Why I love Birmingham’s Brum Radio

by Dave Massey twitter.com/brumhour

Why I love Brum Radio

I first got involved in Brum Radio in the summer of 2015, via an invite to a bar, to find out about a new, cool, non-commercial, independent Birmingham-based radio station.

As someone who loves championing Birmingham, I realised that this would be a chance to push my communication skills further, and share even more about the city I love.

I’d been a guest voice on a radio Book Club on BBC Radio Manchester in 2006 and 2007 talking about new books twice a month with Dianne Oxberry and Eamonn O’Neal. So I’d been in radio studios quite a few times. But never hosted anything at all.

Brum Radio's home at Birmingham Friends of the Earth
Brum Radio’s home at Birmingham Friends of the Earth in Digbeth

Without any real clue as to the effort needed to create a weekly radio show, I said yes. I then sat and wondered who I would get on a show to talk to. In November 2015, I got a message saying my show would be going live from Tuesday 8th December 2015. That date was actually #BrumHour‘s 2nd Birthday.

The studio itself is based in the Birmingham Friends of the Earth on Allison Street in Digbeth, in building called the Warehouse. We share the building with the award-winning Warehouse Cafe, a bike shop and Natural Healthy Foods and several other community causes.

I wrote out tweets and invited people, and very blindly asked them about themselves over 10 minute interviews. I knew my relaxed style of questions and chat would help people talk, who maybe hadn’t been on the radio before.

Brum Radio Logo
Brum Radio Logo

The first three months went by very swiftly and we launched with a party at the Hare and Hounds, I found myself in a gig venue for the first time in about five years. I encouraged other people to pitch for shows and Geeky Brummie with Ryan Parish was the result of one of those pitches.

Another few months went by and I found myself working with a show producer Loren Kitchen, who was someone about to be snapped up by grown up radio. Loren’s skills helped me focus on content style, timing and building a music style. Robin Valk, who has worked in radio seemingly since the wireless was invented, help hone that music style using Brum Radio’s extensive catalogue of music.

Around me at Brum Radio, there are lots of creative, unique radio shows, Andy Robinson: Pops the Question, Sleeve Note Sessions with Trevor Pitt and a collection of writing by Birmingham and midlands voices read by Birmingham based voice artists called Tall Tales. These are just three of over 40 hours of new and original Birmingham based content being created each week at Brum Radio.

BrumHour on Brum Radio
BrumHour on Brum Radio

Feeling more confident, I started to record interviews out and about around Birmingham, becoming my own roving reporter. I left my comfort zone of interviewing authors or business people, and started to interview the some of the cooler people around Birmingham, like Break Mission who are part of a huge annual Hip Hop event and Birmingham based bands.

I’ve been involved in the plotting of Brum Radio for over a year. Helping steer its direction has been an eye opening experience in a field of media I’d never even considered. Things move very fast and shows change and evolve.

Our market is 25-50 year old Birmingham, based people who love music, culture and exploring the city. We also have a growing international market influenced by programmes such as WorldBeatUK and 50 Miles of Elbow Room which covers grassroots and blues.

The Birmingham Friends of the Earth Building is getting a huge refurb. This means our studio is also getting a refurb, we are moving within the building to temporary space until after Christmas. I’m excited for what our new studio space will be like. More chances to record interviews, music and meet performers.

I love connecting with Birmingham through #BrumHour and this chance to interview and share those interviews just reinforces my passion for doing so.

You can listen to Brum Radio 24/7 on Tunein, on Alexa, on Now TV or there’s a Brum Radio app. Or you can listen the old fashioned way.. via the website at brumradio.com You thought I meant on an actual radio don’t you? This IS 2017!

If you’d like to be a future guest on #BrumHour on Brum Radio email me at dave@brumradio.com

Listen to #BrumHour on Monday’s at 6pm on brumradio.com

This isn’t a sponsored post. But I to get given very nice cups of tea at Brum Radio so thanks for those.