Big Will, real name William Smith (not to be confused with the famous actor/rapper Will Smith), is a radio presenter at Studio 816, an internet radio station in Kansas City, Missouri. The host of the Studio 816 in the mix show is a very friendly and warm brother who has great love for music and a flair for real conversation with real people. Big Will also happens to be from Missouri also known as the “Show Me” state, which tells you that on his show he’s right at home.
Big Will who’s always had love for the entertainment industry in general, attributes his break into the radio industry by to putting God first as his way of life and remaining humble. He was kind enough to speak to us about his passion for media and the radio space, breaking into the industry, his love of music and origins of the Street Cred: Volume 1 mixtape series. He also got into a number of other things with us.
Lavatory Records: Describe Big Will, the radio presenter, for those who don’t know you?
Big Will: I would say I am a creative person that likes to think of all types of stuff. I love talking to people. I am a person who loves to get along with everybody I can. I know my God has blessed me with a talent and skill for doing interviews. I am just a humble person. I’m a very loyal person and if we are supposed to be cool and so-called friends, but then it happens that I lose my trust in you, I am done! There’s no looking back.
LR: Give us an overview of a day in the life of an internet radio presenter?
Big Will: Yes I just get up and do what I have to do in the AM. I am a person who likes to think. So I like to think of all types of cool and creative interview questions. When I get emails from people who want to be a guest, I take my time to review the info they send me and listen to music if they are a music artist. From there, I will work on an interview. If I need more info I will let them know. I like to reach out to all types of people to be guest. I am a precise person so I take my time. When on a station I like to promote my show and the station, by telling people to tune in.
LR: Just for interest’s sake, were you or are you a Fresh Prince & Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince of Bel Air fan?
BW: (Lol) funny you asked that! I was just talking to a celebrity brother and he gave his thoughts on a topic I was asking about. When he got on the phone he said “Will Smith I know this is you just tell me” (lol). In another funny story, back at school the teachers and other members of staff would call me Will Smith. I remember one rainy day in class, the office said to the teacher on the speaker “can you please send Will Smith to the office”, this silly girl I did not get along with, loud-mouth yelled out his name is not Will Smith, it’s William Smith (lol). I just looked at her and did not say a thing. She must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. I also think she must have been hungry that day! If I had a Snickers Bar that day then I would have given it to her, because that silly little rabbit was not herself that day (lol).
LR: How did you get started in the radio and media industry? Was it always something you wanted to pursue?
BW: Yes it was! When I was a kid, seeing the stars on TV and hearing their music on radio, seeing their videos etc… I said to myself that it would be cool to do something like that. So I joined an internet radio station they gave me a show and I just kept with it. I have been on a few stations. I know it is exposure for now but I feel if you work hard and keep God first, it will work out in the end.
LR: Which radio personalities do you most admire and look up to?
BW: There are too many to name. But I respect anybody who has made a name for their self because they had to work hard to do it.
LR: What do you think of the future of radio as we know it, in light of the internet and people controlling the content that they consume?
BW: Yes I have always thought about this. Could internet radio take over FM radio? You know anything can happen because people have all types of devices that they can stream the internet from. So yes – and a lot of the FM stations can stream the station broadcasts over the net. Yes… and people have more control over what they do and that it can get lots of people to listen in. You never know what could happen.
LR: What was your favourite music while growing up and who were your favourite artists?
BW: I am a guy who likes all types of music and artists, people who know me well will tell you that. Some of my favourites would be Michael Jackson, Prince, Janet Jackson, Katy Perry, Selena and many more.
LR: How did the ‘Studio 816 Mixtape Street Cred Series’ come about?
BW: I have always been told “Big Will you have the guests and music… you should start a mix tape”. I never thought about it until this year when I got a new production team on my radio show. They told me the same thing and helped me come up with the name and then we did it.
LR: Are you familiar with any artists from the African continent? If so which artists are you most impressed by?
BW: I know a few actually. Akon, Yemi Alade, Wiz Kid. I know there are many more,
LR: Away from the radio space and music compilation, what do you get up to in your free time?
BW: I like to be on the internet, spend time with family, walk my dog, just listening to music. If I need something I get it and get back in.
LR: Are there any special mentions you would like to shout out?
BW: I like to give a shout to my God, thank you to him for everything. I love him so much. I want to give a shout out to my bro from South Africa thank him for spreading the word about me. Tre you’re a good guy, people go check him out on the Enough preview.
I also would like all the people to check out and follow my links (below) and keep in touch. Thank you!
Also make sure to check out the Street Cred: Volume 1 mix tape hosted by Studio 816.