10 Questions with ... Karlie Hustle
December 3, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KXJM/Portland, OR
- KDON/Salinas/Santa Cruz/Monterey
- XHTZ/San Diego
- WQHT/New York City
1. What initially got you interested in radio?
I wanted to work in the music business, but I thought I'd end up on the label side. Instead, I was discovered by Ebro Darden on the streets of Portland working with a local group on a Hip-Hop charity show. He saw my hustle and ended up getting me a gig at Jammin 95.5 on the street team. When I saw Mario Devoe crack the mic on his afternoon shift, I was like "I'm doing that!"
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist and a firefighter. Simultaneously.
3. It's been awhile but looking back, what was the biggest change in the move up from Phoenix to New York?
New York is a completely different lifestyle. I went from living in a city where everyone drives to a city where most people don't have cars. New York is fast. Also, it's expensive. I lived in a three bedroom house in Phoenix for $850 and here you can't even get a studio apartment for that much. You either sink or swim in New York City. There aren't safeguards like those that existed in Phoenix. It's definitely not a comfortable life and surely not for everyone.
4. If you could pinpoint one or two things, what makes living and working in New York so special?
There's not another place on the planet like New York. In any given day, you could high-five Jay Z on the A train or you could get stabbed by a homeless woman outside the bodega. It's really a roll of the dice.
5. Radio-wise, who were some of the more influential people in your development?
Ebro Darden is my ride or die mentor from day one. I've known him over a decade and he put me in the game initially. Marc Adams, Dennis Martinez, Bruce St. James and Rick Gillette are former PDs who have always looked out over the years and helped me to learn the radio business and refine my work ethic.
6. Any recent songs that have surprised you, particularly in how they have or have not been embraced by Hot 97's audience?
I think the Hot 97 audience is a lot more open-minded than we give them credit for. Yes, Hot 97 is the brand for all things Hip-Hop, but our listeners will rock to a Lorde "Royals" or Bruno Mars "Treasure" with no issue. It's all about the heart and soul of a song that resonates.
7. How do you think you've changed the most since moving to New York and starting at Hot 97?
I'm not as patient as I used to be. There's a lot that goes on here just to survive day to day in this city and I have a lot on my plate professionally as well. I think moving to NYC and working at Hot 97 has made me a better person-a more honest, efficient and no-nonsense person.
8. What would you like to see more of musically?
I'd like to see more New York artists get play in New York and across the country. In every city I've worked in, I've fought hard for the local scene. That doesn't stop just because I've made it to the top of the pile.
9. Radio could do a better job of ______________?
Radio could do a better job of realizing its own worth. We empower other mediums too much. It becomes a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.
10. What would you like to do better in 2014?
I've lost the smiley faces at the end of my emails. I want to get those back.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I value my quiet time a lot now that I rarely have any of it to spare. I read, watch documentaries, work out at the gym or take a boot camp class. I also love walking around the city when it's nice out.
If you were elected President of The United States today, what would be your first order of business?
I would impeach myself. I don't want that job.