Host of Drive Time on Joy FM, Kwame Sakyiamah, popularly known on radio as Lexis Bill, is the Man of Style in the latest edition of the Glitz Africa Magazine.
Read below the magazine’s One-On-One interview with the host of the award winning show.
(Note: GA – Glitz Africa; LB – Lexis Bill)
GA: We had an amazing time shooting with you. You handled the shoot like a trained model. How was the shoot for you?
LB: it was nice. Is this the part I sign up to be A Glitz model? (Laughs). I had a good time. What I do a lot of time with my outfit is that, I like to get people’s ideas as well. So you realize I didn’t choose everything myself. It just helps me put my stuff together.
GA: You are now at Joy FM. How has the journey in your radio career been like so far?
LB: Radio actually started from Kumasi. I did a couple of radio stations in Kumasi and I came to Accra. I worked with Hitz FM, at Hitz FM I was doing the morning show. After a couple of years the station wanted me to do more. I am a bit of an urban presenter and the station wanted to do a little bit of Twi, which meant I had to dilute my style of presentation. But I do the Queens English mostly so I was presented with another challenge, which was to get me on Joy FM to host the multi-track show and late night express after the drive time. I was also a sit-in host for Bola Ray on the drive time when he was not around. And that is how I got into Joy FM. I was doing that for a little bit until I got to the drive time.
GA: How long has it been now since you started presenting the drive time?
LB: I have been on the drive time for a year and a month.
GA: You filled very big shoes being on the drive time. How was it like for you? Were you nervous on your first day?
LB: The funny thing is that my first day wasn’t literally my first day, because I had been sitting in for him whenever he was not around. So it was a familiar ground. The first day after his exit, I was told I was supposed to host it. It initially started with him going on leave. Then news started spreading around that he had resigned. But I had not been given the nod. Then my boss calls and tells me I’m going to host the drive for real. Then it dawned on me that this was serious. For me, doing this show wasn’t a problem, but filling in the expectations that people had for me was what I needed to weigh. Because this is somebody who has been doing this show for 11 years, so if I was going to sit in, then I had to do it better. So there were no nerves, the nerves were there when I went home after I was told that I was going to be the main host. I had nerves on my bed, not in the studio. But it wasn’t overwhelming for me, it was just like going to the studio and doing what I always do. And that is how I have been doing it for the past 1 year.
GA: Was the plan to be a media personality or you just stumbled into it?
LB: Never was it a dream to be a radio presenter. When I was much younger, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. When you have a father who believes so much in the medical profession, all he wanted me to do was to be a doctor, but when I went into the secondary school, I didn’t do science and that dream was dashed. So now that I was doing General Arts, what was I going to be? I never really thought of radio, I just had a love for music and listening to the radio, and that is how come I was actually pushed into it. I was a poet then because I used to write a lot of poems. I heard a poem by DMX being played on the radio, so I walked to the radio station at Great Hall, KNUST and I told them I needed the lyrics. At that time pen drives were rare, so they played it again and I wrote the lyrics out. So I was just having a conversation with one of the guys I met there and apparently he was the production manager. He told me “I like your voice, you have a radio voice”. I didn’t know what a radio voice was then. They actually decided to put me on the radio because they thought I could be a good radio presenter.
GA: So from the university where did you move to next?
LB: From campus, I got a call from Kapital radio in Kumasi. Kapital was one of the biggest radio stations in Kumasi and I was doing the Drive Time then, so that was my first commercial radio with Drive Time. I worked with them for two years and then I moved on to radio Ecstasy. After two years I had learnt a lot about radio programming. I saw a job posting for a radio programs manager and presenter at radio Ecstasy, so I applied for it and I got it. I worked there for two years, and then along the line I decided to come to Accra.
GA: You do both radio and TV. You’re a host for Men’s World. How did you get into TV? Was it your initiative or you were called to host it?
LB: I got a message on Facebook from someone who wanted me to host a program with that concept. I thought it was a really good program. A program that portrays how guys talk and behave when they are together. It’s not a formal TV show so when I got back, I contacted them and we started working on it, but that wasn’t my first TV experience. My first TV experience hosting was THE CHALLENGE, which was an educational reality TV show.
GA: What do you do to sustain your voice? Do you have a routine or foods you don’t eat?
