ALAN’s Passion with ISR Radio

 

Alan

ISR Radio is one of those independent radio stations that plays it all. From live radio show’s to podcasts, various genre’s to cater for everyone, but most importantly, great indie music with a relaxed and fun atmosphere. 

I found myself laughing as I was listening to ISR’s Saturday night live show as the host and founder of ISR radio, Alan, was testing a few things out. 

Majority of internet radio is usually one, or perhaps two show’s a week; however ISR mixes it up with various shows from various other internet radio DJ’s and show’s combined in one place, giving ISR a rather appealing platform to go to. 

 

I had a great chat with Alan to find out a bit more about his radio station, ISR. 

 

 

MT/Tracey: Hello Alan, great to have this chat with you. I have so many questions. Firstly, when did ISR begin?

Alan: Tracey, it is my honor to speak with you about ISR Los Angeles, and I want to congratulate you on your recent ISSA Nomination!I’m up for presenter and station of the year, and can’t wait to go to the Awards Show August 4th! 

 Where it began, well,  it was September of 2017. I had just lost my mother and my grandmother in a 2 month span, and was feeling pretty low. At the time I was doing Spreaker shows, but I felt as though I wasn’t getting anywhere. Just when I was about to give up on broadcasting, I started receiving music from several artists looking for airplay on my channel. When I heard the quality of these songs, from Jennifer Mlott, Danielle Haskell, Madison Mueller and others, it motivated me to start The Indie Star Radio Network, which became Indie Star Radio, and Now ISR Los Angeles. 

 

MT: What is your role at the station that you find yourself doing day in and day out?  

Alan: Mostly promoting. Sharing the Live 365 station as much as I can as well as the vast number of Podcasts on our Podcast Network is almost a full time job in itself! But I’m blessed to be able to promote such great talent! Because that’s what we are. We are a platform to promote independent talent. 

 

MT: How many listeners do you have in your community? 

Alan: Honestly, it varies. Some days I can’t believe how many people are tuned in to ISR Los Angeles on Live365, or how many people are listening to the podcasts! I can tell you that we have thousands of listeners on Live365 and our podcasts have been listened to or downloaded nearly 23,000 times since the platform started. 

 

MT: What did you do before you decided to start up your own radio network?

Alan: I’ve been playing drums in several bands since 1995, most notably with the punk band The Dawgs from 02-04. After that, I kind of bounced around playing a show here or there. When I became a family man, I came to the realization late night gigs followed by early work hours were gonna kill me. But I needed something, so I enrolled in the RRFC in 2013 to study broadcasting. After graduation, I started my own podcasts and worked with several outfits including the Intellexual Network as well as a brief stint at Music Mafia Radio. After years of stops and starts and not really feeling like I was doing something I loved, I went full on into the network, where I could promote my vision and do what I love to do; find great new talent, and broadcast them Rick Dees style!  

 

MT: I’ve noticed that it’s built up quite nicely, incorporating other radio shows from other great indie stations and DJ’s. Can you explain a bit more about how this works?

Alan: Like most of this, quite by accident. I received an email one day from Ann Thatcher over at the Balcony Show asking if I wanted to play their show. I said sure. From there, I picked up several shows along the way including The Independent Music Show with Tom Lambert, JJ Kane’s New Music Show, The Chris Top Program, The Chuck Vans Show, Kickin’ Country w/ Rob and Jenn, The New Music Food Truck, and The Celebefex Show with James Walsh. I offered to use my platform to get their shows listed on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and about 15 other hosts that I’ve come to know over the years, as well as to carry some of the shows on Live365. As for how it works, its pretty easy: The DJ’s send me their programs, and I schedule them on our platform. Its another avenue for these Independent Show Producers to get their shows out there and heard to a larger audience, and I’m happy to do it because it diversifies the platform, making it enjoyable for everyone. 

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MT: Who else is involved with ISR and what are their roles? Who are all the DJ’s and shows you have?  

