In­ter­na­tional Ra­dio Fes­ti­val: a week of world-class ra­dio in Malta

Malta Independent - - Front Page - ■ Dayna Clarke

Sun­day saw the In­ter­na­tional Ra­dio Fes­ti­val (IRF) draw to a close in Val­letta, and with a cu­mu­la­tive 100 mil­lion lis­ten­ers world­wide tun­ing into the weeklong event, all ears have been on Malta for the spec­tac­u­lar af­fair. The In­ter­na­tional Ra­dio Fes­ti­val saw over 30 ra­dio sta­tions from all cor­ners of the globe gather in Malta in­clud­ing, In­dia, China, Amer­ica and Aus­tralia, to trans­mit their hall­mark shows live from the his­toric Fort St Elmo. Clev­erly com­piled by Dar­ryl Von Daniken and his team, the event has taken thou­sands of hours of in­trin­sic plan­ning to or­ches­trate such re­sound­ing suc­cess.

Now in its ninth year, this in­ter­na­tional broad­cast­ing event rep­re­sents the first and only global con­fer­ence to de­bate and show­case the busi­ness, pro­duc­tion and cu­ra­tion of the world’s most con­sumed medium – au­dio/ra­dio con­tent. It’s been an amaz­ing week bring­ing to­gether some of the best con­tent cre­ators in the world, we take a look at some of the weeks high­lights.

Daniel and Yle­nia, 89.7 Bay FM Break­fast, Malta

Daniel and Yle­nia’s Bay Break­fast show kick-started the week-long ra­dio af­fair. Whether you’re brush­ing your teeth, driv­ing to work or try­ing to drag your­self out of bed on a Mon­day morn­ing, Daniel and Yle­nia are there to sound­track the start of your day. If you haven’t heard of them, you have prob­a­bly seen their faces plas­tered all over bill­boards and buses. The duo have rapidly be­come the king and queen of morn­ing ra­dio in Malta, and it is not hard to see why. The young pair have an im­mense fol­low­ing and zest for life. The en­ergy they pro­vide is in­fec­tious, not to men­tion rau­cously funny. Hav­ing had two shows fea­ture in the fes­ti­val, Yle­nia notes: “It’s ab­so­lutely lush to be a part of this event and con­nect with other au­di­ences from across the globe.” Daniel agrees: “Usu­ally we have to travel far for this kind of event; it’s un­real such a huge fes­ti­val is be­ing held on our doorstep, and even greater that we have the op­por­tu­nity to be a part of it.”

89.7 Bay FM Ra­dio has been of­fi­cially Malta’s most pop­u­lar ra­dio sta­tion for 10 years now, with a mar­ket share of 25.09 per cent. Sta­tion man­ager An­drew Zam­mit strives to keep to the sta­tion in tune with his au­di­ence.

“It’s vi­tal we con­nect with the com­mu­nity,” adds Zam­mit. “Our pre­sen­ters aren’t just at the other end of a speaker; they go into the com­mu­nity and join events such as pride or char­ity fun-runs.” We asked Daniel and Yle­nia if they ever got used to 5am starts and the hon­est an­swer was “Not re­ally,” though with such a fun-filled show, you would never guess it.

93.5 Red FM, RJ De­vaki, In­dia

De­vaki isn’t just a Ra­dio DJ. In her home­land of In­dia she’s a na­tional su­per­star. Along­side broad­cast­ing, she’s a top model and suc­cess­ful ac­tress. Her show reaches over 30 mil­lion peo­ple daily in In­dia. The RED FM net­work is In­dia’s largest and most awarded net­work, with over 50 sta­tions across the vast coun­try. Re­cently, De­vaki was crowned Voice of Ahmed­abad by the gover­nor of Gu­jarat. The show is a plat­form for the aam am­davadi, as well as be­ing the win­ner of this year’s IRF and Ra­dioand­mu­sic.com’s Sound of In­dia Con­test. The mayor as well as the po­lice com­mis­sion­ers, use De­vaki’s show to spread their mes­sage. De­vaki also pro­vides im­por­tant sug­ges­tions to such bod­ies.

Dur­ing the Satur­day broad­cast live from Malta, De­vaki’s per­son­al­ity was ex­cep­tion­ally ra­di­ant and en­gag­ing. Her team even reen­acted Holi – the paint-throw­ing fes­ti­val of love.

“It’s an hon­our to be here in Malta; we are re­ally en­joy­ing the is­land and the great hos­pi­tal­ity. Fes­ti­vals like this are very im­por­tant for us,’’ adds De­vaki.

