Meet the team...
Hello again friends of NowPlaying - and after a sundrenched Easter Weekend it occurred to me that although the show you hear on air each Friday is put together by a team of four people working flat-out, the only voice you hear on air is mine. So here's a blog post to try and put that right and introduce you to the rest of the team...
First off, in overall charge is producer Rowan Collinson - left in the picture above. He's written a great introduction to both himself and the work he does at 6 Music here, but here's an extract:
"I've been producing shows at 6 Music for four and a half years and I've just launched a brand new show with Tom Robinson on Friday nights (7-9pm) called Now Playing @6Music, which is all about the digital conversation with music. Music has never been more digital. A music fan will listen to radio but also probably look at blogs like Drowned in Sound.
"They might well use a third-party music service like Hype Machine or Spotify to either play music or aggregate their tastes in recommending music, and they probably get their music news from an online source rather than a copy of NME. So the idea of this new show is to take part in this online music conversation.
"We're going to create a space once a week where people can share and recommend tracks related to the week's music news, and find out what's happening in the world of digital music. The show will be a weekly iteration of the activity going on 24/7.
"I try to go to a couple of gigs a week to see what's out there and make my own judgement on bands who music PRs have 'plugged' to me... I don't want to get really excited about someone, put them on a show or argue to put their record onto playlist and then see them live and they're rubbish. In my position I've always got to think about bands in a broader sense. [Read Row's full blog post here...]
If you're a regular visitor to this blog you'll also be familiar with the musings of our online content producer Will Gilgrass - ah, here he is now:
"I'm Will, content producer for Now Playing @6Music. What that means is I look after the blog and social media for the show, as well as organising bloggers to come on and divulge their musical tips onto us.
So far I think it has gone well, I hope you agree! Predominantly electronic music is my tipple, I run my own blog Radio ClubFoot based on upfront new dance music, but I have loved the variety which Now Playing has already thrown up. LCD Soundsystem week was great, but the fantastical dreaming of the Flaming Lips last Friday was really enjoyable – and being in a studio with Tom and Rowan is like being immersed inside a musical Wisden.
"I guess to conclude this introduction, if you would like to get in touch feel free to e-mail me with music, the bloggers you read and whose voice you think we should be listening to - or presents - and I will get back to you.
[Read Will's personal dance music blog here]
The backroom boffin you may not have encountered yet is Phil Harris from Somethin' Else - the independent production company who make Now Playing for the BBC. His job is... well, let's hear it from the man himself:
"What I do on the show: my role on Now Playing @6music is to put together the features and sift through all the texts and emails we get. I piece together the blogging feature and the listeners mix. This week I had the challenge of mixing Marvin Gaye’s track Inner City Blues with The Skids' The Saints Are Coming!
"Working on Now Playing @6Music is a huge learning curve. What we are doing hasn’t really been done before so it’s a really interesting experience. For me what I enjoy about the show is the interactivity we have with the 6Music audience. It's great to hear their suggestions and let them have the opportunity to shape the show. Also we get to hear from some great bloggers. This week for instance we had Mozzatron from We Are S.M.E who tipped Awesome - by the American rapper XV - which is an absolute tune.
"And finally when I’m not working on Now Playing @6Music I work across a variety of other productions. I produce a chart show, work on a very entertaining bingo radio show and at the weekend I’m over at BBC Radio 5live working on 606."
And finally there's myself - Tom Robinson - your presenter for Now Playing @6Music and also for BBC Introducing: Fresh On The Net which is produced by Jax Coombes (above, without red nose).
I've been a DJ on 6 Music since before it even was 6Music - the far off pre-launch days of 2001 when we were just a pilot project known as Network Y. Back then we imagined we were in the throes of a digital revolution but Web 2.0 was still some way off: no Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. Blogs were clunky, iPods a novelty and podcasts part of an undreamed-of future.
What excites me most about today's digital world are the spontaneous social interactions - like flashmobs, video memes or the Facebook groups that sprang up when 6Music was under threat of closure last year. The station got discussed openly, enthusiastically and candidly by its listeners in a way that had never been possible on the old message boards. It's partly thanks to the brutal honesty of that feedback that 6Music is now sounding better than I can ever remember.
These are difficult times for media and entertainment companies of every kind. Many of them are so used to being in control of everything they find it hard to accept and embrace the pace of change. So full marks to the BBC for launching a new show with the specific aim of engaging directly with the online community and crowdsourcing the music it plays. These are still very early days as we experiment to find the best way of making those conversations genuinely two-way over the coming months.
But if it's going to work we also need you to get actively involved. Don't hold back - let's have your thoughts, comments and feeback. And please don't just text or email us - post your comments on this blog, via Twitter or on Facebook - where everyone else can read them and join in. We look forward to hearing from you!