UK Community Radio Industry
July 2013 Edition
Tuning In To Community Radio...
Interview with Alex D’Arcy of Kane FM—WAKE UP! With D’Arcy
Local Artists Talk… getting their music played on community radio
Oh So Quiet
Interview with Angie Greaves of Magic 105.4 FM
Interview with Da Vinci Sound Show on Kane FM
From its roots as a pirate station, Kane FM has proved itself to be a local radio station worth shouting about. With an array of creative DJs, lively presenters and talented local bands and artists, the station has gone from strength to strength—and with over 120 volunteers running the show, that’s a lot of community spirit. “Kane tries to immerse itself in its local environment, talking about local charities, perhaps people who are unfortunate and need help. Also their work experience programmes, getting people involved and seeing what the local radio station is all about.” - Alex D’Arcy, Kane FM Breakfast Show
Each week, Kane invites one young person to join the DJs in the studio, for a work experience placement, where they learn about broadcast, production, and even get to present their own show at the end of the week, choosing their own music and format. “Kane gives local colleges and institutions that perhaps run those courses, like media and radio broadcasting, and actually giving people an opportunity to do it where it may not have existed before with that particular demographic” - Alex D’Arcy, Kane FM Breakfast Show Presenter
Photo: CTLN Photography
ALEX D’ARCY We caught up with Alex from the Kane FM Breakfast Show, Wake Up with D’Arcy, to chat about the station and what he thinks of community radio… Q. Does Kane FM ever play music by local bands or artists? They do yes, the Boilerroom show has local artists that come in and do live sessions, and a lot of Kane FM DJs are local boys. A lot of good music comes out of Guildford production-wise, such as ACM alumni (neighbouring music academy). Q. Is there a formal way for local bands and artists to send their music to the station? Yes, if they contact the info page on the Kane FM website, then someone will always pick it up and put it in the right direction, whether it be a producer with certain genres of music or whether there is a show that might be specific to them.
Q. How active is the station’s online presence? Very active! There are different blogs going up every day on the website, online you can listen back to different shows on MixCloud, the Facebook page has got over 6,000 members, and they are very interactive with quite a lot of members frequently on the various platforms. Q. Kane FM has a ‘listen live’ function on the website, how many users listen this way compared with users listening on FM radio? That’s a pretty difficult one to gauge, just because the FM is just a receiver and you never know really how many people are listening on there. The growth is exponential so actually it always goes up, it’s never going down. More people get to know about it and lock on to become listeners. Q. In your experience how do you think the local radio audience compares with the commercial radio audience? I think it’s nice to be able to text in or communicate with your local radio if you have a message for a friend or family member – the audience feel a bit more ‘with it’.
Photo: CTLN Photography
Q. Do you think local radio has a future in the UK? Yes definitely, I think as long as on the ground level in the community there is a lot of support for it. And I think from what Kane are doing, I don’t know whether it’s just a niche kind of music, but it’s definitely got a future around here.
LOCAL ARTISTS TALK... Getting their music played on community radio... Photo: CTLN Photography
Adam Amer “To the best of my recollection, I've only ever been involved with community or low level commercial radio. The first experience was when I was about 13/14. I was in a local pop/rock/indie band called Orion in Nottinghamshire. We won a few battle of the bands competitions and were playing regularly on the Nottingham/Derby originals circuit. We had some friends who presented shows on community radio so we were asked in to do an interview and play some of our tunes in the studio. It was a great experience because we got used to the radio environment, probably reached a few new fans and it made us feel famous! We went on that station twice. Last Christmas I had a track of mine played on an internet radio station in Nottingham. It was a show that played Nottingham music. I think it was called Trent Sound or something similar.”
MASSMATIKS “We play a mixture of Alternative Rock and Indie, and have been played on Community radio a few times. We have also done some acoustic sessions for Community stations around Guildford. It is hard to fully measure a bands success from radio, but it’s good for our experience and the more people that hear your music the better.”
