Ghostly beard had a chat with radio DJ Gummy Bear from Party Central Radio to find out what goes on in DJ Gummy Bears world as a radio presenter of great independent music.
MT: Hi Philip, could you tell our readers about you and what you do? Where does the Gummy Bear nickname comes from?
Philip: Hi, i wear many hats so to speak for Party Central Radio, such as banner/graphic design, assistant, tech support, web design as well as being a DJ. The nickname Gummy Bear came from a promo I had recorded for a friend in summer of 2012 and was told I sounded like a gummy bear when I talked
MT: When did you start hosting at Party Central Radio and what motivated you to do it?
Philip: I joined Party Central Radio in January of 2013 as an assistant for the DJs and since then expanded to making smilies, banner design and running the auto DJ. I started on air shows in July of 2014
MT: Did you have prior experience in radio before that?
A: Prior to joining the volunteer staff of Party Central Radio I did not have any experience in radio.
MT: Do you do live shows, or do you pre-record?
Philip: At Party Central Radio our DJs all do live shows and we never air pre-recorded shows. Our management feels why have DJs on staff if we are not gonna be live.
MT: Do you have live acts during your shows?
Philip: As we are an internet-based station and our DJs are from around the world it makes it hard to arrange for live acts during our shows, and most of our listeners prefer the ability to request their favorite songs during the times we have live DJs on.
MT: Do you do artists interviews?
Philip: We do not do live interviews on a regular basis due to software requirements needed to have the one being interviewed to be heard on air, however I have done 3 live interviews over the last 2 years and have been approached to do another one in April am just waiting on management approval to get it all set up.
MT: Your show airs on the internet, do you also air on FM/AM? Where can we find you?
Philip: We are a solely internet station and can be found at www.partycentralradio.net where we have our chatroom as well as link to be able to listen in. We broadcast on two streams 128K for computer users and those with good internet, and at 32k for those that are listening on a mobile device or have slow internet
MT: Are you alone running the radio, or do you have people helping?
Philip: Currently we have about 12 DJs and 6 assistants at the station
MT: Is the show in a special studio or are you running it from home?
Philip: All shows are done from out individual DJs homes
MT: How much time do you spend preparing your shows?
Philip: Some shows I am able to put together while on air however I do try and give myself about 5 hours to prepare my shows so that I can get a flow / mix of music that I know my listeners will enjoy
MT: Do you play unsigned music only or also commercial music?
Philip: Party Central Radio started almost 14 years ago playing only commercially available music. Over the last 4 years that i have had twitter I have gotten to know some indie artists and enjoy their music and have been adding it into the auto rotation at the station as well as my shows and our other DJs have been picking up on their music and adding them in as well.
MT: What kind of music do you play?
Philip: We are an all format station playing the music our listeners enjoy from jazz, country, rock, metal, etc. We do however classify ourselves as a family friendly station so we try to keep the music we play Lyrically friendly, and for this reason we rarely will play hip-hop or rap
MT: What kind of music do you like?
Philip: I was raised on country music, and like the 80s pop sounds, however more and more the indie music country, pop, rock are the sounds I prefer to listen to now.
MT: How do you find the music you play?
Philip: I use iTunes to acquire a lot of the music that i play or will shop locally and purchase CDs. However, with the indie artists a good number of them have shared their legally released mp3s with me through the stations’ submission email address. All of our DJs are individually responsible to ensure the music they play is legally released.
MT: Do you have sponsors? How is the radio funded?
Philip: The station is solely funded by listener donations and where the donations do not fully cover the expenses of operations of the station our station owners are paying the difference
MT: Could you tell us about your typical radio day?
Philip: On a typical day of working for the station I usually start off by checking the stations submissions email address for song submissions, followed by listening and tagging any submissions for air play, then work through the chatroom smilies making new ones for upcoming events (holidays) followed by designing of the daily DJ banner for following day, and on days I have a show I work through my music and determine which music mood i wish to focus on for the days show and start planning my show.
MT: What is your feeling about streaming platforms, like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.?
Philip: I feel the streaming services should be doing more for the artists they are playing; however, I know our listeners do use them for finding songs they like that they will then request on the station. I have also used those services to research artists to see if I their music would fit at the station, and if they are an artist i would like in my personal collection.
MT: How much presence do you have on social media? Do you think it's important to be there and what do you do to promote your radio?
Philip: my social media presence consists of my twitter account (@DJ_Gumster) and I manage the stations twitter page (@PrtyCentrlRadio). on our stations page we post the daily schedule of live DJs as well as any special events like birthdays.
MT: What advice would you give to unsigned artists who would like to submit to your show?
Philip: Those artists that wish to be played on Party Central Radio can submit their legally released MP3s to the stations submissions page email@example.com along with the details of Album Name (or single), track number, year released, and if possible a jpeg image of the artwork for the single/album that our djs could use on social media if they wish.
MT: Do you have any issues with the world of unsigned music, or the world of internet radios, things that bugs you and/or you'd like to talk about?
Philip: Only issue I seem to find with the world of unsigned music is the difficulties that arise sometimes in determining if a song is legally released by the artist, sometimes you have to take their word for it, and you never know if they are saying “Yes, I own the rights to the music and lyrics you can play it.” means they have legally released it. So, it does make researching the songs sometimes a lot harder to do. As for internet radio there are many “unlicensed” (or pirate) stations out there that will play anything, and everything weather its legally released or not and based on language of the songs not on air appropriate giving internet stations a bad reputation for playing anything and not paying royalties. I am happy to be with Party Central Radio that is licensed by Stream Licensing and we do pay royalties out on the music we play.
MT: Do you think you get enough support from your listeners and the artists you play?
Philip: I would love to see more listeners and see the station getting more donations but am happy that the listeners we have do support us enough that we have been around for 14 years. As for the artists we play the mainstream artists, I would say would be nice if they could in someway show support for airplay, although that’s dreaming, I think. However, the indie artists that i play have been known to pop into our chatroom once in a while and some even tweet out about our station, and even more have kept contact with me on my personal twitter.
MT: Any band/artist that has impressed you last year that you would like people to know about?
Philip: There are so many indie artists that have wowed me with their music and their commitment to the music industry. Too many to name all but a recent single by Alyssa Trahan (@LyssTrahan) called “Because I Am A Girl” that really brings to light the struggles of women for equality mainly in the music industry but in life in general. Its songs like this that we as hosts/ DJs need to promote and get the music industry to take notice of.
MT: Any plans for DJ Gummy Bear and Party Central Radio in 2019? Or beyond?
Philip: I have a kinda full plate with all I do for the station and am looking forward to continuing this though 2019 and beyond. As we are a station of volunteers this isn’t just a job that we are getting paid to do. This is a thing we love to do and enjoy doing for the listeners we have.
Link To DJ Gummy Bear
Email for Artists Submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org