Interview

Assembly Radio’s 1st Birthday Bash

When I was first approached by the powers that be at Assembly Radio to pitch a show, I was terrified.

I mean, what the hell could I possibly have to say that would entertain people, let alone keep them tuned in for 2 hours??

Fast-forward 51 shows and 1 kick-ass co-host later and Texxed Up Tuesdays is probably one of the raddest projects I’ve ever been involved in.

And so to celebrate 1 year of kak praat (in and amongst the best music of any online station, yes you heard right) I caught up with Assembly Radio head honcho Kevin Kai to chat about the last year and his penchant for, uuuh, gardening?

So, 1 year hey? How epic has this crazy journey of starting an online radio station been?

Epic is a big word, but I guess you can say it’s been a pretty epic year. It’s always great starting something and seeing it grow, especially the way Assembly Radio has grown. The reaction and feedback from our fans has always been great and there have been some amazing people involved in the station over the passed year, so I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved.

As with anything in life ups and down are to be expected, care to share some of them?

There have definitely been more ups than downs over the passed year. I’m very lucky that Assembly Radio is around in such a great time for South African music. Every day throughout all of our shows, I’m surrounded by amazing and inspirational people who have such a passion for what they do.

There haven’t been many downs over the passed year, I suppose having to deal with Internet issues on a daily basis could be stressful, but it’s the nature of the business. We need a good internet connections 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The Internet plays such a huge role in the day to day running of the station, so it’s difficult not to stress about it, but I’ve gotten used to it and it helps to have good support, which we do.

What have been some of your highlights on and off air?

I guess making it to our 1st Birthday is a huge highlight for me. We’ve come along way since day one and seeing the progression of the station gives me a lot of satisfaction.

They’re a couple of awesome bands playing at Assembly Radio’s first birthday at The Assembly on Saturday – who are some of your favourite South African acts?

I try to stay neutral with my thoughts on South African artists. I think you have to be when making decision at the radio station. That being said, I’m a huge fan of new talent, which we’re fortunate to see a lot of at the station.

Young bands and artists like Beach Party, The Aztec Sapphire, Gateway Drugs, Alice Phoebe Lou, Fun Toy and Slabofmisuse are just a handful making amazing music at the moment. 

If you had a show on Assembly Radio what would it be called and what kind of music would you play?

Honestly, I’ve never thought about hosting my own show. I’m really bad in front of the mic and on the spot. Although I guess if I had a show, it would be a Sunday morning show called “Morning Wood”. I’d talk about gardening and home improvements and play Sigur Ros, The National, Arcade Fire and James Blake on repeat.  I’m terrible at gardening and home improvements by the way.

What’s the next big thing for Assembly Radio?

A couple of weeks ago, we broadcast live from a launch party in Bree Street. It was the first time that we had broadcast outside of the studio, so it was a very exciting exercise for us. We have always wanted to take Assembly Radio on the road and this just showed us that anything is possible. We’re planning to take Assembly Radio out of the studio more often and hopefully to all the big festivals this year, as well as other events, stores, coffee shops, car parks… anywhere that will have us really.

Who knows, come summer time, we could be chilling on the beach, broadcasting live under the sun with a mic in one hand and a granadilla lolly in the other.

Really? I’m shot gunning this now, thanks. Any last words?

Uhhh… tune in to Assembly Radio.

Ah Kev, such wisdom in your words. Oh P.S:  I’d really like to interview Tevin Campbell on my show when he’s in town. Any additional help on this front would be mucho appreciated. Kisses.

I’ll help out as much as I can. Do you have contact deets for his peeps?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason that Assembly Radio is the main boss. Come join us on Saturday at The Assembly to celebrate a milestone at our station, one of many, many more to come.

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