Elle Young is the presenter of the PBS 106.70FM show Headhunters. The show features global sounds, local electronica, R’n’B, nu-soul, alt pop, and things that fall in between. We sat down with Elle to find out how she got started in radio and about her constant pursuit to discover new music for the show.
How did you first become involved with radio?
I started out as an avid listener when I first moved to Melbourne around 2011, before getting involved as a volunteer at the station a little later on. I did the announcer course in mid 2015, and then suddenly a slot opened and I was lucky enough to get a graveyard show in early 2016 where I chose to focus on South American music. In August I got the opportunity to move to drive time on Monday evenings, and that’s where I am now as the host of Headhunters.
How do you curate your playlist for each show?
I aim to find one hour of new music and one hour chosen from my own collection per week. I predominantly use Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, AirIt and Soundcloud, and am able to keep up to date with new releases by following artists and labels that I like there. I also receive a lot of emails from local bands, managers, agencies and labels which is hugely helpful. PBS has a digital database and music library which I can access as well. It also helps to theme shows when special things are happening, like a festival line-up announcement etc.
What is the most exciting new/obscure thing you have uncovered in recent times?
A few artists and labels that I am truly thrilled at having come across during my time searching for music are Names You Can Trust; a label residing in NYC which puts out artists who mesh dub, cumbia funk and more, Sudan Archives; producer, vocalist and violinist from the US, Moreno Veloso; the son of Caetano Veloso, one of the fathers of Tropicália, and locally a Melbourne duo Messy Mammals; they sent their music to me out of the blue and I just fell in love with the slightly left of centre production, song-writing and soulful vocals.
What is your most memorable on-air moment?
Hosting my first ever Drive Live for PBS was pretty surreal. Each drive show from Monday to Friday have three bands playing in our Studio 5 during February, and a live audience. For my first, I was lucky enough to have performances by Adam Halliwell and Maria Moles, Jaala and Bahdoesa. I’ll also always remember filling in on The Breakfast Spread with host Nick Brown where we interviewed Jen Cloher. She was incredibly open and frank about her song-writing process, which is something I’ll never forget.
How do you think Community Radio supports a live music scene? How can the scene in turn help Community Radio stations?
Community radio is essential for the fostering and championing of local music makers and the representation of diverse voices within our city. A lot of successful artists have gotten to where they are now from the support of community radio. We need to secure the future of our independent media outlets, and the live music scene can support community radio by taking out memberships, making donations to help keep us broadcasting, and by spreading the word!