On-air personality, celebrity media strategist & Mother of Black Music Month
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and your career?
I’m Dyana Williams, an on-air personality on 100.3 WRNB – Radio One Philadelphia, where I host a classic, vintage soul show called Soulful Sundays with my co-host Derrick Sampson from 10am to 3pm. Also, I am a celebrity strategist/coach, and I work with a lot of high profile people. I worked with everyone from Philadelphia’s quarterback Michael Vick to Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Ne-Yo, Faith Evans, Mary Mary, The Dave Matthews Band members and Zack Brown. Across the board – rock, hip hop and R&B – you name it, pop.
My interest as a celebrity coach is to see people grow and be and do their best. That’s what I’m interested in for myself and the people, so it for them to present their very best persona. My company is called Influence Entertainment and I established 18 years ago.
I am the co-founder of the International Association of African American Music (IAAAM), a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization dedicated to the advocacy of Black Music. And, I co-founded Black Music Month with my best friend Kenny Gamble, who is the "Father of Black Music Month' and a lot people refer to me as the "Mother of Black Music Month."
Years ago, when I was on the radio when I first moved to Philadelphia in the 80s, I coined the term “City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection” because I was looking for a quality. I heard “brotherly love” for so many years and I said what about the women, let’s be more inclusive. So, “Brotherly Love, Sisterly Affection.”
I also do voice over work. I do a lot of things. And, I'm on a TV show called Unsung on the TV One network. So radio, television, film. I also write a monthly column for the Frequency magazine called Insights & Empowerment. But, my latest gig is being a Creative Ambassador for Philly 360, and I am honored, elated, super thrilled because Philadelphia is my adopted hometown and the place I love most.
The diversity, the culture, the people, the communities and so I stay here and I will have a home in Philadelphia for the rest of my life. I happen to live in New Orleans as well. I’m from New York, I was raise in Harlem but this has become my foundation home and I attend to have homes in Africa and Europe, but I will always keep a place here in Philadelphia because its so enchanting.
Since you adopted Philly as your hometown, where do you have to go when you're here?
This is my spot where I come to on the regular. They have natural soy-based products. Its organic – only nail spa in America that offers these services plus the vibe and the energy is phenomenal. It’s very relaxing. It's cultural. I am half Puerto Rican, so to come to a business that is own by a Colombian woman is just exciting to me. You can get Colombian coffee. You can get chocolate – which I try to avoid this – although it’s so delicious. And I buy gifts here for friends. So, this is like a one-stop shop, where I get myself hooked up, and I can buy gifts for family and friends. I can sit and relax, read, listen to music that is authentic. And look at the vibe. Now I don’t want it to be a traffic jam in here cause I’m letting you know about my spot ‘cause this has been my little secret.
When I need to de-stress – when I really just want to chill – I come to Franklin Square. It has a beautiful carousel and that’s what I like to ride. Its makes me get in touch with the little girl in me, and any issues, any problems I have just completely evaporate.
For me, Franklin Square is a hidden treasure in Philadelphia. The fountain, they have an area you can do miniature golf – and then there is a playground, and I do get on the swings. But for me, my favorite is the carousel.
As a celebrity coach, I’ve traveled the world and of course, Philadelphia being home. When I want a great superlative meal, the place I come to is Buddakan. No place like it. In fact, I crave, I long for this food when I’m away. And literally the staff and management will tell you I am here at least once, maybe sometimes twice a week. I hold a lot of my business meetings here, and when I need to decompress, Buddakan is where I come to get my nourishment physically, emotionally, spiritually. This is one of my great spots.