Ten Questions with Sarah Demicoli
From Power FM’s Ballarat studios, Sarah Demicoli hosts OzMade across the Grant Broadcasters radio network, in addition to WorkDay Hits locally.
She’s also the music director of OzMade and Assistant MD in Ballarat.
Radio Today caught up with Sarah for Ten Questions about her passion for the medium, Australian music and her advice for newcomers to the industry.
– Sarah, what made you pursue radio? How did you go about it?
I completed my Bachelor of Communication at RMIT University in 2008, specialising in radio. I was applying for jobs all around Australia and was lucky enough to land my first gig in Lismore around six months after graduating.
– What do you most enjoy about working at a regional radio station?
I love the community atmosphere – not only among staff, who often come from far and wide but also just being part of that local community through events and supporting local music.
– Presenting OzMade, what are your thoughts on the current climate of Australian music when it comes to airplay?
It’s great to see that there’s a change in the amount of Australian music becoming popular overseas and therefore gaining more airplay across Australia. You see artists like Peking Duk being added to festival line-ups around the world, and Sia charting in the States, and I think more people realise the high-quality music being produced in Australia, and that’s helping with more and more artists being added to radio stations.
– So, on an average day, how many new songs would you listen to and how do you keep up with what the latest is?
On average, I listen to 3-5 new songs a day. These come from promoters emailing me about new releases from different artists, as well listening through different playlists on Spotify to discover new artists.
– Do you think there should be even more local music on Australian radio across the country, in general?
I think it would be great to have more Australian music across the board, but I understand the implications of playing “Hit Music”, and how that translates into what’s popular and what audiences are choosing to listen to.
– As the OzMade music director, what do you look for when adding a track to the playlist?
We’re broadcasting on CHR stations across Australia, so firstly, we’re looking for tracks that fit that format. After that, if we’re featuring a song as part of the Unsigned Find segment, we need a track that’s recorded and produced to broadcast quality. Then it’s a matter of listening to lots of music and deciding where it fits into the show.
– Personally, what’s your favourite genre of music and why?
As a kid, I was a Hanson groupie (still go and see them when they tour Australia – look past MMMBop, and they’ve got some great songs), when I got a bit older I started listening to more pop-punk, After starting work in radio, I quickly developed an appreciation for pop music. My taste still varies – pop, folk, rock are probably the genres I most listen to in my spare time!
– Who would you say your favourite radio presenter is and why?
I recently heard JK back on the airwaves, presenting the I Heart Radio show on Melbourne’s KIIS FM. I definitely love what he does in being natural on air, and the great, personable way he chats with guests (I heard the recent show with Ed Sheeran).
– Having worked in the industry for some years now, what would you say to others entering into the industry/commencing their career now?
I’d say to make the most of every station you work at! Most of the people you look up to will have been through community and regional radio, so stick with it if you love it. Expect to travel a bit, and meet people from all over Australia – it’s a big part of my experience in radio, and I love that I’ve lived and worked in parts of Australia I may not have ever seen otherwise.
– And finally, Sarah, how do you relax and unwind in your spare time?
Being back in my home state of Victoria means regular trips to Melbourne to spend time with my family (after several years of living interstate, I appreciate that a lot more now). Coffee or wine catch-ups with friends are always nice too. Other than that, I love heading out to see bands play – and making sure I’m early enough to check out supports – there’s always the possibility of discovering new bands of artists that I really like!
OzMade airs weeknights on all of the following stations;
Power FM Far South Coast NSW
98.1 Power FM Muswellbrook
94.9 Power FM Nowra
95.5 K-ROCK Geelong, VIC
103.1 Power FM Ballarat, VIC
Hitz 93.9 FM Bundaberg, QLD
Hot 91.1 Sunshine Coast
Power FM Murray Bridge, Adelaide Hills, South Coast
Magic 105.9 FM Spencer Gulf
Magic 93.1 FM Riverland
Magic 89.9 FM Eyre Peninsula
Chilli 90.1 FM Launceston, TAS
Chilli 99.7 FM North East, TAS
101.7 Sea FM Burnie, TAS
107.7 Sea FM Devonport, TAS
Hot 100 FM Darwin, NT