You’re a young Haitian-American doing big things. Tell us how your cornbread mixes with your cremasse: where were you born, raised, and what cultural influences helped to shape who you are today.
I’m Brooklyn born, Haitian bred, American influenced.
The Haitian work ethic keeps me focused on my goal. When you grow up seeing your parents work days, nights, and overtime it gives you a sense that giving up is not an option.
The American in me, is a dreamer – daring to look beyond conventional jobs that people in our culture often have. The combination makes me relentless.
You are a woman who wears many hats — tell us about them and how you think your Haitian-American background has prepared you for these roles.
This is gonna sound so Haitian… but I have a day job as a pediatric nurse. The stability helps me in lean times and a big part of the Caribbean work ethic is going after you want without having to lean on anyone else.
I am a radio host and producer. I’ve been doing radio for over 10 years, from WBAI to independently owned media. I love to create and tell stories. I love to interact. I can be a blaguer at times and make people laugh.
I am a co-owner and Program Director of Bondfire Radio a new option in media independently owned by myself and Coole High that address the lack of diversity content wise and across the spectrum. Finding new creative shows that speak to a variety of listeners is my passion. People that are dissatisfied with the same Top 40 playing over and over are the people that we built this for. We have 7 diverse shows currently and are adding more every quarter.
I also, do voice overs for videos, commercials, etc. I can not thank my parents and grandparents enough for speaking creole to me. As an adult, it’s opened up so many opportunities. Voicework is one of them. It also gives me a great reason to keep my language skills sharp.
What is your favorite hat to wear — where does your passion lie?
My favorite hat and passion is the radio work. I eat it. I sleep it. I wake up and do it. And when i’m sad- some days the listeners are my only bright spot of the day and can turn my mood around.
Tell us how you “TK in the AM” came to be…and where/when can people check it out.
TK in the AM is the morning show on Bondfire Radio. I am TK, and joined with co- host, Conscious we play new music, talk about news and current events, and have really amazing guests live every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10-11:30am EST on bondfireradio.com or on your smartphone via the Live365 mobile app.
It came to be two years ago, when I finally decided to move on from another radio show and jump into the unknown. Experimenting with internet radio and coming from the FM dial is scary. You become addicted to being the person on the FM dial and you stay longer than you should. Internet radio is like a needle in a haystack. There’s so many options and many of them aren’t good that you don’t want to fall into that category. So, TK in the AM was thought out before jumping into it. It was crafted from length of time to frequency of airing to who the guests are, etc. The whole radio station was crafted in that fashion and welcome growth and change as it comes.
How can other young Haitian-Americans learn from your experience — and how can we help you in your mission?
Hard work isn’t hard when it’s your dream. Focus on that and don’t concern yourselves with outside pressures to be conventional. An extra-ordinary life takes extraordinary measures.
You can help Bondfire Radio grow by listening to our shows, sharing them with friends and contributing to our indiegogo campaign to move to a new studio: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bondfire-radio-needs-a-new-home
TastyKeish is wearing custom legging by Haitian designer, Nit Ra Sit
Photo courtesy of Haitian photographer, Richard Louissaint