Monday, June 9, 2008

New Zealand College Radio DJ's World Tour

I was reading a profile in the Sunday Star Times about Nick Dwyer, a long-time college radio DJ in New Zealand who has embarked on a world tour exposing New Zealand music in unlikely places. Not only is he a college radio DJ, but he's also on C4, the MTV-like music network in New Zealand, for whom he's doing the world tour themed show "Making Tracks."

According to the article:

"Making Tracks is part travel show, part music documentary, and rests on a premise so simple it's surprising no one's come up with it before: take several legendary songs from home to some of the world's most interesting places and get the local musicians to make their own versions of them. Dwyer visits Brazil, Jamaica, South Africa, Israel, India and China; he brings songs like Bic Runga's Sway to Bollywood, The Mint Chicks' Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! to a Chinese jazz group, and Shihad's You Again to the baile funk stars of the Brazilian favelas. In between these surprising, hit-and-miss remixes, he does everything he can to get our songs played - blasting his boombox while walking around the streets, and hijacking radio stations and television music shows wherever he goes."

In his other life, he's on college station 95bFM, DJing 5 afternoons a week as Nick D (you can see his profile and a sample playlist here). According to the 95bFM website:

"In 1969 when students did crazy stuff, radio Bosom was born as a capping stunt. It was set up in a boat – which ran aground somewhere in Auckland's Waitemata harbour – and broadcast illegally on speakers around the Auckland University student union. Over the next few decades the Bosom morphed into the mighty 95bFM, a sizzling casserole of New Zealand music, news and views...It’s run on the sounds, sweat and tantrums of volunteers (technical term: vollies), and a core full time crew. 95bFM is a compilation of dedicated people from all walks of musical genre and political opinion. This makes for a fiery world of independent news and views and Auckland’s most vibrant musical injection."

The show and the station sound like fun. I'm particularly impressed that Nick's got one foot in the college radio world and another in mainstream media. I wonder how many MTV DJs are still doing college radio?


Hayden said...


I stumbled upon your blog because I have a google alert for 95bFM, just to see what people are saying about us and how people are reacting to what we do. I used to be Marketing Manager, and still do a bit of work for bFM.

There are actually a number of DJs on bFM that have day jobs in TV and other media in NZ. The fact is NZ is such a small country that our media industry is tiny, so there's a lot of overlap.

bFM is also a pretty established station in its own right, and while it is still owned by the Auckland University Students Association it isn't really regarded as a college station by most listeners. Most radio in Auckland is crap, so bFM is popular across a wide audience.

We're in the middle of developing a new website which we're hoping will include audio on demand, so you international listeners will be able to listen to any show you want at any time. There are some really great specialist shows.

Anyway, thought I'd give you a little insight. Great blog!

Hayden East

Jennifer Waits said...

Thanks so much for the background on NZ radio and for the kind words!