Now well into their tenure as this year's hosts of dBs Radio, we felt it was high time to introduce you to Liv Tingey and Montel Brown and learn more about their exciting take on the show at Bristol's 1020 Radio.
An opportunity devised by our Employability & Engagement Officer Tugkan Mutlu and 1020 Radio, the dBs Radio show gives our students the chance to get into the world of broadcasting. Each year sees the successful applicants to the program devise and mould the show in whatever way they wish. Now, in its third iteration as 'Same Energy', a new set of hosts are adding their personal touch to the show. Why don't we introduce you…
Hosts with the most
Both Liv and Montel share interesting routes that have led them into music and broadcasting. Originally studying at secondary school in Vietnam, Liv quickly discovered a love for making video content around music. After returning to the UK to study A-Levels in film production, Liv then found a role as an audio editor for a startup gardening app, where they produced podcasts and garden tours. It was here that Liv was able to shadow someone and learn the inner workings of audio editing, Final Cut and the transferrable skills to DAWs. When the time came to move to Bristol, Liv's journey towards broadcasting kicked up a gear.
"I applied for two apprenticeships; one was for Channel 4’s Production Broadcast scheme and the other was the BBC’s Radio Programme. I have always wanted to explore radio, and I wrote the BBC a really good (if I do say so myself) essay on Diversity and Inclusion in mainstream radio, as at the time it was heavily lacking. I ended up getting the Channel 4 apprenticeship instead, and travelled down the TV route. I think it really proves that you can just make choices and still end up where you want. Now I have started this 1020 show with Montel and I am so excited. I feel like this is going to be a really fun part of my life going forward."
For Montel, music wasn't something that was ingrained into his upbringing. His tastes, however, were shaped by his older brother who introduced him to the likes of A Tribe Called Quest - "the smooth sample based production of Q-Tip has stuck with me ever since", he tells us. When Montel returned to Bristol, he began to soak up the culture of film and music in the city through gigs and the people he met, which spiralled into the world of music production.
"I eventually got into music production through friends and invested in my own equipment and software, learning how my favourite artists created the music I loved, which only deepened my respect for the art form. I later attended a dBs open day after hearing about it from a friend. Exploring the facilities and learning about the courses really opened my eyes to different possibilities available to me. I originally wanted to study the production course but upon speaking to a tutor felt that the live sound course could be a great opportunity to develop skills for a future career. Radio also felt like a great opportunity for me to explore the music industry, the culture and community around radio always felt like one that i wanted to be a part of, connecting with people through music and conversation is one of the most important aspects of life for me."
Radio and the community
For some generations, radio played a key role in shaping our tastes, both in music but also the wider arts such as plays and comedy. Much like vinyl and cassettes, radio offers a completely different experience and that's exactly what resonated with Liv and Montel.
Liv: "With streaming being so instant, I feel like radio is a social thing. You choose to listen to the radio as well now, so often you’ll tune in for a specific show. The talking aspect is what creates variation in shows, and our hope is that our show will see us both interacting throughout the show and giving people an insight into our respective personalities. I think you are able to get to know the host(s) that way, and they are able to show you sounds you may have heard before in a totally new way. I also love the format Montel and I are running - two co-hosts are able to chat - I think that's actually my favourite hence why we are doing it. We considered just taking turns but after getting to know each other we have good banter, so want to get some of that natural energy flowing on the show."
Montel: "How we consume music has changed a lot through the years, but despite this I still believe that radio has a unique and special place in the music industry. How we communicate is so important in an era of impersonal playlists and online streaming platforms. I feel that radio can offer a space for people to feel a sense of community and investment. Personally, I find the radio show and dynamic with Liv really fun and want to explore more music and build upon what we have started."
By this point, you may be wondering where the name 'Same Energy' came from. For Liv and Montel, it was borne from their eclectic tastes and not wanting to limit the show's output.
Liv: "Although Montel and I share some tastes in music, we found that we just couldn't settle on one genre for the show, so the idea was for a bit of a seasonal themed show. We get one slot a month and so it's the perfect time to reflect on the month just gone, feel the weather in the music, share some stories of what we’ve been up to and hopefully hear from some local artists and students on how this reflects on their music. Throughout the show, we play a bunch of different genres and while they may seem like they don't match on paper, when lined up by our 'expert brains' we can say that they have the same energy."
Montel: "Yeah, we struggled with the name for a while haha, but felt that 'Same Energy' best symbolised how we wanted to approach the show: on the same page with the same energy."
At the time of writing, Same Energy has enjoyed several shows as residents at 1020 Radio and with many more to come. Now settled into their groove, Liv and Montel's instant camaraderie has meant that they've been able to focus on honing each show to be as good as it can be. With much more to come, we asked what they're most looking forward to with their residency.
Liv: "Honestly just experimenting! I think it will be really good if we are also able to host some interviews as well, we have been reaching out to venues and artists to get some of that going, so watch this space! I want to get some artists in, some vinyl spinning, I want to be able to publicise and shout out some cool events, too."
Montel: "It honestly feels like the perfect first step and I really feel like I will look back at this opportunity as a period of huge growth, and I'm so grateful to be given this chance to learn a develop!"
'dBs Presents: Same Energy' airs on the first Friday of the month on 1020.live
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