Alan: Wow..So many People. First and foremost Ash is my right hand. She does everything from promotions to posters to social media work, t-shirt design, hell, she even ran the station for a while recently! Her willingness to help in any way is shocking and flattering to me, and I can’t thank her enough. Justin, he’s the fearless talent booker for ISR Insider. Because of him, we’ve had former Voice contestants, American Idol Contestants, Contestants on The Four, and some of the best up and coming talent to interview. He also keeps it all straight for me as far as scheduling so all I have to do is talk, which is what I do best! I mentioned the DJ’s from the other shows earlier; I see them as partners. They allow me to run quality programming, I give them a place to showcase their programs. And of course, I cannot forget John Matthews, well known Photographer, who has helped me with all facets of web design. Tracey Noelle Smith, whose enthusiasm helps with more spiritual aspects of the platform, and of course, my diehards who never fail to show up for a live show! 

 

MT: Are you looking for other radio shows to collaborate with? If so, do you actively look to find shows that fit your brand/profile or can DJ’s of their own shows contact you?  

Alan: I’m always open to receiving new programming! As far as brand, it may sound kind of dumb in todays world, but I’m not really all that concerned with a brand. I feel that if you offer a wide variety of shows, good consistent content, that becomes your brand. 

 

MT: How do you operate and manage to cover the costs associated with running an independent radio station or network?

Alan: I work. LOL

Other than that, I have one sponsor who helps with the cost and had one Patron for a while. Mostly though, all the expenses come out of my paycheck. 

 

MT: You know, I’ve gone to listen to your show, but apparently, it’s not available in Australia via the 365 Network.  I understand it’s only available in US, Canada and England. How can those in other countries gain access to hear your station? (other than purchasing a VPN of course)

Alan: I’m glad you asked! All of the podcasts are available on demand, and even the live shows on Saturdays, which start at 3 PM pacific and go until 9PM Pacific with a break between 5 and 6 at  www.spreaker.com/indiestarradio, and many are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeart Radio. I’d love to see people from around the world come visit in the Spreaker chat room!  However, as for a live streaming option, thats still in the works due to licensing laws and what not.  

 

MT: Which shows are live? Do you do pre-recorded shows?  

Alan: ISR Saturday Night and Kickin’ Country with Rob and Jenn are recorded live on Spreaker and go off, like I mentioned on Saturdays. Most of the shows are prerecorded and run in podcast form. However, starting very soon, through the magic of Spacials own SAM Broadcaster software, one will be able to hear those live shows on the Live365 platform simulcast, which we are very excited about!

 

MT: How do you find the music you play?  

Alan: I’d say 95 percent of it has been through artists uploading their music to our website www.isrradiola.com, or by them sending it to my email isrradiola@gmail.com . Once in a great while, I’ll find someone and reach out to see if they want to be on the station, but mostly its by submission. I listen to every submission before they hit the airwaves. 

 

MT: Just wondering how many hours a week do you work in ISR, and do you also work another job to help you eat? 

Alan: I’d say I work between 20-25 hours a week on the station in various facets whether it be promoting, website management, talking with artists, doing interviews, the list goes on and on. On top of this, I have had a career in the Steel Industry for almost 20 years on the sales side. I’m lucky to have a career, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be eating that’s for sure. And probably not able to do all this. 

 

MT: Where would you like to see ISR radio in a few years time? 

Alan: As a place where greatness is discovered, and the best up and coming music is heard first. 

 

MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention? 

Alan: I’d like to thank you for this time, allowing me to chat about this passion of mine. I hope your readers enjoy it, and tune in to ISR Los Angeles! 

Thank you so much for your time Alan, I really appreciate it. 

LINKS TO ISR RADIO

Website: https://www.isrradiola.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISRRadioLA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/isrradiolosangeles/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isr_la/

Spreaker: https://www.spreaker.com/user/indiestarradio

iHeart Radio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/966-indie-star-insider-28735004/

 

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The DJ Struth Mate Show Is Not Your Average Radio Show

 

