It’s Been A Long Time Coming: G Billa of Jackson’s Hot 96.1

Markitta-1011ad

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

In 2010 Gary Bills went to one of the local radio stations in Jackson, TN in an effort to get his music played. Unsuccessful, he never gave up. He returned to that same station every week, determined to get his music played. His determination earned him an internship at the station. Not quite what he was expecting, but at least he now had his foot in the door. After learning how to work the ‘boards’, he eventually landed a position working with radio personality Mr. Richard Donnell Sr. during his Community Feedback show that aired on Sunday mornings on 96 KIX. While grateful for this opportunity, Gary was still very focused on getting music played.

For as long as I can remember, Jackson, TN has only had one R&B station that appealed to the younger generation, and the not so younger generation that enjoyed R&B and the sometimes hip hop music that this station played. We really had no other options, unless we popped in a CD or streamed music from an online outlet such as Pandora or iHeart Radio or had satellite radio. This particular station didn’t really play a lot of up-to-date music, but if you were into ‘old school’ music then this was definitely the station for you. However, in 2014 Jackson was introduced to a new Hip Hop station, Hot 96.1.  This created a lot of buzz and excitement, because Hip Hop fans now had another option for music. Well, at least that’s what we thought, until this station started to sound very similar to the old station that we were all accustomed to hearing. The same music and the same radio personalities came through the speakers. What the freak?! Back to my CDs and Pandora. Then one day I tuned in and a heard a new voice…Gary Bills, a.k.a. G Billa was now rocking the mic! No disrespect to any of the vets of the Jackson airwaves, but it was refreshing to hear new talent, which hopefully meant a whole new sound. So I had to have a one on one conversation with G Billa.

Now G Billa always had dreams of being on the radio, not just behind the scenes pushing the buttons on the tech board. Even as a kid, not fully recognizing this passion, he would record his own live radio broadcasts. After mistakenly taping over his mom’s Patti Labelle tape, she went out and bought him a stack of blank cassette tapes. He would record himself doing live commentaries to all of the San Francisco 49ers football games…his favorite team I’m guessing. After working at the radio station for about 3 years the program director finally gave him the opportunity to fill in for DJs when they were out or if they were at a remote location doing a live broadcast. He was a natural behind the mic. After only one time on the air, he knew that being behind the mic was where he was meant to be.

Recently the people of Jackson were shocked when one of the local radio personalities posted a video on Facebook announcing his departed from radio. Richard Dee of 96 KIX and Hot 96.1 was stepping away after being in radio for many years. His voice was very recognizable and the people of Jackson and surrounding counties had become accustomed to hearing his voice when they turned on their radios. I tip my hat to Richard Dee because he definitely made his mark in radio and left a lasting impression on all that listened to him. His departure now made room for new talent. G Billa finally got the call he’d be waiting on. He’s now the new midday, early afternoon voice of Hot 96.1. When asked about what he’s going to bring that makes him different from the rest, “You never know what to expect from me. I’m all about having fun, bringing the excitement and making people laugh. I have a lot of ideas It’s go time! Expect the unexpected!”

I admire the determination and passion that G Billa has displayed. His journey to radio hasn’t been an easy or fast one. For anyone who’s interested in being in radio or anyone who has dreams G Billa has a few words of advice: “Be persistent and don’t quit. Don’t ever stop chasing your dream. Don’t ever say, I’m done with this. You may feel like giving up but DON’T DO IT! One day it’s going to be your time. People are so impatient when it comes to getting their shot, their time to shine. I’m 35 years old, it’s been a long freakin time coming. Throughout my 20s I’ve just been cooking in restaurants. And don’t get me wrong, I love to cook. I went to culinary school also, but I love the radio. I knew in my heart that’s where I belonged. I never gave up. I continued to work other jobs while still working in radio. And now it’s my time. I finally got my shot.”

You can catch G Billa on Jackson’s Hot 96.1, Monday – Friday from 12pm-6pm.

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Hot 96.1 is a division of Thomas Media, which also includes 96 KIX, STAR 107.7, WYN 106.9, and 102.3 THE ROCKET.

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As always…Keep Laughing!

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Kitta, a native of Jackson, TN, is a Laugh Coach, blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now? This Traveling Media Personality is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice.  Kitta believes in spreading joy, one laugh at a time.

Kitta, a native of Jackson, TN, is a Laugh Coach, blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now? This Traveling Media Personality is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in spreading joy, one laugh at a time.

