Sunday, 6 June 2010

XFM'S Sunta Templeton

XFM's Sunta Templeton took the time out of her busy schedule to chat free gigs, moody bands and why she loves her job. She works along side Ian Camfield 4-7 on the XFM drivetime show and Sundays 6-10 including the Live Hour@ 8pm. But still finds the time to be a resident dj for Mat Hornes session club and Ronnkie Pop......

What does an everyday entail for you?

Lots of different things... In commercial radio you are expected to do a lot of different roles and tasks. When I get in I scan all of today’s music news and gig guide. I work on Choice Fm news bulletins for them at 2.30 then I go to XFM 3.30 and then I move to 4-7 XFM Drivetime Show, reading the travel, music news, helping Ian and all the banter...

How do you juggle everything?
It keeps it interesting and especially in commercial radio when money is tight, you are always expected to move into any role and present in any station on any format of whatever music it might be. From an urban to an alternative station, it just becomes quite normal.

When did you first realise you wanted to get into journalism and being a radio presenter always a dream role for you?
I was interested in journalism from a young age but didn’t really understand what it took. When I was a kid and you wanted to be a journalist it was in terms of newspaper journalism, so I didn’t realise it was the same thing till later. Then I went to university to study Media and Communications and Philosophy and spent all my time on their radio and I did spend a bit of time presenting, I really wanted to do the news side of it. Then I went to do a post grad in broadcast journalism.

What are the perks?
Free gig tickets and invited to silly PR things which are generally good fun but can be vacuous. Coming up to festival season I get to go to a few and I still see it as a perk even though I have to interview bands. The reason I got into this job was my love of music and seeing live gigs. To say my work is to go Glastonbury is fantastic.

What are the downfalls?
I think because commercial radio is reliant of advertising and money coming in, just because of the current climate at the moment there has been a lot of cut backs. Being a journalist I’m on a staff contract, I’m not too worried, but if I was a freelancer presenter, I would be a lot more precarious. You just have to hope you are in favour as peoples tastes are always changing.
I’m just hoping things will change..
That’s why work experience is really important, if you are not committed to working for free, you can’t want that much.

What is the best interview you have done so far in your career?
The biggest interview and scariest was REM. I had a hour with Michael Stipe and then an hour with Mike Mills. It was pretty intense and I had only been doing journalism for a couple of years so I was still quite green. It was one of the moments when I was like, I’m with one the most famous people on the planet, this is terrifying, but it went well.
The best interview personally was probably when I interviewed Ian Brown. To me he was such a mad music head from Manchester and I was like OMG actually legend. Thankfully he was lovely which is good because that’s sad when you meet your hero’s and they don’t turn out to be like your expectations.

Any bad interviews you would like to share?
There are bands that you wonder why they do interviews and they never come across well as moody or grumpy and one word answers. I wonder why record companies put them up at all. Bands like Crystal Castles and Arctic Monkeys didn’t do interviews and it never affected their career. Instead wasting people’s time and making it difficult. However I’m not naming any..
Miss Sunta Templeton took the time out of her buzy schedule to talk about free gigs, moody bands and how she loves her job.

Where do you want to go from here?

That’s a tricky one, if you asked me that five years ago, I would have said I wanted to do XFM. I’m very lucky I have the job I want to do. We will see what happens in the future.
What one piece of advice would you give me as an aspiring journalist like myself?
It’s hard to give one thing and I have already mentioned work experience, which is really important. Also just to live it.. If you are not living that kind of life, then it’s not really what you want to be doing.

Lastly,could you share any bands that you are listening to at the moment?
I have two very different albums in my bag at the moment. Eighties Matchbox as I’m going to see them tonight and I’m very excited. They are a band that have been out for ages but back with a new album. Funeral Party are someone I’m playing a lot at the moment on my dj sets, best party song I have heard in a long time, Sounds of LA. The longer the song titles are the better.

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