Radio DJ Struth Mate

DJ Struth Mate is an Australian radio presenter who primarily promotes independent music from around the world.‘The DJ Struth Mate Show’ has been running weekly since 2015 & is a solo job of passion. Interviews with musicians and artists in various creative communities are always fun & informative so Stay Tuned!
MT/Tracey: Struth Mate! I miss you and our little show segments…..So now what are you doing with the DJ Struth Mate Show?
DJ Struth: ‘Sup Tracey! Yeah a few months back I changed the format of the show to become a simple mixtape of submitted music. As a presenter sometimes you feel like you’re wasting your breath but I’m back now speaking & treating it as a therapeutic release. If anyone listens as of now, good luck on lasting a whole show from start to finish & getting every sarcastic reference.
MT: You had funny sounds effects in your shows, which I think added a unique style to what you have to offer making it a ‘Show’. Are you still doing adding the koala screaming noises or bird noises etc.?
DJ Struth: Those sound effects are still there & I could never get rid of ‘koalas_mating.mp3″ Realistically they are simply for filler moments of dead air, transitions & referencing the topic being spoken about. Besides a couple of parodies I don’t know of anyone using silly samples in the same vain currently. I guess it is unique now but of course inspired by early nineties cheesy radio I was tuning in growing up.
MT: I’ve noticed you have tried something different recently with doing interview/podcasts with artists. Will you be doing more of this?
DJ Struth: I think an artist deserves some more detailed focus if they are going to take spare time to chat with me. With this in mind I’ve been happy to chat via video as well as audio. These lead to something more personal & as funny as it sounds I’ve begun to back off on doing too much research. I’m hoping the listener/viewer enjoys the ride of discovery behind the artist alongside. They may be a bit longer than the regular show as a separate project but I enjoy editing something to help promote in any way.
MT: Where do you find your music to play on your show?
DJ Struth: Currently all music is submission based from social connections to me directly unless I’m listening to someone new. That’s when I’ll reach out personally to get their details for a promo & feature on next available show.

Radio DJ

MT: For those who don’t know, can you tell us why you have horns?
DJ Struth: So I can throw in a “I’m Horny” joke in any situation. ‘badum_tssh.mp3’
MT: Primarily who is your audience?

DJ Struth: I tried to find this out with a survey once but it was flawed methinks. If I had to break it down 30% Regular listeners, 40% Artist that was featured, 15% Newbs who never listen after one show again, 10% Peeps who accidentally clicked any link to the show, 5% Me listening back on quality on platforms.

 

MT: What is personally your favourite (dare I ask) genre of music?

DJ Struth: Growing up we all went through phases of music & changes that evolved. Truly I love Rock, as broad as the term is. A 4-piece band with a vocalist, guitarist, bassist & drummer that have a pic with their horns up will always garner my attention. It’s more my go-to when I’m craving some older tunes.

 

MT: I have only recently learned that you don’t own a TV set! I really think we need to get a ‘Go Fund Me’ for you to get you a nice TV….Although it’s not entirely music related….just wondering why no TV?

DJ Struth: I found a TV set with endless commercials was more of background noise to anything creative on hand. A ‘Go Fund Me’ for a decent wireless mouse may be more achievable…

 

MT: Before you moved into radio, what were you doing musically before?

DJ Struth: I crossed over into radio after a stint at being an indie musician. Recording, Live performance, Weddings, Busking & singing the national anthem yada yada yada. That little bit of background gives me the utmost more respect for the artists I feature.

 

MT: Radio and bloggers do so much in trying our very hardest to try and help artists out. What is the one thing you wish for, that artists would do when you play their music?

DJ Struth: Acknowledgement of being featured. A ‘Thank you’ is always appreciated too. Some artists go above & beyond in reciprocating promo but there’s also a ghost factor. To all the ghosts, You suck.

 

Interviews with Radio DJ's
RADIO FEATURES
MT: You know, I love your Instagram. For those who don’t understand your sense of humour, they soon get to know when looking at your Instagram. Can you just tell me why the chef sessions with the cut up banana’s and apple…..(in beautiful lighting and inspiring background music)?

DJ Struth: If you try to understand stuff I post on Insta you will get a headache sweets. I always ponder what would get attention. The fruit cutting you mentioned was parodying The #SaltBae guy. #SugarBae basically. All fruit was eaten after, no waste!

 

MT: You love mentioning products on your show with what you have tried and you share with your experience with your audience. Can people send you their products to review for them?
DJ Struth: I’ll mention whatever I’m into each week so products or merchandise will always get random mentions. Tried tagging major brands but no attention there. I have everything from coffee mugs, shirts & CDs sent via mail from amazing people. I would never say no to reviewing something of any media. Send away Struthings!

 

MT: Does your cat sit with you when you are recording your show?

DJ Struth: Coco the cat does not sit for recordings anymore. She did some work for Andrew Lloyd Webber which took her out of her contract with the Struth show. We still live together too which is awkward you could imagine…

 

MT: We often hear and know how difficult it is for independent artists, but can you shed some light on how difficult it is to get a radio show up and recognized and how much time you spend on putting your weekly shows together?