Kasheme, Fly­ing Car­pet, Switzer­land

At the po­lar op­po­site end of the spec­trum of com­mer­cial ra­dio sta­tions, Kasheme’s Fly­ing Car­pet show has ac­crued a global cult fol­low­ing. De­spite not be­ing an of­fi­cial ra­dio sta­tion, “we will be soon,” says the team be­hind the show. The un­der­ground sta­tion draws in global mu­sic to pro­vide an emo­tive jour­ney to their lis­ten­ers. “There are no ad­verts, no traf­fic up­dates and no news.” It’s clear the show is a hyp­notic ex­pe­ri­ence, with the trio in a trance­like state dur­ing broad­cast: “We want to con­nect with our au­di­ence on a deeper level of con­scious­ness.”

We asked them what ‘Kasheme’ means. “It’s a liv­ing room like bar in the mid­dle of Zurich with its own in-house record store and state-of-the-art stu­dio/club in the base­ment,” the team ex­plain. The pop­u­lar show at­tracts mu­sic lovers far and wide for the emo­tive mu­si­cal jour­ney they pro­vide.

At IRF the three own­ers of Kasheme show­cased their idea of the fu­ture of ra­dio to a world­wide au­di­ence. Fly­ing Car­pet saw three friends Nick ‘Soul Mate’ Mazrekaj, Guido ‘FreeJ’ Rumi and Tim ‘J’peux’ By­tyqi play records that are very per­sonal, su­per charm­ing and to­tally mes­mer­iz­ing; in other words, ev­ery­thing Kasheme rep­re­sents. “Our show is about con­nect­ing peo­ple on a higher and deeper level of con­scious­ness,” they add.

When we asked the trio where they are from they sim­ply replied, “Planet Earth.”

Rai Ra­dio 3, Sei Gradi with Paola De An­ge­lis, Italy

Paola De An­ge­lis is a house­hold name in Italy. Hav­ing worked her way across mul­ti­ple Rai plat­forms, Paola has en­dured an ex­cep­tion­ally suc­cess­ful ca­reer in ra­dio. The pro­gramme stems back to the 1950’s, with a prin­ci­pal fo­cus on cul­ture. The pro­gramme en­tails clas­si­cal mu­sic, live con­certs, drama, lit­er­a­ture, eco­nom­ics, phi­los­o­phy, reli­gion and his­tory. The Sei Gradi show for­mat is based on the the­ory of six de­grees of sep­a­ra­tion: seven songs are played with six in­ter­link­ing fac­tors. “I re­search heav­ily to dis­cover fas­ci­nat­ing facts to con­nect the songs and in­for­ma­tion sur­round­ing the artists; I love it,” adds Paola.

“Although I have been in this in­dus­try for years, I feel like this week I have been con­stantly learn­ing and there is still so much to learn,” notes Paola. “It’s so in­spir­ing to see how other broad­cast­ers con­duct their shows, and the for­mat they take. I will def­i­nitely be tak­ing some new ideas back to Italy.”

The full list of ra­dio sta­tions that took part in this year’s event were Bay Ra­dio, Vibe FM, XFM and Magic FM from host coun­try Malta, along­side in­ter­na­tional sta­tions; BBC Ra­dio 1 (UK), BBC 1Xtra (UK), Jazz FM (UK), MiSoul UK), Fun Kids Ra­dio (UK), United DJ’s with Tony Prince (UK), Hits Ra­dio (UK), Flex FM (UK), Ego FM (DE), Le Mouv (FR), M20 (IT), Teenage Ra­dio Im­mag­i­naria (IT), Kasheme Lounge (CH), LikeFM (RU), Radyo 2 -TRT FM (TU), Ibiza Son­ica (ES), Kro­nen­hit Ra­dio (AT), IFM (TU), 102FM Tel Aviv (IL), The Big Time (USA), Pride Ra­dio (USA), Kiss FM (AU), Love Ra­dio (CN), plus Sound of In­dia Con­test win­ner RJ De­vanki and Mix­cloud on­line ra­dio award win­ners Dublin Dig­i­tal Ra­dio (IE) who won ‘Best On­line Ra­dio Sta­tion’ and Pinata FM (FR) who won ‘Ris­ing Star’ - Lis­ten­ers Choice award.

Don’t worry if you missed last week’s fes­ti­val, you can lis­ten again here https://www.mix­cloud.com/IRF/

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