Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a radio DJ? What time do they get up? What do they get up to after work? Have they ever burped while live on air? Well, GoThinkBig followed KISS FM’s Breakfast Show presenter, Melvin Odoom to answer all of these questions (except the burping one) and more.
The day in the life of Melvin Odoom kicks off at 4am – hasn’t Melv got a filthy front door, eh? Then sees our man head off to KISS FM’s offices, train for his charity marathon, introduce a swanky Skyfall screening and then finish with a DJ set at club night.
Aside from following Melvin around all day like a drooling Directioner (One Direction fans), we asked him a few questions about his career…
How did you get your first break at KISS FM?
“Myself and Rickie (Melvin’s co-host) used to work at the BBC and while we were there we got signed to an agency called Something Else and we put together our own show reel called “Fix Up Look Sharp”, I’ve got braids in it, which will probably tell you how long ago it was made!
“This show reel got into the hands of guy called Andy Roberts who is the boss at KISS, he saw it and thought it was funny, then invited us in for a meeting and said he wanted to demo us for weekend breakfast with a girl called Nancy Prentice. We did a few demos and he said that sounds terrible, change this, then after a few more demos he offered us Weekend Breakfast.”
What skills are most important to be successful in radio?
“This sounds really cheesy, almost X Factor cheesy, but believe in yourself. When I came out of university my mum was like: ‘you have got your degree now, why don’t you get a full-time job somewhere?’ To her it seemed getting into presenting was such a difficult thing to do – and it is a difficult thing to do. But for me, that’s the only thing I could see myself doing.
“Other than that, I think one of the most important things is work experience, you need to get out and get a feel of what you want to do, whether you’re working behind the scenes, or behind the microphone or in front of the camera, you have to get work experience. Plus, most companies won’t even employ you without that work experience.”
Which is better: a university education or vocational experience?
“I think both are equally important. If I didn’t go to uni, I wouldn’t have met Rickie, I think university teaches you a lot of life skills as well. Before university I used to live at home with my mum and I never had experience of living outside of the house, so it taught me so many life skills.
“But I think in this job if you haven’t gone to university or college, and you’ve gone straight into employment, then that’s all good as well. I know so many people who are successful, who I respect, that are doing great things and they didn’t go to university. I think as long as you work hard, and you’re always sharpening your skills, it doesn’t matter.”
What is the best career advice you’ve ever had?
“Failure to prepare is preparation for failure. Or go to bed with an itchy bum and wake up with a smelly finger… think about it.”*
*We think he means if you don’t deal with your work or problems before bed, then you’ll have to deal with it in the morning.