Osei the Dark Secret
By: Sylvia Woods
We want to let you in on a not so little secret. There’s a dark secret in St. Louis and six days a week it reveals itself; Monday-Saturday from 2pm to 7pm on 100.3 The Beat! The thing about secrets is no matter who has one and no matter how big or small it is, we want to know all about it. We caught up with Osei The Dark Secret and he tells all in our interview, alive and in living color!
Osei Kweku, iHeart Media Inc.’s newest on-air personality/host is bringing the dark to light on 100.3 The Beat! When asked, “What is the dark secret?” Osei responded, “I’m African. I am the dark secret. I’m not from this region and people are usually surprised by my background.” Osei remembers a time in history when being dark was not as cool as it is now. Well we all know, those days are over!
Long gone are the days when you needed to look like R&B singers El Debarge, AL B. Sure and Christopher Williams to make a mark! Skin the color of deep mahogany, broad shoulders, a sculpted frame, a robust voice and a smile bright as mornings first sun, only scratches the surface of who Osei Kweku, the noble one truly is. With the recent events in Ferguson and a keen awareness of what the people need, through the airwaves, Osei promises to inform, uplift and empower St. Louisans and expose the rich culture of this city.
Osei is diverse and multitalented. Born in Ontario, Canada, Osei didn’t speak English as his family is from Ghana, West Africa. He learned the English language, went to college and in Washington, D.C. is where he began his career on a commercial level. His dream was to do more with multimedia like television, film and production. Osei was heavily involved with music as an executive. He believes music has historical connections and that there is a musical soundtrack to every major incident that happened to Blacks in the community. These soundtracks are fused with love, pain, healing and hope. For example, Dr. Dre’s Chronic album was released in December 1992. That same year, hate crimes against Blacks hit a record high. A county panel found an 11% increase to 736 incidents and says the figure might have been higher if all riot-related instances had been included. African-Americans were the most frequent targets, report finds (source: http://articles.latimes.com/1993-03-23/local/me-14067_1_crimes-hate-eugene-mornell). “Music moves and motivates the masses. Through music, we are all empowered in some way and it is that logic that is the driving force of the man behind the music,” says Osei.
Osei’s plight has a new age renaissance perspective when it comes to Black culture. Motivated by global incidents of the killing of unarmed Black males; Trayvon Martin, 2012 in Florida, Dontrell Hamilton, 2014 of Milwaukee, Eric Garner, 2014 of New York, John Crawford, 2014 of Ohio and Mike Brown, 2014 of Ferguson, Missouri, amongst countless others; Osei contends that these deaths are contributed to how Black males are perceived as a whole in the media. When asked, “What do the people need?” Osei responded, “Urban radio stations need to be more responsive to the needs of the community. We’re not that in control of our image. We need the necessary tools to be overall contributors to our families and our communities. Barak Obama is a living example of the Black male in the family and Black men crave examples of men in positive leadership roles. Diplomacy is the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and effective way. We can’t police ourselves because we don’t trust each other. We all need each other to survive. We have to understand how to handle each other. There is opportunity in St. Louis. My vision is to change our culture perceptions through music and community service. Black culture is strong and we’ve had great contributions to society. We in the media have to get more involved and connect with people and see how great of an opportunity it can be. We are the people’s voice.”
Osei’s segment on 100.3 The Beat! is different in that selections are tailored to the people in St. Louis with hit after hit of throwbacks, hip hop and R&B. Influenced by long time American radio D.J. Donnie Simpson and Ryan Seacrest, Osei’s musical interest spans far and wide. You’d be surprised to find in his personal music collection the likes of the band Fleetwood Mac and The Police both out of London and other artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Dr. Dre. As a radio D.J., Osei suggests to aspiring D.J.’s to, “Open your minds to the business, figure out what your personality is and apply that to the music. Being great is about understanding what about you makes you great at what you do.”
In his leisure time, Osei likes to workout, trail run, travel, cook and listen to music. What’s next for “The Dark Secret”? Keep your eyes peeled for the group Mullage, a dirty South hip hop and contemporary R&B duo from Atlanta produced by Osei “The Dark Secret” Kweku. The group’s name is a combination of the words “musical collage.”
Osei plans to connect with St. Louisans by giving the people what they need. Good music takes a hold of us, squeezes us tightly and never lets us go. What is St. Louis without the Gateway Arch, Imo’s Pizza and chop suey joints on every corner? All of it is “So St. Louis” and we hold that same sentiment for Black radio.
Empowerment means being fully aware of our past so we can move forward in the future. Here’s to our revived relationship with Black radio.
Want to know more?
Tune in live to 100.3 The Beat! Monday-Saturday 2pm-7pm
Instagram @ OseiTheDarkSecret
Facebook: @ OseiKwekuOseiTheDarkSecret