Ivy Rivera is grinding her way to the top. Currently, she hosts her own radio show “The Ivy Rivera Show” on Thursdays live on the Ripped Radio Network. She is also adding television to her resume with some hosting gigs on different networks. As she continues to make a name for herself in the music industry, The Source sat down with Brooklyn’s Boricua to talk about her journey thus far and what the future holds for her.
The Source: Who is Ivy Rivera?
Ivy Rivera: I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY in the Bushwick section. My parents grew up in Bed Stuy so I’m a Brooklyn girl for real. I’m also Puerto Rican.
The Source :How did you get into radio?
Ivy Rivera: I started off with dreams of being a dancer. I was always tied in the loop of the industry. My dad was really strict and didn’t allow me to dance with my crew. I directed all that passion to another field which was communications. Life just brought me to this field. I started a blog and after a year I looked for new outlets to communicate like radio. So I transferred from Queens College to Brooklyn College and got an internship at the radio station. From there, I started my own radio show formerly known as Tea Time Radio. That show eventually became The Ivy Rivera Show. People always suggested I do radio and it fell into my lap.
The Source: How do you feel about women in the industry and the idea of them being in competition with each other?
Ivy Rivera: I think by nature everyone as competitive. I don’t view other females as competition. There is enough food for everybody. I don’t pay attention to what other women are doing because you can get lost in your own sauce. In fact, I’m inspired by it and not intimidated by it.
The Source: Who are some of the people that influenced you?
Ivy Rivera: It’s crazy some of the people who inspired me. People like Jennifer Lopez, Angie Martinez, Gina Rodriguez, and Oprah. Oprah evolved from nothing to owning networks. I think J-Lo is unstoppable, I don’t think she is human. I also look up to people like Jay-Z and Kanye West. I’m especially proud of Jay-Z with this new album (4:44) he dropped. I am viewing in a new light. I’m so glad he came out with this. I also look up to Diddy, I believe I’m like Diddy & J-Lo’s love child.
The Source: How do you feel about the generation gap in hip hop and the constant criticism of the youth movement in the culture?
Ivy Rivera: I truly believe that my generation is the last to experience what we experienced. The generation after mines won’t experience what dial up for the internet is like. They are born with cell phones. Hip hop is global. It’s expanded worldwide. A lot of the artists come circumstances that we never will experience. It’s truly a gamble of what they put out to the world. It can be inspirational shit or something that we can bounce to. For example, Yachty vs Chance Tha Rapper. So I’m pretty neutral in terms of the debate. Hip Hop is constantly evolving. It started off being inspired by funk, latin, urban. It’s always changing. The younger generation speaks with a style and sound that the older generation doesn’t understand. It’s not their job to question it. There have always been weirdos in the culture since it started so there is shouldn’t be room to turn your left cheek to someone they cannot relate to. The criticism disregards the lyricists that are in the youth movement in hip hop.
The Source: Can you talk about some of your best interviews doing the radio show?
Ivy Rivera: Chinx Drugz, I never interviewed someone who passed away. It was done over the phone. He was so cool and nice. I replayed that interview when he died. I actually got to meet him in person a few months before he was killed. It was really sad when he died. I also interviewed Beyonce’s backup dancers. I had people calling in from Brazil and Finland when I interviewed them. In general, I feel I have an eye for up and coming talent so I enjoy showcasing them before they blow up on my show. The interview I did with Manolo Rose, I felt was a bit overlooked. We delved into topics we don’t usually touch on and it was great. I love to show the intellectual side of an artist.
The Source: Since your radio show broadcasts over the internet, talk about the global listenership of the show and where you were surprised you had listeners?
Ivy Rivera: I have fans in Lagos, Nigeria and over in the United Kingdom. A random person in the U.K. reach out to me and tell me he is a regular listener. I don’t care if you are in Kansas or in the middle of Brooklyn, I appreciate it.
The Source: Where do you see yourself five to ten years from now?
Ivy Rivea: I like to keep an open mind on where my life and career are going. I usually end up in a better place than I thought. Everyone who is in radio wants to go to Hot 97, Power 105, or Sirius XM. I always get voice over work or television gigs. So I feel my calling is beyond me. I always keep busy and network with people. I feel I’m talented in a lot of areas and I don’t want to be boxed in. I want a mainstream radio slot, host on television, and to produce content through my own company.
The Source: What’s on Ivy Rivera’s playlist?
Ivy Rivera: I listen to mostly 90s music. Sometimes I’ll listen to 80s and 70s music. I always have to refresh my musical memory listening to albums like Supreme Clientele helps. In the past, I used to just listen to singles and now I’m more into listening to entire albums. I also listen to a lot of reggae. I feel like it’s been a resurrecting influence in hip hop. At one point it was on television as much as hip hop was, but that kind of died down. I listen to a lot of old school R&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, and a dab of salsa. Artists like La India are so passionate about their music which I like even though I don’t know what she is saying. I’m one of those embarrassing Puerto Ricans.
The Source: How do you feel about what’s happening on the island of Puerto Rico now?
Ivy Rivera: I know Puerto Rico is in a lot of trouble in terms of the debt and the rules in the country. In addition there is an ongoing debate about their status in accordance with the United States. People like Lin Manuel Miranda are doing so much to help and a lot of activists are bringing light to the situation. Hopefully, the problems can level out. I would hate to see my land fall because of the current issues that would be devastating.
The Source: Any last words you want to say to people who are going to read this story?
Ivy Rivera: I’m not a bad person. I feel if you are as passionate about music as I am, we will get along. If you are just learning about me watch me rise because it’s definitely going to happen. I hope I can be an inspiration. The people who do know me and follow me, I appreciate them so much. They are the reason I do this. I have people in my life who reaffirm my belief in the abilities and talents I possess. They make themselves present in my life. It’s so important to have those people in your life. Even the haters, I love y’all too.