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interview Devi Dev  (February 2009) | Interview By: Jonathan Hay

   You may or may not recognize her face, but you will most definitely recognize the voice behind one of the most prestigious radio stations in the world Ė L.A.ís renowned airwave queen, Devi Dev. Passionate about her job serving as one of radioís top DJís at KDAY - - 93.5 The Beat FM (The Heart and Soul of L.A.), Devi Dev is an inspiration to woman all across America as she set out on a mission to conquer Ė and that she did. With sheer willpower and plenty of sacrifices along the way, Devi Dev worked around the clock and grabbed every opportunity she could, climbing her way to the top.

Now, sitting tall in a top spot, Dev is using the same passionate spirit that brought her to the pinnacle of her broadcasting career to motivate and encourage young people everywhere, hoping to open their eyes to a whole world of opportunity.

As she dishes to Dubcnn about her life working for KDAY, Devi Dev reveals everything from her most treasured interviews, to her aspirations to bring a cultural and political awareness to the youth in this exclusive Dubcnn interview.

As ever, be sure to leave your feedback in our forums or email them to haywire@dubcnn.com.

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Interview was done in February 2009

Questions Asked By: Jonathan Hay

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Devi Dev Interview
A Womanís Touch (The Special Dubcnn Series)
By: Jonathan Hay
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Dubcnn: What is your day to day like working for KDAY, one of the most prestigious radio stations in the world?

Hectic, to say the least! (Laughing) I wear a lot of hats at the station. So, in a typical day Iím coordinating on-air promotions, serving as APD and MD, and handling my On-air Bia. I see the station more than I do my house. And, of course, when Iím off, Iím in networking mode, headed to the next spot and the next hustle.


Dubcnn: With you holding down one of the top positions at the highest level of radio broadcasting, what is your next personal career milestone goal?

I really want to branch out into TV. Since a young age, I have always had a passion for broadcasting and community. I would love to tie those two together -- think Teen Summit but aimed at bringing a cultural and political awareness to the youth. So many kids growing up, especially in the minority communities, thinking the world consists of their six-block radiusÖbut there are so many things you can be, so many things to do and to learn. To quote my Homie, Charlemagne: ďIntelligence is the new Gangsta in Ď09Ē


Dubcnn: Do you ever still get a little nervous before you go on the air?

Nope. When Iím on air Iím just being myself, and since Iím never nervous to be me, I figure I shouldnít tense up (laughing). Sometimes though, when Iím interviewing someone Iím a fan of, it can be a little intimidating.


Dubcnn: When you do an interview, how prepared are you? Do you have all your questions ready, or it is more spontaneous?

I make a mental outline before hand, basically of the time break down and what I want to make sure I hit on; but other than that, itís all straight off the dome and spontaneous. A lot of times you end up with a better interview by free styling and letting the artist lead themselves then you would have by doing a full-on Q & A.


Dubcnn: What is your all-time favorite interview that you have ever done?

I have two: the first is interviewing Game on Election night from the set of ďCamera PhoneĒ for HardKnock.tv because he was so inspired and awed as history was made and Barack was elected. The second was when I did a Kanye West Takeover on my show for 93.5 KDAY. Iím a huge fan of Kanye, as an artist, and it was fun to pick his brain and see what makes him tick.


Dubcnn: On the other hand, what is the worst interview you feel you have ever done?

Luckily, I havenít had any bad ones that I can think of. I did one once with my homegirl, Bombai, and Ne-yo that was taken wrong by a lot of bloggers. We were just addressing the Yung Berg/Chris Brown comments he had previously made and some folks apparently thought I was instigating. I got a lot of Yung Berg fans hating me after that, but it was really, really taken out of context. Ne-yo and I were joking around, and next thing I know, Iím getting angry Berg fans flooding my inbox! That situation was a hot mess. I canít stand Keyboard Thugs.


Dubcnn: Speaking of interviews, is there anyone you havenít had the opportunity to interview that you would like to?

So, so many! I would love to interview Oprah, to be honest. She is one of the most influential and powerful people in the world -- and a huge inspiration of mine. Artist-wise, I would have to say Ice Cube, Common, Rakim and Nas top my list. I would say Jay-Z too because he is such a staple in hip-hop culture and globally respected, but I donít think he would be too forthcoming during an interview (laughing).


Dubcnn: Obviously having a degree in broadcast journalism helped you land a pretty nice job; but how has your degree helped in other ways throughout your career? In other words, how has your education helped you?

Iím a huge advocate of people going to college. For me, going to school was a great experience. But to be honest, even though it prepared me for a lot of things, college hasnít gotten me a job yet. I started off interning at the station and at Universal Music Group and just grinded and took opportunities as they came. You have to use the tools you have, like education, etc. and accompany it with passion, lack of sleep and a hustlerís spirit.


Dubcnn: Have you personally broken a major hit record that was exclusive to you?

