Jennifer Amato, Managing Editor
NORTH BRUNSWICK – A familiar voice will soon become a familiar face.
Venus Crute’ began her career as an intern at 98.7 KISS-FM and is now starring as the talk show host of “R&B Bistro: Up Close & Personal” that airs in Middlesex, Mercer and Somerset counties on TV channels 45 on Verizon Fios and 30 on Comcast. It is also streamed on PrincetonTV.org.
The North Brunswick resident is using a musical premise to bring positive force through information, inspiration and motivation.
“I bring attention to people who are very good but who are not on a record label or do not have a producer but have a lot of talent … being the vehicle to bring attention to these people,” she said.
She asks her guests to share their story and provide viewers with three tips on how to achieve what they have achieved. She’ll do research in advance, but then let the conversation be spontaneous and natural.
“As long as you give information to somebody [they] can do the same thing,” she said.
Through her Stop the Music segments, she concentrates on issues such as unemployment, depression, job fairs, suicide, AIDS and heart disease.
“My job is to bring awareness to issues, to bring solutions or to bring in people who have the solutions,” she said. “I feel like I was given a voice to be able to help people. I feel like I talk for the underdog, for the people who can’t say things or who are afraid to say things. When you have the power of the mic, you have to use it for good.”
She focuses on ideals such as “Think of the day every day” or “Don’t let your pride block your blessing.”
“You have to pay attention because you never know what people say and you can really make or break them,” she said. “Words help, words heal – but words can kill too. … You always have to say words that can uplift people and be a blessing to them.”
Crute’ celebrated the one-year anniversary of the show on Princeton Community Television on Sept. 8. She tapes at their studio two to three times per month, and then the show will repeat during the week. If she can secure a camera crew, she would like to do on-air interviews as well.
However, she said she does not watch herself until her 30-minute segments air on TV.
“When I’m in the moment, I’m in the moment,” she said. “But it’s an out-of-body experience to sit in my living room and see myself on TV.”
She began singing in church and has traveled and recorded with several choirs and gospel singers. She studied voice over after college. In 2004, she held an internship at WRKS FM, WQCD FM in New York and WGHT in New Jersey. After completing the internship, she became a member of the WGHT team as a fill-in on air personality, engineering and producing shows. She held the same positions at KISS FM and CD 109.9. After leaving WGHT, Crute began engineering many programs on KISS and in 2006, opened the mic as a fill-in on air personality there.
“To be a listener and then a peer is awesome,” she said.
Lady V learned how to copywrite, write commercials, edit commercials and do voicetracking along the way. She worked round the clock, sometimes filling in overnight for different deejays or doing board operations. She then had an opportunity to fill in for Shaila during primetime.
“I was thrilled. What? Really?” she smiled.
She eventually had her own show from 6-10 a.m. Saturdays at KISS. She became the voice of the station, doing commercials and bumpers.
However, when KISS FM merged with WBLS in 2012, she lost her job.
At that point, she decided to create her own radio show, “R&B Bistro,” on a brokered station in South Jersey where she basically had to buy her air time.
“I ran it like a New York show,” she said, acting as the program director, salesperson and host all at the same time. She would write, produce, voice and air the commercials for her sponsors.
Now, she’s had R&B singer Will Downing redo her jingle.
“I admire all the people who’ve paved the way for me. I feel honored and privileged to be among them,” she said.
She said she has had many memorable moments over the years, but the best are when a guest shares something personal.
“It makes us both cry,” she said.
Her goal is first, to have “R&B Bistro” make it to cable TV. Then, she has her voice set on TV.
“When I was a young girl, I would always say, ‘This is Venus Crute, Channel 7 Eyewitness News,’” she laughed.
The show airs at 6 p.m. Thursdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays on Princeton TV.
In North Brunswick, the show airs at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 6 p.m. Thursdays and 5 p.m. Sundays on North Brunswick TV-15. The show began airing in Crute’s hometown in July after a friend of hers who works for the township suggested she speak with Craig Yetsko, who is in charge of the station.
“I’m thrilled North Brunswick picked up the show,” she said.
Anyone interested in sharing their talent, becoming a sponsor or speaking about a relative topic can contact Crute by visiting venuscrute.com or the “R&B Bistro” Facebook page.
Contact Jennifer Amato at firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Brunswick resident lends her voice to TV show
Jennifer Amato, Managing Editor