Even if you haven’t seen Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe’s face before, her voice will probably ring a bell. With a decades-long career in broadcasting, she’s spanned eras, airwaves, and provinces. As a host, she’s made her mark from Calgary to Toronto, and from FLOW 93.5 to CBC.
Now, she’s the voice behind CBC Music’s new weekday radio show, The Block. Starting this month, Tetteh-Wayoe will lead the way through two hours of nightly programming, celebrating Black artists. In the caption to its first Instagram post, the show made its stance clear: “Not only have Black artists and their music driven popular culture for decades, selling folks everything from sneakers to cereal to skinny jeans, but their music is groundbreaking…Black music is everywhere, and it is everything.” The caption went on to acknowledge that in spite of this, all too often Black artists struggle to get support on domestic airwaves. “Most Black Canadian singers, songwriters, DJs, and beat-makers need to rely on support south of our border before gaining any significant radio airplay at home.”
With The Block, CBC is hoping to change that narrative with 10 hours per week dedicated to elevating and celebrating Black artists across all genres and backgrounds. For host Tetteh-Wayoe, it’s personal. In her early days as a broadcaster, she was also making music. On a call weeks ahead of The Block’s launch, she laughs when we ask if she used to rap. “I don’t know if I can claim that title but I rapped a lot and I wrote a lot,” she recalls. “I think that’s par for the course for a lot of people who not only ended up as radio announcers, but work at labels too. They’ve probably tried their hand at making music themselves.”
These days, when she isn’t on the air, she’s curating her show’s song selection, writing scripts, and producing segments. All of this in addition to coordinating virtual learning for her 6-year-old. “If I’m recording from home then that means waiting until my son goes to sleep and the house is quiet,” she tells us. “But sometimes if I can sneak out in the evening after dinner, I head to the studio and record a show.” Somehow, she gets it all done.
Get to know the host of CBC’s The Block by learning what she’s been watching, which songs have been on repeat, what foods she’s been craving, her online obsessions, and her latest cop. These are Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe’s 5 Senses:
“I recently watched a documentary called Sample This. I’ve always been obsessed with the art of sampling. It’s a little bit controversial because some people think that it’s just ripping off other artists, but there’s an art to finding a great break or a horn or a snare hit. Or even sampling a few words that were said in another song and weaving them into a brand new creation. That’s actually a feature in The Block. It’s called “SOS: Story of a Sample.” It’s a feature that I’ve been working on over the past few years and now it’s got a place to live.
“Sometimes we get to go to my partner’s mom’s house. She’s Slovenian and when she cooks, I love it. My mother was Hungarian and my father is from Ghana, which is where I was born. Slovenia and (Hungary) share a border, so sometimes my partner’s mom will cook me Hungarian food, like paprikash inspired dishes. It warms my heart because my mother passed away, so I don’t get to have that from her anymore.”
“I have some really great friends from my time in Calgary and they have what is probably one of the longest-running hip-hop shows on college radio called Dirty Needles. I always look forward to their weekly podcast because not only do I love the grimiest of grimy rap, but they’re on top of all of the new stuff that comes out and oftentimes, there will be a track or two that I will try to bring into The Block as well.”
“Something I’ve purchased recently is this thing called a Hairbrella. I’m on Instagram all the time and I sometimes get sucked into Instagram ads. This one said that it was a Black-owned business so I actually got off of Instagram and went to the actual website. I’m a Black woman and I’ve got to protect my hair so this is basically a waterproof silk cap with this little visor on it. You can put the visor when it’s raining so that your hair doesn’t get ruined. I got the extra large size because I have extra large hair.”
“I’m obsessed with checking Discogs to see what the most expensive album sold is. I love vinyl and when my partner and I came together, we had this huge vinyl collection but we had to jettison so much of it to fit into one apartment.”
The Block with host Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe airs on CBC Music Monday – Friday evenings at 7 p.m.