I’ve been sitting here trying to write this post for the last three hours. It’s definitely far trickier than I thought it would be, but I really wanted to say something about my years spent working on BBC Introducing. Tonight is my last show on Radio 1 and I’ve had an amazing time sharing the airwaves with Ally McCrae, but I guess a lot of people don’t know that I’ve actually been working on BBC Introducing since 2007.
I started at Radio 1 in Wales when I was 22 and the Session in Wales with Bethan and Huw had switched to the Introducing brand. I freelanced in the office scouring Myspace to find new Welsh bands, and helping put the show together. I always knew I wanted to work in radio and I’d done a load of work experience before getting the job, both at Radio 1 and XFM, as well as student radio. But over the years, it’s the music side that I’ve really come to love.
It’s such an amazing thing to find a band when they’re incredibly new and support them to the point that they’re on daytime radio or playing huge festival stages around the world. And I’m not being naïve and thinking that it’s all down to DJs like myself or Ally. Like we ‘found’ them or ‘made’ them. It takes a large group of people, time, and the talent of the artists themselves to achieve success. But what I do think BBC Introducing is essential in doing is giving acts that early encouragement. I’ve met so many incredible and passionate young artists over the years that have really put everything in to the music that they make, and to be able to help with the next step and give them the support to keep believing in what they do, that’s the blessing of BBC Introducing.
This year at Reading I watched Pulled Apart By Horses on the main stage and between songs they shouted out the Introducing Stage where they’d played six years before. I then went to watch Marmozets play to a huge crowd in the Radio 1/NME tent and again, they called out the Introducing Stage where they’d performed only two years before. I watched Don Broco the next day and Rob’s mum came up and asked if I was Jen from Introducing and shook my hand. I remember when Don Broco terrified our security guards on the stage back in 2011. I guess what I’m trying to say is, it makes me really proud that Introducing has meant so much to the bands I love and that I got to be a part of it for the last seven years.
It can take a long time for an artist or band to achieve quantifiable success. For some success may be in terms of popularity, for others success is continuing to make great art. Not everything happens overnight. And in a musical climate where everyone is distracted by stats, playlists, and the next big thing, BBC Introducing gives vital support to UK musicians. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be involved.
For an overly sentimental indie fan, this was the best job. And I got to make a heap of friends along the way. There are too many incredible musicians to name check in this blog but special shouts to The Joy Formidable, Los Campesinos!, Kids in Glass Houses, Lauren Aquilina, Chvrches, Bright Light Bright Light, Pulled Apart By Horses, Sky Larkin, Twin Atlantic, Rae Morris, and even though they’re not British, Haim. And I got to make a life-long friend in Ally McCrae. Your name is forever on my bum, radio-husband.
I’d like to say thanks to everyone at Radio 1, especially Louise and to BBC Wales especially Bethan, Huw and my radio-dad Ed.
I’m sure I’ll still do a bit of radio here and there. For the future though, if anyone wants me I’m working as Music Editor for DICE. If you go to gigs in London it’s pretty essential you check this out. And I’m still running Kissability with lots of exciting releases on the way soon. Thanks guuyyyyysssshhhh xxx
PARTY TIME THIS SATURDAY AT THE OLD BLUE LAST. COME HANG! (I’ll play Taylor and it’s FREE) xx