Goldierocks’ ‘selector’ process

Hostess of The British radio show ‘The Selector’ celebrates first anniversary of airing in Israel.

Goldierocks 31 (photo credit: Courtesy of HaniLevy/PR)
Goldierocks 31
(photo credit: Courtesy of HaniLevy/PR)
Back in the old days, the BBC’s Top of the Pops was the place to tune in to hear the latest British hits and up-and-coming artists. But in the past few years, its perch has been increasingly usurped by Selector, a two-hour syndicated radio show featuring a stunning array of new British music that serves as a harbinger of what we’ll likely be hearing in the next few weeks on our local radio stations.
The program, produced by the British Council and hosted by the indefatigable British DJ/music personality Goldierocks, has been broadcast for the past year on the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center’s radio station at 106.4 FM on Saturday evenings, adding Israel to the list of dozens of other countries where the show is aired.
Catching up last week with Goldierocks (aka Sam Hall) while on tour in Australia, the DJ, presenter and party planner du jour waxed enthusiastically about Selector and the state of British pop.
“It’s really a great time for music in Britain now,” said the 27-year-old Goldierocks, in a voice that was born to be on the radio. “People aren’t afraid to mix genres anymore, easily bringing rock elements to dance music and vice versa. The scene is really healthy, reflecting a wonderful cross-cultural community.”
Goldierocks, who plays everything from indie and dubstep to folk, soul and electro on Selector, provided a couple of tips on up-and-coming artists she expects to explode on the music scene in 2012.
“One artist we’re really supporting right now is Charli XCX, she’s this brilliant, young electro pop singer who goes to the dark side – she’s just fantastic, really cutting-edge and could be absolutely huge in 2012,” she said.
“And at the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Michael Kiwanuka, a soul musician from Uganda who has this timeless, soulful voice – it’s like melted butter. He’s been compared to Bill Withers or Otis Redding, and it’s this wonderful kind of bluesy soul.”
Goldierocks’ enthusiasm for music goes all the way back to her childhood when she used to snuggle under her blankets and listen to legendary British DJs like John Peel. By her teens, she was attending as many live shows as she could, and at age 16 she launched a career as a music journalist for Rock-feedback magazine, heading out on the road with acts like Ash and The Killers.
“I made a name for myself that way, and then I started doing DJ sets in London showcase clubs. At some point, it seemed like a natural transition to express my love of music by going on the radio,” she said.
That led her to make a demo for The Selector, which was launched in 2001 to promote modern British music culture to the rest of the world. When Goldierocks took over the hosting slot over two years ago, the show was broadcast to nine countries – today, it’s up to 24.
“They decided to have a big relaunching because it had become a bit old fashioned, and brought me in to make it new, fresh and relevant again,” she said. “I’ll play anything as long as it’s exciting, doing something a bit different, and makes me feel alive.”
Considering that music on radio as we knew it is on its way to being replaced by online stations, podcasts and downloads, Goldierocks was aware that her program had to offer some added value. And her talent is locating the new talent out there and giving them their first break on the radio.
“There’s been a big change in the role of radio over the past few years,” she said. “Radio as a medium has to really be doing its job as well as it can. With all those other options, it’s very competitive out there – the listener is getting more choice and accessibility, which I think is a great thing.”
“But in our roles as producers and presenters, we have to be 100 percent on the ball. The advantage of our weekly show is that it goes around the world and is presenting music as it happens. It can’t get any more relevant.”
To celebrate the first anniversary of The Selector airing in Israel, the British Council and producers Tabac are holding a dance party on Friday night in Tel Aviv at The Block Club featuring trendy British DJ James Blake.
The 22-year-old musician, who released his self-titled debut album last year, will be spinning tracks, many heard on The Selector, and rumor has it he may sing a few tunes himself. While Goldierocks won’t be back from her Australian tour in time to attend the party, her spirit and enthusiasm will undoubtedly be felt with every groove in the music.