(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - KPLC's Black History Month profiles wrap up with a man who has a voice for radio.

As a kid he called radio stations, he helped carry equipment and even started working a station for free starting out. But that persistence was all Erik Tee needed to help him make it in the world of radio.

Every car radio turned to 107.5 has probably heard that voice.

The voice of radio personality Erik Tee.

"This is my getaway," said Erik. "This is my vacation. It's fun. From 2:00 to 7:00 you got Erik Tee."

For 17 years Erik's voice has been heard by thousands of people here in the lake area.

Even as a child growing up in Mississippi, Erik knew this was his calling.

"I'd stay up all night long because I wanted to see if I could play music (from) twelve o' clock until midnight," said Erik.

Erik's first job in radio was at the age of 14.

"I actually worked seven months for free," he said. "I wasn't getting paid. My mom wasn't too happy about it, but it was something I enjoyed to do."

That passion led him to multiple stations throughout Mississippi and Alabama before he finally settled here in Lake Charles.

But Erik's road in radio wasn't easy. He says it was filled with people looking to see him fail.

"I mean I had people telling me a long time ago that I would never make it out of Meridian," he said. "I had folks telling me that I would never go to another format because I was a black man, (that) it was no way that I could get another opportunity."

But Erik defied those odds and recently he was promoted to operations manager at his station. As he crosses dreams off his list, there's still more.

"The bucket list is to eventually own my own radio station, so it's definitely something I'm going to work toward."

That love for music and his community keeps Erik coming to work each day no matter how he's feeling.

"I have to come in here and basically be me because somebody listening to me could be having just a bad of day that I'm having, and it's up to me to try to lift them up and try to get them some motivation so they can make it through the day," he said.

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