All-female radio platform launched
History was created on Monday, September 30, with the official launch of My Turn Radio, an all-female disc jocks radio platform. The station, whose playlist includes reggae and dancehall music, is the brainchild of New York-based Jessica Lawrence, aka DJ Hypeness, who is hoping to charge the course of history a second time. The first all-female radio station, WHER, was launched in the USA in 1955 and lasted until 1973.
“I have been getting a lot of calls and received great feedback since we launched the station. It has been all positive,” an elated Hypeness told t he Gleaner.
The Dominica-born DJ disclosed that she was forced to launch the all-female radio platform because of how difficult it was for female djs like herself to get recognition in the male-dominated media fraternity.
“The lack of support for female selectors was the biggest motivation for starting the station,” she confessed.
“We needed a platform where we would not be outshined because of big-name male selectors. I must emphasis that this is not a competition with men. It is more for us to have a platform that focuses on females” she shared.
One of the recognisable names on the DJ roster is multi award winning, Toronto-based reggae singer Tanya Mullings, who has been involved in the music industry for over three decades. In 2010 she became host of T he Tanya Mullings Show, which airs Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. on Atlanta’s DaFlava Radio.
“This is history. It feels great to be a part of My Turn Radio. It’s the first all female DJ/Host online Caribbean radio station ...Queens supporting Queens is the greatest feeling. This is one more outlet for me to push good music. I do think the format will be embraced by music lovers globally,” Mullings told The Gleaner.
She has strong roots in the entertainment industry. Her sister Carrie Mullings is host of Reggae Vibes, which airs on Vibes FM, in Toronto, Canada, while her late dad, Karl Mullings, co-founded the original Caribana Festival in Toronto and was a Peter Tosh Memorial Award recipient. He managed the careers of artistes Jackie Mittoo, Lynn Taitt, Hopeton Lewis, The Cavaliers, The Sheiks and The Cougars.
Besides DJ Hypeness and Mullings, the roster includes Empress Breeze ‘The Jugglin’ Queen’; Sistah SoulJahs; DJ Ess; DJ Diamond; DJ Naz (a former host on RE TV) and Drea Ricketts, aka ‘Reecy’. All eight jocks are from various backgrounds, with each bringing different credentials to the platform.
Hypeness said it took about nine months to put all the pieces in place for the September launch.
“I did not want to rush it. I wanted to be sure I was ready to take on this task, and I am happy I did,” she disclosed.