“We have been involved in radio sessions and had two tracks of ours, including our latest single titled 'Exodus (Miracle)', played on the local radio, and we have had our tracks played on radio in the US and Canada. It’s a massive buzz to hear your music played on radio. We have so much faith in local and independent radio shows promoting and enjoying local music. It gives the scene a boost and gets people in the area excited about local music. It’s defiantly something that the band will always support.”
“On a couple of occasions I have had songs played and interviews done with community radio, and twice I have been interviewed and performed on air for local commercial radio.—Hope FM (Bournemouth), Bay 102.8 (Bournemouth), AORadio (internet) and Eagle Radio (Surrey/ Hampshire). I have always felt that radio whether big or small (in terms of reach) is incredibly important. History tells us that. With pirate radio in the 60's speaking for the people. Certain types of people will gravitate to certain radio stations, whether that is through the taste of music, the style of broadcasting, topics discussed or purely to be some company. It has a future but I fear it needs to find an angle to help it compete with commercial stations. Whether that be furthering the career of unsigned musicians, as the climate makes life harder for them, remains to be seen.” Photo: CTLN Photography
OH SO QUIET “The single on our debut EP, "Rain At Night" was featured on BBC Radio 2 (Huey Morgan), BBC 6 Music (BBC Introducing Mixtape Show: Tim Robinson), BBC Introducing: The South, Amazing Radio (Charlie Ashcroft: Audition show and Ruth Barnes), Explosive Unsigned, Kane FM and Shoreditch Radio. The second song on the EP "Motorcycle Journey" was featured on BBC 6 Music (Gideon Coe) and Explosive Unsigned. If you think about it, we don't normally listen to radio much, but you don’t realise how many people actually do, and if you get on a popular station, you get a lot of recognition. This has also helped with people in the industry taking us seriously. For example, if bloggers and A&R scouts hear that your music has been played on popular radio stations, you are more likely to get better opportunities.”
There will ALWAYS be a place for local radio. People like to feel involved, needed and cared for, and radio meets those needs beautifully.
MAGIC 105.4 Magic 105.4 FM is one of the countries top commercial stations, and The Wave had the chance to chat to Drive Time presenter Angie Greaves. Her past gigs include Jazz FM and then Smooth FM, working in talk radio at LBC, and presenting the Breakfast show on Choice FM. We asked he about what she thinks of community radio and its future in the UK…
Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the statement 'Radio is a dying industry'? I don’t think radio is dying at all, I do think that there are more options to listen to radio via the digital services and the internet. This has in fact given us more options to listen to radio across the UK and the world. I regularly listen online to The One in Barbados and WBLS in New York.
Q. In what ways do you think Magic differs from community radio stations, in terms of news? News isn’t really my area, but we take Sky News on Magic which covers the UK and international stories when relevant. Community news would more concentrate on the community which that specific radio station is servicing. So a BBC local radio station – BBC Three Counties for example – would more concentrate on news that affects Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Q. In what ways do you think Magic differs from community radio stations, in terms of music? Being a London wide station we tend to play more widely known music that is known to the audience, familiar music and keeps the audience close to the station.
Q. Does Magic ever play music by unknown/new artists? New music does appear periodically, a current song we have started playing is by Passenger and “Let Her Go”, and even though Bruno Mars isn’t a “new” artist, he is new to the Magic playlist as is Daft Punk.
Q. In your experience, how do you think the local radio audience compares with the commercial radio audience? Local radio would more report on issues that affect the community, from a lost cat, to a local shop that is closing down, the station is quite tight with the community and creates platforms to remain closer to the community, that’s not to say that commercial stations don’t embrace the community. It’s probably more expected of a local station.
Q. In your opinion, do you think local radio has a future in the UK? There will ALWAYS be a place for local radio. People like to feel involved, needed and cared for, and radio meets those needs beautifully. BBC Jersey is a perfect example of a local station, it serves the island Jersey with warmth.
I don’t think radio is dying at all, I do think that there are more options to listen to radio via the digital services and the internet.
Photo: CTLN Photography
DA VINCI SOUND ON KANE FM
One of the most popular shows on Kane FM at present is the Da Vinci Sound show, a 2 hour Reggae music broadcast on Saturday afternoons. The Wave chatted to Mark at the Da Vinci Sound show, to ask him about Kane FM and the landscape of community radio...
