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  • Writer's pictureSarah Myles

HOW I GOT HERE: Kay-Lee Golding

(How I Got Here Artwork)

Connect with this season’s guests:

Special thanks to: Alex Court, Graeme Woodcock, Heleen Kist, Kate Bullivant, Maria Passingham, Mark Loftus, Natasha S. Chowdory and Tin Hinson for providing question recordings.

Artwork by Jack Jewers-

RISE & SHINE is about giving everyone a voice within the podcast and radio industries regardless of income.

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Kay-Lee Golding: My name is Kay-Lee Golding and I go by the slogan Your Favorite Gyal From Brum. I am a radio presenter, a radio producer, and a DJ, my personal pronouns are she and her.

My journey into radio started by listening to Trevor Nelson. My mum was absolutely obsessed with him. So I always was originally forced to listen to the show, but I'm so grateful because then I also fell in love with it. I loved the way he connected with my mom and may on a personal level, despite not knowing this man, but that's what's so brilliant about audio.

It's so personal. So after that, In school, it was all looking at different work experiences. So me and my cousin, we researched how I can get into radio, what work experience there is, and timing is everything, you know, because luckily at that point, a company called punch records and then a radio station, but they was launching a festival radio station.

So that lasts for 30 days. So I signed up to that. The brilliant right pool taught us how to produce a radio show, how to present it. So I had all that training learnt so much then. To then go on and do different work experiences around Bombingham. So doing some work experience at free radio, doing some work experience, um, called music potential, which was run by capital Xtra and just got to learn so much about radio at that point, which was absolutely brilliant.

And then I fought, I love it so much. I want to study at. So I went to Birmingham almost in Academy, which is calling it like the Brit school of Birmingham to study broadcast. And they had a student station there, which I ran. So that got me to learn so many things and got me prepared to go to university to then study radio even more.

I’m obsessed in case you can’t tell. So then I went to the university of Westminster to study audio and they have a great station, called radio smoke. Which was great because I got to network with the student radio association and met so many people we've been radio to just to have that network there.

It's brilliant. It's so good. Cause they have like guest speakers you have the conference to do online things and then you have the one that we all love. This unit where I do awards, which is a great network and event. I personally picked up quite a few shit and regular awards. I won best specialist, two years in a row.

So 2018 and 2019, and then also won silver and gold for best interview, 2019. That was just great because it led on to me doing a show for radio one. And now that experience was so sick and me personally, it meant a lot to me because I learned. That I can do more than just doing specialist radio. I'm able to do mainstream sounds.

I'm able to do that alongside doing all of that studying. And she didn't radio. I started to do work experience as well at the beat Linda, which is a community station in Northwest London. Started off as an intern, developed up the heads of production and also do my own radio show there as well. One thing that I would say about the radio industry is.

Try and learn as much as you can. So what I learned in student radio was completely different to what I learned in community radio. So bringing them to you together is what created me to the presenter producer that I am now. Following that, like leaving university. I then got my first job, like a full time salary job in radio at magic FM, which is so sick because it's a different form of radio.

I felt like I've learnt so much more because the music and that, I put that aside and did the actual technicals of radio. So that's just been sick, man. It's been so good. I've been there for like a year and a half now. And it's just brilliant. So that's assistant producer and on the breakfast show, I feel like I'm so weird because from like 5:00 AM to be this producer at an older demographic radio station so 80s music. And then as soon as it hits about two o'clock till about 10 o'clock on the night, I become Kay-Lee Golding, your favourite gyal from Brum, the DJ and presenter, that just specializes in brilliant Black music.

So it's like I'm living two different lives, but both in radio. It's so strange. Yeah. I also now present on represent, right? Yeah. I have a show there Monday one to free every single week. Also have a show on gorgeous FM and that's a station in the West Midlands. It's specialized in the LGBTQ plus community.

So that's by weekly, Monday nights. And then on top of that idea, feature for BBC WM called the fresh vines. It sounds like a lot, but if you could organize your time very well, then it's absolutely fine. Um, so I just love it. Obviously. This is audio about radio and the audio industry as. Wow. So I also, in addition to all this run, two podcasts, one called radio silence alongside two Queens called Sara and Pulama, and that's all about the radio industry and diversity within radio.

So we discuss things like that. The amount of ethnic minorities in radio and their journeys into it and what change they think needs to come. We're currently working on a project to talk about women in radio and their experiences, and are they safe in radio? That's what we're working on at the moment.

So that's a brilliant podcast. I really recommend you to listen to that. I also do a podcast called on your gaydar. Now this is a podcast that specializes in. The LGBTQ plus community, but from the perspectives of ethnic minorities is what we've kind of found is that sometimes the podcasts and not even just podcasts in everything as a whole, when it comes to LGBTQ, plus it can kind of forget about ethnic minorities as well.

So we merge them together to create that podcast. And even though rodeo. And podcasting both audio. It feels like they're two completely different worlds because on my podcasts, I get to talk about such niche, things like diversity and radio and. LGBTQ plus put for ethnic minorities is I like to proper niche things, but I'm able to discuss for like 40 minutes about how that works and how it is.

And it's brilliant. It's brilliant. So that's my journey. That's how I got to where I am.

Why audio?

It just connects with people in a way that no other medium could. My best example for this is we've radio. People send them requests, bear in mind. They can just go on their phone and play whatever song they want.

But no, they're get in touch with a radio station and ask for their request to be played. That is how special rodeo is. They want that connection. They want the whole nation to hear, this is a song that I'm selecting, and that just shows how powerful it is. It's also just so. Fast as well. If something happens in the world, radio is able to react straight away.

It's just so, so, so incredible.

How would you go about getting into audio if you had to start all over again today?

If I was going to start getting into radio all over again, like starting fresh today. Oh, I would go the exact same route. You know, I'd go the exact same route. I would say I'd maybe have picked up radio Djing and presenting earlier.

Because, although I'd done that on my first experience in radio, I kind of left it behind because I didn't have much confidence within myself to do presenting. And so I just really, really, really, really, really focused on producing and trying to be the best producer I possibly can do. So that's the only thing that I would say that I would change.

What's the best mistake you've ever made?

The best mistake that I ever made is it wasn't so much a mistake, but more like, I wasn't very good at that. So I went to do some demos and pilots for a radio station and it just wasn't my best audio. It wasn't. But now I look back and I think I really wouldn't have actually wanted to be on that station.

It's not something that suits me. It doesn't suit my sound. It don't suit the kind of music that I'm into. So it's kind of good that didn't happen because I would have forced myself to be in a station or have a sound, the other, actually one, I want to be able to do the kind of audio that I want to make and audio that I really love.

What are the things you have to learn, often getting into the industry?

That the network and don't ever, ever stop. It's not as easy or as simple as just getting through the Belden and that's it. You have to keep striving for more and different opportunities and continuing to develop. There's not really a finished line when it comes to radio, but that's what I think is brilliant because there's so many different stations and radio is evolving so much.

It's always what's next? What can we do to keep up with the times and keep up with everyone? So I think it's brilliant, but be prepared to keep developing and keep networking.

Tell us about the person in the audio industry who helped you most when building your career.

There's been so many brilliant people that have helped me along the way, in terms of getting into the industry, Sasha Brooks, who was a presenter on Capital Birmingham, she really, really helped me after I done music, potential capital xtra.

I spent a lot of time with her at Capital learning, how to present, learning how social media works alongside of the show, learning how to run a desk and all skills I've taken with me. So Verizon and I've really, really, really needed them skills. And I use them every single day. So that was a massive help.

And there's also so many other ladies, like the way that women in the industry empower each other is so brilliant. Nadia J she's now on one extra, when I moved to London and was looking for my first ever. Work experience. I messaged her on Instagram. She got me work experience at the beat London. So I interned there and then developed into head of production and got my own radio show there.

And that really, really helped me to now get my job in magic. So everything's a stepping stone and I could shout out so many brilliant women like DJ Casey. She used to present on one extra, a C5. She used to work at reprezent radio. She also helped me along my journey. Yeah. There's so many people. I love women that are happy to empower each other.

What's the one piece of advice that you would give to anyone starting out in audio?

The one piece of advice that I would say to anyone starting out in the radio is to know your worth. We work in an industry where volunteering is a very, very big part of that. Hopefully that will change, but you have to do a lot of that.

And when it gets to that point, of asking for money or that point of asking for further development, it can be very scary. So it's very important to know your worth, know what you deserve, because that's the best way to be able to develop within a company or get yourself the next opportunity. And that's what I would personally say.

I think because we all want to get into the industry and it’s so competitive and so many people want to work in radio. It's so easy to just accept anything. At one point I was happy to do anything I can, literally everything, but if you're doing everything, how is that piece of audio going to be the very, very best if you're already worrying about what's next?

So that's what I would say. Just completely know your worth..


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