In celebration of the launch of our exclusive capsule collection of Queen Tees, we headed to Los Angeles' 95.5 KLOS to meet up with radio host, Marci Wiser. Read on to see what she had to say about the iconic band, Freddie Mercury, her career and love for rock n'roll.
With over 20 years of being in the radio industry, how did you get started in this field and what have you found to be the most rewarding part of your career thus far?
When I was in college, I had hopes of becoming a journalist. I was taking all the necessary steps to make it happen but somewhere along the line (as I was knocking out college credits, spinning tunes, and creating awesome memories with friends) I got a taste for playing vinyl records and talking to my peers on the college radio station. I loved it and I guess it showed. Soon after, I got a call from a music director from a “real” radio station during one of my shifts. The rest, as they say, is history.
What I find most rewarding is having the ability to lighten someone’s day. Maybe I can make them smile. Maybe I can be the one to take their mind off some daily stressors as they turn up the dial, sing out loud and reset–all through music.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Many! Every day is a learning experience and a chance to be better. I’ve gone through many moves and experienced different management. Some are great and confidence–building, and some break you down. The important thing is to always take away the lesson: How do I become better? How do I grow to be at the top of my game? It’s important to always keep it positive and maintain that dialogue within you. Admire the love for the music, appreciate the profession, and keep everything in perspective.
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We know you have a deep love and respect for rock n’ roll. What is it about this genre of music that intrigues you?
Recently, a cousin I grew up with reminded me of my younger years when my older brother would “school” me on rock n’ roll. I was very young, but rock has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I don’t consider myself a “musicologist”, just a lover of music. Music is where it’s at, and rock is a real, raw outlet. It’s a place where the vocals aren’t always on key, and the guitar and bass are paint brushes rather than digital perfection.
What would you say to people who say rock n’ roll is dead?
Rock n’ roll is not dead–it’s confused. It’s not Pop. It’s not Country. It’s Rock. We’ll make sure we get it straight. We have some promising rock bands on the horizon.
Who is an up-and-coming artist you feel is worth checking out?
Greta Van Fleet. They often get compared to early Led Zeppelin. Some think this could end badly for them, but in my opinion, Greta is a solid band with a number of great songs under their belt. They’re a very young band and will continue to grow. They’re the whole package.
Tell us your thoughts on Queen and why you feel this band is iconic.
Queen not only delivered great music, but theatrics and a real show. Their songwriting and music was both progressive and unorthodox. Freddie Mercury performed vocal gymnastics that we hadn’t yet heard in rock music. Brian May’s playing is amazing and didn’t fit the stereotypical rock box. Their music had roots from all over.
Has any of their music personally affected and or inspired you?
I think we’ve all had those moments where we crank up the volume in our car and put Wayne and Garth to shame! “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Will Rock You” … these are all feel-good, get “pumped” kind of songs. Queen songs have been a solid part of the soundtrack to my life.
Freddie Mercury was fearless in his approach to music, style, and life. How do you apply the energy and perspective that he had to your own life?
Fearless, for sure. I tend to take things head on, especially fear. The more fear you feel, the more you should go full force in that direction. There is no failure, only growth. Shut out the negativity or hate that may come. Sometimes that’s hard to do, but DO it–that’s where the greatest growth and reward comes in.
Freddie Mercury knew how to entertain an audience. His voice was undeniably incredible. He was able to sing in four ranges. He was born to do exactly what he did. He was also very shy–I can completely relate to that. Shyness can sometimes be misconstrued, but I don’t think it’s that uncommon. I've personally battled shyness my whole life. Word to the shy: Let your confidence and beauty within shine.
Any advice for aspiring radio personalities?
It’s all cyclical. Growing up, there were many radio personalities that I looked up to. If you feel it and want it, get it. There will always be a need for someone to carry the torch. Learn all you can in all areas. Programming, talent, sales, promotions, management–it’s all so important. Most of all, be kind and have something to say. Don’t emulate anyone else. Do your own thing, and if you stand out, you will succeed. It’s an art. Lastly, don’t forget your “family”–the listeners. They’re the best part. You’re there to bring listener and music together. Life is good.
Lastly, how do you personally feel lucky?
Not a day goes by where I don’t stop and think about how grateful I am. I get to go on the radio every day, play the music I love, and I dig every second of it. Lucky me! #Grateful
Keep up with Marci on Instagram: @marciwiserEnter The Queen Tees Shop Lucky Insider Home