Entertainment of Saturday, 20 June 2015
Source: Daily Guide
Brown Berry is what many consider to be one of the leaders of the next generation of radio presenters. His legion of fans follow him to every station he finds himself in. His recent jump from Choice FM to YFM has elevated his status in radio, rocking a Saturday morning show that feels like something he was born to do. Presenting with drive and passion, this young man is the truth, and he seems ready to take on the world. I caught up with him to find out more.
How did your career in radio begin?
Berry: It officially began in 2007 with Choice FM. Before that, I was working with a company that was into publications. I was the editor for a student magazine. We used to work with Choice FM on different projects. We approached them with the idea for a radio show targeted at students in senior high schools and tertiary institutions. They loved the concept and that’s how my radio career started.
What do you love most about your job?
Berry: Whenever I’m on radio, I get people telling me how much I’m making their day. The fact that I am able to place a smile on their face or impacting their lives even in such a small way is very rewarding. That’s what it’s all about. My job comes with so many benefits, but making people happy is by far the biggest one.
Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
Berry: Like every other thing in life, you can’t have it perfect. One of the things is when you hit the studio to work and there might be something wrong with one of the machines. These ‘little things’ come with the job and can be considered ‘occupational hazards’, but they can be very frustrating. Sometimes, it gets out of hand and can change your mood totally, and mood is very important in radio. It can prevent you from doing what you’re supposed to do. Another thing is, after being on radio for a while, everyone expects you to be this happy person. You can’t have an ‘off day’. Even when you’re feeling down and somebody says hi to you as Brown Berry, you’re supposed to have a smile on your face. You need to be the Berry on radio that makes people happy. Many people find it hard to understand that you are also a human being with emotions, and you could be feeling a certain kind of way sometimes.
With so much competition, how do you manage to stay on top of your game and relevant in the industry?
Berry: There is a lot of competition, but that is only supposed to bring out the best in you, for the most part. You need to have a thorough understanding of who it is you are appealing to. You need to ask yourself if what you’re doing will appeal to your core audience. Choice of words, music and presentation all come to play. You need to own your crowd and keep reinventing yourself. I think another important thing is, you need to be infinitely curious and always learning. You need to lead the crowd and not follow it.
What would you say makes a great radio presenter?
Berry: Natural talent and great voice are important. The voice should be appealing to the people. You need to have flow and articulation. Again, the most important thing is understanding your core audience.
If you owned a radio station, what would you call it, and what kind of music would you play?
Berry: Wow. I would call it Radio ECL, which is the short form of ‘eclectic’. I would play music from all over the world, from different sources, and be on top of our game. Maybe I would just call it ‘Brown Berry Radio’. That sounds cool too. (laughs)
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Berry: I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced was sabotage in the industry. There are people out there that try to sabotage your career because they feel when you come up, you will be too much of a threat to his career. They forget that there’s a lot of bread in the industry for everybody. There’s room for everyone. We need to just be creative enough to fit in. Of course, there are a lot of politics everywhere you go, in every job. Politics will always be a challenge.
What do you see yourself doing in the near future?
Berry: I will definitely be doing radio and TV. I’m also into tourism. I direct a club called The Travel Club, and we’re into domestic tourism and capacity-building trips for companies. We have a radio imaging company that is about to fly out. You will be hearing about that very soon. Be on the lookout for Brown Berry because he’s about to be all over the place.
What would you say to young people reading this that might want to become radio hosts?
Berry: You need to be in it for the right reasons. If you’re in it for the girls, what happens after you get the girls? (laughs) You need to be sure it is something you were born to do. You need to be ready to make sacrifices for the job. It needs to come as second nature to you. It might look like a lot of fun, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it. Creative work is super demanding.
A message to your fans?
Berry: They more like family to me. It’s been a very long journey, and we’re still on it. Thanks for all the support over the years. It’s going to be a fantastic ride. Keep making me proud. Holler.
Catch Brown Berry every Saturday, 9:00am to 12:00pm on y 107.9fm!!