How To Be A Great Music Jock

Staff Writer

Byron Cooke has worked on-air at XFM London, Indie 103.1 Los Angeles, Triple M and Today Radio Networks. He’s currently a host on Weekend Breakfast across Australia, Fox FM Mornings in Melbourne & the #MusicGeek interview series. He has worked on some of Australia’s biggest radio shows including The Shebang, Triple M Grill Team Sydney and The Fifi and Jules Show.

Byron has also recently joined Channel Seven’s AFL Game Day with his segment ‘Beats By Game Day’ where the biggest names in AFL will put on the headphones for a revealing chat about their taste in music.

Spend a few minutes with Byron and you’ll pick up pretty quick, he is extremely passionate about music. He lives and breathes it, and has built a very success radio career around it. He’s one of Australia’s most passionate music jocks right now and he’s offered to share his 3 tips on how you can do the same.


I’ve played everything from Pantera “Fucking Hostile” to One Direction “Best Song Ever” on commercial radio. Appreciate where each artist is coming from. You’re not “too cool” or “too tough” for any act or scene. Don’t be pretentious. Music is already a niche in the media landscape. As an individual in this business, why position yourself in a niche WITHIN a niche? I can see why certain music brands do that – but the people working within them shouldn’t. Be open to all styles of music. Be open to all eras of music. Pop Radio DJs should know all about classic artists that paved the way for the current players. Alternatively, if you’re in a retrospective environment – don’t get stuck. I couldn’t give a shit about your “glory days”. Stay interested in what a 16 year old is listening to ….and respect it for what it is. Get your head around it.


Everyone from radio DJs to music bloggers should be archiving absolutely EVERYTHING. I’m fortunate enough to have been building an interview archive in both audio and video form for the last 15 years. I use it all the time – and I don’t cut ME out. My connection to the artist is a point of difference. There are plenty of generic sources for info out there. Build your own unique content source. The unsigned band you’re interviewing today might be the next 5SOS. Archive it. It positions you as a person with credibility and direct experience. Anyone can type a singers name into Wikipedia. Be above that.


For all the negativity around “major labels” and “corporate media giants”, I can honestly say that maintaining great relationships with your label reps, local promoters and any superior in your own music department is absolutely central to your success. Ok so you got a big “exclusive” and you know the artists label is going to be pissed off if you tweet it. Don’t. That’s the same label that will happily work with you to create compelling content. If not on this record, on another one down the track. That’s the promoter that might get you VIP access to one of the greatest gigs of all time. Build trust with our music industry friends. They are for the most part great people who share your passion and want to work with you.

Our thanks to Adrian Brine and Spotd for allowing us to share this piece.

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