Gia Peppers talks Kobe Bryant interview, overcoming depression during the pandemic, speaking at the Nipsey Hussle funeral
By: Jasmine Franklin
Gia Peppers is an on-air talent, entertainment journalist and podcaster best-known for her nationally syndicated Urban One Radio show and podcast, “More Than That with Gia Peppers,” and as 1/5th of the wildly popular podcast, “Black Girl Pod.” Peppers, a D.C native, and Rutgers University graduate, was exposed to the media industry from an early age as her father worked in a newsroom as a journalist.
“My dad took me to the newsroom he was working in at NPR when I was just two months old. When we returned home, he filmed a conversation with my mom and me in which he retold the events of the day,” Peppers said. “In the video, my dad said he introduced me to all of his friends and that I, “told” everyone there that I was going to be a broadcast journalist.”
Now at 30 years old, many of Pepper’s childhood predictions are beginning to come to a reality as she has gained much success in the media industry. Peppers said one of her favorite interviews was the interview she conducted with Kobe Bryant. “The Kobe Bryant interview was definitely one of my biggest accomplishments. That was one of my favorite experiences as a journalist,” Peppers said. “The day I interviewed him we shared a Greenroom. He was so personal and specifically checked to make sure I was ok. Kobe was really aware of his presence and greeted everyone in the room. That is an experience I’ll never forget.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, Peppers fell into depression due to all the changes. She was fearful her journalist career would take a hit due to COVID-19 restrictions. “I signed up for therapy in the midst of a really deep depression. I was so sad because of everything that was going on in the world with the pandemic. I was also afraid my career would take a hit because all of the events I had lined up disappeared within a week and everything shut down.” Peppers said.
Peppers took a break from social media and began feeling better. She has discussed mental health on her various platforms including her podcast. As an on-air talent, Peppers said one of her most challenging events to speak at was the Nipsey Hussle funeral. The funeral was her first time on live national television. She said she was “challenged to keep her composure” during such a mournful time.
“That was such a heavy week for me. When I got the call and was invited to participate, as a journalist I was excited but as a fan and human being I was crushed,” Peppers said. “I realized it was my job to honor Nipsey and his legacy but behind the scenes, I was bawling and crying. That was probably one of the biggest moments in my career that I have not promoted just because there is no good in saying goodbye to someone who meant so much to us,” Peppers said.
Peppers is widely known as one of five women on the “Black Girl Podcast”. Peppers said the podcast started while she was working with Ebro Darden at “This is Hot 97”. The podcast has quickly grown to popularity inspiring women and men across the globe. “We started the podcast because Black girl magic is beautiful. We each bring a different perspective. We realized our honesty was helping people get through their days,” Peppers said. “It was helping people understand themselves more. I hope our stories help people find light.”
Peppers said there are a lot of “exciting” things in store for her future in the media. “My purpose is to remind people that they are seen and make them feel affirmed. What’s next for me is I will be signing to an agency. One of my goals is to land a major gig on a syndicated show that will help me become a household name. I plan to get back into acting and singing,” Peppers said.
Jasmine Franklin is a DTU Fellow and current editor of the Grambling State University newspaper, The Gramblinite.