Brandon “Bigg B” Hickman is the man-in-charge at Wilmington’s own Coast 97.3 FM. More formally, he is a Program Director with Culumus Media, responsible for the coastal area’s most popular urban radio programming. Bigg B’s experience spans more than 10 years in radio that, oddly enough, didn’t start out as his initial goal but ultimately turned out to be the perfect place to make his ultimate goals a reality.
Hickman went to college in Norfolk, Virginia and his journey led to Washington D.C. shortly after where he briefly worked in the education field. The unfortunate passing of his stepfather in 2001 resulted in the future radio star relocating back to Wilmington, North Carolina.
Working for The Boys and Girls Club of Wilmington, Hickman heard the popular radio station Coast 97.3 FM was looking to bring on a street team. He also learned the radio station was seeking children to perform in their 10th year anniversary show. Hickman found this to be the right opportunity: he was able to get children together and have them perform at the show. Displaying his immense talent to ‘get the job done,’ the station’s Director at that time, Phillip David, had a conversation with Hickman and DJ Ced that led to David asking him if he’d ever considered working in radio.
This was the “Ah, Ha” moment that his life had been waiting for. And the beginning of a new start.
Hickman viewed the radio as an opportunity to reach a broader audience and keep his passion for education very much alive and real. And we agree! Sometimes you have to go to the people to reach them, right?
His mission to help youth in many ways propelled him to work with the station and teach, although in 2007 he stepped away from teaching and focused solely on radio. He had made his decision: Radio was the niche to reaching the youth more effectively.
Today, Hickman truly enjoys all that comes with his career. He is passionate about influencing new culture, being heavily involved in the community, and driving change in the city. With the high violence rates in Wilmington, Hickman believes it is important to be actively engaging the youth and connecting with them.
When asked what we can expect in the near future, Bigg B would like to continue working to bring larger events to the city. New this summer, Summer Music Series in June 2014 will be held at the Cameron Arts Museum and will be host to live local bands for Black Music Month. His Rip the Runway event, currently in its third year, has grown tremendously. This event, done in his mother’s honor, rewards one outstanding boy and girl each with a $1000 scholarship from the proceeds of the event.
His advice to anyone that thinking about following in his foot steps is to be better than him. Learn all you can learn. Get an internship, that will get you foot in the door. For career in radio you have to be passionate, Don’t be star struck because they are people too. Place yourself around people that want the same things and better.
“If better is possible, good is not enough.”- Brandon ‘Bigg B’ Hickman