10 Questions with ... DJ Steve Nice
July 14, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Radio veteran with a career that spans 20+ major-market years in the business.
1) You were a football player; how did you wind up in Radio and mixing?
Yes, I was a football player! A placekicker at Texas Southern (along with Michael Strahan) in Houston when I got my start in radio. First on the college campus station (KTSU), and I had a teammate (Jai Delai) who was on KBXX at the time. I pretty much bugged him daily until he and DJ Luscious Ice gave me my first opportunity to be a guest mixer. That was May 1992. I never looked back.
2) What came first mixing or radio? And how did it happen?
Mixing was my first love before radio. I credit my Uncle Oliver in Brooklyn, NY (who's STILL DJing!) for introducing me to the craft in the '70s. In the '80s, I began listening to DJ Ushy (RIP), DJ Snake and Dr. Rock on the radio stations here in Dallas, and Red Alert and Marley Marl in NY. Those were my early radio influences.
3) Weren't you also MD at K104? Did anything surprise you about the job?
I became MD at KKDA in 2006, thanks to Skip Cheatham. Fortunately I had previously worked under Robert Scorpio and Kashon Powell, and they gave me the proper tools to understand programming. And Skip was able to take it to another level.
4) How important is networking in mixing and radio?
Networking is extremely important on ANY level. Making contacts, picking up the phone, following up, etc. It's what we are trying to teach the younger generation that's coming up in this business. Despite all of the technology, networking is still (and will always be) a necessity.
5) You have already mentioned Scorpio, who else have been mentors or people who have influenced your career?
In addition to Scorpio, Skip, and Kashon, I would have to say Mike Love, Michael Hernandez (Westwood One) and currently George Cook either are or have been a huge influence on my career to this point.
6) There are a lot of independent acts showing up on the charts in Urban; how is this happening?
You're gonna see a lot more independent acts on the charts because the system/model of the business has changed greatly in the last 10-12 years. The artists have a direct connect to their fans via social media and other Internet outlets. The technology has changed the game forever.
7) How do you see the future for Urban radio and music?
I believe the future of Urban music and Urban radio will undergo a massive change in the next few years. It HAS to for the better. Listeners/fans are getting so much music at a much faster pace than we are used to. And WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE that. Radio and the music business is about the consumer. Not about US.
8) How you decide what to play in the mixes you do?
The music that I put on my mixshows is done from a combination of street research, radio research and my overall gut feeling. Can't go wrong with that. I'm not 100% (I have missed some records, I admit that), but I'm pretty good at it. Lol.
9) Your show is syndicated in several markets; would you tell us about it?
I have different mixshows in over 100 markets across the country. My company, Team 1200 Radio, is in 10 markets, including OKC, Shreveport and Little Rock. I also work for Westwood One's The Touch Radio (UAC) and Reach Media's DL Hughley Radio Show. So in addition to doing Mainstream Urban, I also do Urban AC. Staying versatile!
10) What is a typical work day like for you?
My workday starts at 5a. My first mix is at 6a on Dede In The Morning (K104)/Dallas. Then it's the gym around 8a, then the studio to record mixshows. Meetings in the afternoon (There's ALWAYS a meeting), and back to K104 at night for The Mixtape At 8 for our night jock, Cat Daddy. Also I record daily noon Throwback mixes for KQBT 93.7 The Beat in Houston. Then depending on the night of the week, spinning at area nightclubs or traveling on weekends for club gigs. Generally am 18-hour day on the average.
Could you tell us some things about you that might surprise people?
I'm a nerd at heart. Grew up that way. Thanks to my parents, I love to read. Read the Encyclopedia as a hobby. I'm full of useful/useless information. I'm always learning. It's a habit. I also volunteer to feed the homeless. Food pantries, soup kitchens, etc.
Would you explain why the perceptions of mixers and hip-hop acts are so skewed to the negative?
DJs and hip-hop artists have a negative stereotype about them because negativity sells. And the media is selling it at an all-time high. I recently saw Common backstage at The Essence Festival, and personally thanked him for "Glory." In my opinion, one of the best songs to date. Full of positivity and hope. Songs like that help shed a positive light on us. We need more!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank EVERYONE who has made a positive influence on my career. And my duty to each and every one of you is to strive for more success, and give back to help others. God bless all of you.