DJ Struth: It may take an hour or it may take a whole week to put a show I deem worthy of airing. I really enjoy the ‘One-Take’ Approach which gives the raw feel. so mistakes are made & amended quickly. When I finally get a show up for the internet I do have that moment of wonder that this is the one that will spark a new regular listener.

 

MT: Where would you like to see the ‘DJ Struth Mate Show’ go and what is your ultimate goal?

DJ Struth: It’s not going anywhere (Lesson Learned) but would love to continue chatting with willing peeps. Ultimate goal is to keep creative myself & promote creative artists.

 

MT: Other than Mixcloud, where else can people and fans hear your show?
MT: If artists are interested in sending you music, where can they send it and what’s the criteria?

DJ Struth: My email djstruthmate@gmail.com

Any submissions that are personal will always have favour over a generic copy/paste lame email.
-Who you are.-A track or two-Your Social media links.
Simple but hard at the same time.
MT: Is there anything else you would like to mention?
DJ Struth: I haven’t seen the original ‘ The Lion King’
Thank you so much for your time DJ Struth Mate, I really appreciate it and I miss you.

Ann Thatcher from The Balcony

Radio Host Anne Thatcher

 

The Balcony Show is a great show aired on various internet radios and platforms, and focused on showcasing indie music of all kind, with airplay and interviews. Music Talks asked Ann Thatcher about the show, how it came to be and what is happening under the hood to bring great indie music to the public week after week

MT: Hi Ann, could you tell our readers about you and what you do?

Anne: Hello Ghost, I am the host of The Balcony Show. Our show features music and interviews from independent artists all over the world. We like to have conversations with artists in a fun environment. Each show begins with a hashtag that is answered. Kind of a spin on “The Great Karnak” from “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

MT: When did you start The Balcony show and what motivated you to do it?

Anne: I started The Balcony Show about four years ago after going out and listening to live music. Then someone gave me their cd and I thought wow! Why is this not on the radio? After some research I found that at the time there was not a lot of shows in my area. So, my former co-host and I decided to start a show.

MT: Did you have prior experience in radio before that?

Anne: No. I had taken a few classes in college, but I am a retired Correctional Officer. I wanted to do something really positive.

MT: What is your first radio-related memory?

Anne: Wow! Lol I remember car rides with music blasting. A beach with a jukebox and the feeling you got as a kid when that quarter would roll down and you would find your favorite song.

MT: Where does the name of the show (The Balcony) comes from?

Anne: The Balcony Show got its name from the two Muppets in the balcony. I thought it was funny and we could bring a whole different vibe to interviews on the indie scene.

MT: Do you do live shows, or do you pre-record?

A: Our first few shows where done live, but we now are fully produced and pre-recorded.

MT: Do you have live acts during your shows?

A: We have. And I wouldn’t say that I would not do that again, however, I want to put an example of the bands best work forward. I see both the pros and cons of live but in my experience for several reasons a pre-recorded show is better.

Andrew Chervak
Andrew Chervak

MT: Do you do artists interviews?

A: Yes, each week we feature one band on our show with an interview and three of their songs. We also have a short Spotlight where we give artists with a single to come on and do a short synapsis of their song and then we play it. The Spotlight is also used for former artists to return to our show with new music. We also play music from all of our previous guests on each show.

MT: Your show airs and is syndicated on various radios and platforms, do you also air on FM/AM? Where can we find you?

Anne: The Balcony Show is aired on DJC Global, Alien X Radio, New Visions Radio, and Indie Star Nation. We are also on 12 listening platforms including Apple Itunes, Iheart Media, Spreaker, Spotify, SoundCloud…etc. We would love the opportunity to air on FM/AM!

MT: Are you alone running the show, or do you have people helping?

Anne: I set up the shows, scout the music, upload shows and do all the promotion for our show. Andrew my co-host and producer records the shows and puts them together.

MT: Is the show in a special studio or are you running it from home?

Anne: Yes, Midnight Studios in Easton, Pa.

MT: How much time do you spend preparing your shows?

Anne: Hours! There is a lot of work that goes into building a show.

MT: Do you play unsigned music only or also commercial music?

