The Circle of Sisters Expo is an annual event created to motivate and uplift women of color. For over five years, the event has been held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City and is sponsored by WBLS-FM and a host of other organizations. Parlé Magazine was able to sit down with EarthQuake and Déjà vu, the hosts of Quake’s House on WBLS (107.5 FM), to discuss the upcoming events, what patrons can expect and much more.
Parlé Magazine: The Circle of Sisters Expo is days away, what can we expect this year compared to years past?
Déjà vu: Each year we grow Circle of Sisters. It’s something different each year. This year we are featuring several breakout sessions. I will be hosting one and several of our other sister stations will be hosting some. I know Laura and Nessa, from Hot 97, will be doing different breakout sessions. You can expect all of this in addition to what is on the main stage with the great panels and the different one-on-ones and things of that nature.
Parlé: As far as the panelists are concerned, how are they chosen?
DV: I think these are people we feel our audience would desire to see. A lot of people are on television and they have a buzz about them. Yet, when you’re looking at the ones that people want to get up close and personal, those are the ones we generally go after. You will see people like Bobby Brown, who recently had a lot of drama with his daughter passing and the birth of his new child, he is going to do a one-on-one with EarthQuake, my host on Quake’s House. You’ll see things like that. You’ll see the State of Black America, where they are going to have people who are big in the political world here in New York and nationally. So you will see different things like that. As far as the panel that I am doing, it’s more focused on entrepreneurship, the Hustle Her, which is my movement and trying to find women who are about their business. We have Yandy, who you might have seen on Love and Hip-Hop, she is featuring her stuff not just as a reality star but now she is branching out and doing her entrepreneurial thing. I also have Lauren Lake from Paternity Court, who is not only a judge and a lawyer, but she is a singer and an interior designer. A lot of folks don’t know that.
Parlé: Speaking of not knowing things about artists and celebrities, Bobby Brown is being featured in the cooking expo this year, who would have thought he was such a good cook?
DV: Yes, Bobby was actually at Circle of Sisters last year doing his sauces in the cooking pavilion, he didn’t even really do the main stage. You get to find out different aspects of people. A lot of these artists are seeing that they have to have a Plan B. They have to have multiple lines of income is what we are calling it. They are finding out that this is important for them because if the 15 minutes of fame is over, how are they going to support themselves? You will see a lot of the people who have that this year.
Parlé: This year’s concert is featuring the legendary, Chaka Khan, who else can we expect to be hitting the stage with her? Can we expect any other Divas?
DV: That’s a great question and I honestly don’t know. I hope so. She will be joined by Tamar Braxton and Avant. It’s going to be an amazing night. If she did bring out somebody, man I don’t know. What if she brought out T-Boz and Chili and did their version of I’m Every Woman? WHAT?!?! That would be crazy. These are just things that I’m throwing out. I have no idea if she is going to do that, but you never know what to expect at Circle of Sisters. Not only do we have the R&B concert, we also have the Gospel concert. Bishop Hezekiah Walker preaches then you will hear Tasha Cobbs, Karen Clark Sheard, and Tina Campbell of Mary Mary. I heard Tina and her husband come out and do some type of whole ministry thing. It is going to be amazing.
Parlé: What personal and collective projects do you and Earthquake have in the works?
DV: We are hoping to take Quake’s House nationally so you can look out for that. Quake is always doing his comedy tours. He is building out his fatherhood platform. I am doing my life repurpose and Hustle Her movement. You can get all of the information at www.livingdejavu.com, which is being launched October 15th. Quake will always be spinning his wheels and doing other things. He is actually trying to get into more television roles. I know he has a couple of auditions coming up, so look for him on the big and small screens coming up in 2016.
EarthQuake: Oh yeah, I stopped doing television after I took this position. I really dedicated myself to this for the last two years because New York is no market that you can do from a distance. You have to really apply yourself and be here or you will be out of here in a hot New York minute. Now that I’m solidified and I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, it’s time for me to go back and do what I was doing previously.
Parlé: Do you find it difficult competing in this prime time market when you are competing with folks who are tuning into Power 105.1 with Angie Martinez or Hot 97 with Nessa even though the genres of music played are different?
DV: You know what, there is a strategy to everything. We have a strategy and what we are doing with the competition is going in and making sure that we are prepared for our show. We are making sure all I’s are dotted and all T’s are crossed as much as possible. It seems to be working. I believe we are number 2 in the market behind Lite FM at this point in the afternoon. Now you have Angie who is a veteran. She comes from the Emmis family, so people are going to be drawn to her, but I think what Quake and I bring, such as our energy and our dynamic is not something you are going to able to find on the dial anywhere else in the market. I think we bring something that people are in need of. A lot of times, folks are coming home, they are tired, they’re weary, they don’t want a whole bunch of seriousness. We sprinkle in the serious topics, but we get the laughter and a little bit of relief for them. This way they can crack up on their way home instead of stressing about their boss who just got on their nerves or those kids they are going to have to check when they get to the house. I think we have found a happy balance in what’s going on and we have been able to maintain that for the past few years.
EQ: Personally speaking, our only competition is ourselves. As we perfect more of us and our chemistry, I think we will do well against anybody in our time slot. We have unique personalities between Déjà and I, me being the comedian and her being a professional doing this over 20 years. I don’t see anybody with a better entertaining show than us.
Parlé: Between the two concerts happening, which one are you both looking forward to more, the Gospel Explosion or the R&B Live?
EQ: Deja needs the Gospel.
DV: Oh whatever! The Lord knows my heart. But this is how you do it, you do the Saturday R&B concert first so you can drop it with Chaka Khan and Tamar. On Sunday you can pray at the Gospel explosion.
EQ: She is a backslider. She pray on Sunday and twerking on Monday!
For more info on the Circle of Sisters Expo: http://www.circleofsisters.com/