Buffalo, N.Y – She takes her time in her delivery and is concise in her tone. She speaks to millions of listeners as one and understands the value of vocally painting a smile on someone’s face. Not only are those traits that our industry takes for granted but they also are traits of success. A woman in charge and on task, Michelle Visa places passion into every word she speaks on the air.
Hailing from Western, New York, Visa began her journey with music, falling in love with the power of the notes and rhythms. “Music makes everything better,” she tells CTZNSIX, “as I transitioned from an artist into radio I knew I had a larger platform to express myself.” Attributing her love for radio to her humble beginnings in music, Visa has always been keen to understand the power of communication. Understanding that power, she does her best to remain positive on the airwaves: “Instead of being messy and full of drama I wanted to send out encouragement and positivity. I’ve had people come up to me telling me how something I said, made them feel better or inspired them, and that’s what it’s all about.
Lately I have been working with high school students through programs and workshops. If I can help one young person get on the right track then it was worth it. I’ve become super passionate for the youth because they are the future.
Along her journey in the entertainment industry, Visa has developed an ear for the universe. She prides herself on the ability to become motivated by the colors all around her. “I’m motivated by things all around me,” she says. “I can walk outside and see a homeless person looking for bottles or a woman and a child standing on the bus stop. Just doing what they have to do to survive and I’m inspired.” Motivation by the world can’t hold a candle to her top motivation, her family. “My family also motivates me. Thinking about my mom and dad still having to work makes me want to go harder so I can take care of them,” she says.
With stern motivation and focus, Visa has worked her way through several plateaus within the entertainment industry. She has interviewed hundreds of our favorite artists and has been featured in several major videos, working not just to build a resume but to build a connection. Her work ethic is on the path to black excellence and it’s no wonder what else motivates her, “I am motivated by black excellence and anything pushing me to be my best self.”
Fighting so many discriminatory views in a sexist and racist entertainment industry is tough. Many women of color have spoken about the inequality that exists behind those stage lights and Visa is not too shy to admit the struggles of women in entertainment,”Being a woman in the industry has its pros and cons.” She continues, “Of course a beautiful face and nice body can get you in places faster where a man might be rejected. However, as a woman I feel [that] you’re always being objectified. You are constantly judged on the way you look and you will be tested at some point. Men will want to sleep with you and may even ‘say they will help you’ or pay you to do so.” Through it all, her integrity stands firm and she keeps her focus strong while moving up the ladder, “Maintaining my integrity and respect is something I planned on since I began this journey. No one will have the opportunity to say I got here by sleeping around in this field. The industry is like one big high school. Everyone talks!”
Motherhood could also be the base of her integrity. Remaining a good role model for her children helps keep her focused on what’s important. As one could imagine, balancing the heavy responsibility of the entertainment industry along with the tedious tasks of motherhood is tough. She says, “it’s difficult being a working mom in the industry because there is always some kind of event going on.” After years in the game, Visa learns how to balance it all:
“I have to manage my time wisely. Between cooking and household duties, homework and basketball games, I am always busy. I find it easier to write out my schedule in my planner and that helps to get the clutter out my head. [Advice] I would also say make time to spend with the children where no work is involved. Whether its a movie or out to dinner just spend quality time. In addition, I would say get in the gym. Exercising has been a big stress reliever for me and we have to stay healthy and active for our children.”
“I would say don’t let any one discourage you from achieving your goals. People will try to prevent you from reaching your goals simply because they have none of their own or haven’t reached them yet. You’re probably going to hear no more times than yes and thats ok. Believe you can do it and never give up. If they won’t let you in through the front door sneak around to the back.”