons he has picked up since fame and how traveling the world has changed his view of himself.
On twitter you post a lot of quotes from things you’re reading. What are some books you’d recommend?
Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser blew me away! The concept of how your brokenness can lead you to your best version of self is something I deeply love.
Hyena by Jude “Rude Jude” Angelini is a grouping of short stories about the authors life that manage to be shocking, vulgar and hilarious while being deeply reflective and poignant. I could not put it down!
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer changed me. Very simply put, it explains fear and the power of your thoughts. Then it shows you how to undo any thoughts and actions you practice that do not serve you.
Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson has me hype for greatness. Phil is my best friend in my head. What a big life he has led! Without having to have played for the Bulls or Lakers, this book gives you a look into why is one of the greatest sport leaders of all time.
How do I get into your field?
Internships are one of the most valuable assets in this field. Try and get several under your belt early. If certain internships are not available seek out mentorship opportunities, or a position on a street teams or promo squad. Specifically if you want to be a radio personality having a killer air check is essential. Make an audio reel that is formatted and lets your personality shine. If your not sure how to make one, a great tool is to listen to a few hours of radio to see how the personality on a show does talk breaks and transitions into and out of music. The biggest thing is to be consistent, cultivate a skill set and never take a “no” as absolute. There is always a road that will lead you to your dreams!
I follow you on Instagram and you travel a lot! What’s your favorite destination?
Travel is my passion! I love the whole process of packing, flying and discovering. Barcelona, Spain so far is my favorite place I’ve been for a few reasons.
- The food was INCREDIBLE! I had some fantastic mussels at one of Pablo Picasso’s old haunts that left me daydreaming about dinner for days.
- From a beautiful beachside to historic monuments to artistic and architectural achievements; Barcelona really has it all.
- Gaudi’s architecture! Read up on La Sagrada Familia and thank me later!
Why do you love Tupac so much?
Ha! Because he is the GOAT. Tupac was a revolutionary and visionary. His music reflects those qualities as well as his sometimes hypocrisy. Which I love, because we are all walking contradictions at times.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
Don’t take other peoples dysfunction personally. Sometimes we see life as a sum of what is being done to us or how things affect us personally. Once we stop giving the actions of others so much importance and stop seeing life as a battle we are trying to win…we gain peace. Peace, and actually, appreciation. Appreciation for the trials and obstacles. Life isn’t meant to be comfortable, it’s meant to make you become. Become who you really are. Become more of yourself. If nothing else, you always have control over how YOU react to life and to people. Knowing you have and wield that power is everything.