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Radio Lessons with Samuel Gould, Editor of City OnAir

I bet all of you have somewhen tuned in to City OnAir (and if you haven’t you should 1. be ashamed of yourself and 2. do it asap!). City OnAir produces three regular live radio programmes per week (plus extras!), ranging from news to book reviews; has a team of more than 23 contributors, two deputy editors, but only one king. Who’s the mind behind it? Samuel Gould!

Sam is an editor, a music expert, a tech-savvy and the World’s No 1 custard creams’ lover. In only 20 years, he has already had many bands, worked for radio stations, magazines, co-run a record label and created a music blog. Sounds impossible? Keep reading and find out more!

Photo by Mickey Carroll
So, Sam, first of all: why did you decide to become editor of City OnAir? I was fortunate enough to get some work for Kerrang! Radio, a music-based station in the Midlands and absolutely loved it. The experience inspired me to push for a career in broadcast and it was one of the presenters who suggested I gave uni a try.
I know being an editor takes away a lot of time. How do you balance university, radio and social life? Having taken the position just before summer, I was able to use those few months to get most of the updates out of the way. Throughout the year, I’ve successfully added to our workload, but always remembering that uni comes first. That doesn’t mean that there’s no time for being social, you just have to time everything right! This February, right in the middle of our SU elections, I was able to maintain work towards my course and run City OnAir’s coverage, while also taking time out to visit mates in Leicester. It’s all about being smart with your time!

What do you like the most about radio? Radio is often seen as being a little bit boring, or for those who can’t do television. That’s not at all true. While I thoroughly enjoy producing videos, there is a particular buzz from introducing some of the greatest songs ever produced and watching the ‘mic live’ light flick off that I just want more of. I could easily spend weeks in a studio messing about with new ideas both in terms of production and content!

The SU Awards Night will arrive soon. Last year City OnAir won Media Outlet of the Year. What are your hopes for this year? City OnAir has won the award twice now and still managed to improve. Obviously I’d like City OnAir to make it a hat-rick, but this year has seen great work by each of the media teams, certainly enough to stand out for an award. Three contributors from the team filled the nominations for the ‘Overall Contribution to Student Media Award’ last year, something that was just as great as the big one, and it’s my hope that one of the deputies takes it home after the incredible work she’s put in throughout the year.

We love non-sense. Tell us a random fact about you. My flatmates built a giant custard cream castle with over 340 biscuits for my birthday! Apparently it took about 3 hours to build, but I managed to knock it down in a second by eating some of the foundations…
You also manage a successful music blog. Can you suggest three artists we should check out? The first is ‘DRAG’, a female fronted sleazy-punk band that address themes that other bands just don’t touch, like eating disorders, gender issues and self-harm. The other is ‘Glassbullet’, a hard-rock band I’ve had the pleasure to work with for many years. My final recommendation is ‘Monks of Mellonwah’. At the beginning I took a listen to one of the songs and hated it, but as soon as I continued to work through the EP, it transformed into a piece of music I could only describe as the love child of Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pendulum.
I have also heard you are a great chef. Worst and best recipe results? Ha! My culinary skills have been challenged since starting uni, it’s no lie that I’ve given myself food poisoning once or twice…Undercooked beef curry was one of the highlights of first year, as well as the risotto challenge that turned to stone. The best thing I cooked was actually duck breast and chips with a bit of mustard sauce and spicy rice. I find that having the number for a pizza takeaway or similar is always necessary. 
What are your other interests? I do love a decent gadget, and have a silver case filled with a few. There’s a tonne of cables and connectors and cameras and microphones and tools and whatever you can think of. Having previously worked in a specialist electronics store, I know my tech’ inside out. Off the top of my head, we sold: DVI, ethernet, firewire, thunderbolt, arial, satillite, A/V, component, HDMI, Scart, three-quarter jack, quarter jack, XLR speaker… Yeah, I like tech.


Irreverent journalist, creative head of Ciao Mamma!, polyglot writer and curious filmmaker. Originally from Italy, I made my way to the big city to follow my dream of becoming a reporter. I love art, politics, frogs and halloumi. Check out my website: www.ciaomamma.it Connect on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/martinaandretta/
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