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Big Redd Interview

Big Redd
Nationally Syndicated Host
The Big Redd Radio Show


Career Capsule: From schoolyard freestyle battles to Billboard-charting music, Big Redd has found refuge and rebirth in music for most of his life. He’s a proud graduate of Wake Forest University,
a proud alum of The National Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcast Leadership Training program, and a proud 18-year member of the radio industry. Now, he’s pushing new waves through the industry with The Big Redd Radio Show–a nationally syndicated Christian hip-hop, pop, and rhythm and praise radio show.

 

Big Redd, tell us what’s new at The Big Redd Radio Show.. any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU?

First, Ted, thank you for the opportunity to share with HisAir. I appreciate your day in and day out commitment to informing us about everything happening in Christian radio. Thank you for making a difference.

The biggest news at The Big Redd Radio Show is that we have just entered into partnership with the iconic Howard University Radio Network, airing two days a week on HUR Voices Sirius XM 141! Add that to our existing 27 affiliates and I’m really proud of our growth in just three short years.

 

How do you balance work & family?

Every day, I strive to be a better husband, father, friend, volunteer, and businessman. I think it’s all about work-life blend as opposed to work-life balance, because I don’t believe that all of my roles will ever balance. I try to be as present as possible in the moment, giving it my best and trusting God with the rest. 

I’ll give you an example. Two of my children are active (and really good at) travel sports: my 11-year-old Benjamin with basketball and my nine-year-old Hannah with track. This keeps my wife Tisha and me on the go, with weekly practices and full weekends in and out of town. Add our three-year-old Mia to the mix and, oh—did I mention that my wife is a cancer researcher and tenured college professor? When I’m with my family, I’m all in. Time is precious.

(I must note that my wife is very, very supportive of my aspirations and endeavors. I “blend” by incorporating my family intoThe Big Redd Radio Show. They were a part of our Instagram Live the day we launched the show, I ask my older two for their input into the songs we play on the show, and I even have them record drops for the show. I never want my family to feel like I have chosen the radio show (or any professional pursuit) over them. I keep my finger on the pulse of my family and make adjustments as needed. Without question, they matter most.) I believe it’s imperative for someone in Christian radio to have a life outside of “the job.” As Christians, our service to mankind won’t stop until Jesus returns. However, along that journey, we tend to overcommit, overwork, and undernourish ourselves, often at the expense of our most meaningful relationships and even physical health. I challenge my radio colleagues to give, yes, serve, yes—but not at the expense of making great memories and enjoying life. Find the blend.

 

As an audio creator, what do you do to keep up with trends, and technology?

As an audio creator, I keep up with a variety of industries to see what’s coming down the pipeline and how these developments may impact me and my industry. When I find experts in other industries, I set up time to meet with them to learn about their industry and tell them about mine. Synergy is vital. You never know how your paths may cross again in the future. 

Regarding tech—I love tech. I adopt technology early and use it to enhance connection with my audience.

 

What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Radio, that you didn’t know before?

We launched The Big Redd Radio Show in May 2020, in the throes of the pandemic. Four months earlier, I planned to launch the show with a Christian hip-hop concert series; the pandemic impacted that and I had to pivot. Should we still launch? Would that be insensitive to everything that’s happening in the world? Then, I gained peace about launching, because I knew that the hope, inspiration, and joy we provide on the show, the world needed it then more than ever. 

I learned during the pandemic how necessary it is for the collective voice of Christian radio to not be silenced. We have the answer; His name is Jesus. I heard of several Christian radio stations whose doors closed during and after the pandemic. I can’t help but think of the communities that turned to those broadcasters during dark days and sleepless nights. I learned during the pandemic that Christian radio must remain resilient and build authentic relationships in not just the Christian community but our communities-at-large. Town Hall should know who we are. Our apartment complexes, gated communities, schools and shelters should know who we are. One of my great friends, storyteller strategist Roshanda Pratt, lives by the mantra—Visibility is Power.  We have to be visible, vibrant, and vocal so that we shine bright during the good times and provide hope for our cities during the bad times.

 

What are your thoughts on AI in Christian Radio?

Artificial intelligence is a tool. We use tools in Christian radio to excel. AI is no different. I use AI for show prep when I hit a creative wall. I use AI for social media ideas, press releases, contest ideas, and more. Would you go kayaking upstream with a broom, or would you use a paddle? We must make sure we aren’t clinging to “the way it’s always been done.” Christian radio has a huge opportunity to remain exciting, relatable, and cutting-edge by embracing AI, without allowing it to replace our own innovation, passion, compassion, talent, and impact. AI should fuel the fire—not become it.

 

What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job?   

The one thing I must have everyday to do my job is hunger. I must be hungry to not hang my hat on the pride of my last win; hungry to not think I’ve arrived; and hungry to not let my good rob me of my better, or my better to rob me of my best.

 

Do you feel syndication is positive for Christian radio?

I do believe that syndication is positive for Christian radio. As Christian broadcasters, we provide positive, family-friendly content for our listeners and should desire to increase our market share. Syndication allows local stations to have the best of both worlds: using on-air a core of local, trusted pillars in the community, then bringing in unique, niche programming to provide additional flair. Ultimately, this creates deeper connection with our listeners and casts a wider net of not only who we reach, but who we retain.

 

Who are your radio heroes and influences and why?

A few days into my radio career, Mr. Alex Snipe, owner of Glory Communications, Inc., pulled me into his office and taught me that if I could master the sales side of the radio industry, I could write my own ticket. That advice has proven to be the difference maker throughout my 18 years in the industry because it helps me blend between the creative, engaging, and entertaining side of radio, and the technical, financial, and business side of it.

In terms of radio influences, I tip my hat to The Fly Jock Tom Joyner (pictured at left) and the multi-talented Steve Harvey for shifting the radio landscape and paving the way for people like me. I salute DJ Envy, Charlamagne Tha God, and their former cohost Angela Yee of The Breakfast Club for the way they engage with and cultivate conversation across culture. Finally, I salute Erica Campbell, Griff, & TJ of Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell for demonstrating daily what it means to deliver an informative, high-energy, unapologetically faith-filled on-air experience. 

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