10 Questions with ... Juan Hustle
June 16, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I'm from Nashville, TN by way of southern Indiana (Evansville). With industry experience gained over 12 years in the broadcasting industry, Mr. Hustle spent time in the following markets: Evansville, Terre Haute and Lafayette (IN); Indianapolis, Toledo and Gainesville (FL).
1) So you want to buy Michael Jackson's Neverland? How is it going so far?
It's going okay as far as the message spreading via social media. A lot of people are questioning it for the headlines. Some haven't even read what the mission was completely about. I plan to hit the streets this summer for more face-to-face interactions with listeners about what the cause is really about. If you follow me on social media, I make it well known that I'm a cancer survivor. Just know whatever I do will eventually come full circle with raising awareness about cancer.
2) You are a cancer survivor, what's that like for you and how do you share that others?
For me, it was the biggest blessing of my life being diagnosed with cancer. The fight for me came with the reward of giving me a new lease on life, as well as eliminating "cancers" from my personal life. Not everyone in your life is meant to be there past a season, but for some reason, I always tried to keep some around longer than needed. Before April 20, 2011, I had no true understanding of how valuable life is. I was raised by a single parent, my late mother, who passed in 2009. To be diagnosed, treated, and cured so soon after losing the love of my life, it granted me a spiritual connection that, to this day, is hard to put into words. I did an interview for "Cancer Today" magazine last year and to read about those around the country who went through what I went through, it gave me a sense that I was not alone. Today, I spread the message through charitable organizations and initiatives aimed at raising awareness, especially within the African-American community.
3) Have you ever been asked a question that threw you for a loop?
"How do I be like you?" I was asked that one day at a remote broadcast from a guy who was easily years older than me. I didn't know how to respond. Just said, "Be better than me." Generic answer, but listen, I was ill-trained on a question like that (lol).
4) How do you try and connect with the listener?
By being truthful and unbiased at all times. The platform is there for them to speak and I'm simply the moderator with an incredible sense of sarcasm and unmistakable talent of wittiness. Gotta learn to move through rough currents with a simply one oar.
5) Do you use your on-air status towards other business ventures? What sort of things have you done?
Yes! Listen, if my brand can help a business grow and we all making it make sense, why not divulge an honest truth?! I'm proud of what I do for a living and worked hard to get to where I am.
6) What do you like about radio?
I like the platform for what it is: spreading information. Whether it's information we don't really agree upon, the wheels stay turning and the ways to come across with your information are forever evolving.
7) Is there one thing that you would like your fellow jocks to do better?
Be brave and say what you really feel. Sometimes, I'll listen in and hear someone say something and I can just feel through speakers that it wasn't real. Better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
8) Do you have a list of people you admire in this business?
My top 5 (in no particular order) are:
Phillip March, Dir./Urban Programming, Alpha Media/Louisville
Phillip has been a mentor to me since the day he first picked up the phone and reached out to me. Even through times where I wasn't the right guy for a job, he gave me life/career changing advice on how to change the outcome in the future and taught me "no" just means it's not a "yes" this time and to not burn bridges.
Brian was my PD/OM during my time in Indianapolis. The advice he would give daily helped groom me for the years to come. He was also the first guy to fire me, thus giving me my "you're officially IN radio the day you get fired" stripes. Since then, he's continued to stay in contact with me and support each move I made.
Sam was a name I would hear from industry titans early on in my career. One day, I sat at my desk and decided to research him. Found that his career was everything (plus some) that I wanted for myself. His ability to move around from market to market and still hold great numbers, that's what I see in myself doing and have done since early on in my career. And the fact that he likes golf shows me he made it.
Aundrae Russell, KJLH PD
During my time in Toledo, OH, I was on-air during my night show and a call comes to my cellphone with a 310 area code. Listen, when someone calls from L.A., you just gotta drop what you're doing and answer. Aundrae (somehow, someway) received my aircheck. Still to this day, I don't know how. But in the few minutes we talked, he told me I sounded great and that I was the future of our industry. For a guy trying to make a name in the Midwest to get a call from the West Coast at a time when I wasn't sure this was what I was supposed to be doing cause I was working for a terrible company (we all have, I'm sure), that speaks volumes. That was the last time I literally called all my family and close friends and told them "I got a call from L.A.!" It was something he didn't have to do, but that little deed he did changed my outlook completely and fortified everything I set out to do. To this day, the minute I set foot in L.A. to simply visit the city again, lunch/dinner on me, sir.
Charlamagne Tha God
Charlamagne just been a guy I've followed for years now. I once applied to stations he worked for in his native Charleston, SC. Didn't get the positions, but from the conversations I had with those he worked for previously, I felt connected to what Charlamagne was about. From where he's been to where he is now, what better role model to have if you young and fresh in this industry. The way he comes across in his speaking during interviews and the underlying messages that come with what he says, I don't think he's appreciated enough. The man is a living, breathing, and walking legend and his future is just as bright as his light is right now. Charlamagne gave me something to believe in again, cause it was a time I wasn't believing anymore.
9) How important is it to know history?
History is of the utmost importance to me. The road you're on, somebody has been down it before, and you could learn a thing or two from those before you.
10) Is music so important to you?
Music is pretty influential in my day-to-day. I'm an even bigger fan of lyrical content, no matter the genre. My iTunes is pretty eclectic, and even the tunes in my car will make you think, "Who am I riding with right now?!"
What new challenges are you looking forward to?
Continuing to grow within the industry and with hard work earn some "stripes," whatever that may mean nowadays. I have a vision of being nationally syndicated someday soon. Let's continue to work hard and follow up a year from now to see what's new, eh? (lol)
If you hadn't gone into radio, what would you have done?
Easily would've been one of three things: trash man (listen, don't no one on the road get more respect than them), firefighter, or a funeral home director (always wanted to earn a doctorate for something, but don't care to see people suffer. Plus, people are always dying to come see you. Ha.)