Francesca D'Alessio in a radio studio
RFB Host Profile: Francesca D’Alessio and “Love Me or Leave Me”

“Love Me or Leave Me” host Francesca D’Alessio on her lifetime love of radio, why Nina Simone is her muse and how RFB’s “Wall of Lies” led to doing her show.

RFB: Hi Francesca, and welcome to Radio Free Brooklyn! Tell us a little bit about the creative (or other) path(s) that led to you doing your show and to Radio Free Brooklyn.

FD: My love for radio is truly a lifetime journey. My dad was a producer for radio and television, so I spent my childhood in recording studios and radio stations.  I moved from N.Y.C. to San Francisco when I was 18 to lobby for California Peace Action. We worked to build awareness about civil rights initiatives and to stop the egregious acts of human rights-abusing nations. During this time, I stumbled into KPOO radio (a.k.a. Poor People’s Radio), an independent, listener-sponsored, non-commercial radio station and learned firsthand the power of the airwaves.

Through this opportunity, I focused on using my volunteership to organize, support, build empathy and break stereotypes. For two decades I was able to open the airwaves to amplify the voices of low-income communities, the disenfranchised and the underserved. Plus, independent radio allowed me to play local music not heard on any other radio stations. I truly felt I was helping to undo some of the societal damage caused by corporate mass media.

RFB: What made you choose RFB?

FD: When the pandemic hit I immediately left San Francisco and came home to N.Y.C. (Because home is where the heart is.) But I love making radio and needed to find a station in alignment with my vision … and there was Radio Free Brooklyn. I went to the “Wall of Lies” installation [in the fall of 2020] to check the vibration, and met many good folks. There’s solidarity through radio; good people doing good things. And I was so excited when they offered me a spot. I am thrilled to host a show on RFB!

RFB: I see from your show page that Nina Simone is an inspiration. What is it about her that resonates with you?

FD: Nina Simone represents what I admire in humans. The fine line between brilliance and madness; creation through struggle; innovation regardless of circumstance and standing strong in the face of adversity. Her music is beautifully revolutionary, and she continues to move me.

Francesca D. of Love Me or Leave Me in her apartment studio.
Francesca D. of Love Me or Leave Me in her apartment studio.

RFB: It’s 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, but that hasn’t stopped you from debuting a show! Tell us about the challenges and rewards of your process so far.

FD: I’m currently broadcasting from my apartment and low-tech is an understatement. I’ve always focused on music and never thought about hardware, so it has been a steep learning curve — I tried four mixers before I got it right! I’ve learned so much but hope to forget it all and focus on music once again soon. It can only get better from here.

RFB: Give us a hint about what to expect from each show and what is the takeaway you hope people get from Love Me or Leave Me?

FD: The show is all about music, but I also hope we can organize, empower and be a space to share resources and opportunities … and if I can figure out the equipment you can expect an interview once in a while.

Tune in to Love Me or Leave Me Wednesdays at 8:00 pm.

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