Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica “Jazzi” Buckner.
Jazzi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a lover of music and words. So, it was only natural that I found myself on radio. As a kid growing up in Detroit, being an on-air personality was all I wanted to do. Throughout the years, I took on every opportunity to be a speaker, a host, on the school news, just whatever I could lend my voice to, I was there. In 2016, I got my break on radio! I worked multiple shifts for HOT983 in Tucson, AZ. From overnights to morning show, I did it all. My drive was real.
I walked away in 2009 to move to Atlanta to pursue other avenues. I wanted to expand out of radio and see what other opportunities were available. I hosted different events and parties, started on internet radio, and even did some TV stints as a host. Exploring possible options were both fun and challenging but I burned myself out and wanted to do something completely different.
I moved to Houston and I thought my time out of the business be short but it turned into about six years. During that time, still did voiceover work but nothing close to what I was used to doing. For years, I would get asked if I would ever get back into it. I wanted but was discouraged for some reason. In 2016, a DJ I knew asked me to do an online Caribbean radio show with him. I was hesitant but the feedback I received on it was great! It boosted my confidence a little. We worked together on that project for about two years. But due to time constraints, we could no longer do the show.
Towards the end of 2018, I started to realize I was no longer happy in certain areas of my life. It took a toll on me. I was successful in my 9-5, I loved being a mommy to my then 7-year-old daughter, Jenesis. I had great friends and had people I could count on but something was missing. It took until the beginning of 2019 for me to figure out that the reason I wasn’t happy was that I was existing, I wasn’t living. Living to me meant going after your purpose, doing things that made your soul feel good. That’s what I was lacking. I needed to be in control of my happiness. I woke up one day and decided I was going to “choose happiness”. I wasn’t 100% sure what I needed to do but I decided to start with radio. Jumping back on to mainstream radio would be tough. I didn’t have any airchecks at that time. I had been out of the game for a while. But I didn’t want the “No’s” to control what I could do. So, I positioned myself. I recorded airchecks to have on hand. I updated my Instagram to say I was a host and on-air personality (I didn’t have any real gigs but I was going to speak these things into existence!). I had the idea to start a podcast called Boss Babe Mindset and reached out to another woman from Houston who at that time had just started her Instagram page, Houston Boss Babes. I thought it would be a great idea to team up as our ideas were similar and we both wanted to reach women. At the same time that I had just put that in the works, I also had an internet radio station from New Jersey, Corner Funk Radio, reach out to me asking for me airchecks. I’m glad I was prepared! They listened and asked me to join the team. My show airs every Thursday from 7-9est on cornerfunkradio.com. It’s called The Class Reunion Show because I play throwbacks from one particular year to get you reminiscing about those good times. I reached back out to the DJ that I used to do the Caribbean show for and had him do a couple of shows with me. I have a few DJ friends who have all graciously jumped on to make some awesome mixes! I’ve spoken on panels and hosted a few women’s events. But none of this would have not been possible if I didn’t choose happiness, put in the work despite, or have God.
I talk to Him often about my dreams and I also ask him to help me use this platform to touch the lives He wants me to touch. Because of this, He opens doors I could never imagine. He’s creating my platform for me.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I look back to 2009 and realized that the only thing standing in my way was me. That’s hard to realize. I was stagnant because I didn’t put in the work for what I wanted. You have to. I became complacent because that was easy. But when I woke up one morning not sure why I was unhappy and in tears, I knew it was time for me to do the things that made me feel good and made me happy. I went through my pruning phase where I cut some people and situations out of my life. I did things that really nurtured me so I could gain that confidence in what I was about to do. Going into this business wasn’t going to be easy. I was going to have to put in real work. So, I knew I had to be mentally tough and confident not only in myself but in His word.
It’s ok to let people and situations go that no longer suit you. Align with like-minded people because number one you don’t know everything and number two you are going to have hard times but you need people that can speak positivity into you. You have to push past the tough times.
We’d love to hear more about Life of Jazzi.
I am still in the process of building my “Life of Jazzi” brand and what that exactly looks like. I know for a fact I am supposed to reach women. I’ve always known that. I’m glad I’m there now but I need to take this a step further.
I have so many things I’m proud of but what brings me chills is knowing the things that were meant to destroy me, only made me stronger! I discuss that some on my podcast. The episode is called Real Women, Real Stories: Single Mom Decisions. I was in an abusive relationship for years but decided to step away from that and be 100% single parent. That could have broke anyone but I flipped it and now I use those experiences to empower other women and mamas. We can do so much! I am proud that I can turn my hurt into help.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
It’s so much advice I could give. I’ve been through a lot. I guess what I would’ve loved to hear when I was just starting out is that I can write my own ending. Just because someone says “No” or walks away, they don’t walk away with your dreams in their hands. They don’t have the power to stop you from pursuing a passion in your soul. It’s yours. You fight to keep it.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @lifeofjazzi