Ron Muschette Keeping it real
BEFORE he even utters a word, Ron Muschette's urban swagger announces his arrival inside a small conference room at the IRIE FM studios in Ocho Rios, St Ann. It's a few minutes after 11:00 am, and he's basking in the success of another airing of his early-morning show, The Wake-up Call, which wraps at 10:00.
Since being crowned the bad boy of local radio by his loyal fans, Muschette's name has become synonymous with energy, humour and style. In person, he exudes strength, confidence and that unmistakable I'm-a-boss vibe, which immediately lets everyone know that this is a brother who knows what he's about and is not afraid to speak his mind.
all woman: Not since the veterans who ruled the airwaves in the mid-'80s and early '90s has a radio show been as energetic, entertaining and informative as your "wake-up" programme. What are you doing differently or are you just being yourself?
Ron Muschette (RM): I'm just being myself and ensuring that the listeners have fun. We all have our own problems but we have to try and have fun in life. We can't let everything get us down.
all woman: What is this about you originally wanting to be a pilot?
RM: (Laughs) I have wanted to be a pilot since I was young. I still do and I plan to become one after I'm finished with radio. I want to be a commercial pilot, probably for Air Jamaica. I am eventually going to do it.
all woman: Okay, back to planet Earth. So what's the biggest perk of your current job. And don't be like, "I get to talk on the radio..."
RM: (Laughs) It's a lot of fun, man. You get to inform and entertain listeners and have a good time. You also get to interact with callers. I love my job.
all woman: In this age of dumbed-down programming, do you think now is a good time for more thought-provoking shows catering to youth and members of our generation?
RM: Yes. At this point in time, I am very impressed with what the media has been doing to cater to youths. There are more positive than negative shows for young people geared towards teaching them responsibility - not just on radio and television but in newspapers too. Yes you do have a few irresponsible announcers out there but I think that local media houses, both print and electronic, are trying.
all woman: How do you feel about being dubbed the bad boy of radio? Do you take it as a compliment?
RM: (Laughs) I used to call myself that when I was working in the US but I'm more of a good boy now. But I accept it as a compliment from my fans and listeners.
all woman: Let's go digging into your past a little. What are some of the hurdles you've had to overcome to get to this successful stage of your life?
RM: I had to deal with a lot since coming into this business. During the time I was at HOT 102, I encountered a lot of fight and opposition. But that didn't stop my food because I knew that even if I didn't make it big here in Jamaica, I would have made it in the US.
After I Ieft HOT 102 in 1998, it was like everybody in the business turned against me. The only persons that believed in me were Newton James and Junior Chung (now deceased) who advised me and promised me they would help me get a job. Carl Young (of IRIE FM) picked me up in 1999 and I am still here today.
all woman: What was your family life like?
RM: From I was little I learned to be a hustler because it was basically my mother alone and my other brothers and sisters when I was living in Whitehouse, Westmoreland. I had to learn how to send myself to school [Herbert Morrison and Manning's] and buy things for myself because my mother was under a lot of pressure. She had seven of us and I was the eldest boy living with her. So I basically tried to hustle my own money to ease the pressure off her.
all woman: Okay, it is that time. The readers want to know what's happening in your love life. Are you single, married, engaged, divorced, have three wives....?
RM: (After a long pause) I'm just happy and in love. I am in a happy, healthy relationship and I hope to get married soon. I have sons and daughters.
all woman: What do you love most about Jamaican women?
RM: Everything. Jamaican women are the best.
all woman: What do you have in mind for the next phase of your life?
RM: I'll probably stay in radio for about another four years because I think The Creator wants me to pursue other things. I hope to get into Satellite radio and put my mark on the world.
I am currently setting up an Internet radio station as well. I want to help children fulfil their dreams and serve as a role model for young people. At the end of the day, I want to make people happy.
all woman: And as a pilot.
RM: Yeah man, definitely (Laughs).