By JR Valrey, The Minister of Information
Owning media is a must for the Black community, who live in this highly technological media driven society, that has a history of being racist. Although the color blind society was a highly marketed concept to the people of the U.S., in the age of Obama, mass media’s recent coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers’ trial proves that race relations, in this country, are exactly where they were in 1921. If we depend on mass media to tell our point of view, we will continue to be depicted only as criminals and victims. This is where Black media enters the conversation.
One of East Oakland’s hidden gems, is also one of the least celebrated innovators and pillars in the Oakland media and entrepreneurial scene. He owns an internet radio station, a drink brand, he is a very sought after dj, and much more. In the tradition of celebrating people’s lives, while they are alive instead of just when they pass, we are giving Igor Beatz his flowers while he is still able to smell them. If you have never heard of him, let me introduce you to the East Oakland media mogul, as we talk about Baylife Radio and Igor’s Mudwater.
JR Valrey: Where did the concept of Bay Life radio come from? When?
Igor Beatz: The idea of Baylife Radio was brought to life in 2013.
JR Valrey: What inspired you to put your concept into action? How long did it take?
Igor Beatz: I was inspired to make Baylife Radio after working at another station KPR1 Radio. It took about 3 weeks to come to life.
JR Valrey: In a world full of rappers, what made you want to do media, especially radio?
Igor Beatz: I got into radio because of my great friend Cal Louis (R.i.p.). He brought me into the radio by letting me mix, while he did the announcements. After his passing I continued with radio because I felt entertainers needed a new platform to display their music.
JR Valrey: How do you think technology, the internet, and social media has affected radio? Do you like radio from the past or do you like where radio is going?
Igor Beatz: Technology has opened a whole new avenue to listeners. I never liked radio because of repetitive programming. I now love how the internet has opened a way to display a lot more music and entertainers.
JR Valrey: Who are some of the radio djs who have inspired your style of radio?
Igor Beatz: Cameron Paul – Michael Erickson – Dj Alex Mehiah- DJ Igorbeatz
JR Valrey: What are some of the shows on BayLife Radio and who are some of the hosts?
Igor Beatz: some of the shows on Baylife Radio are:
The Morning Show, hosted by me, DJ Igorbeatz – The Takeover, hosted by DJ Squaropolis – NOW vs THEN, hosted by Saint of 4Aces.
JR Valrey: Where did you get the concept to create Igor’s Mudwater? What’s in it?
Igor Beatz: Uncle Igor’s Mudwater is an Herbal Tea Made of Cannabis. I’ve made it personally for years. When I let people taste it, they always suggested I should bottle it. Finally 3 years later, in 2020 I bottled it.
JR Valrey: I think you might be the first person in Oakland that I know, that owns his own drink brand, is it hard to pioneer a concept and be the first without a real blueprint?
Igor Beatz: Yes it is hard, however, it’s no harder than marketing any other new product. You gotta hit the ground running. It’s very hard to get a new idea or product across to people. You have to just stay at it. The product being so good makes it a bit easier to sell. Being the pioneer in any area is hard because you have no manual, you write it as you go, for the next generation
JR Valrey: Is pushing a drink anything like promoting an album or a radio station? How is it similar? How is it different?
Igor Beatz: Yes it’s very similar. You have to have: Introduction, sales pitch, refined product or service, supply and you have to create a demand.
JR Valrey: How do people keep online with BayLife Radio? How do people get a hold of Igor’s Mudwater?
Igor Beatz: Online log into Twitch.tv/bayliferadio. Make sure you fill out a free profile and follow us for prizes and event tickets.
For Uncle Igor’s Mudwater contact Igorbeatz at 510 472 1517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org