This week, in our ever growing search to cover the industries various careers we have taken to questioning Katie G about her career. Katie is the current host of her own show on Radio Saltire called Katie G Presents where she covers a range of unsigned music and provides light on emerging artists.
Katie is also set to take the stage and host Welsh Fest in the coming months, further expanding her skill set and firmly placing her support behind emerging acts.
We would like to take a moment to thank Katie for her time in answering our questions and wish her all the luck for hosting Welsh Fest.
What influences led you to get involved in music when you were younger?
I was a big fan of Red Dragon FM growing up and would go to lots of their roadshows and that’s what really inspired me to want to get into radio. I loved everything about it and just knew that I wanted to be a radio DJ when I was older. I was such a Pop Princess growing up, and loved all the boy bands and not necessarily famous ones but ones who were trying to make it in the pop work. I loved a man band called Menergy, and was slightly obsessed and also Bad Boys Inc. along with Take That.
What career path have you had in the lead up to being a presenter on Radio Saltire?
When I left school, I went to Crosskeys College and started a BTEC in Radio Journalism but due to personal circumstances and leaving home at 16, I couldn’t complete the course. I then went into full-time work and ultimately into social work but that want to be a radio presenter never left me, and 3 years ago I approached Radio Saltire, and initially started on a Sunday afternoon with just a radio show which played today’s music and my chat. I then progressed on to presenting a show on a Friday night which was pop based. I then went to the Unsigned Music Awards about a year and a half and was so inspired that I decided that I would like to present an unsigned music show, so stopped doing the Sunday and focused on just the Friday and ‘Katie G Presents’ was created.
What does a typical day look like for you in the world of Radio Saltire?
3. So a typical day at Radio Saltire….I have to check e-mails of tracks that have been sent for airplay and see if they are suitable, look at other tracks which I may want to play, create a playlist and research the bands, so I have information to share when playing their tracks. If I have interviews, I will spend quite some time gathering information about the bands so my questions are well informed, and the bands can see that I know my stuff and professional. When in the studio, it’s about checking all the levels are right, and I am ready to go live on air.
What made you want to turn your talents towards hosting festivals and gigs?
I love presenting the radio show but was given the opportunity to host ‘Midstock’ a couple of years ago, and I loved it! The buzz of being in front of a big crowd, getting to introduce amazing artists was amazing, and I got an absolute taste for it and wanted to do more. I get so into it and because I am passionate about what I do, I think this comes across, and the crowd pick up on that and get involved. I love the festivals and gigs, and getting paid is just an added bonus.
How has your experiences in radio complemented the art of hosting?
Hosting for me is just like being on air but you are physically in front of an audience, and that is the only difference and you are not having to do all the technical stuff as someone is doing that for you, which is great.
What three factors do you think go towards making a great host?
Three factors that I think go towards making a good host are:
1. Doing your research on the event and the artists themselves, always good to have some info about the bands to introduce them on with.
2. Look the part, as everyone is looking at you, so have to make an effort and
3. Enjoy yourself, and if you look like you are having a ball, you can get the crowd going
What draws you towards hosting events like Welsh Fest?
Having the opportunity to be one of the hosts at Welshfest is so good. I am originally from South Wales, and this will be the first time I have had the opportunity to host an event in my homeland. Also, being able to experience new unsigned bands I have not heard of is really exciting and so really looking forward to this, and it is a 2-day festival which will be so good.
How did the opportunity to host Welsh Fest come about?
I had e-mailed lots of festivals offering to host them, and this was how the opportunity to host Welshfest came around, and weirdly I have since found out, I was at school with the organizer of the event, we were in the same year.
Do you have any artists that you are going to be keeping a particular eye/ear out for during Welsh Fest?
There are so many bands and artists performing at Welshfest that I am spoilt for choice, and excited to catch as many as I can and can feedback with the ones who stood out. I have played tracks from Lost Like Alice, so of course, will be checking out their set and putting a face to the name.
What advice do you have for people who are looking to get into event and radio hosting?
My advice to anyone looking to get into radio presenting or hosting is to be committed and expect to dedicate a lot of time to it, as it does take a lot of works behind the scenes, there are lots of amazing stations who take on volunteers and that is a good way to get in the door, you have to be passionate about what you do, as this will come across and be yourself and don’t try to be another Greg James or Clara Amfo, as they already exist, its about what you bring as an individual.