By Alysha Conner
Rashidah “Rah” Ali is a Bronx-bred entrepreneur, TV personality, published author, radio personality, and self-professed celebrity “stiletto expert.” She was first introduced as a socialite on Love and Hip Hop: New York reality series during season three in 2013. Since her reality TV introduction, Ali has maintained a significant following in the social sphere over the years. She is most recently recognized for launching a new radio show called ‘OnSite!’ through Stationhead Social Radio.
“Stationhead ultimately gave us a home. That’s the dynamic of Stationhead. You don’t have to be a public figure. You can be anyone and still share your voice. We tried having a radio show a long time ago, but we just weren’t equipped to make it happen. So, having Stationhead’s support to execute everything has been phenomenal! It is so much fun!” Ali expressed.
Stationhead is the leading social radio platform that allows its users the creative freedom to establish their radio station and be able to use music without licensing it. It also serves as an interactive community by providing access to authentic connections with other artists and listeners by way of live chats, guest callers, and messaging. Users are then able to record and make their broadcasts available on-demand so that listeners can stream the show at a later time. More than 200,000 stations have been created on the platform since its November 2018 launch.
As a result of the NY-based startup’s fruitful launch, the company implemented a Stationhead South location in Atlanta, GA.“We’re looking to really democratize radio and give the power back to creators. It’s definitely the most important tool for independent artists because this teaches you how to build a community. It’s a blessing to experience people like Ryan’s, who’s our CEO, genuine love for wanting to help the culture,” explained Jesse “JB” Brown, head of content and influencer relations at Stationhead.
Ali currently operates her new OnSite! show inside Stationhead’s Brooklyn, NY headquarters, and Atlanta studio. In the past, Ali originally ran her radio show through Spotify’s OnSite weekly podcast with the model, actress, and entrepreneur Brooke Bailey. Ali now runs the OnSite! show as a Stationhead ambassador every Tuesday at 8 PM (EST). Richard Lomax, an award-winning makeup artist, also facilitates the radio show with Ali as her official cohost. The dynamic duo discusses various trending topics, including community matters.
“I get messages from people telling me how much they love the show, and it gives me a genuine rush. I’m happy to have Richard as my cohost because I’m fun, but I’m not really funny. He used to come to my house, and in the process of that, we would talk about whatever was happening in the blogs, and it would be hilarious. So, I figured how cool would that be if we could have other people join in to have conversations with us? He says things that are so off the wall that it lightens the mood,” Ali declared.
Ryan Star, a recording artist and songwriter from Long Island, NY, co-founded Stationhead in 2016 alongside his childhood friend Jace Kay, an engineering technologist and developer from Long Island. Star and Kay ultimately conceived the idea for Stationhead as a result of their frustrations as independent musicians, particularly with the hardships of getting a single played on the radio. Anyone can perform live-radio shows like Ali and other Stationhead ambassadors. All music utilized on the Stationhead platform is drawn directly from the host’s and listener’s premium Apple Music and Spotify accounts. Every Stationhead listener is considered as an individual paid stream for every song played, as a result of Stationhead’s integration with Spotify and Apple Music.
Even as an active media and fashion mogul, Ali strives to keep her personal life as a wife and mother separated. Ali gave birth to a baby girl this past May, just five months into her pregnancy. However, the baby tragically passed away shortly after. Although the loss of her baby girl, which she later named Sanaa, came to her as an unwelcome surprise, Ali still managed to persist in the face of adversity. She is presently motivated more than ever to continue her marathon and make a lasting impact with her work. Ali is committed to advocating for African-American mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss and complications.
Depicting her recovery process and latest updates since losing her daughter Sanaa, Ali shared, “I didn’t have a choice to not take some time for myself. I didn’t necessarily go away. I just had to kind of work through it, and I still do. It’s still a work in progress. I have my moments, but the thing is I don’t hold them in. Sometimes if I see a baby and her eyes are closed, I will burst into tears, and then I move on. I’m truly appreciative of all the support. I have a solid support system from my family.”
“They had someone who came in my room while I was in the hospital, and they said, ‘You know it’s essential that you have therapy. You must talk and cry when you need to. The worst thing that people can do is try to push it out of their heads.’ The thing about me is, that’s how I cope in general. If I don’t like the way something happens, I shut down. I did the complete opposite during this healing process from losing Sanaa. I talk about it, I still talk to her, and that makes me feel better. I work through it, and it doesn’t stop. Every day I have to push through.”
A study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health revealed that African-Americans are three to four times more likely to endure late pregnancy loss, including stillbirth, compared to white women. The study attributed its findings to the higher rates of pregnancy complications amongst Blacks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, premature rupture of membranes, uterine bleeding, placental abnormalities, and problems with the umbilical cord during labor. Other studies reveal that socio-economic forces and disadvantages, increased stress levels, as well as inequitable access to health care services also play a factor in the childbirth and maternal mortality crisis.
“Black women in the U.S. are about three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as others, partly because of racial bias they may experience in getting care and doctors not recognizing risk factors such as high blood pressure,” said Dr. Lisa Hollier, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Ali intends to partner with the National Share organization to help educate the African-American community and further support Black mothers who have experienced child loss. Additional updates regarding Ali’s advocacy campaign and shoe boutique will be announced in the coming months during her OnSite! radio show. Stationhead can be downloaded via the Apple app store or its official website, http://www.stationhead.com.