LB: It’s God’s gift. You can’t preserve it well enough. I don’t know what anybody can do to protect their voice, but I don’t take in a lot of chilled stuff. But I do think about it sometimes, what if one day I wake up and my voice has changed or I don’t sound like how I sound like, what am I going to do? When I have a little itch in my throat, my goodness, I call all the doctors I know because that is what we work with. I have gotten to understand that there is something like a good voice, but to be successful in radio it takes more than a good voice. It’s a lot more about how legible and affable you are.
GA: How has your experience with Joy been so far?
LB: It has been a blessing. I have been in multimedia for a little over 4 years. It has been a beautiful experience and for me it is about progression in life, the people you meet, the experience and your own perception about life. My perception of life 4 years ago is not the same as now. I didn’t think about being an entrepreneur. 4 years on, I am looking beyond and I can see so much out there to explore. There is a world out there bigger than we can see. So it’s been an enlightening moment for me and that is the most important thing.
GA: In one sentence, who is Lexis?
LB: Lexis is a sociable bloke. I enjoy solitude a lot, but I prefer companionship with a little bit of malicious gossip.
GA: Tell us about your family.
LB: I have got a small family. I am the first born of 3. I have got a brother and a sister. I have officially told my dad that I am the man of the house. I have got a cute family, but we are well connected with the extended family.
GA: Were they worried when they heard you were going into radio instead of what they wanted you to do?
LB: My dad believed in professions. I couldn’t come to my dad and say I wanted to be a radio presenter. It didn’t carry that much weight. I am sure he would have said “all the school fees I have been paying you, are you going to use it to sit and play music on a radio?” So when I was in school, my father didn’t look much into my activities, but they knew I was doing radio, they just didn’t know it was taking almost half of my education. So when his friends come to Kumasi and they hear my name on the radio, they report it to him and he gets excited. But when I come home during the holidays, he doesn’t show any excitement. So for a long time he still thought I was just doing that as a hobby. I remember after university, he personally got me two jobs, but I told him I was doing radio. So he didn’t particularly like it. Recently, when he heard how I was getting popular and making the airwaves, he even now calls me by my nickname “Lexis”. I had this T shirt branded with my name on it that I gave it to him. One time when he was going to a social gathering he wore it and one of his friends asked him where he got it from. They didn’t believe him when he said he was my father so he called and I confirmed it. Now he is happy, because I think the dream of every father is for his children to have a very good standing in the society and to be able to take care of themselves and their families. So if that is really sorted out, then it doesn’t matter what you really do, once it is not illegal, then it is fine.
GA: You are very known in the industry as a well-dressed guy, have you always been this fashionable and trendy?
LB: I think I was lucky to have gotten into radio whiles I was in school, because it gave me access to professional experience even before I got out of school. One of my favourite quotes is “dress how you want to be addressed”. You have to be unique and stand out. People ask me, “don’t you feel hot wearing this?” and I tell them I love it. You grow to love them. Now when I wear a normal shirt, I feel incomplete. I just need to put something on.
GA: How would you describe your style then?
LB: Classy, I always want to look classy but witty. There’s always something about my socks, which will tell you I’m a bit funky. My favorite things in the world are socks and pocket squares. So I always say on my birthday, don’t buy me a phone or boxer shorts or singlets, buy me socks or pocket squares. So for me it is about making the classy look attractive. Classy could be boring, but with a little bit of color in it, it will turn it around.
GA: Where do you shop?
LB: I shop everywhere.
GA: Do you have favorite places you shop at?
LB: When it comes to countries, I love shopping in South Africa. One of my favourite shop there is the Fabiani shop. But here in Ghana, I run by every boutique and make a purchase whenever I see something nice. I am very interested in suits as well, so I do a lot of explorations so I can create my suits. But as of now, I create most of my outfits.
GA: When you say you create your outfits, do you mean you design them and get it created for you? How do you mean?
LB: I design them and get it created for me. Every suit has a basic cut. What differs is the modification on the button or the cuts, so it’s quite easy to design the suit for somebody to wear. The variation comes from the fabric. Then I can decide to combine shades of fabrics to see what I can get. I get that done and luckily I have some amazing guys who do all that for me. That is part of my entrepreneurial skills, because I realized that if I love suits, then why don’t I get people who are talented and groom them? Because all these suits that we are ordering from Italy and everywhere can be manufactured here in Ghana. All we need to do is get them trained in, let’s say, London for a month or 3 months to study hard and make good suits. All we need to do is import very good fabrics. So that is how come I get them to make suits for me.
