SpearHead Conversations Podcast

spearheadconversations

Spearhead Conversations is hosted by a Milwaukee native, and features the very best of Southeastern Wisconsin. As you’ll listen to our podcast you will hear from entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes, artists and more- who all display how they make our community a special place to work, live, and play. read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

DOMINIQUE HOWARD: MO CITY
May 10 2024
DOMINIQUE HOWARD: MO CITY
In this vibrant episode of Spearhead Conversations, host Xavier Mercado engages in a compelling dialogue with the talented hip-hop artist Dominique Howard also known as Mo City. Originating from the dynamic streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mo City sheds light on his latest album "Milwaukee W.I.," delving into the deeply personal inspirations behind his tracks and the city that has profoundly influenced his artistic journey. Xavier and Mo City embark on a heartfelt discussion regarding the profound impact of Mo City's late father, who served not only as a cornerstone in his life but also as a guiding force in his musical endeavors. The episode offers listeners insight into Mo City's creative process, illustrating how he channels his emotions to craft music that resonates deeply with his audience. The conversation also underscores the importance of collaboration and perseverance in the entertainment industry, as both Xavier and Mo City share their insights on contemporary hip-hop conflicts and the evolving landscape of music videos. Furthermore, Mo City reflects on his evolution from an uncertain performer to a recognized figure in the music scene, recounting the challenges and milestones encountered along the way. Join us on Spearhead Conversations for an episode brimming with inspiring narratives, genuine emotions, and a comprehensive exploration of the journey of a hip-hop artist, narrated firsthand by Mo City himself. Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or newly acquainted with his music, this episode promises a captivating exploration of passion, creativity, and resilience within the realm of music.
KEVIN SILVA: QUIET VOICE PRODUCTIONS
May 3 2024
KEVIN SILVA: QUIET VOICE PRODUCTIONS
In a captivating episode of Spearhead Conversations, host Xavier Mercado engages in a profound dialogue with Kevin Silva, a gifted Latino music producer with roots in Puerto Rico and a burgeoning presence in Milwaukee's music landscape. Silva shares the gripping trajectory of his musical journey, starting from his remarkable ability to play the movie theme music at the tender age of four by ear, to his establishment of Quiet Voice Productions (QVP) and his ambitious vision for shaping the local music industry. Throughout the discussion, Silva provides poignant insights into his formative years, influenced by his family's musical heritage and a supportive environment that nurtured his passion for music. He candidly reflects on the challenges he faced, including experiences of bullying in school and personal struggles that have profoundly shaped his career trajectory. Silva also illuminates his creative process, emphasizing his departure from conventional genre boundaries and his dedication to crafting unique sounds for local artists.   Listeners gain a glimpse into Silva's diverse talents, extending beyond music into realms such as drawing, animation, and cinematography. His narrative is one of resilience, innovation, and an unwavering pursuit of artistic expression. This episode serves as a testament not only to Silva's exceptional talent but also his profound commitment to making a lasting impact on Milwaukee's music scene and beyond, showcasing the intersection of music, passion, resilience, and ambition.
GEGO Y NONY: LATIN URBAN DUO
Apr 26 2024
GEGO Y NONY: LATIN URBAN DUO
Join host Xavier Mercado on this exhilarating episode of Spearhead Conversations as we delve into the vibrant world of reggaeton with Milwaukee's dynamic duo, Gego Y Nony. Discover how these talented brothers, with roots stretching from Puerto Rico to the heart of the Midwest, are transforming the reggaeton scene with their clean, exhilarating sound and powerful narratives drawn from real-life experiences. In this episode, Gego Y Nony open up about their unique musical journey, the challenges they’ve faced personally and professionally, and how they've shattered boundaries with their authentic and heartfelt music. Delve into their creative process, which involves rigorous studio sessions and a meticulous approach to song production, ensuring each track resonates with listeners on a profound level. Learn about their aspirations, from Nony’s dreams of winning a Grammy and improving his family’s living situation to Gego's goal of achieving worldwide recognition and becoming a positive influence for the youth through music. The brothers also share insights into their first major project, "Frontea University," discussing the innovative blend of film and music that marks a new chapter in their artistic careers. Whether discussing the intricacies of blending traditional and modern reggaeton or recounting touching moments from their first live performance, Gego Y Nony's story is one of resilience, ambition, and the unyielding power of family and art. Tune in to this inspiring episode of Spearhead Conversations and get an intimate glimpse into the lives of two artists who are not just making music but are crafting a legacy that resonates across borders and generations.
