Radio Southland dedicates all spare airtime to showcase Southland musicians

(Radio Southland Production Engineer Tom Tutahione and Station Manager Darren Ludlow with just a small selection of the Southland original music being featured on the station)

From Monday local Community Access Media station Radio Southland will only play ‘Southland music’ when there are no scheduled programmes on air.

Station Manager Darren Ludlow set the goal nearly 12 years ago when he started in his role with the station.

“Currently when we don’t have a programme on-air we play only New Zealand music. Then we introduced a system where the first couple of tracks would be by Southland artists, and doubled it to the first four tracks a couple of years later.”

“My hope was to eventually be in a position where we only played Southland music when we didn’t have a show on air, and with a real surge of material over recent months, we can now make that happen,” Ludlow said.

Across recent years there have been a couple of programmes that showcased Southland music – “Invers0riginals” with Jay Sellwood and Kat Kemp; “The Great Southern Songbook” with Graeme Woller and Liv Cochrane; and latterly “Sounds of Southland” with Tom Moana.

“In recent months, after Tom started work with us as our Production Engineer, he’s been able to make use of his networks with local musicians and the Southland Musicians Club, plus local legend Chris Chilton supplied copies of works from his extensive collection.”

“Now we’re in a space where we can afford to be solely parochial.”

“We make sure we introduce each song and artist to help our listeners find more works by them if they like what they’re hearing,” Ludlow said.

“The new ‘Southland music default playlist’ will be in place from Monday December 20 - just in time for summer, when people have more time to enjoy it,” he said.

For several years now the station has sponsored the Album of the Year at the Southland Entertainment Awards, and in 2020 expanded that to include support for the Young Entertainer of the Year.

“Our musical talent in Southland, across all genres, is brilliant and we are unashamedly proud and parochial” Ludlow said.

“We’ve also proudly been the only station broadcasting from Southland that’s been prepared to play local music, regardless of genre,” he said.

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