iHeart Radio Prodigy Sammy Jaye Getting Candid With Celebs On Her Podcast ‘Let’s Be Real’

Sammy Jaye, host of the iHeart Radio podcast show ‘Let’s Be Real’.

If you’re looking for a podcast where you get to hear real conversations, authenticity, and vulnerability in a way that is refreshing, then you need to subscribe to iHeart Radio’s “Let’s Be Real with Sammy Jaye”, which just kicked off Season 4.

“Let’s Be Real” is all about having powerful and candid conversations with celebrities, activists, athletes, and influencers, while discussing real-life issues – from mental health and political activism to pop culture and more. This highly acclaimed podcast has been recognized by publications, such as Seventeen Magazine, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Variety, Refinery29 and many more. Season 4 features conversations with the likes of with Trainor, Joel McHale and Neil deGrasse Tyson and promises the rest of the season is going to be exciting, revealing, and empowering. It is sure to make listeners feel good at a time when we’re all going through so many changes in the world today.

Originally from New York City, Sammy, got her start in journalism writing for her school newspaper when she was in 7th grade. Her big break came when she was talking with a family friend who worked at iHeart, and they convinced her to do an interview at Z100. She did so well, she received an email a few weeks later requesting she interview actor and musician, Jordan Fisher. After that she was introduced to the head of Radio Disney and shortly after began working with them. 

At 17, Sammy, launched “Let’s Be Real” making her the youngest person to host her own podcast on iHeartRadio. Now 19 years-old and coming off being named to PopSugar’s 20-under-20 list, Sammy is interviewing some of Hollywood’s top tier talent including Jessica Alba, Madison Beer, Kesha, Liza Koshy, Justin Baldoni, Meghan Trainor, Lindsey Stirling, Rachel Platten, Dixie D’Amelio and many more. 

We got to speak with Sammy about mental health, political activism, and her secret to getting a celebrity guest to open up and be candid about their life.

Where did your career in journalism and media begin? 

I started writing for my school newspaper in the 7th grade and found out that I loved interviewing people and hearing their stories! Soon after, when I was 13 years old, I got an amazing opportunity with iHeart to interview celebrities from a young teenagers’ point of view. My first interview was Jordan Fisher. He was so kind and it was so much fun. Soon I was doing Facebook Live’s for iHeart and had all sorts of amazing opportunities. That led to working with Radio Disney, interviewing celebrities on the red carpet, hosting field pieces, and more!

Who have been your media role models growing up?

Oprah has definitely been a huge role model for me as she constantly has so much grace and such an open mind when approaching an interview!

At 17, you were the youngest person to host your own nationally syndicated podcast on iHeartRadio! How did it feel to launch ‘Let’ Be Real’?

It was amazing and a dream come true!! When I created the show, I never thought it would really go anywhere. I originally created the show to distract myself from my anxiety and when we launched it was really empowering because it made me realize I was a lot more capable than I gave myself credit for!

Tell me about some of your fave interviews so far, and what resonated with you the most about these guests? 

Through the four seasons of my podcast, I’ve been very fortunate to do over 50 interviews with people that I truly look up to so it is hard to just pick a few. I think I resonated most with Julia Michaels because her song “Anxiety” helped me find the words to describe how I was feeling in High School. I resonated with Kesha because she also struggled in High School, and I found that creating was also an outlet for her!

Who has been the most surprising or shocking guest that you’ve interviewed? 

I think the guest that I am most surprised by that came on my podcast was astrophysicist Neil DeGrass Tyson! Though it was a very different podcast episode, I feel I learned so much and his curiosity towards the world was infectious and inspiring. 

You are passionate about mental health and political activism. Can you tell us more about why these issues are important to you? 

I think it’s essential to speak out about what is important to you. Anxiety is something I deal with so it’s very personal for me. Mental health has become such a huge issue in society and specifically for my generation and I want to help normalize the conversation so people don’t feel alone. In this crazy world we live in, and in social media where everyone posts their ‘perfect’ world, it’s so easy to get down on yourself. I want people to feel positive and believe that life can be an amazing journey…and that we all have similar struggles.

As far as political activism goes, I’ve worked with Rock the Vote a couple of times now and I think voting and making your voice heard is extremely important.

How do you prepare for an interview with a major celebrity or public figure? 

For me, research is really important. I like to listen to interviews they’ve given, things they’ve written and really try and understand what their passions are so I can focus on topics that could be interesting to my audience. I also try and approach things a little bit differently than the norm so we can have a different conversation than people have heard before. During the interview it’s all about being yourself, engaging in a genuine, honest conversation, and most importantly listening. I’ve learned over and over that if you truly listen to what your guest is saying and the meaning behind their words, the conversation can go to amazing places. 

Although you are a seasoned pro after 4 seasons, do you ever get nervous? How do you tackle the nerves to ensure a good interview? 

Being nervous is normal and if you channel those nerves correctly, they can really help you focus and do a great interview. I think it’s very natural to feel nervous. When I was younger, I also got intimidated at times, especially when I was interviewing people that were twice my age! But I quickly found out that if you come in prepared, be yourself, have fun and listen, things usually turn out alright. 

Sammy Jaye on the cover of Gmaro Magazine, November 2022

What do you think is the secret to getting people to open up and be candid in interviews? 

I have noticed that when I am honest about my experiences, other people tend to do the same. Being honest and coming from a place of understanding & no judgement are very important elements to having great conversations! 

Who is on your wishlist of interviews for the future? 

On my vision board I have a few…Lin Manuel Miranda, Oprah, and Michelle Obama are at the top of the dream list. Manifest, manifest, manifest…

What advice or encouragement would you give to others wanting to follow in your footsteps and forge a career in media and journalism? 

I just turned 20 and have been working in the industry for almost 7 years now so there are many lessons I’ve learned. I don’t think I’m in a position to give advice, but some things I’ve learned or a couple of thoughts of encouragement would be: 

First, don’t let other people be the reason your dreams don’t happen. If I had listened to everyone who told me “no” or that I couldn’t do something, I wouldn’t have accomplished any of the things I’ve done to date. 

Secondly, when interviewing well known people, remember that no matter how big or famous they might be, they are just like you and me in that we’re all human and we all have fears and insecurities. 

Finally, I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful people who have been kind and mentored me in my career when I was younger. I think mentorship is so important and I wish people talked about how great it is!

Be sure to follow Sammy Jaye on Instagram, and subscribe to her iHeart Radio podcast show ‘Let’s Be Real’.

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