Soho Radio celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 with week-long takeover

Ahead of International Women’s Day (IWD) on Friday we had a chat with Rachael Bird, Station Manager at Soho Radio, along with Alice Whittington, Label Manger for Soundway Records, about their IWD celebrations from 4 – 8 March. They also give us some insight into what it’s like to work behind the scenes.

Rachael Bird told us: ‘I am the lucky one to have curated the IWD celebrations for Soho Radio this year! Every day this week at 10am – 12pm on our music channel on you can hear one of our amazing roster of female DJs and presenters take over the Morning Glory show, usually hosted by James Endeacott and Raf Rundell.

‘On the 8 March from 6am on both the Music and Culture channels, you can hear all of our female talent take to the airwaves to celebrate IWD 2019. Full line up here. AND we are hosting a panel discussion at Fora in Borough, with Mary Epworth, Mandy Parnell, Xanthe Fuller and Baby Sol discussing the prefix of “female” in the industry. It is completely free to attend and we will also be broadcasting live on Soho Radio for those who can’t make it. All the info can be found here.’

Soundway Records will be at Soho Radio all day on 8 March and Label Manager Alice, who has a regular show on Soho Radio as Noricaa, will be ‘spinning tunes from female artists on the label, along with a special guest mix from Hugo Mendez from Sofrito who will be showcasing music from female Caribbean and African artists.’

Hi Rachael! What does a typical day as Station Manager involve?

A lot of juggling and multitasking! It’s a very small but dedicated team here so you have to muck in and do it all. There is no such thing as a typical day here as you never know who is going to walk through the door – and Soho is an eventful place. I look after the schedule, the social media, produce radio shows, editing, recording podcasts in our recording studios below and making lots of tea amongst a long list of other things. I absolutely love it.

What do you most like about your job?

I get to listen to music all day long. With 150 presenters at Soho Radio across every genre, it is a musical education every day. The station is like one big family – I have been here since it began and it is the best feeling seeing how it is growing and expanding.

How can we make sure the music industry is more equal and diverse?

You always need to be aware of your output and check yourself. Are you effectively portraying an equal balance? But don’t just hire people so that you can tick a box – you need to find the talent and give them a platform and a voice.

Any other exciting projects in the pipeline?

Keep your eyes peeled and ears open as we are opening a second studio very soon…


Alice Whittington told us about her work as a label manager for Soundway Records.

How did you first get into the music industry?

I started off DJing, then got involved in music festival management, having worked on other major events in the past.

What made you decide to be a Label Manager?

DJing full time and working on festivals can take a lot out of you. I also realised I really wanted to be at the start of the musical process, involved in the creation and delivery of music. The label manager job at Soundway serendipitously came up while I was considering this change.

What does a typical day entail?

A lot of emailing! Coordinating production, distribution, PR and general business operations. Plus checking vinyl test pressings and finished stock to make sure they’re good to go.

What’s been your biggest curveball to date?

Moving from having a label services company fulfilling ten different roles, to being fully independent at Soundway Records with my boss (Miles Cleret, label founder), a director of publishing (Paula Duran), and me. It’s been a steep learning curve for all of us.

How can we make sure the music industry is more equal and diverse?

Making it a conscious decision and priority to be aware of female talent, be that as an artist or in the workplace. The more effort we make to discover, nurture and elevate people from diverse backgrounds, the better representation we will see through artistic output and business decisions.

Anything else coming up?

The forthcoming Dexter Story vinyl album is available at our in-store at Soho Radio a fortnight early – this is the first place you’ll get it in London! It features the incredible female vocalist/violinist Sudan Archives, Jimetta Rose, Hamelmal Abate and many more.

Exclusive Soundway Records merch will be available all week at the Jäger Soho space including unreleased and out of print vinyl and CDs.

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