Tosha Makia is an artist on the move. After gaining notoriety in Connecticut for her song "Be Yourself" she became a part of the Hot 93.7 radio team, but it didn't take long for the Puerto Rican beauty to graduate to a much bigger market. After her appearance in The Source's Dime Piece section Philadelphia's (Philly) 100.3 The Beat quickly gave Tosha a call and brought her to the city of brotherly love. Her show, Tosha Makia and Da Stripper, is the number 2 show in the market and when Ms. Makia isn't making things happen on the air she's busy recording for her next album and hosting clubs that are nearly 1,500 people strong. She knows the ins and outs of the music industry both from the radio side and the recording artist side which makes her quite the unique individual and a very interesting person to speak with as this week's Artist Of The Week.
You went from being on Hartford's 93.7 to Philly's 100.3. That's a huge leap in terms of markets (from a top 50 to a top five). What are some of the major differences you've seen between working in the Hartford market and the Philly market?
I have my own show! Naw, but seriously, I went from part time to full time, I have A LOT more responsibilities, and I have to take control. As far as the difference in markets, wow there is so much. For the most part the music is a bit different and the rage of listeners is broader. I have a prime time show Monday to Thursday 7pm to Midnight, Friday 7pm to 10pm and Saturday 6pm to 9pm. Being on everyday teaches me something new about the Philly market everyday.
You're also a recording artist. How has moving to Philly affected your singing career?
At first it was hard, everything was so new, I thought "when do I get to sing?" because I had to get the radio situation situated and learn my surroundings, which I'm kinda still doing, but it's not as crazy as before. It's all coming together now. I'm meeting all these talented producers, and I'm really excited about it.
Over the past few years you've become very well known in Connecticut, but you entered Philly as a completely new face on the scene. What's the process been like building up your rep all over again?
At first it was very scary, for real. I hoped and kept praying they'd love me and the first time I heard "I love you Tosha Makia, welcome to Philly" and then it kept happening over and over and over again, it was then I knew they did, with open arms, and it's a wonderful feeling. I can now say 6 half months in, that Philly is now my home too.
As a radio personality are there any artists you're required to play on the regular that make you sigh and wonder why on earth people like listening to them?
HELL YEAH EVERYDAY!!!! But I know it's coming, I'm patient, for now. What's worse is when they come in for interviews and I'm looking at them like what the hell?! How the bleep!?!?
Finally, you're an independent artist, but you work for a major commercial station. Fill in all the other indy artists on the processes they have to go through to get their music heard by a major radio station's program director.
Believe in yourself and be professional. If you can't do that find someone that knows how to and at least has some kind of music knowledge, have them represent you. Make an appointment or send in your music, edited, and please have the CD in a case with a bio. And keep on em! Don't give up, on what you believe in.
Interview by Adam Bernard