When Your Broken Heart Becomes Your Fault

Markitta-1011ad

Turning Pain Into Laughter Since 2011

Girl meets boys. Girl and boy fall in love. Things are good for one or two years. Things suddenly start to change. Boy or girl is no longer in love. Boy and girl go their separate ways. Girl or boy is confused and blindsided…didn’t see this coming. Or did they? Let’s go back a few months and take a look at what may have transpired. Remember that one time her phone rang and she took the call in the other room? And how that started happening more regularly, when she normally has no problem taking calls in front of you no matter who it is? Or how you usually see him almost every day of the week and now you see him maybe three or four days out of the week…if he has time? Oh, or what about the first time you suspected he was lying to you about where he was and what he did the night before, but you dismissed it because you didn’t want to believe that he would actually lie to your face! Yep! There are always signs, whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. The signs are sometimes subtle, but sometimes HUGE! They smack us in the face like the smell of your grandma cooking chitterlings in the summer time. We see the changes taking place but we hope that we can do something to bring things back to normal…the way it was when you both were in love with each other. We don’t realize that the longer we ignore the problems the worse those problems become. And sometimes we set ourselves up for a heartbreak. How is that possible you ask? Well, we put ourselves in situations that we KNOW will not have a happy ending.

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Take me for example, because y’all know I’ve put myself in some questionable situations. A few years ago I was in ‘like’ with this guy. We weren’t in a relationship or even dating. But we had a strong like for each other. We talked everyday, he came to visit me at work regularly, and I even stayed up all night texting him while he was at work. Yep, I sacrificed sleep just to talk to him! It felt like we were teenagers, neither of us wanting to be the first to hang up the phone. I thought that since we were taking the time to really get to know each, without being around each other all the time and not even being close to being intimate, that we were starting off on the right foot. We weren’t being distracted by lust because we weren’t spending time together alone. We were sharing a different type of intimacy. HA! Corny right? I know, I know. But just keep reading because there was a very good reason why we were never alone together or went out on dates or never even seen together in public. He wasn’t 100 percent available…he was engaged to be married…and not to me. And yes I knew this before I got ‘involved’ in this situation with him! But I continued to talk to him every day, staying up all night texting him while he was at work. I believed the things he told me about his current relationship, and then I got my heart broken. I logged on to Facebook one day and I saw wedding pictures…his wedding pictures…I talked to him the day before his wedding and he never mentioned the fact that he was getting married the next day. I was hurt and angry. I couldn’t believe that he was such a coward to not tell me he was about to walk down the aisle. I thought we meant more to each other and he had more respect for me to hurt me like that. LOL, yeah I know that’s funny right? I had to laugh at myself on that thought. But wait! Should he have given me the heads up that he was getting married? I mean, I knew he was engaged and marriage is what usually follows. Truth is he didn’t owe me anything. A warning about his upcoming wedding, an explanation, an apology…NOTHING! My broken heart was now my fault. So often we go through relationships with our love shades on. Just like our Ray Bans, Nine West, and for some of us Prada shades, blocks the sun, our love shades block the lies, excuses and infidelity. They block the lack of interest from our partner. They block the true personalities and characters of our significant other. We wear them inside and outside, making people look at us thinking that we are confused. You know those people who wear their shades inside or even when there is no sun out? Or people who take selfies with their shades on…or the dude that always wears a hat because he just doesn’t look the same without it.They refuse to remove these items because they seem to make everything look better. Some tend to think they can change a person if they stick by them, love them through their mess. Hmph! When a person shows you over and over again who they are, and you still don’t believe them…your broken heart becomes YOUR FAULT! pic3 So how do we stop breaking our own hearts? Simple..stop settling! Recognize that you deserve better and do not settle for less than what you want. You think that what you have now is the best you can do. No ma’am! God wants more for you in EVERY area of your life. Your career, your education, your family, your friends and your relationships. He does want us to settle for less, when He wants to give us the best. But we have to let go so we can grasp what He has waiting for us. We should NEVER let a man or woman have to tell us twice that they don’t want us!

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As always…Keep Laughing!

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Kitta, a native of Jackson, TN, is a Laugh Coach, blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now? This Traveling Media Personality is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice.  Kitta believes in spreading joy, one laugh at a time.

Kitta, a native of Jackson, TN, is a Laugh Coach, blogger and co-founder of Can I Laugh Now? This Traveling Media Personality is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where she earned her degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kitta believes in spreading joy, one laugh at a time.