DANIEL RIVERA: MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Apr 5 2024
DANIEL RIVERA: MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
In this compelling episode of "SPEARHEAD CONVERSATIONS," we sit down with Danny Rivera from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office to explore his life story and his journey into law enforcement. Listeners will be captivated by Danny's initial hesitation to join the police force due to hiring delays, followed by his transformative experience at the six-month training academy. He shares insights into his evolution into a new officer prepared to confront high-pressure situations with composure and a focus on humanity. Throughout the episode, Rivera discusses the mentorship he received from figures like former sheriff Earnell Lucas and reflects on the influential crossing of paths that propelled his career forward. Our discussion delves into Rivera's role in the community, from his work at the airport to participation in community events, emphasizing his commitment to being a positive role model for the Latino and Puerto Rican communities. Danny's reflections on family dynamics, his educational journey, and his transition from considering a legal career to pursuing law enforcement provide a candid glimpse into the factors shaping career decisions. Rivera also addresses the challenges faced by law enforcement today, from managing misconceptions to navigating intense scrutiny. Despite these obstacles, he acknowledges Milwaukee's role in his success and emphasizes the importance of legacy. In a candid exchange, Xavier Mercado and Danny Rivera reminisce about their roots, shared experiences, and the significance of engaging youth in constructive activities. Don't miss this insightful episode, which is as much about personal growth as it is about serving and protecting the community.
NOEL G, ACTOR/MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
Mar 29 2024
NOEL G, ACTOR/MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
In this captivating episode of "SPEARHEAD CONVERSATIONS," host Xavier Mercado engages in a riveting discussion with the charismatic Noel G, unveiling the intricacies of Noel's journey through the highs and lows of Hollywood. With anecdotes from iconic sets such as 'Training Day' and 'Fast and the Furious,' Noel provides an intimate glimpse into his favorite projects, accompanied by heartfelt behind-the-scenes stories. He delves into the emotional weight of pivotal scenes, his criteria for role selection, and the formidable personalities he has encountered. Noel candidly addresses the realities of casting in the industry, reflecting on his portrayal of Hector and the evolution of the 'Fast and the Furious' saga. The genuine warmth of memories shared with Paul Walker imbues the conversation with a poignant tone, while his experience working with Jim Carrey adds a lighter touch, revealing Jim's remarkable generosity on set. From humble beginnings involving petty crime and a brush with street life to moments of divine guidance and personal growth, Noel G's narrative serves as a testament to integrity and the transformative power of faith. He discusses the importance of mentorship, embracing risks, and pursuing success with integrity. Young listeners will find invaluable guidance in Noel's advice, which underscores the significance of inquiry, wise friendship choices, and spiritual cultivation for a more disciplined and fulfilling life. Xavier and Noel also explore the actor's venture into motivational speaking and upcoming collaborations, showcasing Noel's enduring commitment to inspiring and impacting lives through cinema and his unwavering connection to God. This episode is essential listening for anyone seeking an inspiring account of resilience, transformation, and the pursuit of authenticity in an ever-demanding world.
JOHNNY RIV: COUNTRY ARTIST/SONGWRITER
Mar 8 2024
JOHNNY RIV: COUNTRY ARTIST/SONGWRITER
Join Xavier Mercado on this captivating episode of SPEARHEAD CONVERSATIONS as we welcome back the versatile Johnny Rivera, affectionately known by his stage name Johnny Riv. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Johnny brings forth the fruits of an inspiring year filled with musical evolution. Raised in Wheeling, Illinois, by Mexican immigrant parents, Johnny was immersed in a tapestry of musical influences, ranging from the soulful harmonies of Boys II Men to the iconic stylings of the Bee Gees and Selena, cultivating a diverse sonic palette that would later shape his distinctive fusion of hip-hop, R&B, pop, and country music. In this installment, we delve deep into Johnny's songwriting journey and his steadfast dedication to storytelling through his music. From his reflections on his inaugural live performance surrounded by loved ones to his experience as a police officer navigating unconventional career paths before embracing music wholeheartedly, Rivera's life epitomizes resilience and genuine connection; values that resonate deeply within his music. We explore the infusion of pop and hip-hop elements into his country-inspired sound, his creative process, the anecdotal origins of his moniker, and the impact of family life on his artistic trajectory. Furthermore, Riv shares his aspirations to resonate with a diverse audience and imparts heartfelt advice for aspiring artists. Don't miss the chance to discover Rivera's upcoming ventures and follow his progressive career journey. Tune in and be inspired by the compelling narrative and distinctive voice that define Johnny Riv.
