Community radio: preparing a music show

You may have an idea or an interest that you think would make great radio, but it takes a lot of preparation to shape it into a good show, as Jamilla Walters explains.

Working across Reprezent Radio and Radio 1 and 1Xtra gives Jamilla Walters the ideal vantage point for honing her craft and getting added insight into new music.

Future Bounce, her weekly specialist programme on Reprezent showcasing new R&B, may only last two hours, but she’ll spend up to a week putting it together.

“The preparation is a lot, but it's worth it, because then you have a sonically sounding show.”– Jamilla Walters

As soon as the show goes off air on Monday at 7pm, Jamilla will start researching which tracks will make her next show playlist. This might include finding the music online, sourcing tracks, finding guests and organising sessions.

First up, it’s important for Jamilla to have written notes on every song, so that her information isn’t generic but much more targeted to her listeners. She’ll also have to ‘clean’ the music, making sure all profanities or unacceptable references are kept off air, which can take up to half an hour for each song.

For those thinking of starting their own show, Jamilla’s advice is clear – “Research your genre, research your competition, and then start a show plan.” The show plan will give your idea a structure, and help take something that you’re passionate about to a new level.

“The preparation is a lot,” she says, “but it is worth it, because then you have a sonically sounding show.”