Favorite

Black and white radio 

click to enlarge ON THE AIR: Tre Day.
  • ON THE AIR: Tre Day.

There’s no real easy way to say this: Travis “Tre Day” Rowan is a white guy.

That might not seem too shocking, unless you’ve ever heard him on the air, doing his “Take it to the House” drivetime show on Power 92.3, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

That’s because (and there’s no real easy way to say this either) Rowan sounds black — so much so, in fact, that even his fans are surprised that he isn’t black when they meet him face to face.

Before you start thinking it’s all some kind of put-on or act on his part, his friends can vouch: that’s his real speaking voice. On the phone, in person or ordering a cup of coffee, Rowan has an accent that would fit right in at a Juneteenth picnic. That said, his success at rap/R&B powerhouse KIPR Power 92.3 might be the best proof ever of that old saying about books and covers.

Rowan started as an intern at the station the summer he graduated from high school. A long-time fan of rap and hip-hop, he was serving as a lifeguard at a Jacksonville pool when his father scored him a tour of Power 92 with a friend: program director and morning man Joe “Broadway Joe” Booker. Rowan said Booker was surprised when they met, after speaking beforehand on the phone.

“He kind of had a little shock that I was white,” Rowan said. “But he thought it was real cool that I was so interested in everything. He was like, ‘Hey, how’d you like to intern here?’”

After awhile, Booker put Rowan behind a microphone, jockeying the station’s weekend graveyard shift, 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., Friday and Saturday night (Rowan said that he luckily didn’t have much of a social life at the time). The experience helped him get to know the ropes, and his audience.

“You’d be surprised how many people listen at that time — coming home from the club, or people working overnight, third shift — that kind of thing,” he said.

Ten years later — years which saw him graduate summa cum laude with a mass communications degree from UALR — Rowan has worked his way up the ladder to assistant program director, and Power 92’s coveted afternoon rush hour slot. He said that hip-hop has become much more accepted since he started at Power 92. Back then, he said, the station didn’t play much real rap during the workday.

“Rap music wasn’t really cool to play at work, or people wouldn’t listen at work,” he said. “Now, you can go look on the Billboard top 40 and about 30 of them are hip-hop songs, or R&B — the stuff Power 92 plays.”

While Rowan said he loves Power 92 for all it has done for him, he feels the itch to move on to a larger market. While he said he’s sure he’ll be around through the end of the year (his wife, Spirit Trickey, is a park ranger at the Central High School National Historic Site, and is helping plan events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the 1957 crisis), he said he’ll have to rethink things after that.

For now, Rowan is all about Little Rock, Power 92 and his fans. Though the station makes no secret of Rowan’s ethnicity, plastering his face all over its website (www.power923.com) and sending him out on in-person meet and greets, he still gets fans that are taken aback when they meet him in person.

“You’d think, having been on 10 years, they’d know by now,” he said, laughing. “Radio is really a theater of the mind, and they come up with this picture in their heads … Then they actually see me and they say ‘Whoa! That’s not what I thought you looked like at all.’ ”

Recently, at an in-person remote for the station, Rowan was approached by a woman who said she had been a fan for years. “She said ‘Tre Day, I just love you, but I always thought you were about six-foot-six, with big muscles and a bald head and black,’” he said. “She said, ‘You’re still real cute, but you’re just not what I expected.’”

There are worse things in life, I suppose, than getting mistaken for Samuel L. Jackson.

To hear clips of Tre Day on the air, go to his website at: www.treday.com.

Do I know you?

david@arktimes.com

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Tags:

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by David Koon

  • Griffen asks probe of Ark. Supreme Court and AG's office conduct

    At a press conference today at the Doubletree Hotel just across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Fifth Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen and his attorneys announced that he has asked the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to investigate the conduct of the entire Arkansas Supreme Court, and asked the director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and several others in the AG's office, related to what Griffen and his attorneys claim were forbidden ex parte conversations between the Supreme Court and the AG's office.
    • Apr 26, 2017
  • San Francisco judge blocks executive order defunding "sanctuary cities"

    A U.S. District Court Judge in San Francisco has issued a preliminary injunction that blocks major parts of a presidential executive order that would cut federal grants to cities that refuse to assist federal immigration officials in apprehending undocumented immigrants.
    • Apr 25, 2017
  • Judicial Discipline admonishes Judge over DWI, reckless driving conviction

    David Sachar with the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced today that a letter of admonishment has been issued to Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge William "Bill" Pearson, who blew through a DWI checkpoint near Clarksville in January before leading police on a short pursuit until a State Trooper disabled his truck by running into it.
    • Apr 25, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Latest in Media

  • UA cozy with D-G columnist

    An interesting element of the ongoing story of budget problems in the University of Arkansas Advancement Division has been a divide in outlook in the pages of the state's dominant news medium, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
    • Nov 21, 2013
  • Democrat-Gazette covers one of its own in story of reporter Cathy Frye's rescue

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's reports on the rescue of its reporter Cathy Frye, who was missing for days in the hot scrubby desert that is Big Bend Ranch State Park, are gripping.
    • Oct 10, 2013
  • Hodge shares his OA vision

    Roger Hodge, the new editor of Oxford American magazine, talked about his rise at Harper's, his writing philosophy and his plans for the OA before a full crowd last Wednesday at the Clinton School.
    • Sep 26, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Event Calendar

« »

April

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30  

Most Viewed

  • Forget the hairdo

    As the 2018 races begin to heat up, we see more and more women running for office. And as more women run, we will see more of the seemingly endless critiques of their appearances.
  • O'Reilly's fall

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.
  • Intracity tourism

    The issues that tug at my heartstrings are neighborhood stigma and neighborhood segregation, which are so prevalent in Little Rock. In my opinion, the solution to those problems is "intracity tourism."
  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: O'Reilly's fall

    • O'Reilly should run for president. He's already cleared one major hurdle by proving he's a…

    • on April 27, 2017
  • Re: Intracity tourism

    • I love being a tourist in my own backyard. One of the advantages of being…

    • on April 27, 2017
  • Re: Art bull

    • Well, when the Bull was first put up there, it meant one thing, and that…

    • on April 24, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation