On The Record: Romeo Valentine
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Local radio personality Romeo Valentine is a firm believer that starting from the bottom is the main reason for his ambition to keep forging forward.
Valentine, who along with his job on the air at KCCN FM-100 and Power 104.3 is also involved with clothing brand City Stars and promotions crew Young Hawaii, is a workaholic by nature with a zest to make things happen by whatever means necessary.
“When you reach the top you deserve it because you knew how the bottom felt,” he said. “We have something very positive and powerful in our hands and we plan to uplift Hawaii to the next level.”
Born in San Francisco, Valentine and his family moved to Hawaii when he was 5. He has proudly called Makiki home ever since.
Now 26, the Roosevelt High School graduate known as Geromy Dymally went from hosting assemblies during his senior year to working in the radio industry immediately after graduation. Fast-forward eight years and he’s now promotions manager for the four radio stations owned by Summit Media Corporation in Honolulu and an official DJ for Sean “Puffy” Combs’ ultra premium Ciroc vodka.
Valentine cherishes memories of having to do whatever was necessary just to keep his foot in the door.
“When I first got hired, the station needed an extra board operator to run the (late night) mix shows,” he said. “I would fill in on-air whenever someone called in sick. I always used to hope someone would get sick.
“Never let greed determine who you are,” he said. “I barely sleep. Days off don’t exist to me and I refuse to drop the ball. The long hours, stressful days and nights are worth every second.”
Already well-accustomed to nightlife through his job, Valentine said the idea to become a DJ was a natural progression. Hyping patrons at the club with a microphone is one thing, he said, but being in total control via the music is an “infectious, non-stop adrenaline rush” that he had to get into.
“I got into DJing two years ago because I love it,” he explained. “I get the chills when I’m able to take a crowd, have them in the palm of my hands and make them have the time of their lives.”
To make sure his abilities were on point, he spent more than a year practicing relentlessly behind the scenes and picking up tips from many of his DJ friends long before letting anyone knew about his aspirations. Just two years in, he was surprised when he was nominated as a finalist for Best DJ in this year’s Honolulu Pulse Awards.
“I was that guy who worked his ass off and never got recognition,” he said. “When it is your time to shine, go full speed ahead. Stay hungry because you can easily be forgotten. I work as hard as I do to make an impact.”
Valentine said his love for Ciroc and Instagram scored him an affiliation with P-Diddy’s popular vodka brand. Valentine uploaded a photo of his prized Ciroc collection, which the company reposted. Months later, Combs himself took to IG to blast the image and the rest is history.
“Everyone who knows me, knows I am the nicest person you can meet in your life,” he said. “I stay positive, love to inspire those around me and push people past their limits.
“Just like anything you do, learning never stops. I have always been one who is open to listening to people’s opinions on how to be better. There is always room for improvement.”
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.