“Pretending was too much work”, as expressed by interdisciplinary artist Nyugen Smith, a hybrid of both Haitian and Trinidadian blood. He graced SQR Podcast with transparency as he delved into his upbringing in Trinidad; including his cultural adjustment after moving back to America during his most formative years, how art chose him, and the visual and physical influences he attributes toward embracing his own aesthetics. Coming from a broken family in Trinidad to attend a boarding school in Pennsylvania, he desperately tried to fit in. This even included trying to lose his innate accent. Realizing it was easier to be himself, he eventually found acceptance in college via a group of Haitians- an ancestry he was far disconnected from (an emotion better heard and felt at the end of the podcast in his spoken word). Smith, a scholar with straight A’s and B’s as a Political Science major, had his schoolwork all mapped out; until he took two pivotal art classes to fill up his electives. Those two classes flipped his world upside down. Art became his language. Soon after, he was invested in rapping, theater, painting and sculpture, and his evolution since has been anything but dull. From traveling to study art in Florence, Italy, to selling his art to college administrators and eventually hosting his own art show, Smith says it’s all about his support system. Without support from peers, friends, and family, he claims he would be nowhere. His whole life story is wrapped into this podcast, as he leaves us with the biggest jewel on this episode: “For those who are struggling to find themselves, and to find that thing in life that makes you want to get up every day, I wish they find that thing because there’s nothing like it.” With his work currently on display at Perez Art Museum, and being part of The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Nuygen Smith. We hope you appreciate his narrative as much as we did. Enjoy.
SQR Podcast The Community Podcast
SQR Podcast is designed Educate, Entertain & Encourage via real stories from real people. Tune in every week to hear new podcasts that you won’t hear anywhere else!
Born in Michigan, raised in New Jersey, the multifaceted Corey Dishmen aka @imsoholliwood dreamed of gracing the big screen and television. Raised by a single father, he experienced first-hand determination and resilience throughout the most transformative years of his life. “There is no doubt and no fear.” He believes failure is the most profound teacher. Raised around the grittiness of the streets, he fell victim to the hustle. However, he comes to the SQR podcast born anew and details his journey on cleaning up his act and working for the Division of Youth and Family services (DYFS) after graduating college. Pivoting a complete 180 degrees, he started to transport drug dealers and hustlers from the streets to college campuses for a change of environment; to inspire them. A man of intellect with a passion for the youth, Dishmen now teaches fourth and fifth graders and is known as a “gentle giant” in the classroom. The passion for teaching is reciprocated by his students who love to learn. Be sure to also check out his daughter’s interview on SQR podcast, Remy Girl Ni. Only ten years old, she has been writing and co-producing her own music; a genius in the making. Dishmen has labeled her a “she-nomenon.” Please enjoy this introspective look on Corey Dishmen a.k.a. Corey I’m so Hollywood’s journey that is called life. Be enlightened, be inspired. Enjoy.
Marko Kopic, real estate developer & investor honored SQR with the Highest ROI Podcast yet.“I had one focus: make the money; stack it” expresses Marko. Born into a Croatian family, Kopic built his wealth from the bottom up, there was no silver spoon. His discipline stems from his hard-working father who always said: “If someone wakes up at six o’clock, wake up at five o’clock. Beat them to it.” By the time he was twenty-two years old, Kopic owned over eighty properties in the Paterson area which he fixed and sold to build his fortune. Listen to this jewel-filled podcast to understand how Kopic went from rags to riches; and most importantly, how he stayed grounded throughout this journey. Enjoy.
“I was born to Dj” The Real DJ Gully visits SQR podcast and gave us one of our most fascinating and entertaining podcast yet. A Picasso on the turntables, Dj at 103.9 Middays with LaLoca and a devout father Dj Gully, opens up about his journey holding nothing back. The son to a Mom who was a strong disciplinarian, she worked hard to provide for him and his 2 sisters. Although Mom and Dad where separated, dad played a pivotal role in his life and journey to become a Dj. Mom initially did not want him to have turntables as she did not see it as a viable carrier, however from the age of 3 years old he showed an interest in playing on the turntables. Spinning events at age 6 to his 1st big party at 12years old, Dj Gully was extremely focused. “I have been Dj Gully for over 30 years”Dj Gully shares of the opportunity to spin at 103.9 and his vast music vocabulary. As a Dj he understands his role at events are somewhat like a doctor, as it is his job to make everyone feels good and bring them into a positive mind set. “Nobody wants to feel old”Dj Gully gives a hilarious summary of his experiences playing with established Dj’s such as Kid Capri and Mister Cee, where underestimating Gully’s talent was a big mistake for both. A devote father to young Gevonie who is a budding Dj, Gully passionately speaks of his son’s journey, being autistic and his talent on the turntables. “He reminds me of what I was at his age, but he is much nicer” The real Dj Gully exhibits organic talent with his son, behind the mic and on turntables. Enjoy.
