The host of the now concluded radio series, From Bump To Birth, broadcaster and judge on Baje To The World Talent Show has become a household name in broadcasting with her humorous entertainment segment on Hott 95.3FM.
Positive Vibes sat down to chat with Astra Babb who is an expecting mother about her career as a broadcaster as well as the journey of being a new mom.
Q: What is your mantra for life?
A: My mantra for life is: “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”
Q: What is one thing the public would not know about Astra Babb?
A: People usually think because of my boisterous, outgoing on-air personality that I am always ready to be engaged in social settings and be the life of the party. But I crave quiet, still spaces and most importantly, sleep. I have gotten up from dinner parties at my house and gone to bed because I have had enough socializing. All I ask is that you lock the door behind you when you leave.
Q: What does Astra do for fun?
A: I like watching historical documentaries and listening to True Crime Podcasts. I also like long lunches involving good conversations with close friends and I absolutely love visiting primary schools and reading to small children.
Q: You have become a household name as a broadcaster. Was it always a dream of yours to become involved in the media?
A: I have always loved radio but I never actually thought of it as an avenue for a career. I never thought people would actually know my name. I have been doing this ten years and it still never gets old when people break out into a smile and say, “You are Astra!” when they recognize me. With radio, personalities are identified by voice more so than a face. However, as I have continued to build an audience and thanks to social media, people know what I look like as well and they would not skip a chance to come up and say hello. I cherish each encounter.
Q: At what age did you realize that you were deeply interested in arts and culture?
A: It was only after I went into University and received a BSc in Psychology that I realized I wanted to do something more creative with my life. As many in my field would know, trying to make money as a creative has its own challenges in Barbados, so I decided to branch out and attempt to find work just about everywhere. They either never responded or sent a very nice rejection letter. One day as I was lying in my bed feeling useless my mother walks in and tell me that Starcom Network was looking for someone to join the broadcast team. I sent in my curriculum vitae and auditioned thinking they were looking for someone in the news department but they offered me a position on air with my very own show!
Q: What is one of the highlights of your career?
A: One highlight of my career is hosting the K9 Friends Dog Charity’s annual fundraising event with Britain’s Got Talent host Simon Cowell. It was a blast! He’s shorter than I thought and such a kind, generous person too! This just goes back to not believing the hype about the celebrity persona of a public figure. Love you Simon!
Q: As a soon-to-be mom what is one value, moral or activity that you did as a child that you are eager to teach your child?
A: We are very excited to be having a little boy. My husband wants to instil more activity-based moments from his own childhood like teaching him how to sail, fish and surf. I want him to be well read as my mother taught me how to read at an early age. I also want my son to be mindful of others’ emotions as well as his own and learn how to give back to those less fortunate. I was lucky to travel as a young child and explore other cultures and I want the same for him.
Q: As a soon-to-be mom everyone has advice on what you should and should not do. What is the funniest advice you have had thus far?
A: Other moms told me to prepare for the most ridiculous advice once people realized I was pregnant but my goodness! I have already heard not to take showers that are too hot because it will “cook my baby” and to avoid looking at ugly people, “because my baby would come out ugly”.
Q: In the media, the days are sometimes long and tedious. How are you managing both your career and adapting to becoming a mom?
A: The short answer is I haven’t adapted with managing my career and becoming a soon-to-be mom. I know eventually I will have to slow down but currently, I am working harder than I have in the last few years and loving it. Between my responsibilities, my TV presentations with Barbados Lottery, emceeing private events, judging with Baje To The World Talent Show and representing my personal clients to market products and services it has been an absolute whirlwind! My friends don’t get it and my family does not get it. But I get it, my baby gets it and that is all that matters. I thank my baby every day because he’s blessed me so far with a really uncomplicated pregnancy. I swear I can hear him cheering me on from inside the womb saying, ‘Keep making that money, mommy. I’m expensive.’
Q: What advice would you have for anyone who wants to become a broadcaster?
A: People always approach me asking, “What is the way into broadcasting?” The truth is, there is no one way. There are people who have completed all the classes and have all the degrees and do not make it on the air. There are some people with not a day of training that are hosting very popular shows. Having a foundation of study is a good start, but the technical side is only a part of it. You have to develop your craft daily – reading aloud, enjoying conversation with people from different backgrounds, asking in-depth questions, having knowledge of social topics and current events, and most importantly, having an opinion and narrative that leaves the listener either laughing or thinking. Anyone can report stories, we want to hear your opinion on them. Finally, come to work prepared. Do not get complacent and do not take your audience for granted. That’s the fastest way to get kicked out the door. (LG)