I love music.
I love instrumental melodies. I love bass. I love rap. I love house. I love acoustic. I love jazz. I love rock. I love classical. I love dance. I love trance. I love vocal pop. I love indie. I love hip hop. I love a slick mix. I love discovering a new artist. I love listening to a new album and deciding on my top three favourites. I love lyrics that epitomize your situation. I love discovering an old album and being flooded with a mass of good memories. I love a beat that can do nothing else but get you moving… whether in the car or on the street or in your bedroom. I love running for kilometers on end with my i-pod pressed into my ears and the beat pushing my legs to run harder, faster. I love sending a song to someone in a moment when spoken words don’t do justice.
Besides for music… I love radio.
I spent some time and had good experience working at a Community Radio Station whilst I was studying in East London. It was there that I learnt how to “present” on air and hosted the Youth Show, the Top 40 and a daily half-hour community chat show. This was a good three years of experience. There wasn’t a set-apart moment when I recall knowing this was my passion. I just began having fun. There were many moments of skrewing up, saying the wrong thing, sounding flustered, being criticized and feeling as though I would never ‘master’ this skill. However, I believe that – similarly to any profession – if you apply yourself and work at improving the way in which you do something – you will eventually become increasingly excellent at what you do.
Although I do not consider myself to be a professional I do know that I love what I do. Preparing a show and presenting it to listeners who could possibly enjoy what I have to say is rewarding. This kind of interaction with complete strangers is indescribably awesome. I guess you could compare a well-presented show to a brilliant sale or an excellent architectural design. The function can obviously vary from informative discussion to pure entertainment but the point is usually the vital establishment of a connection with your listeners. Through careful and strategic use of these functions you can easily encourage, persuade, uplift or simply engage your listeners with a topic of your choice.
I believe radio is one of the THE most powerful media tools. It is the one medium which is most accessible to people of all races and cultures in this world. Those in rural areas may not have an i-pod, an i-pad, a television, a washing machine or even a stove… but they have a radio. I remember going on outreach trips into Africa and walking into a hut where they sold ice-cold coca-cola and on the top of a box or wooden stool was a radio perched up in the best position for maximum quality reception. I have seen domestic workers listening to talk radio 702 as they work in the garden, teenagers begging their parents to change the frequency to 5fm, elderly folk singing along to Classic FM, patients in waiting rooms tapping their feet to Highveld, rappers crowded in circles listening to Y-fm, successful business women blasting the new Rihanna track on Kaya FM as they drive home from work, grown Afrikaans men speaking about Jacaranda FM, and students phoning in to express their opinion on 95.4.
Radio, unlike television, can be listened to whilst doing a million other activities. Washing dishes, ironing clothes, getting dressed, sitting in traffic, cooking, drawing, typing, chilling, planning, bathing, eating or even chatting to someone.
I’m passionate about it.
The presenters/ dj’s are my friends whether they like it or not. I talk back to them and laugh with them. I have listened to them in some of my best and worst moments. There may talk complete sense or absolute rubbish but there is always some kind of entertainment, comfort or amusement sought.
I believe radio can change and challenge our society.
So this week, when you find yourself in that inevitable place of listening to the radio, do one thing: