House FM show host and go-to source for breaking electronic talent, Marcus Barnes is the wildly infectious, world-travelling writer and DJ who lives for heavy beats and bass.
Religiously attending every decent after party and worthwhile festival and subscribing to the most informed blogs and websites, Marcus Barnes has an encyclopaedic knowledge of house music. Regularly contributing to the music industry’s most revered publications, this London living night owl is responsible for the 9th most read blog on The Independent and has previously worked as the sole electronic music reporter on Bizarre‘s 3am column. Now turning his attention to less mainstream and more innovative channels, Marcus DJs all over London and hosts the House FM Wednesday 12-2pm (GMT) show. Here he shares his tips on how aspiring presenters and DJs can break onto the airwaves and become successful.
“Planning and presenting a radio show is nowhere near as easy as the professionals make it seem, which I guess is the same with many disciplines. First of all, hosting a show on the radio is not as simple as just being a DJ who plays all the hottest tracks, or being good at mixing, or even being a big mouth with mountains of personality. It’s about being able to keep people entertained for the duration of your show, and being able to attract more people to tune in and keeping everything running smoothly from beginning to end.
So, my advice is..
Be Prepared: Preparation, as any DJ will tell you, is paramount. Get a nice selection of tracks together, but don’t plan too much because you never know what you might feel like playing once you get going. As well as this, be aware that many independent stations run on a tight budget so the equipment may not always be up to par, PLUS other DJs may leave equipment on different settings to what you’re used to. So always check everything is in working order.
Mixing: Don’t put all your energy into mixing, because you’ll be distracted from actually talking and engaging your audience/transmitting your personality. Remember it’s a radio show, not a rave.
Engage The Audience: Try to think about how you can interact with the listeners. Offering to play requests, discussing topical subjects, soaps and so on can sometimes help keep people interested in your show.
Get Used To Talking To Yourself: Sometimes it’s just you in the studio, all alone, so get used to gabbing away to yourself. It can be tough and demoralising, but awkwardness/silence gets you nowhere.
Record Your Show: If the station doesn’t do it themselves, record your own show because listening back to it will help you to learn about what works and what doesn’t. The sound of your voice, when to talk and when to shut up etc… all crucial pointers to learning how to improve.“
Text: Milly McMahon