Q: What made you decide to start your own radio show ?
I wanted to start my own radio show ‘Keeping It Real With John’ because of my previous experiences co-hosting on DaBlackTop Radio and other guest correspondent gigs on different online radio shows over the years. After running my own website for 5 years; I decided to branch out into a different endeavor and take that chance to see where I can go. I will say that my show is very different from a lot of other online shows. It’s definitely uncensored. I’m the host that will ask the questions that others are wondering and will ask with no problem, but also respectful of topics that the guests don’t want to be discussed. You should listen to my interview with Orlando Brown, whew, that was truly an interesting one that I’ll never forget. I’ll say that after doing one full season consisting of 15 episodes last year with guests such as Vedo, Devin Coleman, Orlando Brown, Jamael Lynch, Amber Bryant, etc. I have truly enjoyed the experience and I will be making a comeback to radio very soon.
Q: What has starting out as a writer to now being a radio personality been like ?
As mostly everyone knows that I’ve done interviews with, I started doing all this when I was about 17 years old and had no idea what I was really getting myself into until I did further research and found a passion in this career. Being a writer and being a radio show host are two totally different avenues. I am still a writer at heart, never will that change. As a writer, I write everything, but however; it goes through damn near 5 other editors before it’s ever published and sometimes my words can get twisted around or cut it. Along with that, when it comes to interviews, I have to think of questions for my guests. Now, radio is a whole different story. I love it, it’s where I can just be myself and just keeping it all the way real with no filter and have no problem coming with questions unless I just have pointer ones that help me. I’m in control of everything from booking, producing, music, the whole thing. I love to balance between both positions, but I will say that I’m enjoying the journey and seeing where things go.
Q: What’s your favorite interview moment?
Out of all the interviews I have done, the ones that I really enjoyed to date is with Cynthia Bailey from The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Gary LaVard from the hit YouTube web-series About Him.
Let’s be clear, these are ones that I’ve enjoyed throughout my career. [Laughs]. I’ve always wanted to interview a Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member over the years. My interview with Cynthia was special because, one, we’ve both been supportive of each other on and off camera since the moment she joined the show. I think my relationship with her is totally different than my ones with the other ladies. We wish each other happy birthday, holiday seasons we keep in touch, etc. Also during that time of the interview, it was fresh from the season 7 reunion, her relationship with NeNe Leakes, her marriage with Peter Thomas and other things happening in her life. I think watching the show as well, people had so many opinions of her and her in role in the show. I’m glad that during my interview with her, she was able to be herself and be honest about everything. I will always love and support Cynthia and all the other ladies on the show. Make sure you guys look out for the new season of Real Housewives of Atlanta this November on Bravo.
On the other hand, Gary’s interview was really fun and insightful. It was different than any other interviews I’ve done in a long time. He has a different personality that is welcoming and inviting. He kept it all the way real about his role in the show, the show itself and being in the industry as a young black man, I’ll never forget our interview and I look forward to working with him one day again. If you haven’t seen his work, definitely go watch About Him on YouTube.
Q: How have you benefited from your connections with the cast and producers of Real Housewives of Atlanta ?
My connection and relationship with the cast and executive producer, Carlos King, has definitely something that’s been discussed over the years; I really value it as well. I think we’ve all benefited in some way. Early on and currently, I write my own recaps of the show throughout the season including the reunion specials; some of the ladies and Carlos would share them on social media. We all support each other and our many projects during on and off season. Carlos is always working on something new and grinding. I’m always sharing that on my social media platforms as well. People seem to always think that based off my relationship with them that I’d be on the show in some capacity, that’s something that the producers would have to think about. If the opportunity was ever brought to me, I honestly wouldn’t mind hopping in there and bringing something different to the cast.
Q: Why are both of your shows on a hiatus ?
My radio show ‘Keeping It Real With John’ has been on hiatus since May. I wanted to spend the summer enjoying it with family and friends. I also felt that having that time to just relax and step away from everything entertainment related in a work mindset was much needed. I was spending nine months out of the year booking guests for my show, attending work and school, working with Urban Image Magazine along with co-hosting on DaBlackTopRadio every 2nd Wednesday of the month, I just really needed a break. My show will be coming back very soon. I took a break from co-hosting, DaBlackTop Radio, which still airs live every Wednesday night on BlogTalkRadio; however, my segment on the show ‘JohnSpeaks’ is on hiatus until further notice. It just became very time consuming, I still pop in there occasionally and listen live when possible. They have and will always be family no matter what.
Q: How has social media helped further your career?
Social media has definitely helped my career especially with promoting my show and other projects I’ve been working on over the years along with making connections and networking in the industry. I know when I first started, I really didn’t know the benefits of social media and how to use it to my advantage. Over the course of my career, I have been able to learn way more than needed I think, in my opinion, how to run my social media accounts when it comes to this business. But here’s how I see social media nowadays. Twitter is 140 characters where I can post whatever I want, Instagram, where everyone can see my life in projects and of course Snapchat where you get the behind the scenes, raw footage of my personal life and a whole lot more.
Q: How do you live a seeming private life although you have been in entertainment journalism for 7 years ?
That’s very easy, I just keep my personal life, personal. [Laughs]. I think in this industry you have to learn how to balance between your personal life and business. It can get very messy and hectic if you mix them both. People need to understand that the world doesn’t need to know everything happening in your life. Some things are way better left unsaid and unseen, life is way easier that way.
Do yourself a favor and follow John on IG and Twitter @realjohndabla and SC: johnbossmode