 

Anne: No. Absolutely not! I am turning artists away now. I have 51 shows a year and although I love main stream music, I won’t play it unless they have been on my show. 

MT: What kind of music do you play?

Anne: We are a multi genre show and I like that. The Balcony Show covers many genre’s and will continue to. The only exception is explicit material and that for me is more of a personal choice.

MT: What kind of music do you like?

Anne: I like all kinds of music! Each genre has its own sound unique to it.  I think it’s like drinking wine you want to try all kinds and broaden your scope.

MT: How do you find the music you play?

Anne: Currently, I have a waiting list to get on our show. And believe me when I say I am grateful. However, I am always listening to new music. Sometimes, something will come up in my news feed on FB or Twitter and I will reach out.

MT: Do you have sponsors? How is the show funded?

Anne: Currently no. That is something I need to work on.

MT: Could you tell us about your typical radio day?

Anne: I set up all the music for the show. Which means I look for music amongst my artists that will flow together to give the show a cohesiveness. I check and recheck to see that I have everything I need before I walk in to the studio.  Once I have everything I head down to the studio. I stop for coffee for my co-hosts and sometimes other food and refreshments. We are kind of a family at the studio so Tuesday’s being our night is something we all look forward to. Once I am there, Midnight Studios LLC. Is a full production studio so the rest is kind of easy and familiar. As I have said many times, we love what we do! Overseas interviews are done via FB Messenger or Skype. If an artist is close enough, they come to the studio.

MT: What is your feeling about streaming platforms, like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.?

Anne: Personally, I think they do not pay the artists enough for streaming their music. But, on the other hand they are an avenue for getting their music heard.

MT: How much presence do you have on social media? Do you think it’s important to be there and what do you do to promote your radio?

Anne: I am on social media every day. I try and share new info from my artists as much as I can. I also do what I call “A Play A Day” on Twitter which features one song by one of our show’s former guests. It is extremely important to use as many platforms as possible for me to get the music out there. If you want to grow something, in my case a show, you have to work at it every day.

MT: What advice would you give to unsigned artists who would like to submit to your show?

 

Anne: PRODUCTION is everything. Remember you are not competing with your next-door neighbor and if you really want to make it in this business then you have to invest in yourself. Your music is your calling card.  Honestly, it makes me sad to hear really good talent on a bad production. I won’t play it, I can’t play it. 

MT: What advice would you give to unsigned artists for their career?

Anne: Remember this is a business. Therefore, you have to treat it like a business. Do the work, bring your best, look professional, promote yourself, and leave your ego at the door.

MT: Do you have any issues with the world of unsigned music, or the world of internet radios, things that bugs you and/or you’d like to talk about?

Anne: In my opinion all internet stations should have to pay licensing after a period of time so that artists receive royalties.

MT: Do you think you get enough support from your listeners and the artists you play?

Anne: Listeners could help by purchasing merchandise from their favorite bands, shows, and stations.  As far as support from artists, yes, it is always nice when they help promote the show but without their music, I have no show. I am grateful for the opportunity to share their music.

MT: Any band/artist that has impressed you last year that you would like people to know about?

Anne: Wow! First of all, they all impressed me or they would not be on our show. Personally yes.  Madison Mueller from Canada, Kerry Goodhind from the UK, The Rewind, The Condriacs, Camel Juice, Guy Paul Thibault, Brandon Maddox, After Alice, Leah Fuls, Verity White, Mack Meadows, Leaders in The Clubhouse, Rofo Audio for just being amazing people. I could go on and on…

Emily Noel
Emily Noel

MT: Any plans for The Balcony and Ann Thatcher in 2019? Or beyond?

Anne: My hope is to continue to grow and reach more listeners. My goal is to get our show on AM/FM or Sirius radio in the future.

MT: Anything else you’d want to add?

Anne: I would like to thank you Ghostly Beard and Music Talks for the opportunity of this interview. I hope that I get to continue on this journey bringing our listeners amazing music. Thank you to all of the artists that have graced us with their music and continue to support our show.  Thank you to my co-host and producer at Midnight Studios LLC. Andrew Chervak, for the production of our show and sharing the ride. And thank you to our Spotlight co-host Emily Noel for adding a bright spot to our show. On a personal note I believe in the magic of independent music, because it speaks to the best of who we are as human beings. So, I will continue to send it out there as far as I can because you never know who is listening.

