I have been in the radio industry since 1992, but it all started out in the late 1980s. After the day's of break dancing and graffiti along came this new sound on a pirate radio station I came across called electronic dance music or rave as we called it. This caught my attention, it was different to the electro music I was listening to, this had energy and It grabbed my attention. The DJ would play the track and talk over it, then re-wind it and play it again. Wow, I loved it and I knew this is what I wanted to do in life.
So then, Off I went to find out how to become a DJ and run a radio station. I tried to find the pirate radio stations that I had listened to, but I had no joy. Then one day my dad came across a transmitter which ran from a 9 volt battery. That was it, I was buzzing - A few days later the package arrived and I was on the radio from my bedroom.
The transmitter was only on about 30 minutes (if that) and they was a knock at the door. My friend Matthew had come round to see me asking - is that you on the radio? Err, Yeah Why? - well, you are blocking out the station I was listening to and I heard your voice.come over the top. Oops... Really? Wow, that's awesome, let's put some Prodigy on and turn it up. It was not long after I had other people knocking at my door asking for requests. So this was the very start of what got me into the radio industry.
A few months had gone by and I was the streets biggest DJ, Well let`s face it... no one else was doing this! everyone knew who I was and I started to become a DJ for local parties and the roller disco. I then started to make my own jingles for the radio station and then wanted to know the secret behind making radio promos and commercials. I started off with a pen and a tape recorder back then and kept saying the same lines till I could remember it. Then one day a friend of mine asked me if I could make him an advert for a party that was happening a few weeks later, So I did this and became a producer without even knowing it.
Later on I decided to leave the pirate scene after a tragedy occurred in the family. I found myself going backwards and forwards to the hospital almost every day and then came across this flyer in the lift. It reads... Hospital radio, you gotta be sick to listen to it! - I had no idea about Hospital radio, so I called them up and started helping out in the studio. They were a TEAC reel to reel machine and carts players and this 8 channel ex-BBC mixing console, It was just like working on a real radio station. I would create the promos for my show and write the script and do all this in 1 take, Those were the day's, not like today.
A few years later a friend of mine had gone to work for Yorkshire TV or Calendar in Leeds. And he came back with an Idea of setting up a community radio station in Halifax. Yeah let's do it I said and then a few people sat round this table to suggest ideas for the station, and then it just happened. So in October 1996 the first ever proper radio station came to Halifax. 106.2 Spark FM with me as a breakfast presenter - what were they thinking? It was a 28 day RSL with some great fun and people who loved doing this job. This soon ended and about a year later a friend of mine Howard Priestley called me up saying he was going to get Spark FM off the ground and call it Phoenix FM - arise from the ashes.
About 2 years later I had a record out and it was doing the rounds on BBC Radio 1 and Galaxy 105. I was invited to Galaxy 105 in Leeds so I could be interviewed about this new track I had done. So I turned up and noticed how different it was from a community radio station. It was just what I had expected, Glass windows big doors and security, But what grabbed me was the telephone system lighting up like a Christmas tree when the DJ started to give my CD away. And all these people in the building, selling adverts and making radio promos, it had a real buzz to it.
At the time of this I was running my 2nd pirate radio station as at this stage I wanted to know how a transmitter worked, so I built one, got all the parts, found a RDS encoder and stared to build this from scratch. I was taking calls on my mobile live and broadcasting over the internet from 2001 to 2003 as 2004 came I won a DJ competition and landed a 6 month contract to go and work in Ibiza. After this was over I came back home and thought now what shall I do? - I'd shut down my recording studio, got rid of the pirate radio station but I wanted to do both and I had no idea what to do. I had this passion for radio and music production, but I had no idea how to join them together. So one day after coming back from Ibiza, These words hit me... Air Media.
After I heard this I knew what it was, and what I needed to do. So I said to myself, I will build a website, I will not take out a loan, no credit cards and my audio productions would be bought all over the world... Little did I know about the words I had spoken.
So after 10 years of producing imaging effects and news beds, Air Media is still ongoing and getting stronger every day. Today I currently work at a radio station in Dewsbury called Branch FM and I produce the promos and maintain the studio equipment and make sure the internet stream is always on-line.
What`s the future?
Well I do not have a crystal ball, but where I see Air Media going is a lot further than where I now am. Air Media will become a big player in the industry by the time I have finished. I am always listening to radio and TV to get ideas. My new digital studio I am currently building will have the right equipment and software to create ground breaking productions. Well, that's it...thanks for taking the time to read my short story, so now you know how I got here and why I shall carry on.
Air Media is a radio production company located in Yorkshire, UK producing radio imaging
for podcasts, internet and community radio stations worldwide.