Interviewer: Nahum Gale
Alexandrina Seager | President of UniCast Radio Club
- Host of Big Mood with Rylee Cooper – Wed 2-3pm
- Host of Zestful with Ayla Liebenberg and Claire Crittenden – Thurs 1-2pm
- Host of Good News – Fri 9-11am
What is UniCast Radio and when and why was it formed?
UniCast Radio is a student-run radio station, for students by students, and it’s been around for longer than I know. Essentially, this year, I have tried to pick it up, get it out there and get more people involved. I am excited to take things forward and create more of a family presence within the club. I think that’s important.
What is the process for someone who wants to start a show and what is the criteria for someone to have a show?
Essentially you just have to sign up to UniCast through USASA and either let myself, or one of the others know like Neelu [Sharma], Phil [Van Hout], Eddie [McCarroll], Ayla [Liebenberg] or Claire [Crittenden], and be like, ‘hey I want to join!’
“Anyone can have a show about anything. It’s up to whatever you want to do…”
What shows are you specifically involved in?
So, at the moment, I guess I would say three. There is Big Mood with Rylee [Cooper] and we air Wednesdays and just talk about random stuff, mostly personal goals we don’t achieve which is a “big mood”. [It’s] things that relate to everyone. And then there is Zestful that plays 1 o’clock every Thursday and that is an eco-friendly show where we focus on, not only improving yourself physically and mentally, but also improving yourself for the planet, like finding different swaps and figuring out how we can be a bit more eco-friendly.
I have also tried to start my own specific Good News bulletin, but because of uni work I kind of put that to the side at the moment. I am hoping to pick it back up though.
How does the club work in terms of producing and scheduling?
We just try to find times where everyone within a show is free so we can book that in. You don’t have to record and have air at the same time. You can go live, but you have to do it then and there, or you can find a time that works for you, whether that is at night or in the morning or on the weekend. At the moment, I record my two shows with friends on a Wednesday morning. I want to go live with Good News, but I have yet to do that because I’m too scared!
Why do you think radio is such an important medium?
It has urgency to it. When things are live on-air you can literally ring a studio and be put through right away. With news it’s great because if a story breaks you can start talking then and there about it. And for pre-recorded stuff, it’s great to practise and get a feel of things just to develop better communication skills.
Eddie McCarroll | Media Manager of UniCast Radio Club
- Host of The Apocalypse Playlist, coming soon
Tell us a bit about your new show.
So… for my last semester at UniSA, I thought, let’s go all out and try something a little bit crazy. I am going to primarily be doing a rock show called The Apocalypse Playlist. The main thing that steers it forward is, ‘it’s the end of the world and what is the last song you will play?’ In my head, some people might like a sad song or something, but I reckon most people’s song will be a bit of rock, a bit of rap, a bit of heavy stuff for the end of the world.
When the world is on fire, it’s crumbling, the sky is falling, what is your apocalypse song?
It’s changing every day! What’s the one that I am thinking of right now… Never Miss a Beat from Kaiser! It’s all about resentment. And that’s the thing as well, there could be so many different doomsdays, whether its nuclear fallout, zombies or something else. Its different moods. See [Never Miss a Beat] is a brilliant soundtrack to kill zombies to or run from explosions or seeing a big meteorite coming towards ya! It’s a very stupid, very experimental thing. I think it’s something people will have fun with as well.
Why do you think radio, in general, is such an important medium?
The fact is, it hasn’t gone away. It is something that has stayed around for ages. Especially because of cars. It has always got that presence there. And there is something about just listening and not seeing as well. You can connect with a person a bit better because, sometimes, when seeing a person, you can kind of automatically, without thinking, write them off. But with voice you just listen. It’s real nice.
How do you believe radio has evolved over time from its origins to now?
Most radio is very linear nowadays. Some good old shows back in the day – the heyday of radio – would use the medium as a kind of storytelling technique. In the 90s, in the U.K., heaps of pirate radios popped up for grime music and stuff like that. There was something kind of rebellious about it.
I find now you have to do a lot of stuff on social media to promote and get listeners. Radio shows have always had people calling in, but now, if you apply social media to it as well, it is a lot more accessible for people to contribute. So that has changed it up a fair bit. The idea of podcasting is another big thing and, I think as well even, setting up Spotify playlists. Like, with my new show, I will have an evolving playlist where everyone can contribute and then the playlist will get bigger and change.
Being the Retro Rewind Edition, what is your quintessential favourite time period in the radio medium?
I love the 70s in general, just for how much crazy shit went on. There was a resurgence of cults, the fallout of wars, everyone loosening up, and I think that really blended itself nicely into music and radio as well. That whole kind of reshaping.
Maddy Penn & Sebastian Calvert
- Hosts of Flick Chicks – Wed 4-5pm, Sat 4-5pm [REPEAT]
What is the main purpose behind Flick Chicks?
M: Ours is a discussion show about film. It’s not so much got a purpose as it’s just a bit of fun. Its just something people can listen to if they have a passion about film or if they don’t at all, because it’s a pretty dumb show. We don’t talk much about real film in a sense, it’s just a good time. It’s meant to be a bit of a comedy type thing. Just two people talking about what they love.
How did the show initially come to fruition?
S: Well, there is a whole story here. So, Campus Fair, Maddy and I were wondering around the stalls and we happened to walk up to the UniCast stall and we got talking to some of the people there and they were like, ‘oh if you have an idea for a show, why don’t you just write it down?’ and Maddy proposed a show where we just share outlandish movie theories with one another. After that, they had our names and email addresses on record, we got invited to a workshop [and] got to see how the radio studio worked. It looked really cool, really interesting and then from there we pretty quickly moved to, ‘oh look we are on the air now, we have a show.’ So, it felt like it all happened in about a month from initial conception to first broadcast.
What inspired you two to pursue a film focused radio show?
S: We both work in a cinema! We both have a shared interest in films, through being able to see a lot of films at work. But, also, both of us just love movies; we are both studying it in some form.
What does a usual show look like to you?
S: We often break it up into three segments. So, we will first have our large segment which tends to change each week, depending on what our topic is.
M: Usually it corresponds to whatever big movie is coming out and then we have a middle segment which usually changes around. It’s either film theories or we might play games with each other where we insult each other and test our own knowledge. Then, finally, we have the rating show – everyone’s favourite show – where we get some audience participation. We propose a topic each week on UniCast’s Instagram where people get to upload their responses. Then we rank them. For example, last week’s topic was the most punchable character in cinema history… spoiler alert, Scrappy-Doo won (he’s such an evil little dog and I would punch him. So, its facts).
S: And all our music I generally curate. We choose songs exclusively from film soundtracks, so whether that be original compositions from movies or songs that are featured in movies. You get kind of an eclectic mix of songs people know and classic fantasy themes. You may get Hedwig’s Theme, Misty Mountains and then you might get…
M: Be Prepared from Hoodwinked.
What is your favourite era of film to discuss?
M: I do love the 80s. My favourite film of all time is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but, honestly, I am an allrounder when it comes to film. You don’t want to put yourself off from watching things just because you might have a perception of what makes a good movie good, because there are so many different aspects. But the 80s are fab.
S: For a long time, I was a “if it was released before I was born then it doesn’t exist” guy, but not anymore. I do still enjoy films from the 2000s, but I think slowly I am starting to reach further and further back in history, like I am really getting into 80s and 90s movies at the moment.
So, on the show do you usually find yourselves then debating traditional cinema v modern cinema?
M: We both have very different opinions and are very different people, so I think that kind of helps out a little bit. It’s often just a lot of running jokes and making fun of things. For example, we have yet to say a white cis male director’s name correctly. We only say altered versions of them. For example, my favourite director, Quincy Taranto.
S: Quis Cumbus, director of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, also. But yeah, we don’t take it too seriously. We have a lot of fun. We hope our listeners do too.
- Host of Japan 2U – Tues 1-2pm
What is the purpose and idea behind Japan 2U?
The idea behind the show is the fact that I love Japanese culture. I am very much into singing Japanese songs. I do covers of them, delve into the genre and from there I was like, ‘well I love singing and I love going into the lyrics and different genres like J-Pop, J-Rock, so I want to share it with everyone.’
Would episodes usually feature different topics, like one on J-Pop, one on anime, etc.?
The usual structure of the show is I will have a central theme for the week and it could be something very simple or convoluted. So, it could be something like “using food” as a metaphor or a symbol, or it can just be about “love”. And for each theme I will pick four songs from the four genres. I will usually have J-Pop, J-Rock, anime and the Vocaloid genre and I talk about how the song relates to the theme I am discussing. It can be very direct on exact lyrics or it can be very, very convoluted, symbolic or metaphorical. Also, I pick lyrics which I like from the songs, because I like singing. I will be like, ‘this is what it means in English’ and ‘this is how they have achieved this’ and ‘this is what I like about this particular song’ and that usually takes me through. If someone has a suggestion for the week whether that be a theme or a song I will try and implement that in. But yeah, that is usually how the show will go.
And because you also study Japanese, do you sometimes broadcast in Japanese or is this show exclusively in English?
Usually it is a mix of both. I can speak fluent Japanese and, when I am covering the lyrics that are in Japanese, I am showing how that’s translated in English. When I am singing, it is also in Japanese. But mostly, I would say it is English dominant. I might experiment though. I might do a show in Japanese. I just don’t want to throw out my usual audiences and have them be like, ‘oh, what is happening?’
How accustomed have you become to working on radio since you have been operating since your first year?
A lot of things have become easier and a lot of things have become hard. So, when I first started, obviously, I was a bit nervous because you are doing a show and you don’t want to mess up. Most of my shows are pre-recorded, so I do have the leisure and reassurance if I have done anything wrong. But the more I listen to it with feedback, the more I can be like, ‘hey I want to do that differently, or I want to improve those aspects.’ I was not very focused on that in the first year. The first year I was like, let’s get this done and not listen again, it’s going to be fine, but things have improved.
Jess Dempster & Millie Claire
- Hosts of Goodness Me with Ally Hall – Fri 2-3pm
What is the purpose of the show and the general idea behind it?
J: Ally came up with the idea and it’s pretty much a show about gratefulness and good news and spreading positive vibes. We play positive music, we share good news from around the world, we talk about what personally makes us smile and we interview other members of the community on what makes them happy as well.
M: It is kind of trying to stop the stigma of regular news which, especially on broadcast, is usually the worst of the news.
What does a usual show look like?
J: We do follow a fairly standard structure. It has kind of changed now since Millie has come on, so there have been a few extra segments added and dropped, changed up. Typically, we come in and we open the show with a “good news” segment. So, each of us get one or two good news stories, from what used to be around the world but now is just Adelaide, and we do a news bulletin. We then go into some music and then we have the “what made us smile” segment where the three of us take it in turns to talk about what makes us smile. Then, typically we go into…
M: Millie’s Music Corner! So, I pick three to four songs that were released on that day, so like today but 1967, and throw it back. We do about three of those songs and then I also do new releases – a lot of Australian based artists or Adelaide based artists. So, that is just the aspect of highlighting the fact there are a lot of local artists whom people may not know about.
J: Then, after that, we try to have an interview segment where, during the week, we have gone and spoken to people and got 30 seconds or so clips about what has made them smile. Occasionally, if we don’t have that, we will message people and talk about what people have then told us. Along with that, we have a “what is going on in Adelaide” segment which is something that Millie and Ally came up with.
M: I had the idea in the way of Adelaide Instagram accounts like Adelady, South Aussie with Cossie and those kinds of things. Like, people want to know what’s going on. So, we just thought, why not do it for uni students and that also just gives some advertising to Adelaide.
J: And then after that, Ally does the “positive quote of the week” segment. Just this week I started doing Jess’s Goodness Goal where I just come up with a goal for the week that people can try and do to feel happy. And then we wrap up the show with songs that got us through the week, typically our favourite songs. We play those to close the show.
What do you think is the most important era of news and reporting?
M: I would say the fundamentals of the turnover from social media. So early 1999, from that period to now when the social network kind of started and just changed the whole way of journalism and news reporting. It’s just altered how accessible it is because of what happened in the last 20 years regarding technology.
When you contact South Australians for happy stories, what is the process behind that?J: My favourite part of the show personally is when you look for reasons to smile, you smile more! You actively search for reasons to be happy and, when you ask other people what made them smile this week, they are forced to reflect. They look for anything to give you. Even if they had a bad week, they will still be like, ‘well, me and my cat had a cuddle the other night’ or ‘I saw my mum which was really good.’ So, it is good to also help other people realise something good has happened in their week, even if doesn’t feel like it.
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