Radio program

New local hip-hop radio show showcases up-and-coming Cleveland talent


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  • DJ Ace (left) and the Insomniac.
  • Courtesy of DJ Ace and the Insomniac

REAL 106.1 FM has just launched House, a new local hip-hop show hosted by local DJs Ace and The Insomniac. The show features interviews with local artists, producers and DJs.

Prior to House, Tony “The Insomniac” Ferguson hosted the popular online radio show and podcast The late night show, a hip-hop program that featured interviews with national artists like Tyrese and Common. Formerly the official DJ of Machine Gun Kelly, Ace still does sets at local nightclubs.

Ferguson says they started the program to give local hip-hop artists much needed exposure.

“We kept hearing local artists say they had no radio support compared to artists from other big cities,” he says. “There really is a lot of talent in Cleveland, and the city has spawned major stars like Bone Thugs N Harmony, Machine Gun Kelly, Kid Cudi and so on. So we wanted to change the story of the radio’s lack of local support and show that REAL 106.1 fully supports local talent. What could be better than creating a show that does just that – showcasing the talents of Cleveland. Since these are local artists so to speak, naturally we call the show House.

So far, the show has featured guests such as Keevon Malik, a local artist who is often compared to Drake, and singer and multi-instrumentalist Kiahna. Local rappers DubXX and Dre Walton were also invited.

“We have an artist on almost every show and we allow them to talk directly to people, and even freestyle on the show,” says Ferguson. “Cleveland has major hip-hop and R&B talents. You would be surprised how many Cleveland artists have songs with national artists. But the city must better welcome our local talents. Much more! The scene is flourishing, the artists collaborate more. There are opportunities to perform in our biggest venues, and it’s really a great city for this talent. But you must have really researched these artists in the past because they didn’t have a local platform. Now that the city has a platform like House, I only see it getting better since all this talent will no longer be hidden.

Ferguson says he also hopes the show will help local artists take it to the next level.

“We really want to help artists advance in their careers and show the world that we have a talent as great as any other city, right here in Cleveland,” he said. “We want artists now to feel like they have a platform and [know that] the days when they couldn’t broadcast their music on the radio are over. They can certainly be heard on House… both on REAL 106.1 and on the iHeartRadio app which has more than 120 million registered users. We also want listeners to see that House is the first place of musical discovery for local talents.

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