Downtown Lesli Brown: Do You Know What It Means To Be From New Orleans

Hailing from the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Downtown Lesli Brown is truly 5-0-4 to the core. Having a radio career spanning over 15 years; today she is a top personality on CUMULUS owned radio station Power 102.9 FM playing non-stop Hip-Hop and R&B. On Monday through Friday from 7PM to Midnight and on Sat. 10 AM to 2PM you can hear Lesli, throw down in her own unique way that’s making her a household name on the airwaves. Her route into the world of radio is an unusual one as she recounts it saying, “At the time I was a single parent and doing rap and thought me and my friend was going to be the next Salt-n-Pepa.” After having several recording deals that fell through, including one with C-Murder’s (Corey Miller brother of Percy “Master P” Miller) TRU Record’s she felt the record business wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and in 2001 began to focus on working in radio.

So how did Lesli Anne Gusman, become Downtown Lesli Brown? Speaking of the origins of her radio name she says with a laugh, “I took part of my name from Q93’s Uptown Angela, but that’s only 10 percent of the story. When I got into radio it was during the Cash Money and No Limit Records phase and anywhere I traveled to when I told them I was from New Orleans and they asked are you from uptown. But I thought in every City for every uptown there is a downtown and for east there’s a west and I wanted people to respect my downtown hustle.” With her N.O. lingo and swag on full blast she says, “People need to know everything that is New Orleans does not come from uptown, the whole City has a lot of amazing things coming from them including where I’m from in the 7th Ward baaaby.”

New Orleans Where Everybody is Family

She is pleasant, humorous, intelligent, compassionate and inspirational. These are qualities that she uses to draw in her captive and loyal audience. Speaking of her appeal she says, “I am a radio personality, I am there to entertain and bring out my personality and realness. I am doing it for everybody who is from the hood like me and showing to them that the way you start don’t have to be the way you end. You don’t have to be a product of your environment and I feel I am putting the hood girls on the map.” Continuing she says, I bring what’s raw and real to the radio and I am like an extended part of your family, I want people to feel like when they listen to me that I know her, that’s my mama, my sister, my grandma or my cousin wrapped up into one. Where people who are listening are saying I know this woman. I want you to feel connected to me and I feel that everybody is family when I am on and off the air.”

The Story Behind the Glory and Dedicated to Giving Back

She has not only conquered the world of radio; she is also doing commercials, hosting red carpet events, doing motivational speaking and many other things extending her brand. In her life where she has undoubtedly overcome obstacles to become successful, but today many only see the glory but there is a story of the grind that’s behind the shine. Never forgetting her journey Lesli is dedicated to giving back with the iChoose Project. This project is a campaign developed by Brown to empower people from different walks of life to inspire them to reach higher. This is something that is aligned with her meaning and purpose in life. “I wake up and my life’s meaning and purpose changes from day to day and I feel it should evolve as you face new situations and challenges in life. Also, when it comes to my life and how I live it I’ve always tried to be real. And I would also like to say to people in life you can only get out of it what you put into it. So, to be a success you must have a vision, goals and a plan to get to your destination.”

Making things better in the 5-0-4 Ever

While she is a diehard 5-0-4, she says that people must expand their horizons and not be afraid to grow. When speaking of what she would say to inspire people to greatness she says, “First thing that comes to my mind if you want to grow is don’t be afraid to leave this City. This City has a way of trapping some into many of the negative aspects of it.” Conversely, she says, “You can flourish here, but you have to stop trying to impress the streets and do what’s right for you.”

She says speaking of Hurricane Katrina, its aftermath and its effects on the people of New Orleans many who have never traveled far outside the City. “I find that after Katrina some people had a chance to start anew and be their true genuine self. For me I couldn’t wait to come back, I am here and my twang is what makes me who I am, I became successful because I had to stop being scared and not bound and gagged by being in New Orleans and things begin happening for me making me my best self and I try to share that with my audience so they can be the best person for themselves wherever they are and we as people from New Orleans can all benefit from that.”

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