GA: Are you just designing for yourself or you have plans of making it commercial?
LB: For now, I am doing it for myself and I have a couple of friends I do that for, but in the near future, I have got my eye on going commercial.
GA: You are very trendy and stylish, when dating a woman, do you expect her to be the same?
LB: I think appearing decent should be enough, appearing neat and knowing what to wear at which occasion is enough. My woman doesn’t have to go overboard or be deep in fashion. Just put on some very good clothes that can match my tuxedo. With a little less than that, we might have a problem. It is not what really attracts me to a woman. It is a good start, but it wouldn’t get me there.
GA: Style tips for the men.
LB: First of all, always keep spare clothes in your car. Whether it is a spare pair of trousers or jacket. Be very simple. If you are a young man and very adventurous who is bold and daring then KISS- Keep It Sexy and Simple. Sexy is relative.
My third point is to accessorize. I know for the corporate folks that they will always want to be in a suit and tie, but just one time you can have a little pocket square to spice it up
GA: From your “Men’s World” show, how do men want their women to look like during a night out?
LB: On a night out every man will want their woman to be the hottest chick on the night. The most attractive of the night showing less skin. If the girl is going out with her friends and she wants to show her cleavage that is fine, but when I am with her and hanging out with my guys, I prefer there to be less skin. Every man wants their woman to be exclusive to them. You should be the nicest and most attractive, but it doesn’t mean you should show all the skin in the world. Be very decent.
GA: In “Men’s World” show, has anyone shared something that you didn’t have a clue about?
LB: It was actually on a location and we were having a conversation about women enhancing their bodies with implants, wearing artificial butts etc. And one of the guys was telling us about his experience; and he said anytime they met, her hips were protruding. So one time they decided to spend the night together and the lady insisted they turn off the light and he also insisted they keep the lights on. In the process, he realized the curvy lady was no longer curvy but straight. It highlights a very big problem in our society. A lot of people are not comfortable in their skin. We should enhance what we have but shouldn’t overdo it. Men are only attracted to those things if only it is real, because if you take a woman into the room and she has put socks under her breast to make it look bigger, that is deceit. And these silicone implants have got side effects. You don’t need to go through all that just because you want to please a man. I am hoping a lot of women will understand that they have to be themselves, don’t try to be something else for your man.
GA: What is next for Lexis aside radio and TV?
LB: It is just businesses for now. There are so many opportunities here in Ghana. I know people complain a lot about the lack of opportunities and jobs, but I have been exposed to a lot of opportunities and I want to help create a generation of great thinkers and people who want to start up their own business. So what I am venturing into now is an entrepreneurial training for young people who really want to make it in life, and make the best out of this continent. It is more about me finding the opportunities that present themselves on the continent and helping others to also follow that path and build their lives.
GA: What are some of the names of powerful people you have met through your job?
LB: I am inspired by a lot of people and I have met a lot of people. What readily comes to mind is the story of UT. Prince Amoabeng has done almost every job before and that is an epitome of somebody who really wants to make it through the right way, and is not afraid to take a chance.
GA: How do you stay in shape?
LB: I work out every morning. I have a gym and a fitness company called X Fitness Company at Ashalebotwe. Fitness is a passion of mine, so I train every morning.
GA: Is your closet nicely arranged or messy?
LB: You know there is a bar in the closet that you hang your clothes on? Mine broke because of the number of suits that were on that thing. I had to exit all the shirts to make room for the suits because the suits were just growing. And my closet is very organized upstairs, but downstairs, please, let’s not go there.
GA: Is there any fashion item that you will never be caught wearing?
LB: I am adventurous with fashion and I will make anything work, because at a particular point I am able to use them for something.
GA: Have you ever hooked up with an ex?
LB: No, once it’s done, it’s done.
GA: Boxers or briefs?
GA: Do you like a lady in lingerie or pajamas?
GA: On ladies do you like long hair or short hair?
LB: Short hair
GA: Ladies in heels or trainers?
GA: Would you rather cuddle in bed or go out at night?
LB: Cuddle in bed!
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