TruthIsI: Thank you for taking time with TruthIsI. As you know, we interview like-minded successful women such as yourself in an effort to inform and educate our audience. You are one of the on-air radio personalities for the popular station, LATINO 96.3 in Los Angeles, California; how did you secure this position and what inspired you to do so?
Raq-C: I would have to say that I secured my position with Latino 96.3 with a lot of determination and self-drive! I was very much determined to get into L.A. radio, and I am the kind of person that when I set my mind on a goal, I will go after it until I reach it. I was doing radio in Chicago when I was informed that one of our sister stations in L.A. had flipped formats to the Urban/Rhythmic format. I left a good position in Chicago as a morning show co-host to chase this dream of getting back home and being able to rock the airwaves in Los Angeles. When I left Chicago I left with $200 in my pocket and drove my VW beetle back to Los Angeles. It took me four days to get home but guess what, I got home and I was ready for my next challenge!
TruthIsI: For the youth coming up behind you, what advice and/or direction would you give to them being interested in a career in radio?
Raq-C: The first and most important thing I would have to say is believe in yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will. If this career is really what you want you must understand that it’s going to take a lot of work on your part and sacrifice. Sacrifices that sometimes you might not want to make, but if you’re serious about this career you will more than gladly do them. For example, begin with an internship at your favorite radio station. This career is So much fun, but it is definitely for people who are passionate. I always tell people I was born to do radio, there is not one day that I feel like I am going to work, I always say, “I’m going to do what I love today and that is rocking the mic & injecting my energy into the airwaves, what a blessing! How many people can actually say they do what they love on a daily? I know of a few, but more of us need to really be fulfilled with what we do on a daily/regular basis. If this is the career you want … chase it, full-force, no distractions or excuses and it will be yours!
TruthIsI: In visiting your website http://www.raqconline.com/ and your MySpace page www.myspace.com/raqc, I see you have a few things going on. Please share …
Raq-C: Actually, I do. Some things I can’t tell you about quite yet. My website is one of my biggest babies. I’m sure you were able to tell that I have put a lot of heart and effort into my site. I do a daily journal just because I like to give others an inside look at my life and the things I do; I call that section of my website the “Daily Dose.” Something else I enjoy doing is going to speak at different high schools and youth/community centers. I love to empower and motivate the youth. I love to help the future of tomorrow believe in their dreams and really understand that if they can visualize it like I did, then you can make it a reality! Charity/community work is another big passion of mine. I try to do as much as I can; it fulfills me and makes me feel so good inside. TV is definitely one of my next goals, I’ve done a little bit of TV with LATV before, but I don’t want to just be your typical entertainment reporter. I aspire to be like Oprah and touch lives. I know I already do that through the radio, but I want to take it to the next level.
TruthIsI: You had the opportunity to spend some time with S.T.A.R. Foundation and witness one of their “impact assemblies” that was held at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles not to long ago. One thing that both you and I witnessed was the segregation between Latina and African-American girls. I was totally perplexed by this! Briefly shed some light on this issue. How can you and I bridge this gap between our young ladies?
Raq-C: Yeah, the tension in the room that day was crazy. I call any kind of segregation, ignorance. Ignorance because we live in a day and age where you must be open minded and understand that we live in a very diverse world. As a Latina, I know that I will encounter African-American, Asians, Indian, Caucasian, people etc. throughout my life and that’s what makes life exciting. I can’t imagine living in a world where we all look the same, act the same, eat the same food; that would be so boring. We all have souls and the soul is pure, just because we are a certain race does not mean I am better than you, or you are better than me. That ignorant thinking needs to stop. This gap between young ladies needs to stop. If this is difficult for you then challenge yourself. Make a new friend, learn about their culture and last but not least, don’t judge something or someone you have no idea about! OPEN YOUR MIND TO NEW THINGS!
TruthIsI: You are one fly “diva.” Who or what inspires your style?
Raq-C: (laugh) Thank you! I think a lot of people find the word “diva” as a conceited high maintenance type of chick. To me “Diva” is such a powerful word. All women should feel like a diva in some way. I really inspire my own style. I like to stand out. One thing about me is that I don’t really try so hard to stand out. My personality pops on its own. I am very comfortable in my own skin. Never be afraid to be who you are. In high school I was never really into boys, I was more into fashion and hair. I was all about starting trends in high school. I started trends and people followed.
TruthIsI: What is one the biggest misconceptions about the job you do as an on-air radio personality?
Raq-C: A lot of people think that I just sit behind the microphone and just talk. There is a lot of planning and editing that goes into me having a successful show. If you are ever in the studio with me you will see that I am doing about 10 different things at the same time. I can be doing everything to answering phones, show-prep for my show, looking for breaking news, MySpace, Twitter, editing calls, answering text messages, giving advice to my young “chicas” that call me, checking my commercials, and the list goes on and on. Yes I stay busy. I don’t just go into the studio and sit there, and I thank God I don’t because if not, I would get so bored!
TruthIsI: Is it true that you too are dabblin’ into the music industry?
Raq-C: (laughing)…as far as singing? (laughing) No! I’ve been told I can sing. I know my strengths and my weaknesses and singing is not my calling. I only sing in the shower (laughing) I pretend I’m Gloria Gainor in the shower and sing, “I will survive” (laughing).
TruthIsI: Highlighting on the success of your career, is there one moment or situation in time where you sat back and thought to yourself, “I am proud of what I do and I am happy to be an on-air radio personality?”
Raq-C: EVERYDAY! Everyday is a blessing to me. To be able to share my passion for life on the radio on a daily basis is an amazing feeling. A lot of people are lacking that passion for life, that feeling of waking up in the morning and saying “I know what my purpose in life is today;” that is a gift. I was born with so much energy and I like to make others smile while I’m on the radio. Whether I do that with a personal story or with a phone call I put on the radio, mission accomplished. Many people listen to the radio to disconnect from what might be going on in their lives. As long as I make one person feel like a million bucks every day, I know I am doing a great job!
TruthIsI: We like to close our interviews with a positive affirmation. Please provide one to share ...
Raq-C: “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.”
TruthIsI: Again, thank you for your time and support and you haven’t heard the last from us.