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Fresno Radio Moves Up
Move On Up is a rare Fresno radio program. It is rare because it is progressive, smart, uses Fresno's culture as its theme and (get this)...it's entertaining.
Show host Devoya Mayo took a few minutes to talk about how Move on Up (KFCF 88.1, Friday's at 7:00 PM) came to be and where it's heading.
You're hitting your three year anniversary, have you always had engineer Mykal Powell with you?
No, actually I started with Dave Bryant. We both came from KFSR, he's actually the one that said "Don't be lazy, they want you to do a show, you should do it." If it hadn't been for Dave, I would not have even thought about it. But Dave also suggested we have a second engineer because Dave knew he was...not as reliable as he could be. And he was correct, because shortly after starting, he stopped.
And that's when Mykal came in?
Mykal came full time. He was the back-up guy, then he became THE guy.
Did you have the same show at Fresno State, just kinda moved it over?
No, not at all, completely different. When we were at Fresno State, Mykal had a show where he only played music, for three hours, every Wednesday night. And then he let me have forty-five minutes of that show, to play the kinda music that I liked, but he got tired of me just playing music and not talking, 'cause I was really nervous. So I came up with 'five questions' and I would bring people in and ask them those five questions. I would add stuff to it, but I really didn't like talking so much.
Then the KFCF station manager said "I like what you do with poetry, diverse people listen to it." so I said yes [to doing a show on KFCF]. So that's where we are now, and we made it a full hour.
Is the show the same now as it was the first year?
No. The first year I had a co-host and I had specific ideas that I thought we could implement. Get To Know Your City, was a program, like the last five minutes of the show we would highlight somewhere we liked in Fresno that we thought people didn't know about. That's really the only things that have changed.
Every show you open with a poem and usually it's your 'Move' poem, did you write that?
Yes and that was actually just because when I did a proposal for the station manager, he asked what the concept was, why did I choose the term Move On Up. And I needed to come up with a way to explain it and I couldn't do it very well, but I had always written poetry and I thought, well maybe if I write this poem he'll get it and wouldn't have to talk so much. Because at that point, I still didn't like conversating so much on air. So I gave that to him and he was like "Alright, lets do it."
Are you able to pick out your favorite show over the past three years?
I really enjoyed my grandmother, just because it's hard to get my grandmother to do a lot of things, and it's hard to get her to chat. For her to come in on her birthday and talk about growing up in the south, and racism, and California and all this stuff was just cool. And people came up to me afterwards, saying that, you know what, I listened to that show and now I ask my grandparents more questions. That's what I wanted to happen, I didn't think it would happen, but it did.
I really liked the show with Igniongo Reggay. She works on international debt relief and this girl lives in DC, she's from Kenya and she came to FRESNO. Half of it was for a project she was working on, but she didn't have come to Fresno, she could have went to San Francisco or LA. But I wanted her to be on the show and she said okay. And it always amazes me, there's people that have come out of town, just to be on this little radio show and talk about whatever I ask them to talk about. I don't know why, I just think that's the coolest shit right there.
Does KFCF have any control over your show?
It's 100% myself and Mykal. Every now and then the station manager will call and say "Someone called and said they want to be on your show," which I find amazing. And I love that Vic is so damn cool, he'll tell them "I don't know if Devoya likes Bluegrass, I don't think she does, I will forward this information to her." And he'll call me and say "You can do what you want with this information, I didn't promise them anything. I told them you're in control of whatever you do."
Are you the answer to creative stagnation in Fresno?
(Devoya laughs) I say that we're the answer to creative stagnation because people don't listen to you unless you're sassy. In my personal opinion, unless you have a little cockiness to you, people will just not take what you say face value. I think that we know a little somethin', I think we have so many friends in this city that do somethin' that, if you are stagnant, we can offer you some options if you listen. If you don't that's cool too, but we kinda know some people. If you wanna be down you can be down. We're not the only ones that have that answer, but we're the easy ones you can access at Friday at 7:00 PM.
Is there a Fresnan that you've wanted on the show for a long time, that you haven't been able to get?
I would love for Cynthia Sterling to roll up in there, because I live in downtown. I've written her so many times and I haven't gotten any responses. I would love to dialog with her on a myriad of things. She's my councilwoman, I'm in district four so come on.
How long do you think you can keep the show going?
I've had other projects in the past, when they get so cold that you feel like this is gonna die out in a minute...I'm always of the nature of you have to kill yourself, don't let it die out on its own. So I realistically think, this is three years, I know I could do another year, but I also know that there are younger people that are interested in that come to the station and kind of kick-it a little bit and lay in the cut and would be really good at it also. So I know that probably in another year I would probably say "Okay Joseph, why don't you do this and why don't you have this person do this."
And I'm okay with that because you always have to continually change and recognize that there's other things you need to be doing and let someone else try it. Because Fresno is famous for beatin' somethin' till it's done and I don't wanna be that chick. So if there's someone else that feels they can step-up and I've done everything I can do, come-on I can train you.