Nadeska Alexis, longtime moderator and executive producer of Complex’s debate show Everyday Struggle, will step into the solo spotlight with a new weekly series on Beats 1. Her new show premieres on Feb. 15 and will air each Friday at 3 p.m. ET.
Speaking with Billboard about the premiere, Alexis explained that it’s “a chance to showcase a part of me that people don’t necessarily see. Everyday Struggle is an entertaining, intense place for debate, but it isn’t the easiest space for me to have a dialogue or a voice. This gives me an opportunity to be open; I have two hours to play music, interview artists who wouldn’t fit with my other work, and introduce the audience to new artists.” (Full disclosure: Alexis and I worked together for a time at Complex.)
The first episode will feature a number of New Yorkers, including A$AP Rocky, Flipp Dinero and ItsTheReal, highlighting Alexis’ kinship with the city and her interest in documenting the city’s hip-hop scene. “New York has always been a multicultural place,” she says.
“The show will showcase artists coming up now — sometimes from my neighborhood, in Brooklyn,” Alexis says. “I spoke to STJHN about growing up between Brooklyn and Guyana, which is similar to my background, since I’m originally from Grenada. I want to hear from the people creating the music about that current sound of New York.” The show will include picks from the Apple Music playlist “The New New York.”
Alexis began her career in music journalism at BlackBook Magazine and AOL Music before heading to MTV, where she worked as a writer, hip-hop editor and on-air talent. With this series, she plans to “tackle more serious subjects. Watching what 21 [Savage] is going through, and knowing he’s not the first rapper to go through that, it would be good to do longform reporting on topics like that. I started out as a writer and editor; journalism is my background.”
It’ll also be a place for artists to feel comfortable to let their guard down and fool around, as you can see in the clip below.
“I remember interviewing Cudi and he came in tense,” Alexis recalls of an early moment in her career. “And by the end he was like, ‘That wasn’t so bad.’ It would make me feel good if the artists felt like they could have a great time. Pop in, talk about what’s on their mind.”
Tune in Friday (Feb. 15), at 3 p.m. ET, for the first episode.