Radio has gone through a radical change in landscape over the past 7 years. With the rise of community radio, the landscape of FM radio has changed forever and in many ways for the better .
Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the statement ‘Radio is a dying industry’?
Commercially it’s changing and with change comes innovation. We disagree particularly concerning Community Stations of which there has been over 250 licenced since 2005. Radio has gone through a radical change in landscape over the past 7 years. With the rise of community radio the landscape of FM radio has changed forever and in many ways for the better. OFCOM knew the FM dial had become stagnant and dominated by a few companies that owned all the radio stations. There were zero independent radios, which was destroying listener choice and stations service provisions suffered a lack of innovation therefore. Cont...
With over 200 active community radio stations now live and a brand new branch of station just licensed in Ireland, radio is not only more relevant than ever, it now directly assists local communities and groups creating social change. So radio is not dying at all, however old ways of selling advertising and faceless organisations that cannot deliver the right products to the right market are struggling. If anything, the old model of radio advertising is dying as more and more targeted marketing takes place via the internet. So these huge stations that don't have a loyal following are struggling to get hold of adverts. Whereas Kane FM is flying as advertisers understand the vision and commitment of our very loyal listenership. Radio is at its most healthy position for the past 100 years in terms of content available to listen to.
into our studio which has a live feed that can bring in ALL local info and traffic information fed by a service provided through Guildford Borough Council.
Q. In what ways is Kane FM focused on community news?
Q. In what ways is Kane FM focused on community education? i.e. workWe donâ€™t really do news formally but primarily bring people in to focus on arts, soci- shops, working with local schools, ety and culture. We are improving with etc. Community news and it is something developing with the new Community tab on the website. Everything we do on air is naturally community news, because almost 70% of our shows are provided by people who live within the catchment area or have direct links to their life within the catchment area. Therefore even conversations between hosts are filled with news on local events, organisations and even shops such as Decade in Guildford. We are also linked to local media organisation â€˜The Good Time Guideâ€™ and are about to add an extra TV/Monitor
We are very focussed on this, approximately 30 hours a week is spent by our community building networks and working towards partnerships that will benefit young people. We have had 9 work experience people, aged between 14-25, so far this year and that will reach 20 by the end of the year. This covers schools, colleges and University and includes special schools. We are also running a Drop In Centre and doing workshops in a Youth Centre in Haslemere. We have several other projects in the pipe line.
Q. Does Kane ever play music by local bands/artists? We do. Lots of our DJ’s make and air their own music, we also bring in singers, MCs and band for live sessions. Also we have local live bands on the Boileroom show.
tics and surveys in order to give figures. If we were to work on these statistics, we would certainly be looking at many thousands of FM listeners but as mentioned above we will be conducting a survey in the near future and we are expecting positive feedback.
Q. If so, is there a formal way for local bands/artists to send their music Q. How active is Kane FM’s online presence? to the station? If it is bands, they are best to contact the Boileroom show, we can provide information. Local electronic music artists are encouraged to send in their 1 hour mixes for the High Noon Show broadcast on Fridays, which is our Community show. They just need to email their mixes via my email or the 'Get involved' page on the web site.
We have looked at other community station statistics and presence on forums and social sites, we are certainly in a good position and it is something that will grow in the future.
Q. Do you think local radio has a future in the UK?
Yes, local radio is unique and bespoke for a Q. In your experience, how do you certain area. It provides information relethink the local radio audience com- vant to the listener and is open to commupares with the commercial radio au- nity participation. As mentioned previously, local community radio is expanding, not dience? decreasing. You can get more info from At the moment it’s hard to tell but we are www.commedia.org.uk/go/communitygoing to be conducting a survey very soon. radio/. We think it’s good in relation to our FM coverage area.
Q. Kane FM has a ‘listen live’ function on the website, how many users listen this way compared with users listening on FM radio? There is no way of knowing the actual FM listening figures, commercial stations tend to act on statisPhoto: CTLN Photography
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