Gordon Mac Lecture: Technologies, Audiences and Globalisation, Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Friday 7th February 2014
This week Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) students were treated to
a lecture by the creator of KISS FM, Gordon Mac – otherwise known as The Godfather of Dance Music.
Gordon Mac travelled to Manchester to lecture students studying Information and Communications, Digital Media and Communications, Web Development and Multimedia Journalism, on all things radio.
Gordon recounted a life full of enterprise and endeavour, from his first gig at the tender age of 12 (a disco at the local church), to the creation of KISS FM, a radio station that now has 1.7 million weekly listeners. Mac recalled,
“I first got into radio when I used to do a Saturday job in a toy shop to earn money to buy records. I used to listen to Radio 1. That was what gave me a thirst and a love for this thing called radio. I love radio because you can create pictures in people’s minds by what you say. I think it’s a very powerful thing.”
c/o Radio Today
Not content to rest on the success of KISS FM, the radio entrepreneur’s current brainchild is Mi-Soul. Mi-Soul is a multi-media broadcast platform focused completely on soul music; their motto is ‘Everything Soul Everywhere’. Gordon stressed the importance of exploring gaps in the audience as well harnessing new technology. Mi-Soul, for example, is a radio station that operates through the internet, a mobile app and social media.
The reputation of Mi-Soul is rapidly growing; they currently have a newsletter sent to 17,000 people per month and receive Tweets from 118 countries. The innovators at Mi-Soul aim to keep combining their love of soul and new media to engage with an increasingly larger global market.
The key to success, according to Mac, is finding an audience. He told the students, “It is all about building confidence in the brand. Without an audience your business will fail. Know your market and keep ahead of the times. Don’t just survive – grow!”
c/o Fabric London
Expelled from school before gaining any qualifications, the Godfather of Dance Music did not see what education could offer him. However, he has now revised his views somewhat, as there remains no substitute for the drive to do something that you love.
After the lecture, I took the chance to ask Gordon what he felt the key was to making it in the radio industry.
“If you really want to do it you’ll forgo everything and anything to do it. That’s the key to it really. It’s all about the passion of actually doing it. Education is very important. But the will to do something is more important.”
Gordon Mac is proof that with enough creativity and belief you can achieve your dreams, not just in radio, but in life.
George Norris is a third year MMU student studying Criminology & Sociology who aspires to become a writer. Torn between two cities, George spends half his time in Leeds, and half his time in Manchester. He is as northern as killing your brothers kestrel.
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