Unfortunately, none [that are] rap related. We were the first station in the country to really break Jazmine Sullivanís ďI Need You BadĒ -- which turned into eight Grammy Nominations for her -- and we gave Bishopís ďGrow UpĒ a huge push, courtesy of the legendary Mr. Choc.


Dubcnn: Have you ever been approached by a celebrity who was upset over content discussed in ďThe Dirt with Devi Dev" show?

Never! Iím not that type of entertainment reporter. I donít get into all the drama or negativity -- Iím not with that. Personally, I donít care enough about ďGossipĒ to push it like that; I try to add a positive/informative twist to the stuff Iím talking about. I wouldnít want a celebrity to talk sh-- about me, so I extend that same courtesy to them (laughing). There are enough haters and obstacles in the world without radio folks pushing that through the airwave, too.


Dubcnn: Have you ever been in a situation where you could have exposed some real dirt on an artist and chose not to? If so, why did you choose not to do it?

So many times! (Laughing) The industry is a very small world. You see a lot, you hear a lot, and youíre exposed to a lot. But if itís not my business then I have no reason to speak up on it, and even if it is my business Iím not gonna speak up on it (laughing).


Dubcnn: Do you think Rap Beefs are played out?

Beef is played out! Iím a vegetarian, so Iím used to Tofu. (Laughing) So much negativity is draining. Stuff like the 50 cent and Rick Ross situation is entertaining, though. 50 had me rolling with that curly video! But when itís beef thatís closer to home, on the West, it makes me kind of embarrassedÖI hate that this coast is so divided.


Dubcnn: Who are your top five favorite emcees of all-time?

Oww WeeÖ.okay here I go, in no particular order: Tupac, Q-tip, Crooked I, Common, Jay-Z. Yo! I canít stick to just fiveÖI got to throw DJ Quik and Rakim in there, too. Thatís my top seven. (Laughing)


Dubcnn: You definitely went on a personal soapbox for Barak Obama during this election -- How much of a difference do you think we will actually see, and how quickly can people expect to see any changes?

Yes, we did! Itís such a blessing to be alive right now and experiencing this monumental time in history. Iím not expecting any actual definitive changes until next term. The next four years will be spent cleaning up the huge mess that George Jr. left our country in. But one of the most incredible things to me about Barack Obama is that he is truly a Lifestyle Brand. Barack being elected has already changed so much in this nation in terms of the way people think. For so long we have been an extremely self-focused and selfish society. Barack changed our thinking from being ďMeĒ and ďIĒ to being ďWeĒ, ďUsĒ and ďtogetherĒ. Volunteering and community endeavors are at an all-time high. Weíre all a part of something that we made.


Dubcnn: With the music industry also in a recession, what do you foresee for the future of the music business?

The game has got to change. Labels need to get a better grip on the whole digital revolution and think of new ways to market their artists; theyíve given up on putting in money for street promo because their prematurely thinking they can get away with only doing digital stuff. There needs to be a better balance of the two, and they need to get behind their artists more.


Dubcnn: What is your involvement with P.E.T.A?

I believe in the ethical treatment of animals. Iím a vegetarian and I always try to convert the people I know (laughing). The way we treat the animals we farm is disgusting.


Dubcnn: How do you feel about the current West Coast hip-hop scene?

Iím very excited about it! There is so much talent out here, and so many different sounds: Glasses [Malone], Bishop Lamont, Crooked I, Mistah F.A.B, U-N-I, Jay Rock, Tiron, 211, Nipsy...the list literally goes on and on. A lot of moves are being made, so I hope í09 is the year everybody can get recognized nationally.


Dubcnn: You have definitely supported Glasses Malone very hard; what is it about Glasses Malone that you think will really make him impact as an artist?

Malone is just ill, he speaks for the people. I love the way heís able to relate on a song and fully construct a track. Heís creative, heís focused, and when all else fails he puts himself out. Heís not an artist that waits around for an opportunity; he makes opportunities wherever he goes. He steadily puts out consistent projects. í09 is going to be big for him, and he deserves it.


Dubcnn: Do you think The Game has already experienced his peak as an artist, or will he always be relevant in the business?

I think The Game will be relevant for a long time to come. Heís talented and has a very loyal fan base that will consistently support his projects.


Dubcnn: Do you think Bishop Lamont will have the same major success as the other Aftermath Artists and people affiliated with Dr. Dre?

Personally, I think Bishop is bigger than Aftermath. The amount of talent and personality he has is bananas. Bishop Lamont is a force to be reckoned with! He needs to be out already. Once he does hit, itís going to be a typhoon!


Dubcnn: Do you think Detox will really come out this year?

Detox is such a unicorn. Itís this mythical creature we all believe in but havenít yet seen (laughing). I hope it comes out this year; I canít wait to hear it.


Dubcnn: Any final thoughts or plugs for Dubcnn?

Support shows, support album sales, support artists! And, of course, tune into me Ė Iím ya speakers type! www.myspace.com/devidev




 


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