Thanks a lot Ann for letting us know a bit more about your show and yourself and read a bit about what’s happening on the balcony! 😊

LINKS TO THE BALCONY SHOW

Website: http://www.thebalconyshow.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thebalconypa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBalconyshow/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebalconypa/

The Man Behind The Mic from The Premium Blend Radio Show

 

Radio DJ Stuart Clack-Lewis

Stuart Clack-Lewis may be known to many as ‘The Premium Blend Radio Show’. This is the man behind the mic who brings you great music from around the globe every week on 95.9 Halisham FM.

The Premium Blend Radio Show is not your average radio show; more like your high energy music blast which lasts for two hours and features live musicians & bands in the studio.

It’s obvious that Stuart Clack-Lewis has a great love for indie music and emerging artists as he packs in live artists and interviews from his local area in East Sussex (UK), Guest DJ’s with their own 20 minutes of various pumping mixes as well as independent music from around the world.

We had to find out more about the man behind the mic, Stuart Clack-Lewis.

 

MT/Tracey: Hi Stuart, I guess my first question would have to be…How long has ‘The Premium Blend Radio Show’ been running?

Stuart: Hi Tracey, the show in its current format has been running for about two and a half years now but I started the show as a 90’s show at Radio DGH.  When I moved to Hailsham FM, I wanted to refresh the show and create something special.  I always wanted to head down the unsigned and emerging artist route and took the opportunity to do so. In answer to your question, the Premium Blend brand has been running for over 5 years now.

MT: How did you think up the programming of the show to include live acts and special guests DJ’s etc.

Stuart: I always had it in my mind to take it down this route and initially just wanted to play emerging artist tracks. I used to play a 12” track on the 90’s show but wanted to expand this to a full mix.  The idea to bring live acts onto the show came as an epiphany at a friends house when I was having Sunday dinner and someone mentioned that you don’t hear much live music on the radio (well not as much as you used to hear), so at that point I decided that if I played unsigned tracks, DJ Mix and a live act, that would make a great radio show!!

MT: Where is ‘The Premium Radio Show’ Studio? i.e. your house, office…? 

Stuart:  The studio is based in Hailsham, East Sussex, about 30 miles away from Brighton.  Its a lovely, self contained studio, all soundproofed, thank goodness with some of the bands I have in!!

MT: Have you been in Radio prior to ‘The Premium Radio Show’?Band in Radio Show

Stuart: No, I always wanted to get into radio but never got the opportunity until about 5 years ago.  I did look to get into it about ten years ago but life got in the way.  I wish I had got into radio when I was much younger (early 20’s) but personally I probably wasn’t ready then.

MT: What’s your favourite music style personally?

Stuart: Personally, I love it all! I do struggle with death metal but generally, I’ve loved music since I was a small boy and that will never change.

MT: Is there anyone else who helps you in running the show?

Stuart: My girlfriend Pebbles helps me with parts of the show, such as the graphics and helps with my show notes.  She has also branched out to start doing reviews for artists we have on, gigs we’ve been to and tracks/EP’s we get sent.  Check her out at Pebbles Reviews on Facebook.

MT: It’s a big world out there; How do you choose and find your tracks and artists?

Stuart: The show runs on submissions along with bands I meet at gigs and festivals.  My biggest resource is from Twitter (@PremiumBlendRad) as I do the Music Hour UK and Unsigned Hours to open the show for submissions.  I also put a shout out through the show each week to submit tracks.  Then its a case of having to listen to them all to pick the ones for the show.  The most I got in one week was just over 350 tracks.

MT: What was it that fancied your interest for you to get into radio?

Stuart: I can’t sing nor can I play any instruments and I’ve certainly tried.  I can talk and push buttons so the only route that presented itself was radio.

MT: Do you fund the show yourself?

Stuart: Yes I do.  The set up and running of the website, all my merch and anything else to do with the show is paid for by myself. 

MT: Do you have any annoying narks that perhaps you wish you could change in regards to people listening, responding or how artists could make your job a bit easier?

Stuart: Not really any narks.  I’m just really happy for people to tune in.  If they ever wanted to share my posts or even just leave a comment, that would make my day.

MT: What does a normal week entail for Stuart Clack-Lewis?

