Header photograph by Ellena Johnstone.
Tina Edwards does it all! She’s a broadcaster, DJ and journalist extraordinaire who champions London’s young jazz scene. GIGsoup caught up with Tina at Hamburg’s Festival in London for a stimulating conversation covering the landscape of UK radio, and her own influences as a tastemaker.
Hello Tina! You do a lot of different things! Give us a little run down of your titles!
I’m a music journalist, broadcaster, and DJ! I tend to have a multi-hyphened method about what I do in a way. At the moment radio takes up the most of my time and is the center of my universe. I do a show called Worldwide Daily on Worldwide FM three times a week. I love hosting their first flagship show and to be surrounded by cool inspiring people. That’s the thing that takes up most of my life at the moment! DJing has also provided the most opportunities and I’m blessed to be able to do it as often as I do!
Did you start by practicing music journalism and then move into DJing and radio from there?
I actually studied music journalism. It was in my first year that I discovered broadcast. When I was there I started working for Balcony TV, an online session site, and I ran their London branch for five years. That was my first introduction to broadcast. It was during this time that I developed a deep passion for jazz. Jazz is having a bit of a moment right now. I grew up in a household that was very pop and rock orientated, but during my studies, I got hit with this music I found incredibly inspiring. Then, I came across Hoxton Radio who were looking for DJs. I thought this could be a really cool way for me to share the new music I was discovering with listeners. I absolutely fell in love with it!
Tell us about your show on Worldwide FM. It’s obviously a music show but does it contain a chat element?
Yes! So we have various guests, musicians mostly, who come in. But we’ve had people from places Somerset House before, who might be doing their own art shows or exhibitions. I think when we have guests in I like to get past the obvious questions, like ” what are your influences” and whatnot and into other topics that their passionate about that even their fans might not know about. For example, Femi Koleoso from Ezra Collective is really passionate about standing up to knife crime and we had a really engaging conversation about that. I’m always scouting for new music to make the show as good as I can. I spend hours going through radio stations and SoundCloud to find fresh stuff for listeners! I think because jazz has become so remodeled, I always had an enthusiasm to talk about jazz in a way that it wouldn’t have been spoken about five years ago say!
The young, UK jazz scene is looking really fresh and interesting right now. What kind of stuff are you playing at the moment?
The London scene is on fire at the moment! So people like Nubya, Ezra Collective and loads of others are making space for a new type of jazz in the city. I’m really excited to see where it all goes in the club context. I think a lot of the music lends itself to club culture. Acid jazz had a moment like that in the nineties with people like Giles Peterson bringing it to that space. I fee like, with people like Moses Boyd who is a little bit on the electronica side and Sons of Kemet who you can mosh the fuck out too, there’s plenty of room for jazz in a club context The more people are hearing it, the more people realize it can translate into this space.
Where does Worldwide FM city in the context of UK Radio?
From my perspective as a broadcaster at the station, it sits as a place that has a defined sonic style. The presenters are a group which has a well-crafted taste in music that I admire a lot. I like how it celebrates broadcasters who do just that; they broadcast new music in a celebratory way. It’s cool without trying to be cool! I think it’s developed its character and personality by just delivering quality.