If you’ve been paying attention to the network in recent weeks, you may have noticed a few new faces. We have a handful of new on-air personalities, and over the next few weeks we’re reprising our “Get to Know a VJ” segments and introducing you to our new folks. First up is DittyTV Senior Editor Tim W. Jackson’s conversation with Cyrena Wages, who grew up near Memphis and is now making her presence felt on the city’s Americana and Roots music network.
Congrats on being one of the new VJs at DittyTV. First, can you give us an idea of what your on-air responsibilities will be with the network?
I’m on air regularly hosting the DittyTV Concert Series and delivering daily news segments, sharing albums we’re excited about, tours to keep an eye on, etc. I’m also a part of some very cool new ventures for Ditty that you’ll learn more about next year.
I shared a segment a couple weeks ago about Southern Avenue, one of the most exciting bands breaking out of Memphis right now. I had seen them play the weekend prior at the Halloran Centre here in town, and the show was electric. It’s so good for the city to see these hometown artists make waves. Memphis music is alive and well.
I grew up a few miles north of Downtown Memphis in Millington. I remember my parents dancing to Al Green in the kitchen. I remember realizing I wanted to be a singer after hearing Tracy Nelson sing “Down So Low” through my dad’s record player. I remember my dad and I’s daily drive to middle school in his ’67 Cadillac playing “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder on repeat, and I remember my mom sneaking off in the house to play piano and sing. Her voice was low and rich like Tracy’s. Music really mattered in our home.
I’ve played in a band called The Lost Wages with my brother, Houston, for the last few years. I am also writing a debut solo record, aiming for a space somewhere between Stax and heartbreak/jukebox country.
Bonnie Raitt, Al Green, Willie Nelson, Amy Winehouse, Patty Griffin, The Band, Mavis Staples, Aretha, George Jones.
Play piano, read self-help books (help!), walk my dog.
Check out new venues or bars in town, have lengthy chats over excessive amounts of red wine.
I want the world to know about the rebirth of Memphis music and DittyTV is only helping that mission. There is so much talent and history here, and Ditty can be a catalyst for a new wave of artists to experience the magic of this town. The folks behind this operation are smart people. I look forward to learning from them and being a part of a cool new chapter for this city that I love.
For a cover, “I Can’t Stand the Rain” by Ann Peebles.