Royal Flush, ‘The governor of Queens’, honored SQR Podcast with a jewel-filled pow wow, one of our finest episodes yet. Flush settles in and shares of his ‘Black & Cuban connection’, his mom from Cuba and his dad from the hardcore streets. He speaks eloquently of that time and of being a provider from an early age, as his dad was always locked up. “Jail was his home, and when he was home to us he was on vacation”, the perspective Royal Flush had growing up. However, he clarifies the love and respect he has for his dad, who is serving a life sentence. “A Dad doesn’t have to be in your life physically. If he can talk to you, mentally and spiritually, just be on the phone with me, he can still make an impact”. Junior high was great, the street life was better; girls, drugs & guns. Royal flush holds nothing back, clearly expressing his mind set at that time and the negative influence of his role models. Flush shares the origin behind his iconic name, the many trips to Flushing Queens and his unique entry into the hip hop game. “Hip Hop never had to pay my bills; it was like a sport, it was fun for me.” He walks us through his connections to Mic Geronimo, Irv Gotti, French Montana, ODB, Big Pun and Big L to name a few. Flush not only entertains with never told stories from the past, he recaps the current state of Hip hop, the influence of Queens and his views on trap music. Listen as we navigate the colorful life of this 90’s rap icon, who continues to influence and impact hip hop today.
Enjoy this passionate, informative and hilarious colloquy as The Honorable Andre Sayegh, current mayor of Paterson NJ holds nothing back as we dissect his life and answer questions from fellow Patersonian. Born and grown in Paterson to immigrant parents, who separated early in his life. Andre shares of the influence his mother had on him; as a bus driver, he saw her get up and serve every morning, maintaining the household and being the sole provider for both him and his younger brother. Reflecting, he notes she was the catalyst for his urge to become a public servant. His journey through high school was lackluster to say the least, finishing 141st out of 141 students, Andre confidently owns this stage of his life “Last in my class going nowhere fast.” Seeing the hard work and dedication of his mother, he decided; yes, he made the decision to do better. Community college was the beginning of the new, applied Andre Sayegh, finishing with a 4.0 GPA. Great grades, Scholarships and students loans got him into Seaton Hall where he graduated summa cum laude and onto Columbia University. Listen as he highlighted the various jobs he held, selling beepers in Newark to the various fast food joints, Andre notes working in all these customer service oriented business solidify his urge to be a public servant.“I feel safe in my city,” The Honorable Andre Sayegh passionately speaks of city’s accomplishment taking guns off the streets, the redevelopment of the parks and future plans for The Paterson Great Falls and Hinchliffe Stadium. From his family, to his influences and his top 5 rappers. Transparent, Knowledgeable, passionate and service driven; The Honorable Andre Sayegh, mayor City of Paterson here to put Paterson back on the map. Enjoy
Born and raised in Clermont St. Ann, Jamaica to a mother who gave him away at 2 years old, Don Reid had no immediate family members. A poor, malnourished little boy, he found himself being mothered by Miss Louise (Miss Lu), a complete stranger.Don reflects on his past, including going to Clermont All-Age School; which was approximately 4 miles from his house. He walked it bare-footed as he had no shoes. In his small community, he was known as the little boy that was given away. However, he was extremely bright and well read. A spelling bee champion and involved in the schools’ Drama Club, Don Reid did not allow his circumstances to dictate his future. Don shares of his 1st unconditional love and support system, which came from Rev. Tuller, the local pastor from his church. “I’m proud of you”, words that stuck with Don as he reflects on the impact of that relationship; Rev Teller treated him like a son. High school was a complete 180 degree turn for Don. The onslaught of puberty & the assumed freedom to attend or not to attend high school had him on a path to failure. Don recalls a high school friend who embraced him unfortunately was a certified loser. Due to his influence on Don, they would ‘go to school and do everything; except go to school’. Certified the class dunce, he was still able to finish 19th out 40 students. After a stern and sincere discussion with the principal, coupled with the threat of Miss Lu’s belt, Don straightened up and became a straight-A student. Don shares his journey into the medical field via a threat, and his transition into the banking profession. The undeserved care and advice from the people God has placed so strategically throughout his life allowed Don to confidently walk through all doors that were opening.“Throughout all these experiences, I have learned to laugh at myself”, among the many jewels dropped by this ‘little boy that was given away’, now known as Don Reid. Enjoy this riveting, honest and hilarious SQR Podcast production.
“Poor is a state of mind.” Read that again. This week’s episode, though short, is jam-packed with jewels from Passaic’s own financial coach, Peter Rosas. Coming from a household with an absent father, his saving grace was both his strong mother and his faith. Through trials and tribulations, Rosas takes us on his life journey to encourage us to seize every opportunity presented and to secure our futures. YOU are in control of creating your own legacy. Get your mind and your pocket right with Peter Rosas! Enjoy.
“It was a challenge that I accepted” declares Paterson native Bonnie Thomas. In another jewel filled podcast, Thomas describes her mental, spiritual, and emotional transformation during her major weight loss journey that essentially saved her life. After the birth of her son, Thomas became comfortable which resulted in her accumulating an excessive amount of weight and becoming pre-diabetic. Thomas decided she wanted to change her whole life around for the better; to feel alive again. During her transformation, she was patient with herself and learned to avoid temptation. She states, “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone but myself.” And take it from us here at SQR Podcast, she definitely proved it. Listen to her inspiring story here, enjoy.