Q&A with Jadie, Radio Presenter, DJ and Musician
What have you been up to during lockdown?
When lockdown started I had been doing some DJing locally, songwriting, performing acoustic guitar sets at a lot of the local open mic nights in and around Preston, producing electronic music, releasing music and raising funds for the non profit record label run by myself and my friend Katie, Chemical Flaw records.
I was producing and presenting radio shows voluntarily for Preston’s community radio station, Beat Radio, in their studio run by Leroy Allen who has been mentoring me and helping me become a presenter. He gave me my own show called Live Lunch and I also produce and present a drum and bass show with local DJ and promoter Gemma Brennand.
I also present a radio show called Below Ground on a Friday evenings live on an internet radio station called Lazer FM Worldwide playing underground electronic music. There is a guest DJ on every week who will do a pre recorded interview with me in the week prior to the show which I edit to play before their guest mix. DJs not just locally but from all over the world have taken part and it has been doing well.
I have been severely ill with my mental health for a very long time with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, psychosis and borderline personality disorder which has seen me admitted to psychiatric wards roughly 10 times over the last few years, but working with medication and therapy and using my music and performing as a therapy and outlet, I have been doing well.
When lockdown was announced, Beat Radio gave me the software for my laptop to be able to control the station and input audio links which I could record at home and I could produce and present my show remotely, so I was lucky to have the opportunity to stay on air but stay at home. I was able to stay busy and in a routine, and also, it was a good way for me to improve my presenting skills.
On the internet based radio station, my Friday evening show gained more listeners as people were not going out which worked in my favour as they have had the time to listen and have come back in the following weeks. I started doing extra radio shows on Lazer FM Worldwide which were ‘isolation’ shows that I did in the afternoon, the website for the station has a chatroom, so people would log in to listen but were also able to socialise during the show and it became quite popular, gaining me more listeners!
I have been writing some songs accompanied by my acoustic guitar which are about lockdown, I was feeling a lot of inspiration and would video blog my music and share it online, I was trying hard to keep up moral with music and give people something to listen to, it really helped me as it kept me busy and it felt good to be able to help the community. I also produce electronic music and did some sampling, parodies and bootlegging of tracks in what I called my ‘lockdown productions’ which I would play over radio and there was some silliness with the music, but it went down well with people stuck at home, needing some entertainment.I have been really quite creative and had a lot of fun.
The feedback I’ve had from my attitude to what’s been going on has been really positive with a lot of people thanking me for keeping them entertained and encouraging me to keep going. I did fall into a bit of depressive episode as lockdown went on, but times have been hard for not just me, but everyone, I lost my Dad at Christmas which I’ve been dealing with as well but all the activities I’ve been doing have kept me going, I have missed meeting friends and family and having nights out look forward to, but I’ve used the time in lockdown to be very productive!
What are your plans for Life After Lockdown?
I am now back in the studio at Beat FM, as lockdown has eased, and will continue working with Leroy to learn more about radio and improve my skills. I also would like to start organising events to raise money for Chemical Flaw Records, with some side projects working with young people and also the elderly suffering with mental health. I have also plans to work with organisations involved in raising awareness for mental health. I have been asked by Kay Johnson, Director at the Larder Cafe, Preston to run some events there, we are hopefully going to revisit those plans once lockdown has ended. I will also continue to write music, and get some of my songs recorded for an EP release that will hopefully raise funds for mental health organisations. It would be great to get back on the open mic circuit and perform again. I am hoping to stay well and be able to turn the ideas into reality. Me and some other local underground electronic DJ’s were working with the organisation Sound Skills, based in Brookfield, to work on getting our music scene into the 12 year cultural plan of Preston to make the scene a sustainable attraction for the city, working with other practitioners and also making a documentary about our underground electronic music scene, finding new venues for events and getting a high profile music festival up and running in Preston. There is a lot to do with some very exciting projects in the community!
The ‘Life After Lockdown’ Photographic Project
The Life After Lockdown photographic project was started in June 2020, following the British government’s move towards easing the lockdown measures put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Lisa Brown, a photographer and writer who lives and works in Preston, wanted to find out how local people have spent their time during lockdown and what plans they had for ‘Life After Lockdown’.
About the Photographer
Lisa Brown is a photographer born and raised in Preston. She left Preston to study Fashion Journalism at the London College of Fashion and subsequently worked at a number of magazines where she developed a strong visual sense and passion for the printed image.
Her first photographic exhibition, ‘Welcome to Preston’, took place at The Larder, Preston in November 2019.
The selection of images Lisa has shared with The Living City project were all taken during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
You can see more of Lisa Brown’s work and buy prints from www.lisabrownphotography.org