Radio personality Angela Yee, one-third of “The Breakfast Club,” the popular syndicated morning show on New York’s Power 105.1, got candid recently on how she keeps her voice and dignity in a male-dominated industry.
While making an appearance at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 47th Annual Legislative Conference on Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest, Yee said her foundation keeps her grounded in a chaotic industry.
“Fortunately for me I have a really strong foundation,” Yee said. “Before I did radio, I worked in marketing and branding, so when I started doing radio a lot of people already knew me behind the scenes. That was important for me because a lot of people could vouch for me. So even if sometimes things go left, at least you have the support of people who know you personally.”
Yee said that she’s able to coexist with co-hosts DJ Envy and the outspoken Charlamagne Tha God, referred to as the hip-hop Howard Stern, because she presents herself well in and out of the office.
“I think it’s really important to represent yourself well no matter who’s watching,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who that person is, the CEO or the mailman, treat people well.
“The foundation of me being a genuine person and being who I am has always helped me out so much that I felt very confident that even if this doesn’t work out, I know I have any other opportunity that I want,” she said.
Yee joined “The Breakfast Club,” a newly formed local morning show, in December of 2010. Due to its phenomenal success, the program now has syndication in more than 50 markets and airs every morning on Revolt, a cable music network.
Before joining Power 105.1, she gained notoriety with “The Morning After with Angela Yee” on Sirius XM’s Shade 45 channel. During her six-year stint, she became known for her notable interviews and the show’s “Lip Service” segment, which is now the name of her podcast.
“When I first started at working at Sirius, I didn’t go to school to do radio, so me getting that job was nerve-racking,” she said. “I was showing up everyday, but I wasn’t getting paid co-hosting with Cipha Sounds.
“We did this interview with Jay-Z and that was my first really big interview at Sirius,” Yee said. “I was going to the bathroom, I saw Jay-Z and he was like, ‘What are you doing here?’ I said, ‘About to interview you.’ He said, ‘Angela, don’t “eff” this up,’ and I was like, oh man, that’a a lot of pressure.
“We did the interview and it was so great my boss was like, ‘You’re hired,’” she said.
Ironically, Yee didn’t plan to become one of the biggest names in radio while attending Wesleyan College decades ago as an English major.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I said I’m going to be a writer and I always thought that, but things change,” she said. “The fact of the matter is that we get so many influences along the way.”
Even though Yee appears to be at the top of her game today, she stressed that her success happened in part because of her missteps.
“I made a lot of mistakes growing up,” she said. “I look at mistakes like I learned something from this, I’ll never do this again and now I know what to do going forward. It’s really important to own up and improve on