Do what you love and you’ll love what you do.
For radio host, podcaster, YouTuber, and author Reece Parkinson, his passion for creating web content is what has driven him on his three and a half year journey to success.
Parkinson’s persevering attitude has allowed him to courageously take a chance most would question. Nothing will stop the 23-year-old from Kent, England from accomplishing his dreams and now as host of his own BBC Radio 1Xtra show, he gets to do what he loves every day.
This is truly the story of someone who has gone against the grain. Kulture Hub caught up with Parkinson to see what has aided him in keeping such a narrow vision.
Terrence J on BET’s 106 & Park, inspired Parkinson. That inspiration flicked the switch and a lightbulb went off in his head. He realized the possibility of presenting his own content to an audience. For him, there isn’t any other buzz like it, Parkinson said,
“I’m all in. I love making content and then being able to present it myself to an audience, there’s no other buzz like it. I’ve been on this journey for about 3 and a half years now, I remember watching Terrence J on BET’s 106 & Park back in the day and just thinking, he’s getting paid to do this? I want in.”
Anyone trying to get in the creative lane, knows that it won’t be easy. Sometimes you have to starve before you get a seat at the dinner table of success.
There is no such thing as an overnight success. You have to grind. Sometimes that means picking up a side hustle in order to coordinate your schedule with what is most important to you.
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Parkinson explained how he figured out how to support himself financially while pursuing his passion,
“There were times I thought about giving up, mostly because of financial reasons. You have to do part-time work otherwise you miss out on big interviews with celebrity guests and critical opportunities that come up. In this industry you could get a call to present something two hours before the filming begins. Full-time work would make that so so hard.”
“Especially when I was working in retail because a lot of the managers just don’t get it. I remember uploading BKChatXtra videos on the sly in the toilet in my last (God willing) retail job.”
We hope so too Reece.
You have to take a chance. Why live in fear doing something you hate? Don’t. Challenge yourself. Life will test your courage over and over again. It will throw obstacles your way that will pummel you into the earth.
Get up and tell life how badly you want this dream of yours. For Parkinson, “Being courageous is everything,” it’s who he is. One of his favorite books, The Alchemist, a short fiction novel, helped to explain the courageous character Parkinson has absorbed.
“The Alchemist explains through the character how life is always throwing us challenges, therefore making you scared or nervous to do something, almost testing how badly you want this dream of yours. So in turn you need courage. Anyone I speak to who isn’t doing what they really want to be doing is usually in that predicament because they let fear eat them up.”
Being raised in the UK helped Parkinson create his own lane. A lane that is authentic not conforming to what he thinks the world wants.
Parkinson described the amazing state of growth his homeland is currently witnessing,
“The UK is just in an amazing place right now, I feel like for years we’ve been in awe with the States and rightly so as you Americans make amazing content. But our content has dramatically grown recently thanks to the resurgence of grime music, it’s just become so authentic again, the culture is now making waves across the world instead of having to conform to what we think the world wants.”
Thus far in his career, Parkinson has maintained a special connection with his audience.
How does he create such relatable content? For his podcast show HimVsHer, with his co-host Annie Drea, he prepares notes on what he experiences day-to-day. Just living life is his inspiration.
Anytime he’s doing an interview with anyone, whether it’s on the radio, on film, or on a pre-recorded podcast, he makes sure that the person being interviewed feels important.
He avoids dry interviews because he does his research and makes sure his energy levels are high as possible. His vibes are “infectious.”
Parkinson explained the importance of catering to your audience. The most important ingredient in producing a successful podcast is being unique.
“I think you need to find a gap like we did, there’s no point doing what is already out there if you’re not talented enough to do better or if you don’t have a big enough audience to do so. Plus a lot of podcasts that are new, the audio quality and editing is really bad. Another key point, in my opinion, is to know your audience, and cater to what they’d like to listen too.”
Twitter is another tool Parkinson uses to connect with his audience.
He’s used the social platform to find out who was talking about a YouTube channel he launched called BKChatXtra.
When users were talking about the main BKChat show, he would engage himself in conversation opening up the floor for one-on-one interactions with fans of the show.
“I remember when the online show I launched BkChatXtra came out I would search who was talking about the main BkChat show and ‘@’ them on the timeline to start a conversation, it builds a relationship with you and the consumer. Plus who doesn’t love Black Twitter?”
Take this man’s story into perspective. He didn’t give up regardless of what financial obstacle presented itself, he studied the game and is still perfecting his craft. It takes 10,000 hours in order for anyone to perfect any ability.
On that road to perfection, doors will and can open for you.
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There are no excuses. Are you trying to figure out a way to enter the broadcasting space? Reese Parkinson has an answer for you. Peep his advice for the youth dem.
“My advice would be to remember it’s not going to come overnight. Have patience, I know patience isn’t nice when your finances aren’t in order or your living space isn’t great but trust me just have that next goal in mind. This is a marathon, not a race. Make as much content as you can and if you don’t know what to create then simply vlog/document your life then boom that’s your first series of videos. Also, take pride in your craft, study the best presenters and learn about the art of TV presenting, if you want to be on TV same with radio.”
Put that in your pipe and smoke it. The virtue of patience presents itself as a marathon. Create, create, and when you are done creating, create some more.