The Thailand-based radio personality speaks with AsiaLIFE about his two-month-old station, Q4radio.com, and what it means for the future of music listening. Photos by Fred Wissink.
What is Q4radio?
Essentially it’s all about the music, that’s the first and foremost. It’s an eclectic mix of every genre of music you can get your ears around. The idea is to simply to bring new music, up-to-date music — whether it be drum and bass, rock and roll, old classic, indie, punk, whatever — to everyone. We don’t play any cheesy-type music. We play proper music, what everyone wants to hear.
In your photo there is a Scotch egg (a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and coated in breadcrumbs). What is that about?
It’s from the Scotch Egg Club, which is from my radio show. It’s just a way for people to tune in and get involved with the show and join the banter. All you have to do is call in and mention a Scotch egg and you’re in the Scotch Egg Club. It was just a weird idea, and now it’s spiraled out of control and is part of the show.
How did you get into radio?
I used to do a spoof newspaper online under the name of Crazy Fool when I was in Vietnam. It was offbeat news stories and a bit of sport. Then I started podcasting a radio show: I got together with a few pals and basically started talking nonsense. When I moved to Thailand I got into radio more seriously, working on an FM and internet station. Later on that station went in a different direction, and I ended up starting a brand new station — Q4radio — because I thought what we were doing was pretty cool.
How has internet changed the face of radio?
It’s been a huge change. It has made it much more accessible to everyone. If you’ve got an electronic device, you can listen to the radio. These days, radio is coming back in vogue. People used to only listen to it in the car, then when they get home they put the TV on. Now, a lot more people listen to radio more often. I’d listen to the radio 24/7 if I could. And if you’ve got someone turning up the music for you, rather than having to download your own stuff, it’s refreshing and a nice change.
For those who haven’t heard it, can you describe your show and on-air personality?
‘Crazy Fool’ pretty much sums it up. Although the show is structured, it is very much off the cuff as well. What I find interesting about it is that I never know what I’m going to say next and I think listeners have got no idea either. It’s a good listen because it’s a little bit bizarre, it’s a little bit off the wall, and, if I dare say, it’s a little bit intelligent as well. We aren’t just talking about rubbish for the sake of it, there is always a point to it. It’s very truthful and very raw, it’s as if you’re with your mates down in the pub talking and listening to good music.
How is Q4radio related to Q4 in Saigon?
I’ve been friends with Rod Quinton (of Q4 and Saigon Sound System) for a long time, and I love what Q4 is doing here: putting on music, getting new talent, and promoting live shows. There was a distinct lack of live music in Saigon for many years, and now Q4 is doing everything possible to boost live music, giving people a venue that they can go to regularly. I got my head around that in a big way and thought that idea and radio go hand in hand.
What audience are you trying to reach?
Eighteen plus is the only restriction I suppose, if there were a restriction. That’s not because it’s full of cursing or anything, but because the banter and what we’re talking about is aimed at adults. It’s good clean fun, but it’s not humour a 10 year old is going to be interested in. Right now most of our listeners are expats in Southeast Asia because that’s where we’re located, but we’re getting listeners from everywhere — America, Canada, Australia, Europe, New Zealand — people around the whole world are tuning in.