PETER TROMP spoke to a couple of the ladies over at Smile 90.4FM, the new radio station launching on Monday morning March 25.
Smile FM officially launches on Monday. How do you think it’s going to change radio in the Cape?
Cato Bekker: I hope that Cape Town will find a new friend in Smile FM. We want to create an environment where presenters and listeners can just hang out and chat about what’s on our minds. People don’t just hang out anymore. It’s easier to sms, text and tweet, and I think that’s a shame.
Eloise Pretorius: Smile 90.4 FM’s unique approach of talk and tunes and professionalism is bound to give the people of Cape Town something special and polished. We believe they deserve the very best, and see it as our responsibility and privilege to make sure that is what they get. The station’s intent and spirit will change radio; it won’t be or sound like anything you’ve heard before.
Tell us about your individual timeslot and how you intend to put smiles on the faces of your listeners.
Eloise: l’m honoured to be in the company of Bobby Brown, Cato Bekker and Brandon Baatjes, weekdays from 7 to 10am. ‘Good Morning Cape Town’ aims to make our friends smile with specialist comedy, our guests, and the fact that magic simply happens between us. What we aim to do in the community, when we are not on air, is making me smile already.
Cato: I’m on the breakfast show with Eliose. I don’t take myself very seriously, and neither does Eloise or Bobby. So we invite you to laugh with us, laugh at us and do what it says on your car radio: smile.
Tracey Lange: My timeslot will be Sunday to Thursday, 7pm to 10pm. I will focus on the local and national entertainment scene. I will talk technology, style and do interviews with celebrities. The greatest thing is that with the station being English and Afrikaans, it will be so easy to speak to any celebrity.
Kia Johnson: My show is called ‘Party Central’ and I will be on the airwaves on Friday’s from 7 to 10pm and Saturday’s from 6 to 10pm. I will be incorporating a range of local and international beats guaranteed to get your party started and keep it going. I also have quite a few exciting features and ventures that will be revealed shortly. Party beats always put a smile on anyone’s face and wherever you might find yourself, I will bring some fun to your soul with great music and energy.
How have you seen radio change during your time in the industry?
Cato: First there was the “Howard Stern phase”, where DJs were shocking, unpredictable and just as rebellious as the popular rock culture of the time. Then there was what one may call the “Oprah phase”, where radio was more concerned with uplifting and supporting than surprising. Stations weren’t giving cars to every single listener, but they made sure every listener felt like a million dollars. In SA, I feel, we’re still stuck in the Howard Stern era. And the problem is that we’ve become a bit desensitized to it. There’s little a DJ can say that’ll shock us more than reading the newspaper in the morning. Personally, I’d like to see a touch more Oprah on the radio. Cover real issues, solve real problems and have a real good laugh together.
Kia: There has been quite a change from past years to present day. Radio has always been the best and first medium where you would receive updates on the latest music, actuality news and entertainment. Most of that hasn’t changed, but there is a need for the listener to engage and interact more in this present day than ever before and that is what Smile FM is bringing.
What song would you never tire of playing on air?
Eloise: ‘Even Better Than The Real Thing’, by U2. It’s my favourite song ever, from my favourite album too – 1991’s ‘Achtung Baby’. Love it!
Tracey: Impossible to answer. My uncle used to love playing ‘We Built This City’ by Starship when I was a child. It always makes me smile when I hear it, so that would be a favourite.
Kia: Being a typical DJ, can I choose four? ‘Sing It Back’ by Moloko; ‘Alright’ by Richard “Humpty” Vission; ‘I Got My Mind Set On You’ by George Harrison; and ‘Celebrating The World’ by Womack and Womack.
Cato: Tough question. I have quite a few, but one would definitely have to be ‘Way To Go’ by Thieve ft. Die Heuwels Fantasties. It’s got a lot of soul.