Behind The Machine: Angela Yee
The Source sat down with Angela Yee recently to discuss her move from satellite to commercial radio in New York. This is the first time she’s spoken about why she decided to leave Sirius to host The Breakfast Club at Power 105.1.
An intelligent mind, no-nonsense and humorous character are just a few attributes that describes seasoned radio personality Angela Yee, who is also one-third of the very popular “Breakfast Club” team/morning show at NYC’s POWER 105.1FM. Take a journey as we get up close and personal to go behind the machine with Angela, who’s not just another pretty face and voice over the airwaves.
You were recently given the opportunity to become the new morning show host @ NYC’s Power 105.1FM|Clear Channel. What made you decide to go from national to local radio?
It was a tough decision. I had been at Sirius XM for 6 years already and had some other opportunities on the table as well. I had a great experience at Sirius, they gave me my start in radio and Shady is like family to me always. The whole crew at Shade 45, from DJ Wonder, Emoticon, AJ the Manchild, Reef, Leah McSweeney, Reggie Hawkins, Geronimo, BJ Stone – they all showed me so much support. I ended up making a list of what the pros and cons would be of starting over on Power 105 and ultimately, after speaking with the suits at Sirius I felt it was best for me to take my talents to local radio. New York is the number one market and this is an opportunity that most people will never even get. Gee Spin and Cadillac Jack at Power were so excited for me to join the team, and I already had a great relationship with DJ Envy and Charlemagne tha God. In a way, it seems that because I started off at Sirius and had no prior radio experience, it was hard for the higher ups to understand the value I brought to the station. Even when I felt like I wasn’t getting what I deserved, I made sure I worked above and beyond what was expected. I was always on time, never called out sick, didn’t use all my vacation days, and really branded our morning show by making sure I was out and about even when I didn’t feel like it, to make the show better. I definitely learned that hard work pays off and I’m excited for this new challenge.
Will you have to alter your style in order to fit the Power 105.1 mold or will the NYC listening audience get Angela Yee as is?
It’s definitely an alteration. I believe if you’re great at what you do, you can still show your personality even with more restrictions. Now I’m part of a three person team, which means less mic time but on the flip side more support and viewpoints expressed.
How did you get into the radio field and how long did it take you to get to the level you’re @ right now?
I honestly have to say I owe it all to Paul Rosenberg at Shady Records. He offered me the opportunity to try it out on Shade 45’s morning show when the station first launched. I don’t even think he predicted how it would turn out, but because I had worked for him previously he knew that I would put my best foot forward. It’s always a work in progress. I started off as a co-host, then got my own weekly Lip Service show which helped me learn how to develop a cohesive show as well as brand myself individually. Then I got the opportunity to have my own show, which I jumped at and made sure that we were always improving and keeping it fresh. 6 years later and I’m on the radio in the city where I was born and raised!
Why is there such a lack of camaraderie between female artists i.e.: Nicki Minaj & Lil Kim? Is it possible for female artists to overcome the BS and support each other?
I believe that the media (sorry) and the consumers are the ones who really drive the wedge in between female artists. It’s like there isn’t room for more than one woman to shine at a time. People do the same thing with me in radio. They always compare me to other female personalities when I know there are room and a necessity for all of us. This doesn’t happen with men. Its like, “watch out Kim, Nicki’s coming for your spot,” instead of “y’all should work on a track together.” And we end up feeding into all that. There should always be a sense of competition because we all want to be the best, but there has to be a way to compete without beefing.
What do you hope to bring to Power 105.1?
I do want to represent for the women and be a strong voice in the mornings. I’m just like a lot of females who listen to the show. I have relationship problems, a shopping addiction (I love a good sale), I like to party, I hate getting up early, I watch reality shows, and I love music.
What do you say to the people that think your job is all fun & music and not “Real” work?
Then I’m doing a great job because it certainly should appear to be fun! I would hate for people listening to think, poor Angela is at work right now. It is fun, but there’s a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes. We have to be well-versed on what the headline stories are, stay on top of all the latest rumors, know exactly what we’re talking about each break, and know that people are believing that we are reporting facts. We can’t get it wrong or we lose our credibility. We get to work at 4:30/5am and stay until noon or 1 every day. Then we have our own meetings, etc to attend, and have to go out at night. It’s nonstop.
What’s next for Angela Yee?
We have some things on the horizon and I know its cliché, but I can’t jinx it. I’m going to write a book, that’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was 6 years old. I have a lot to say!
-Derryck “Nes” Johnson
Previously: Power 30 Radio: Angela Yee