ANGELA MENCIA: NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL FINANCIAL REPRESENATIVE
Mar 1 2024
ANGELA MENCIA: NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL FINANCIAL REPRESENATIVE
In this episode of SPEARHEAD CONVERSATIONS, host Xavier Mercado sits down with Angela Mencia, a financial representative from Northwestern Mutual. As a dedicated advocate for financial literacy and a single mother successfully creating and running her own business, Angela shares her insights on how to pave a path to success without relying on handouts. From her humble beginnings in inner-city Milwaukee to her current success in a male-dominated industry, Angela's journey is marked by resilience and determination. She offers financial advice such as saving 20% of one's income, navigating market downturns, and the importance of long-term financial objectives. Angela also touches on the power of networking, her involvement with small businesses through networking events, and the misleading portrayal of success on social media. Throughout the conversation, Angela's story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and strategic planning in achieving financial independence. Her firsthand experiences and practical advice provide valuable insights for individuals looking to build a stable financial future. Overall, this episode is filled with life lessons, practical financial guidance, and an empowering narrative of personal growth and accomplishment. It aims to educate and inspire today's youth toward a better understanding of financial literacy and the steps they can take to secure their financial well-being.
BRANDON CHAMP ROBINSON: DIRECTOR/ FOUNDER OF IMAGINATION UPGRADED
Feb 23 2024
BRANDON CHAMP ROBINSON: DIRECTOR/ FOUNDER OF IMAGINATION UPGRADED
In this compelling episode, host Xavier Mercado delves deep into the life and career of the multifaceted director, editor, and filmmaker Brandon Champ Robinson. Hailing from Milwaukee and having made the bold move to Los Angeles, Champ shares his journey from financial struggles and diverse job experiences to achieving remarkable success in the entertainment industry. The episode explores Champ’s brush with life-threatening health issues, his growth as a founder of Imagination Upgraded, and his passionate commitment to creativity and diversity. The conversation touches upon his unique filmmaking style, his approach to collaborating with people of color and women, and the influence of constructive criticism from black women on his work. Champ and Xavier discuss the significance of networking, consistency, understanding the craft, and offering valuable lessons and encouragement for the youth. Additionally, the episode features intriguing anecdotes about Champ's encounters and projects with high-profile figures like Eddie Murphy, D.L. Hughley, Joe Tory, The Rock, Don Cheadle, and Will Smith. Listeners will discover the story behind Champ's favorite project, 'Spy Ops' on Netflix, and his emotional journey through the rollercoaster of project completions while juggling family commitments. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the world of filmmaking and the inspiring tales of those who dare to dream and turn their visions into reality.
JMATT: CONTENT CREATOR/ ENTREPRENUER/ FOUNDER, HASHTAGMKE
Feb 16 2024
JMATT: CONTENT CREATOR/ ENTREPRENUER/ FOUNDER, HASHTAGMKE
In this impactful episode, host Xavier Mercado engages in a profound conversation with special guest J Matt, an entrepreneur and social media coach. J Matt shares a wealth of knowledge and personal anecdotes, particularly targeting aspiring entrepreneurs in the city. He emphasizes the power of networking and recounts personal stories of navigating the challenges of self-employment. Moreover, J Matt delves into the intricacies of maintaining authenticity across various social media platforms, offering valuable insights for listeners seeking to establish their online presence. Amidst the discussion, J Matt sheds light on the importance of discipline, drawing from his own experience with ADHD. His candid exploration of the struggles and triumphs of entrepreneurship provides listeners with a genuine perspective on the journey to success. Xavier resonates with J Matt's emphasis on self-investment, leading to a meaningful dialogue on avenues for personal growth and wellbeing. Together, they explore initiatives like the 22 push-up challenge, aimed at raising awareness about veteran suicide and promoting mental health advocacy. Furthermore, J Matt shares his journey with hashtag MKE, tracing its evolution from a platform focusing on Twitter engagement to his current role in coaching small business owners and CEOs. His dedication to empowering clients to become thought leaders underscores his commitment to community building and mental health awareness. Through his narrative, listeners gain valuable insights into the strategies and principles driving success in the digital landscape. As the conversation unfolds, Xavier and J Matt delve into the latter's trajectory from his early days at Kiss FM to his efforts in creating opportunities for Milwaukee's local events and creatives. They discuss his future plans, including his unwavering dedication to addressing the stigma surrounding men's mental health. Overall, this episode offers a captivating glimpse into J Matt's journey and the profound impact of his work on both individuals and communities.
