#BehindtheSelfie with... Carl Wastie

This week, we go behind the selfie with Carl Wastie, 32-year-old voice-over artist, MC and host of the KFM 94.5 drive-time show Flash Drive with Carl Wastie and their Coca-Cola Top40 SA CT.
Wastie captions this: Jy dink jy’s cooler as ek?

1. Where do you live, work and play?

I live in Cape Town’s northern suburbs, I work in Green Point at KFM 94.5 and I play pretty much anywhere, but Fives Futbol Century City and my couch are the favourites.

2. What’s your claim to fame?

I always say that I'm not famous, because I work in an industry where your audience is your determinant of success, which actually means a great deal to me.

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By Steve Werner, Issued by Primedia Broadcasting 3 May 2018

But to answer the question, radio is my claim and it all started with me being an MC at clubs when I was 18 years old.

3. Describe your career so far.

My career has been so much fun, with so much struggle and so much learning. I started in a video shop, then I was headhunted to be an MC at a casino. MCing helped me look after my family while I was studying psychology at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and I was fortunate enough to get a bursary to pursue my dream of becoming a psychologist.

After my final year, I got called up for a voice test at a local commercial radio station, where I landed the role of a sports presenter.
I moved on to create South Africa's first teens-only show and introduced WhatsApp to radio while hosting a two-hour afternoon show, which turned out to be quite a hit across the radio industry.
Then I was invited to join KFM 94.5, where I now host The Flash Drive from 3pm to 7pm on weekdays and the Coca-Cola Top40 SA CT on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. Side note – I’m far from done!

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.

I love braaing and cooking for hungry people. I am a Fifa gamer and enjoy playing online. I find that ‘manager mode’ is just pure therapy for me.

I’m also a footballer, so I get my boys together on a Tuesday for a kick-around at the Fives Futbol courts.

5. What do you love about your industry?

The most beautiful thing about radio is the ability to connect with one person whenever you switch on the microphone. I feel so honoured every time a listener chooses to listen to me, despite the competition, and there’s such responsibility in the words that come out of my mouth.

Radio is a channel that can evoke such great inspiration, so in short, it's the people I chat to that make the industry a love of mine.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

Average is a bit of a tough one to use to describe one of my days, as I try to make every day a lot more than that. I wake up and scan the current affairs, and then I'm on the phone with my producer, chatting about ways to deal with certain content on air for that day. I often do an MC gig in the morning or I'm being the radio nerd, jumping into meetings with clients, pitching ideas.

After that, it's into a meeting with my programme manager, who presents us with the show’s content plan for the day, and then its show time from 3pm to 7pm. At times, it's another gig straight after the show, and then I collapse on my couch or I fall asleep watching MasterChef.

7. What are the tools of your trade?

Beyond the mics, headphones and broadcast equipment, the tools include the gab, if it’s indeed a gift of yours, as well as people's stories.
We meet so many people every day and often don't allow ourselves for a few minutes to find out what their story is.
I find this to be such a great tool in injecting reality and relatability into content daily.

8. Who is getting it right in your industry?

I believe that there are many people hitting the spot in their respective corners of the entertainment industry, but DJ Lloyd is a great case study for creating your own success in this industry.

He has built a multi-dimensional brand for himself, which allows him to create opportunities as opposed to just waiting for them.

9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.

I won't lie, the industry needs young talent to knock on their doors and lineup to take the mic after the veterans have hung up their headphones. There are not enough of those veterans mentoring the younger generation of broadcast talent. It's so important to enrich the next generation, because it makes you work even harder to sharpen your game when a young gun is on your heels.

Carl Wastie joins the KFM team

KFM has announced a refreshed presenter line-up. From 3 October popular personality Carl Wastie joins the KFM team. Cape Town born-and-bred Wastie is well-known for his radio and TV work. He moves in to the new 1 - 4pm slot.

Issued by Primedia Broadcasting 6 Sep 2016

Another pain point is the superficiality that lies in those seeking a radio job. This does not apply to everyone, but there are many who want to jump into the craft as if it's some hobby you can pick up and put along with your stamp collection. If you want to get into radio, know that it’s hard work and make your intention the service you'll provide to the listener and the uniqueness of that offering, as opposed to wanting to increase your Instagram followers.

10. What are you working on right now?

I keep my cards close to my chest but because you asked so nicely, I'm working on a radio drama for my show, as well as rebuilding my website. I’m also looking to create a proudly South African board game with an accompanying app, as well as a new TV game show. Watch this space!

11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.

The biggest buzzword in the industry is “influencer". My personal buzzwords or catchphrases are ‘content stacking’ and ‘Psy-Carl-Ogy’.

12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

My best ideas always hit me while I’m driving or after midnight. I’m a nocturnal creature so naturally, the brain starts overworking when it's late and if it’s not then while I’m on the way back home from work, when I can't write anything down. Some incredible ideas have been forgotten as I pull up into my driveway!

13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?

I don't have any secret talents, besides the fact that I can knot a cherry stalk with my tongue, if that counts.

My party trick is that no matter what, I will never burn the food on the fire.

14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?

I think I'm in the middle somewhere, because I can handle myself in a tech conversation and I love my gaming tech, but I keep things really simple.

15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

You would find screenshots of funny stuff I found on my timeline; screenshots of décor ideas from Pinterest; pictures of my eight-year-old son, Zac; and selfies, from all the recent events I’ve attended.

16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?

The best bit of advice I can give is often the advice I blurt out when I’m asked the ever-popular question, "What do I study to get into radio?".
My response to this question is always: ‘Study yourself,’ because you need to find out who you are and what you like. Find your angle on life and find your truth. It's so important to not benchmark others who are already in the industry, because radio is about people and we are all unique and created with an incredible amount of individuality, which is your duty to unlock and share with the world.
Simple as that. Search #TheFlashDrive to see and hear what Wastie does and follow him on Twitter and Instagram; visit the Primedia Broadcasting press office and follow KFM on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...