I think my dad Casey would have been proud of me: Mike Kasem #RDAsia19

At Radiodays Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Mike Kasem talked about growing up in a showbiz family, the son of American Top 40 host and voiceover artist Casey Kasem.
Mike and his Gold 90.5 FM co-host Vernetta Lopez also discussed their rapport and how it is important to have a good relationship with your on air colleagues. “He’s my husband’s best friend, we spend lots of time together…”
Speaking in the session, hosted by Jon Kirby, Mike Kasem also recalled the advice his father gave him when he began to work in media:
“Honour what’s written in your contract and always give more than is expected… he gave me so much insight into the business.
He also recalled the times when he was growing up with a famous father:
“My friends would come around on the weekend, dad would take us for a drive somewhere and the kids would get me to ask him… Dad, dad, do Scooby.
They didn’t care that he was the famous host of AT40, they were more impressed that he was the voice of the Scooby Doo characters… they thought that was so cool.”
Mike Casem didn’t initially want to be in media. His first voiceover gig, as a child was a failure.
“I think I was about 5 years old. Dad took me in to a studio to audition for a voiceover gig for icecream. They said, imagine there’s a mountain of ice cream over there and read this script. But all I kept saying was, there’s no ice cream there… It could have launched my career right there, but it didn’t.
“After that I did many other kinds of jobs, digging ditches and manual work before chance brought me back to media.”
Casey Kasem migrated to America as a child and in his later years, when Mike was growing up, he was very much involved in the cause of trying to make peace in the middle east, as well as his media work, so Mike saw two sides of his father in his youth.
“He tried to separate us from the business so we could grow up normally and not get in the business too young like other show biz kids… He wanted us to do whatever we did for ourselves.
“My dad passed away on fathers day 2014, but it’s so cool to be able to go on Youtube and find all the work that he did in his career.
Mike moved to Singapore to do a chart show on MTV, then joined Mediacorp, first on Class 95 FM and now on breakfast at Gold 90.5.
When you first started out, was being Casey Kasem’s son a benefit or a burden? asked Jon Kirby.
“I can’t tell… there have been some instances when people have expected me to be a complete A…hole [because my father was famous], but then they’re shocked that I’m nice. There have been times when it hurt… but then there’s other times when it’s like come on in, I loved your dad…
Mike thinks it has been a benefit to carve out his career in Singapore a long way away from America, because many people don’t make the connection between he and his famous father. Being one of the first VJs on MTV when it started in 1995 in Singapore made him “his own person” in that market rather than just being Casey’s son.
“Sometimes we get calls from people who know who my dad was, but mostly we just get calls saying ‘love your show.’”
“I wish my dad could have seen what I’m doing now… I think he would have been proud of me.”






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