CALLIE CHIROFF: PROJECT BUBBALOO
Feb 2 2024
CALLIE CHIROFF: PROJECT BUBBALOO
In the latest episode of Xavier Mercado engages in a heartfelt dialogue with Callie Chiroff. Their conversation delves into Callie's poignant journey, centering on her son Theo's battle with congenital heart disease. From Theo's dramatic premature delivery to a challenging heart surgery at 32 weeks, Callie narrates the emotional rollercoaster that culminated in the heartbreaking decision to let him go after six months of relentless struggle. Callie's resilience in the face of adversity becomes evident as she transforms her grief into purpose by establishing Project Bubbaloo. Named affectionately after Theo's nickname, the project serves as a beacon of support for CHD research and offers resources for children in hospital care. Callie's commitment shines through as Project Bubbaloo funds developmental toys and kits, providing solace and entertainment for young patients undergoing challenging medical journeys. The narrative takes a deeper turn as Callie shares personal experiences and sheds light on her transition from a nursing career to academia. This career shift becomes a pivotal part of her journey, amplifying her dedication to improving the lives of children with CHD. Collaborating with healthcare institutions like Children's Wisconsin, Callie's work extends beyond Project Bubbaloo, fostering partnerships that aim to enhance the support system for families navigating the complexities of congenital heart diseases. In this episode, the intertwining threads of Callie's story paint a vivid picture of compassion, resilience, and a determined pursuit of positive change in the lives of those affected by congenital heart diseases. Her narrative in this episode serves as both an emotional testament to her personal journey and an inspiring call to action for the broader community to join hands in supporting this vital cause.
COREY PIEPER: ARTIST/SONGWRITER/VIDEO EDITOR
Jan 26 2024
COREY PIEPER: ARTIST/SONGWRITER/VIDEO EDITOR
On this insightful episode, Spearhead host Xavier Mercado delves into the life and music of the multifaceted artist Corey Pieper. Born and raised in Milwaukee with deep Hawaiian roots, Corey's unique musical style blends pop, rap, and island melodies—attributes that have earned him widespread recognition in his hometown. He has been immersed in music since performing his first rap at a middle school party, eventually channeling his passion into a career through sheer dedication and consistent effort to improve and innovate. Corey's journey in the music industry is marked by collaborations with other artists in Milwaukee and guidance by former guest Philly Flyboy. Philly has played a crucial role in Corey's rise, from shooting music videos in Hawaii to gaining a significant presence in Milwaukee. Discussing his approach to branding with former guest Aaron Biebert, Corey underscores the importance of authenticity and perseverance. Throughout the episode, we learn about Corey's various stage names, his transition to using his real name, and his philosophy on consistency as the backbone of a gradual climb to success. The conversation also touches on the harsh realities of the industry, such as artists often being the last to receive payment and the modest returns from streaming services. Corey's commitment, hard work, and networking have led to collaborations with high-profile artists like Sean Kingston, solidifying his biggest records. The episode further explores Corey's experiences performing to large crowds at events like the Bucks halftime show and Summerfest, highlighting the emotional and personal significance of these opportunities. Finally, Xavier and Corey reflect on their mutual appreciation for their work and Corey's story. As two individuals close in age and both deeply invested in elevating Milwaukee's creative scene, they share insights on learning from others' experiences, the persistent grind in the music industry, and their aspirations for the city's talent. Corey's compelling narrative showcases an artist shaped by diverse influences, committed to his community, and driven by a relentless spirit—a fitting tribute to Milwaukee's growing cultural landscape.
XAVIER ’LOKI/FERNO’ MARTIN
Jan 12 2024
XAVIER ’LOKI/FERNO’ MARTIN
In this episode of SPEARHEAD CONVERSATIONS, Xavier Loki/Ferno Martin, a versatile audio engineer and cinematographer from Milwaukee, reflects on his childhood, emphasizing how early skit creation on flip phones set the stage for his storytelling passion. He discusses his self-taught audio engineering journey and the influence of his Norse mythology-inspired alter ego, 'Loki/Freno,' on his artistic vision and financial independence. Loki/Ferno commitment to Milwaukee's creative community shines as he challenges a 'crab in a bucket' mindset, showcasing his shift from a lucrative electrician career to full-time photography during the pandemic. The episode highlights his trajectory from poverty to success, prioritizing artistic aspirations over material gain, offering valuable advice for aspiring filmmakers and engineers. Looking beyond local scenes, Loki/Ferno’s dreams of directing for Netflix and Disney, fueled by the law of attraction. The episode delves into his perspective on leaving a meaningful legacy, influenced by his mother's values, and explores his creative process, grounded in authenticity and real-life inspiration through Hype Soul Studios and evocative short film projects. As the conversation closes, attention turns to Milwaukee's creative landscape, emphasizing the communal nature of success. Loki/Ferno’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of dedication and creative passion, proving that individual artists can shape their destinies and positively impact their communities through collaboration and support.