Written By: Maya Perry
Jeunesse is a multi-talented radio and TV host from Toronto, Canada. She is currently on air at Flow 93-5, Toronto’s Hip Hop. She started career at Flow over 10 years ago. Since then she has worked in Ottawa at The New Hot 89-9 and at a small market country station just outside of Toronto. She also host a daily lifestyle show on community television called ‘Inside Durham’ and a weekly podcast called ‘In Case You Missed It…with Jeunesse’ available on all major podcast streaming apps. Jeunesse states that “When I got my first major market job on air – I went by J’Ness. There was some pressure to take on a nickname because ‘everyone else had one’. I never liked it and it never felt like me. When I left that job, I decided I was leaving behind that name. Jeunesse is who I am and I feel like what I offer to my listeners is the most authentic version of me. How could I do that if I was pretending to be someone I’m not?”
Jeunesse started out by volunteering at a local community TV station and by going to college for radio and TV. Part of her program required her to get an internship in one of those fields. During her last year of school, she applied to a bunch of places to ensure internship. She states“I applied to a bunch of places but Flow 93-5, the hip-hop station in Toronto was where I wanted to be. Their unpaid internship program was Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM in the promotions department. Because of that I had to be done school to participate. So, I created a relationship with them and checked in from time to time. The day after I finished classes, I started my internship there.” Her determination and drive led her to live out her dreams.
While speaking with Jeunesse she provided great advice for aspiring radio host or tv personnel who are looking into getting into this ever changing industry. “The advice I have for the aspiring women in radio is to throw away any ideas you have about what success might look like. As a planner myself, that sounds crazy – but this business IS crazy! Don’t come into it thinking you’ll start out at the top. You might, but you probably won’t and that’s OK. There is value in working your way up from intern, to events cruiser, to weekends, to evenings, and maybe even back to weekends again. It’s an opportunity to be well rounded and likely – the most qualified and informed person in the room at all times. Also, have faith.”
Jeunesse concludes our interview by stating what she believes her brand is. “The way I would describe my brand is by saying: I’m authentic, I am a storyteller. I like to talk about and share things that are important to me. That’s how I connect with my audience. I am honest, forthcoming about who I am and what I have experienced. To me, my platform is not just a one sided conversation. On my show I give each of my guests the space and opportunity to tell their unique story. During my radio show I LOVE adding calls. I bring on people who want to comment on a topic or just tell me how their day is going. On social media I make myself available to chat or support anyone who listens to me. All the serious stuff aside – I’m a music lover who is obsessed with pop culture and entertainment news. So, I make sure to get in all of that as often as possible. It has taken each and every day of my career from beginning to this point now to really be able to articulate that. But it came naturally for me out of a love for what I do and the people who are watching or listening.”