Radio DJ Stuart Clack-LewisStuart: Music, Music, Music! If I’m not listening to music, I’m getting tracks ready to listen to or I’m off to a gig. It’s not a bad life!!

MT: The internet is a very big world in which takes a great deal of jumping up and down to get people to notice you and listen. How do you promote your show and get people to listen in?

Stuart: I like to think that I’m pretty good with social media and post my show everywhere, as you might have seen my post pop up on your pages from time to time. I also go to music networking nights, which has always been very beneficial, especially Riff Taff Music Networking.  Sometime you just have to be a little bit cheeky too, as I will text into other radio shows and get a little shout out. The last one was on the BBC Introducing South.

MT: How prepared do you have to be to produce a live radio show?

Stuart: On average, I spend about 25 – 30 hours a week getting a two hour show ready.  You have to be prepared otherwise the show will sound terrible and I won’t do the music any justice.  I like to have everything perfect before the show starts. 

MT: Do you happen to have a dog in the studio, because we like dogs? (weird question I know)

Stuart: No pets allowed in the studio but I like the idea.

MT: If there was absolutely anything at all you could change regarding the indie music scene and the music business, what would you do?

Stuart: Give grassroots venues more money to stay open and inject even more money to open new venues.  The grassroots scene is struggling in the UK and venues are closing all across the country right now, including one of my favourite places in Brighton, with the immanent closure of Sticky Mikes Frog Bar, a fantastic live venue for bands starting out on the scene along with more established bands from around the country performing there.  Apart from that, maybe bigger, more commercial stations giving airplay time to smaller bands.   

MT: Are there any change of plans or ideas for 2019 with ‘The Premium Radio Blend Show’?

Stuart: Yes there is!  2019 is when I will look to make the show bigger and better.  I’ll be running the stage at The Magnificent Motors weekend for one of the days on the May Day Weekend down on Western Lawns in Eastbourne.  I have a host of great local bands already booked for this and have a few more to tie up.  I will also be running the ‘unplugged’ stage at the Off The Record all dayer festival in November next year. It will be the third year that this festival will be running and feel honoured to be part of it.  Applications open in March for this.

MT: Is there anything you would like to let us know about; or your listeners?

Stuart: Just a massive thank you to all the bands, musicians, DJ’s and especially the listeners for tuning into my radio show.  I feel incredibly humble for all the support I’ve received with the show and if it wasn’t for these talented people sending their tracks, mixes or performing their wonderful live music, there wouldn’t be a Premium Blend Radio Show. Thank you all.

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The Life of Tobi, Enzo and Music Hour UK

Tobi's Dog Enzo

 

Tobi Davis is known to many for his producing with well-known indie artists such as Katie Ellen, Jon Magnusson, Lillias Hobson, Danielle Feinberg and the most recent work ft. Fans of Jimmy Century.Interview Questions for Tobi

As so many do in the music biz, Tobi also plays roles in many other facets including the running of popular Spotify playlist, ‘The Monster Playlist’ and co-host of the trending ‘Music Hour UK’ on Twitter.

The one thing you will notice, is that we don’t see a face anywhere across social media; instead, we see a beagle who’s either sniffing the headphones, sitting on a stool in a studio or watching who’s eating what.

We had a bit of fun and wanted to find out a little more about Tobi.

 

MT/Tracey : My first question is; What’s with the beagle? Who is he?

Tobi: ..that’s the boss.  El Hefe.  My partner in crime. My family.  My superstar beagle, Enzo.  I’m very much Alfred to his Batman.  His reputation precedes me.

MT: When did you begin producing music?

Tobi: I’m not sure I’ve started yet.  I use ‘Producedbytobi’ as a ‘catch all’.  Most of my time is spent mixing/mastering.  When I do Produce, I prefer to co-produce with the Artist/band as the senior partner.  That way I can act as a sounding board and give advice/offer options, as to the arrangement in regards to how it mix (or not, as the case may be).

Every great mix you ever heard started a great arrangement first.  I have a reputation as a ‘creative mixer’ and it’s true, i can solve a lot problems in the mix.  But not all of those solutions suit every genre of music.  Electronic and pop productions are more forgiving of ‘mix’ solutions.  Folk/singer songwriter, not so much ; the fans of those genres like music to feel ‘in the room’.

