Tell us a bit about yourself, and what is your role at Radio Metro?
My name's Vikki Martin-Smith (also known as VMS & Queen Victoria). I have always worked in the media, starting off my career as a broadcast journalist at the BBC in the UK. I moved to Australia in 2004 to complete a Masters Degree at Griffith University in Journalism & Mass Communication (and worked at Sea FM & Scene Magazine). I started off as a volunteer presenter and journalist at Radio Metro in 2004, and I'm now the Station Manager, Music & Programming Director. I have been a huge lover of dance music since I was 11 and also DJ and produce in my spare time.
What is your favourite superstar DJ story?
I must admit, there have been a few crazy superstar DJ stories over the years but one which sticks out the most was when I played at Stereosonic and saw Carl Cox at the Artist After Party. I may have had a few (too many!) champagnes and talked his ear off, reminding him of when I met him at an after party when he played at my local club 'Naughty But Nice' in England when I was 15 years old. I had gone out straight after school so still had my school books in my bag- I got him to sign one of my books and still have his autograph framed! Carl Cox thought it was hilarious that I still had it! Hanging out with Eric Prydz, Armin Van Buuren, & Sven Vath were also great times :)
Radio Metro is a youth radio show – what is the average age of your listeners, and do you think you have hung onto listeners since you started in 2001?
Our average demographic is 15-35...it used to be more focused from 18-24, but we have found that we now have a wider range of ages who love Radio Metro. Some fans started listening to us as teenagers when we 1st started and still listen to today, but at the other end of the spectrum, we have now have 15 year old listeners who are really passionate about the music that we play and tune into us as they don't like the music they hear on commercial radio stations.
Our audience has also expanded over the years thanks to our 'listen online' facility and Radio Metro app, which means we have people tuned in not only on the Gold Coast but all over the world. Saying this though, our main focus is on our locals - we are all about supporting local music and artists, promoting local businesses and charities.
How do you think dance music has changed since it started in the 1980s, and how does Australia compare to the rest of the world?
I feel that since dance music started in the 80's (or some could argue the origins began in the late 70's) it was all about house and will always be about house. From the originators of the Chicago & New York house scene such as Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan, dance music has gone from strength to strength. Each year there is a 'new' emerging sound but house never goes out of fashion and just keeps reinventing itself with new sub genres.
I personally think that Australia is on a par with Europe when it comes to music and keeping up with emerging trends. For me, the European vibe is more about house, tech house and techno, while the Chinese clubs prefer a lot harder style of dance music.
What are the new trends that are emerging?
For me, the past year has all been about techno and tech house, but bass/ future house and heavy electro are also really popular with our listeners, too. Every year we hold a DJ competition - last year, we had so many deep house entries but this year, 75% of entries were bass house, trap and future electro (featuring heaps of tracks from Jauz, Habstrakt, Ghastly etc). This shift was also shown when we asked our listeners last year which new international DJ Show they wanted to hear on Radio Metro - the winner last year was Kryder, and this year was Nghtmre & Slander.
I'm hearing so many new tracks with disco influences and funk coming through for summer so hopefully we will have a disco revival :)
Which up and coming dance music DJs are Radio Metro excited about and why?
There are so many! We have such amazing local talent here on the Gold Coast and here at Radio Metro, we love supporting our local DJs and producers. I am really vibing the sets and productions from Taglo, Jake Carmody, Kondo, Lowdown & Wongo- these guys are killing it right now!