Updated: Dec 24, 2021
Radio personality and social media entrepreneur Anna DeShawn exclusively talks with Gaye Magazine™ about the evolution of her online radio station E3 Radio, some of her most important career moments and the upcoming launch of her app “The Qube”.
Since heading her radio station E3, DeShawn has taken giant strides in spreading awareness and positivity through her passion of telling stories that are often ignored in mainstream media.
“I had an idea to really amplify Black Queer voices because I felt like, and I know, that we’re underrepresented, under invested in and that there is a lack of visibility happening in our communities, and we deserved to have our stories told."
"...E3 was a natural evolution of focusing on the shows and then, now, focusing on the music, and now today we are an online radio station playing queer music and reporting queer news in high rotation. That makes me really proud.”
Some of the crowning moments during that evolution have been interviewing activists from the likes of Lena Waithe and Gena Yashere, to local activists doing what they can to make changes in their hometown.
“There is no MLK without a Malcolm X, and there is no civil rights movement without a Fannie Lou Hamer, so for me, Fannie Lou Hamer is that local activist who made things happen, who created change, and those are the people who I like to talk to because in so many ways those are the people who are making a greater impact on their communities than these national influencers or celebrities that we follow today. So, for me, some stand out moments have been interviewing Vernita Gray, who has transitioned from this space, but has made incredible impacts in the Chicago LGBTQ+ community and what it means to be Black and out in Chicago.”
This sentiment extends to her new podcast on E3, “Queer News”, which is a bite sized, seven-minute podcast that comes out five days a week by 9 a.m., sharing news for the LGBTQ+ community by the LGBTQ+ community. With this new podcast, DeShawn return to her journalism roots by amplifying the stories & lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people while diversifying the daily news cycle.
“There’s a lot of things happening with LGBTQ folk on any given day, and I think a lot of times there are folks who think LGBTQ folks have come a long way, like , but as somebody who reports on the news affecting LGBTQ folks every day, I know very well that that is not the case. We still have a long way to go.”
DeShawn cites a couple of years ago when her and her team realized they needed an easier way for their listeners to be able to tune into their station, especially since they were streaming all day. That was the catalyst for the creation of the app “The Qube”, an app for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) & QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) music & podcasts set to launch in early 2022.
The app is a place that not only makes it easier to listen to E3 Radio, but a space where POC LGBTQ+ creators are pushed to the forefront.
In DeShawn’s words for the tagline, “Queer radio done right.”
“Where are the black ones, where are the queer people of color? Where are the latinx podcasts? Why don’t we see any brown people on these apps? We knew we could be the change; we needed to be the change we want to see in the world. We decided we were gonna take E3 Radio and take podcasting and put them together, and we created ‘The Qube’. So, it’s gonna be a place of discovery, a place of music and podcasts by BIPOC and QTPOC creators, and I’m excited about the impact it can have on the world, the impact it can have for creators.”
Ethnicity, race, sexuality, and preference of genre are special features of The Qube, where you can select your identity and what you want to listen to most. They also plan to add a tipping feature in the app right away as a way to financially support the podcast creatives. Later in 2022, they will launch an equitable ad revenue sharing program to further their financial support of creatives.
“We’re gonna prove that there’s an audience here, that there are black people, latinx folks, and Asian folks, and indigenous folks and queer folks that podcast and deserve to be seen, heard and discovered.”
Along with hosting content creators, DeShawn and her team and planning to launch podcasts exclusively on The Qube, two of which shared with me. The first podcast is set to launch in March 2022 and is titled "2nd Sunday". Hosts Darren Calhoun and Esther Ikoro will be discussing the intersections of being Black, Queer and in of the church.
“Black queer folks have faith, and it is a struggle because the church has probably caused some harm at some point along the way, and so we'll be able to hear from some of these black queer faith leaders on why they have faith, what they think of the black church, ‘where's the black church today’, and ‘how do queer folks fit into that narrative’.
Another podcast in the works is “Beyond Queer Stories”, a story-telling podcast hosted by Jace William & Dr. S. where they will discuss their lives as Black Queer men in America, beyond the coming out story.
If you're excited to witness the evolution of Anna DeShawn's company E3 Radio and the evolution of her new app "The Qube", you can follow updates on Twitter and Instagram via @thequbeapp. Be sure to follow Anna on Instagram.