The most recent celebrity to move to South Fulton makes her living interviewing other celebrities.
Radio personality Sasha The Diva, who arrived in metro Atlanta in 2002, has found her oasis—finally—after a rigorous and frustrating two-year search. While Sasha says she enjoyed her life in Henry County, she and her husband of 10 years, Kevin Harris, Sr., wanted a new home, but were reluctant to move far away from Sasha’s mother, who lived nearby.
Until one day when her mother told her, “You always do everything for everyone. Go find your house.”
Those words freed Sasha to expand her search. . . and they landed in South Fulton‘s Cascade Road/New Hope Road area.
“I love it here!” she said. “There is no drama. I like the peace and quiet. It’s almost like a resort. We have access to everything. It’s pretty. It’s ideal.”
All of this matters because Sasha The Diva did not just show up in South Fulton or as a nationally syndicated radio personality of the “Rick and Sasha Show” by fate. She worked for it. In fact, hers is a story of the power of intention and effort.
As a 4-year-old, Sasha said she would emulate famed TV news anchor Barbara Walters. She would grab utensils from the kitchen, take them to the bathroom and pull herself atop the toilet so she could see herself in the mirror and repeat what she had heard on the radio or television.
“I was so young, but I was doing it,” she said. “And my father used to say, ‘Look at my little diva.’ That’s how I got my name.”
The name established, Sasha embarked as she got older on an arduous journey to become first an Atlanta radio star and now a national standout in her industry. In college, she worked at a radio station as an intern, fetching coffee when asked, showing up at remote events first and staying late—doing whatever it took to stand out and to learn.
A producer was impressed with her voice and set her for an air check in the studio. When she heard later that the programming director was equally enthralled, she approached him.
“He sat me down and told me, ‘Do you understand this is a radio station? I can’t put an intern on the air. You have no experience.’ I said, ‘But you said I sounded good.’ He said, ‘I didn’t say you should be on the air. If you want a career in this business, you have to go somewhere to a small market and get experience.’
“I left there, went to the bus stop and then got on the back of the bus and cried. I thought my dream was over,” Sasha recalled. “But then I found out what a ‘small market’ meant and got a job less than three months later in Milford, Delaware. I made $6 an hour working the overnight shift. I made the sacrifice.
“You have to sacrifice to get what you want. Some people want it now. Being on the radio is way more than you think it is.”
While in Delaware, Sasha The Diva was born. As she worked on her craft, she created a spreadsheet that featured the contact information of program directors in larger markets. She consistently mailed packages of her work. One day, she received a call back for a job in Baltimore. She had arrived. That job led to work in metro Washington, D.C., and finally to Atlanta in 2002.
She put in 10 years at Kiss 104.1—with a break in between—in various time slots and roles until 2018, when she was partnered with Rick Party, a hit deejay in Miami, to form the “Rick and Sasha Show” for Westwood One, the urban radio conglomerate, to replace the uber-popular “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” They are in 25 cities, including Atlanta on 97.9, and recently landed in her hometown and the nation’s media capital, New York. They’ve added comedian George Willborn for humorous relief.
“Coming behind Tom Joyner and what he has done in the community is a lot of pressure,” she said. “But we aren’t running away from it. We want to do some of the things he did in the community,” Sasha said. “We want to inform about important news. But we know it’s a big switch and we’re going to get beat up by some. But we’re not going to let that stop us. We’re going to keep rolling.”
Because of the coronavirus, Rick and Sasha have been working remotely and unable to host events with fans, which has been disappointing.
“It’s definitely different,” she said. “Rick and I can’t see each other. There were lots of technical things to learn doing this from home. But we haven’t missed a beat. And I work in my jammies in my home in South Fulton that I love. So, it’s all good.”