New York City is the number 1 Radio Market in the country. To be affiliated with a radio station like Hot 97 or WBLS, you really have to be skilled and talented. And that’s exactly what Digital Producer and Radio Personality Jameer Pond is. Check out our interview with Jameer as he talks about getting started at in radio, being Starstruck and being a comedian!
Tell us, who is Jameer Pond?
Jameer Pond is a lover of life. What I mean by that is I feel like I was put on this earth to share my talent. I have a knack for helping people. Making people laugh, giving interesting perspective and just being able to be well rounded at all times as far as thinking, perspective and being rational. Jameer Pond is somebody who always wants to learn. My mother always told me, “Put in 10,000 hours to be a master of you craft” [Credit from a show on Own]. It taught me to always sharpen my skills as far personality, as a host and as a human.
Jameer Pond is talented. I have had to develop a sense of self-awareness of who I was and to learn its ok to cheerlead and champion yourself. In this business, that’s the only person who is going to cheerlead and champion for you, the way you need to be. I’ve realized that nobody can be a better Jameer Pond than Jameer Pond.
How did you get the opportunity to work at Hot 97?
It came out the sky. I am so thankful that I can work at a company like Emmis Communication but I was in between jobs. I had just finished working at BET where I was doing casting for 106th and Park. Once the casting project was over they said “well ya’ll are no longer needed”. So from October 2012 to December 2012 I was working jut trying to get in my zone and try and find a job. I told myself that I wanted to work only in radio at that time. I started filling applications out and I got a call back, not from any radio station but from the Judge Mathis show in Chicago. I got my first interview and they loved me. I did my second interview and they gave me a job. Right when I was about to take the job and go into the third interview, I got a call one day from this woman Victoria Fleary, who was, at the time, the WBLS Digital director. She said “I want to speak to Jameer about a part time position in the video department”. Once I got the call, I knew I wasn’t going to Chicago. I didn’t know if I was going to get the job, but I knew I wasn’t going to Chicago. I was going to make it work. I did the interview. Got the job and worked part time for about a year. WBLS merged with HOT 97’s parent company, Emmis Communications. So when we merged that’s how I was able to work for Hot 97, WBLS and WLIB.
Can you tell us about an interview where you were completely starstruck?
A starstruck moment on camera was definitely Deion Sanders. It was Prime Time so I definitely was star struck. We were having an exchange and we happened to be talking about mother’s day at that particular time because we were doing a mother’s day feature for the site. I called him a decorated athletes and while I kept talking he said “Hold on, whatchu mean decorated? I didn’t expect him to say that, so it kind of threw me off my square. He said “You could have just told me I was a great athlete.” I was like look, I wanted to impress you. He said “I appreciate that. I’m impressed. This interview is dope”. He threw me off but also made me feel comfortable at the same time. That taught me about interviewing. Keep it simple and always focus on the guest and don’t try to focus on the stardom of it. It is a very selfless job so I am always indebted to Deion Sanders for that opportunity. Off camera, Jamie Fox. Just because he is an amazing story teller. You get so captivated in listening to his stories that you forget you got a job to do. Those are the two people I would say I have been star struck the most by thus far.
We talked about starstruck moments with Deion Sanders. Out of all your projects. what is the most memorable project?
I started out 14 years old as a stand-up comedian. I mean hands down bar none, probably the best experience of my life because this is really what opened me up to being who I am. After 9th grade, I knew I wasn’t going to be a student athlete. Being that I wasn’t good enough and I was 5’3 at the time. So, I didn’t have anything that I really wanted to do or pursue. I just knew I could entertain people and make them laugh. So one day I saw on the television these kids doing comedy and told my mother that’s what I wanted to do. I stopped doing comedy because it started feeling like a job after a while. I think when you start a creative outlet and it starts to feel like work, you got to put it down for a minute. I’m not saying I won’t do stand-up again, but right now I am focusing on entertaining people in different ways and not having it feel so forced.
What advice do you have for the younger generations who are trying to pursue a career as a host or radio personality?
The advice I could a young up and coming personality is to have tough skin. This journey has been an amazing one but with plenty of curve balls. Promises, failed opportunities, horrible people, etc. You’ll encounter all of those things. But continue to trust in yourself and abilities. Don’t be afraid to be your own cheerleader. It pays off!
So what can we look forward to from Jameer Pond?
Podcasts like this and talks like this, I think are ideal for me. I was hosting a lot of music events, which is cool, but I feel like I have more to offer the world. You’re going to get the same Jameer but blended with inspiration and comedy. You’re going to get more panel discussions because I feel that there are a lot of things that we must talk about. Especially, in this age of a Trump world. Where do we go as African Americans and as people of color. And continue to do more things that I love to do. I love hosting and getting to know people. Red carpets and interviews.
To keep up with Jameer Pond make sure you follow him on Instagram.