April of this year was a huge month for Triple J as it saw its Music Director Richard Kingsmill, who has worked at the station for almost 30 years, take on a new role as Music Director overseeing 4 stations including Triple J, Double J, Triple J Unearthed and ABC Local Radio. With big shoes to fill, Assistant Music Director at Triple J Nick Findlay proudly stepped up to the role. Findlay has worked at Triple J for over a decade, and was once a Music Researcher & Producer at the station, graced our ears as a Presenter, and has also worked as Producer and Assistant Music Director at FBi Radio in Sydney. It’s clear to see Nick’s more than qualified for the role, and now a few months in, we had a chat to him to find out all the ins and outs of one of the most important jobs at Triple J Radio.
In a nutshell, as Music Director of triple j, I help to manage and maintain the music you hear on the station. Working with the rest of triple j’s excellent music team, we schedule what songs gets played on air, maintain our huge sound database, liaise with presenters and producers on what songs will appear in their daily programs, communicate with and give feedback to musicians and industry on new tunes they’re pitching, and spend hours scouring every possible avenue for the best new talent in Australian and international music.
A lot of my week is steady: I spend every day programming triple j’s music, answering questions from artists and industry reps, and seeking out and reviewing new music that comes our way. Traditionally, Mondays and Tuesdays have always been the days when label reps would service their new music to radio. While this is still the case, music is being distributed a lot more freely and via different channels nowadays, meaning we’re finding incredible stuff every day. Each week, we have multiple music meetings to share new music we’re all liking and to help whittle down the very best stuff to add to rotation. These happen with lots of different teams including presenters and producers, as well as the Unearthed and Double J’s music programmers. It all culminates in a music meeting with the rest of triple j’s music department on Wednesdays where we nut out what to add to triple j’s rotation for the following week.
Challenges and Accomplishments
I’ve worked in radio since I was 16 and have been a music fan for much longer, and I have never seen so much incredible music released so often than what is happening globally right now. The biggest challenge is keeping on top of the seemingly endless amount of exciting stuff as it drops, and then figuring out what our listeners are going to be most excited by. While this may be challenging, it’s also incredibly fun and is definitely one of the best parts of the job.
It’s hard not to get a huge buzz when you discover a song or artist that you know is going to be huge, and it’s even more rewarding when you see that gut instinct coming to life through our listeners.
As sappy as it sounds, I really do love my job so when you take a step back from the daily grind it’s hard to see many lowlights. I guess it would be nice for my inbox to slow down but I’m a realist and know that’s never going to happen.
Words Of Wisdom
If you’re keen to get into broadcasting and you’ve never gotten involved in community radio, stop what you’re doing and volunteer at a local station now! Community Radio in Australia is a unique and beautiful thing and has helped pretty much everyone I’ve ever worked with get a leg up in this incredible industry.
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