As the only female co-host of the hit morning radio show “The Breakfast Club,” Angela Yee automatically stands out to those who tune in. Her ability to maintain a warm demeanor while still asking A-list stars hard-hitting questions brings a much-needed balance to what’s been called “The World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show” by the industry. Over the years, Yee having a seat at the table on one of the top Urban morning radio programs in New York has made her a media star in her own right, and she has used her well-deserved platform as a catalyst to pursue her other professional passions. Some of the radio personality’s passions include health and wellness, and recently Yee and her radio show co-host DJ Envy stepped out on their own to open a juice bar in Brooklyn called Juices For Life.
PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT recently talked to Angela Yee about her latest business endeavor, healthy lifestyle habits, and experiences as a woman in the male-dominated media world. Read our EXCLUSIVE interview below:
1. Today, the world knows you as a journalist, radio personality, and businesswoman but was journalism and broadcast media always the career path you wanted to follow?
When I was younger, I always thought that I was going to be a writer. I was an English major in college, and even when I was Kindergarten, I used to read a lot and write a lot. So, ever since I was I young, I read all the Judy Blume books and Beverly Cleary books, so I always said I was going to write books. I was going to be a teacher and write books, so I never considered radio until I was given the opportunity.
2. Did you have any internships or mentors that helped you get to where you are today?
I had a lot of internships and none of them were in radio oddly enough. I interned at MTV when I was in college. I also interned at a couple of record labels and Wu-Tang Management. My first job out of college was with Wu-Tang after my internship. I was assistant to the CEO and it was a great experience. All those guys were signed to different labels so I got to meet everyone in the industry from Def Jam to Epic Records so it was really a crash course on everything that I needed to know.
3. You are a woman in a male dominated industry. What has that experience been like for you and what have you learned from it?
I’ve learned that it can be both positive and negative and you just have to focus on whatever you can use to your advantage. When I first started out, I was very quiet and humble. A lot of people would come in the room and think that I was just somebody’s girlfriend especially when I worked in management and I was the only girl. People would ask “Who do I need to talk to for this?” and they would say “Oh, you need to talk to her.” That’s when people started to respect me a little bit. I never took it personally and I kind of enjoyed the fact that people were so caught off guard by it. Another thing that I learned pretty early on is that you do have to work a lot harder than everybody, especially in radio. It seems like women are very critical of each other and men are very critical of women so we get it both ways. I feel that guys often think, “What does she know? She’s a girl.” But, you have to realize that you have to overly prove yourself and that not everyone is going to like you. There’s nothing wrong with you and you're not terrible. You have to have really tough skin.
4. Your career has been full of highlights but what has been the most rewarding moment in your career thus far?
As women, another one of our problems is that we tend to be more humble than men. Men tend to shout out their accomplishments and I think as a woman we’re kind of taught to not do too much and not let everyone know what you're doing. When I do interviews, people have to remind me of things that I’ve done. I’ve had so many accomplishments and I love the fact that I can be around guys and get respect from them. I also love the fact that I can be around women and have them tell me “Angela, I look up to you. You’re a role model.” That means more to me than anything. I also love the fact that I opened a juice bar in Brooklyn because people are getting healthier and I can see it physically.
5. Working in the media industry in NYC is fast-paced and competitive. What advice would you give to rising female journalists who want to take their talents to the big city?
I would let them know that it’s not going to be easy so be prepared for that. They’re going to have to work really long, hard hours and sometimes it won’t be rewarding right away. But, just know you have to lay down that foundation now so, later on, you have people that can vouch for you and have a great reputation. If you’re working hard for very little or no money, just be ready for that experience. Make sure you also have a good group of people around you.
6. One of your most recent professional endeavors is Juices For Life. Can you tell us more about the juice bar and why it was important to you to open this business?
It meant a lot to me because I’m from Brooklyn and it’s right in the neighborhood where I live. I just want to see people doing better. For me, every single morning I juice. I get a juice in the morning to get my day started. I don't drink coffee or eat a big breakfast and I’m always on the go so I grab a juice. It helps me so much and I want other people to understand the benefits of it. There are a few people in my life that haven't been the healthiest and I have encouraged them to juice and everyone has come back to me and said, “Thank you so much. It has made such a difference in my life and I would never have done this without you.” So, I imagined this helping thousands of people and having a nice place like a juice bar to go to in your neighborhood is really beneficial for your life.
7. When you have time to hit the gym, what does your workout routine consist of?
I really like running. I have the weakest arms. I hate lifting, push-ups, and pull-ups. But, I really enjoy running. It’s meditative to me. I also love SoulCycle and Bikram yoga. I haven't done yoga in awhile but it’s really good for your whole body. It gets rid of all those knots in your body and you just feel so good after.
8. As someone who has to keep up to date with the latest music trends, are there any current must-haves on your workout playlist?
Yes! When I go running if I don’t have the right playlist, it'll make me want to say, “Okay. I’m done.” You have to have hit after hit on your playlist. I love working out to reggae. That’s my favorite and in my head, I’m at a dancehall party while I’m running.
9. You’ve already built an incredible resume for yourself but what else would you like to accomplish in the future?
I am working on starting an investment group with my friends for women of color. I want us to learn how to start investing and buying things together. That’s something I’ve been in the process of learning. I think if I do it, I can help other people do it. Also, I’m starting a financial series in the juice bar. It’ll be free for people in the community to come to and learn how to start investing. I want to help future generations to learn how to do these things. The next thing I’m trying to do is buy a vacation home with three of my friends. When it’s time for me to retire, I want to make sure that everything is taken care of and I don’t have to worry about money. I don’t want to have to worry about money now. I want to be able to take care of my family.
10. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
It means pretty girls have to grind it out. Sweat is beautiful because it represents hard work and success.