Meet Florida-based broadcaster Boby Pascal, better known to his legion of fans and listeners as Boby X. A veteran of the broadcasting scene who’s too busy preparing his shows and satisfying his fans to give interviews, Mr. Pascal agreed to answer some questions that I had regarding his career, his personal musical tastes and what pulled him to broadcasting. And what a treat it was.
Kreyolicious: How did you get involved in media broadcasting?
Boby Pascal: Boby X is a brand that I started building since high School. You would see me on almost every Haitian, French social websites and chat rooms. Now, this brand has fostered beyond the back channels of chat rooms. It’s a collective of carefully and expertly curated entertainment and media avenues along with other projects that the public will be made aware of in due time. I have been working in the radio broadcasting business since I was in high school (Fort Lauderdale High School). I was just 16 years-old when I co-hosted my very first radio show on 1320 AM. However, it was not until after I met Wil (Wilner Dumerjean) at Florida Atlantic University that I began to take broadcasting more seriously. Right after I completed broadcasting training, I began hosting the very first French/Creole show on FAU OWL RADIO, Espace Musical with Wil, where we would interview local artists and artists from France, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Haiti and Africa etc…
Why do you think you are so popular?
It’s imperative for me to create unique products and experiences for the public, something outside of the norm yet that is relatable to each person. The public is educated. They know when a formula becomes repetitive. They appreciate personalization and customization, which creates a space for me to push boundaries and set myself apart. Also, popularity can be relative. I may think I’m the most popular guy around, but there is always going to be someone who has not heard of me. I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it for [the] culture…If when you see me you see culture, I will take that as a Win….this is the ultimate goal, it’s not a popularity contest.
Kreyolicious: If you were to name three people who have influenced you as a radio personality, who would they be?
Boby Pascal: It’s hard to outsource influences, I don’t believe it can be counted; it’s about having an open mind and open heart to learn from others who have paved the way before me. Everyone in this business has inspired me. I’ve learned from their mistakes and from their greatness. I’m a student of this profession, everyone has inspired me somehow.
Kreyolicious: In terms of musical artists, who are your faves?
My taste is very eclectic, my ears even more so because I love to discover new talents and sounds and I love music. Kery James (from France) has been a constant favorite since the beginning; his poetic lyrics and smooth delivery never fail to capture my attention. Mikaben is another one, a true Haitian pride and one of the most versatile artists in Haiti. I also love B.I.C from Haiti, Admiral T, Kalash. Ti Joe Zenny is constantly surprising me as a band leader and a frontman. Flav Gabel has developed a musical sensibility that I have enjoyed and his collabos are always a treat, Alex Catherine, Richard Birman, Paskal Lanclume, Corneille, Carimi, K-Dans, Coupe Cloue, ORS, King Posse, Kaysha Edwards, Tina Ly, Milca, Fabrice Servier, Ali Angel, MikaBen, Phyllisia Ross, Patrick Andrey, Jim Rama, and Saskya Sky too a young female artist with a lot of talents.
Kreyolicious: What has helped you become the best that you can be on the air?
My wife plays a big role in my on-air personality; she listens to every show and gives great constructive criticism when needed. She evaluates the co-hosts and what they bring to the table.
I have a great mentor in Michael V. Dutes who always makes sure that the content, the voice, the energy are great. I also have a few great friends who give me great advice on how to get better after each show. Al-Sabah, an amazing friend and seasoned professional, who guides me whenever I reach out. [He’s] someone who believes that the Caribbean is not just a country….and always tells me that, “Your show is the show just keep pushing. Don’t ever settle for anything less.”
Kreyolicious, let me add this, I read a lot about radio broadcasting, I stay in tune with new developments about the business from legalities and new technologies. I also listen to many broadcasters myself. It’s difficult to become better if you don’t listen to the best. I love what I do so I’m always listening to people who are successful doing it and to those legends before me. Wilner made me better, Groov’Motion made me better, Kreyolicious made me better, and my best is yet to come.
[Main Photo Credit: Focal Muse]
This concludes PART I of the interview with Mr. Boby Pascal. Be sure to watch out for PART II.
CLICK HERE to listen to past episodes with radio broadcasting veteran and multimedia personality Boby Pascal.
SPECIAL NOTE: Some time after this interview was conducted, Mr. Pascal passed away after being involved in a car accident. My condolences to his colleagues and to all who called him family and friend.