RFB Host Profile: Francesca D’Alessio and “Love Me or Leave Me”
RFB: Hi Francesca, and welcome to Radio Free Brooklyn! Tell us a little bit about the creative (or other) path(s) that led to you doing your show and to Radio Free Brooklyn.
FD: My love for radio is truly a lifetime journey. My dad was a producer for radio and television, so I spent my childhood in recording studios and radio stations. I moved from N.Y.C. to San Francisco when I was 18 to lobby for California Peace Action. We worked to build awareness about civil rights initiatives and to stop the egregious acts of human rights-abusing nations. During this time, I stumbled into KPOO radio (a.k.a. Poor People’s Radio), an independent, listener-sponsored, non-commercial radio station and learned firsthand the power of the airwaves.
Through this opportunity, I focused on using my volunteership to organize, support, build empathy and break stereotypes. For two decades I was able to open the airwaves to amplify the voices of low-income communities, the disenfranchised and the underserved. Plus, independent radio allowed me to play local music not heard on any other radio stations. I truly felt I was helping to undo some of the societal damage caused by corporate mass media.
RFB: What made you choose RFB?
FD: When the pandemic hit I immediately left San Francisco and came home to N.Y.C. (Because home is where the heart is.) But I love making radio and needed to find a station in alignment with my vision … and there was Radio Free Brooklyn. I went to the “Wall of Lies” installation [in the fall of 2020] to check the vibration, and met many good folks. There’s solidarity through radio; good people doing good things. And I was so excited when they offered me a spot. I am thrilled to host a show on RFB!
RFB: I see from your show page that Nina Simone is an inspiration. What is it about her that resonates with you?
FD: Nina Simone represents what I admire in humans. The fine line between brilliance and madness; creation through struggle; innovation regardless of circumstance and standing strong in the face of adversity. Her music is beautifully revolutionary, and she continues to move me.
RFB: It’s 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, but that hasn’t stopped you from debuting a show! Tell us about the challenges and rewards of your process so far.
FD: I’m currently broadcasting from my apartment and low-tech is an understatement. I’ve always focused on music and never thought about hardware, so it has been a steep learning curve — I tried four mixers before I got it right! I’ve learned so much but hope to forget it all and focus on music once again soon. It can only get better from here.
RFB: Give us a hint about what to expect from each show and what is the takeaway you hope people get from Love Me or Leave Me?
FD: The show is all about music, but I also hope we can organize, empower and be a space to share resources and opportunities … and if I can figure out the equipment you can expect an interview once in a while.
Tune in to Love Me or Leave Me Wednesdays at 8:00 pm.