To get round to answering your question ..a lot people don’t realise, I’ve only been doing this for a few years.  It’s intimidating trying to work my way into a industry that is pathologically obsessed with what’s young and new.  I’m 41.  I have to be so much better than the next guy.  And the next guy can be 15 years younger than me, often with more experience and credits.

MT: Most people were introduced to music or inspired by someone; who inspired you and gave you the music bug?

Tobi: My most vivid childhood memories of music, are long car journeys in my Father’s car.  The A1 and Queen’s Greatest Hits, Tina Turner, and Deacon Blue.  ..wow, haven’t thought about Deacon Blue in years.  Wonder what happened to them?  (I’m listening to ‘Real Gone Kid’ on Spotify now).

MT: Do you write and play any instruments?

Tobi: If I practice every day, I’m an impressively below average guitarist.  And I had piano lessons at school for about five minutes.  I can play really, really, really simple stuff.  ..as long as it’s really simple.  Did  I mention it needs to be simple?  Okay.  My music theory is steadily getting better.  I like Rick Beato’s videos on YouTube.  He explains music theory in a way that make sense to my brain.

As for writing parts for the Tobisonics tracks, I work the parts out on the keyboard or guitar.  I’ll either record the midi of the keyboard or simply program what I’ve played.  It depends.  Playing, however badly, always feels more emotional to my ears, than programming. 

MT: Musicians and producers often have a favourite in the studio which is their go to equipment, plug in, effects units or tool etc. Do you recommend or have a favourite tool or piece of equipment that you have preference to?

Tobi: I do most of the ‘bridges and tunnels’ of mixing with Fabfilter plugins.  The interface is very intuitive and offers great possibilities for creativity.  The Schepps Omni Channel is a ‘swiss army knife’ plugin.  The saturation alone is worth the price of admission.  Joey Sturgis Transify allows you to work the mix is a very different way and is well worth looking at.

MT: What genres are your personal favourite’s?

Tobi: Genres confuse me.  I pretty much only listen to music released in the last two years.  Need to get my old man’s ear in, with all the new noise.  I’ll listen to a lot of different music, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the DIY, Lofi and home brewed.  I’m a sucker for a bunch of kids, trashing it out on guitars.  I love my music garagey. 

MT: Can you tell me how the radio gig come about?

Tobi: Musichouruk asked and I answered.  I’ve been doing it now for over a year or so.

MT: Do you make the decisions on what/who to play?

Tobi: We have Chris Leon’s weekly selection of new music.  I’ve found a bunch of new noise that way.  People are free to share whatever music they like.  I write reviews in real time of Chris’ selects, plus a few others.  Keeps my mind sharp.  Writing ‘live reviews’, is my equivalent to doing the crossworld.

MT: How does the Music Hour work on twitter? Can you describe how people can tune in?

Tobi: People tag their music tweets with the hashtag #musichouruk.  You’re then expected to return the favor for other music tweets with the hashtag #musichouruk.  Not everybody does, of course.  To follow the live stream and participate, you can catch our Thursday night hour at 8pm (UK Time), by searching Twitter for ‘#musichouruk’ and then click on the ‘latest’ tab. 

MT: What kind of music is played on ‘Music Hour UK’?

Tobi: We get a lot of singer/songwriters sharing.  A fair stack of rock / indie. And quite a bit of electronic music.  And I share a lot of 80s Hair Rock.  Much underappreciated genre.

MT: Other than music, can you tell us what other interests and hobbies you may have?

Tobi: I work crazy hours, seven days a week, so I don’t have time for much else.   If I’m not working, I’m taking the boss for his walks etc.  I like to bake.  It relaxes me.  I’m terrible at it, but I like doing it.

MT: How involved is Enzo in the music process of production and radio shows? )))

Tobi: Enzo is always there.  Making sure I don’t overmix.  He’s old school, though.  Prefers everything on tape and mixed through a console.

MT: Does Enzo’s have a favourite food?

Tobi: Yes, all of it.

MT: Christmas is almost here, what are your plans for Christmas and does Enzo get any special treats this time of year?

Tobi: Enzo will get some new toys.  Plus some practical things like a new collar etc.  No plans in particular.  A little family time.  Extra long walks for Enzo.  Go exploring the countryside some more.  Hopefully, he’ll get some snow to play in.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MusicHourUK

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musichouruk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MusicHourUK-1979865942297682/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/producedbytobi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/producedbytobi/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tobiproducer/