My role is Head of Music

Pilot 1 – 17th February 

In the week leading up to the first pilot I created somewhat of a master playlist for all of our shows. Using the categories of music that Connor and I had decide on previously. I selected a number of tracks that we could pull the following weeks playlists from. As this was the fist pilot, there was a little bit of trial and error regarding how many songs we would need and the number of tracks from echo of our chosen categories (Current, 2010’s, 2000’s, Classics, and unknowns).

Pilot 2 – 24th February 

For this show I decided to change the way that we were classifying our songs. I felt that the 2010’s and 2000’s tracks felt a little like they had been forced in, so I changed our categories to current, pre 2017, classics and unknowns. I also changed the frequency at which the non current tracks were played, overall I felt that this was a better way to structure the music and that it allowed the playlists to flow more smoothly. I informed Connor of the changes made in the week before the show. On the day of the pilot I was not able to make it to university in person as I couldn’t walk due to a condition that I have. There seemed to have been some miscommunication between myself and Connor as I thought we were going to use the previous weeks playlist and add another hour of music, so that we didn’t overplay our music before we reached the launch programme. However, this information was not relayed fully and so only 1 hours worth of music was scheduled for the music show. I did make it clear that although I was not able to be there I would happily do anything that needed doing from home. I was asked to make a themed logo for the week (as it was me that ended up designing our logo), which I did. I was not contacted however, in regard to the music or lack there of, if I had been the problem would have been resolved very easily. To ensure that this didn’t happen again, Connor and I decided that all playlist and scheduling be completed before the Monday show.

Show 1 – Entertainment Week 2nd March

Both playlists for this week were completed by Friday 28th February, and put on the Google Drive in a new document were we could keep track of the weeks playlists and put all of the information that the producers and presenters require. This week went very well in terms of music, I felt that the songs flowed nicely into each other and I was able to get enough information about the content in the shows to tailor the music to certain links. For example, the OB was from a bollywood dance class and so I put a Bollywood song to break up the OB. I felt that this worked very well. Whilst the live shows were happening Connor and I worked on getting all of the PRS info together. There was one hiccup with the music, one of the songs had a non PG word in. It was marked as being non-explicit, and somehow both Connor and I missed it when we were selecting and scheduling it.

During the week I went out will Ryan and Ozzy to help them get some digital content, as their team had been struggling to produce/deliver content for our website and socials. When I met with them, they informed me that they were going to try and interview people on Oxford Street about what Love means to them. It was pouring rain and they hadn’t brought a microphone with them and so I suggested that we should come up with another plan of action, as that plan wasn’t really feasible. After taking for a while we came to the decision that we would visit some of the locations Ryan had listed in an article he posted to the Atlas London website. Ryan decided on the Barbican Conservatory, however when we arrived there it was closed. We were running out of time for the day as Ozzy had to go to work so I suggested that we go to Herron Tower, which was near by and eat at Duck and Waffle which is a restaurant at the top of the tower. I thought we could get some footage of the restaurant and food to make a video about a date place in London (which is what Ryan’s article was about).

Show 2 – Love Week 9th March

For this week, I selected mostly songs that were about love and relationships. It was not mentioned by any of the presenters and so it was commented on that they hadn’t felt as smooth as the previous week. I also made sure that all of the songs were completely clean by translating all of the lyrics and reading through them before offing them to the playlist. Other than some personal issues within the group, I felt that they shows when very well, and that the music was relevant, even if there themes were not made clear. To make sure that the music ownership is stronger next week, and that the conversation surrounding the music feels more natural, I have asked that the presenters listen to all of the music before the show next week.

Show 3 – Food Week 16th March

As usual, I created the music for this weeks shows the Friday before, to ensure that there is ample time to input and schedule all of the songs. I think that this weeks music is the strongest so far. The openers are very strong and set a great tone for the shows. Overall the music is more upbeat this week and I feel it carries the mood of the shows better than any other week. On the day of the show, there is very little that I can do as Head of Music. I did check over the music facts that Callum and Chloe had put together, just to make sure that they were all correct and let them know when they weren’t. In addition to this I created a Logo for this weeks theme and put it on the station socials, and edited a few photos that Sara gave to me, to make them more appropriate for use as instagram posts. These pictures were put onto the drive and I told Prof that they were there, and could be posted.

Critique –

Going into this project I knew that I wanted a role that focused on the music, as that is where I feel my strengths lie. Reflecting back on the whole project, I think I made the right decision and that I was able to utilise my skillset and love of music very effectively to curate weekly playlists that made sense for the shows, and made them feel more authentic. There were certainly some bumps in the road, the miscommunication at the beginning of the process (during the pilot weeks) that lead to the wrong songs being played and people not being able to find the playlist, was certainly the biggest. However, through that I learnt the importance of clarifying with people in your team what information you are going to be sourcing, and where you’re going to put it.

I also learnt a lot about sourcing music. It wasn’t easy to find what songs were hits in other countries, especially as I hadn’t heard a great deal of them beforehand, and it was even harder to find  older songs that were popular when they were released. Through finding the songs for each week I have gained a lot of knowledge of international music and chart history. I have also managed to improve my language skills, as I translated all of the songs to make sure that there was no explicit language and that the topics were appropriate, after a few weeks I have began to recognise languages and words that I had no knowledge of before.

One of the most important lessons I have learnt is that your reasoning for picking a particular song, or the order in which they are played is often not clear to others. During love week I picked mostly love related songs, however this wasn’t clear to everyone else, as they didn’t know the translations. This meant that although I had spent a great deal of time carefully selecting songs and the order they should be played, the meaning didn’t translate. Realising that taught me the importance of explaining the finer details to the people that you are working with. Overall, I think this project has been a positive experience and has re-enforced in me the fact that I would like to go into a sector of the industry that is music focused.

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