After eight years presenting on community radio stations such as The Break London and Westside FM. In January 2020, Rebecca Judd secured her own show, the eponymous, Rebecca Judd Show on Apple Music , Monday to Thursday, 2 to 4pm. Here she talks to I Am Hip Hop’s Maya Elese about hustling in her broadcasting journey, up and coming breakout female voices in the music industry and how to succeed in radio.
Rebecca Judd often uses the term ‘organically’ to describe her career trajectory. The 25 year old radio presenter admitted that her first foray into broadcasting arose from not wanting to follow the crowd at the end of college. “No one in my immediate family went, it just wasn’t a thing in my family to go to uni. I remember everyone in my class was signing up to UCAS, except me.” Fortunately, due to Rebecca’s academic background in Media and Journalism, her college tutor suggested that she apply for the BBC Work Experience scheme. A moment which Rebecca describes as ‘everything happened from there’. Rebecca did 3 weeks work experience at BBC Radio 1xtra where she got to sit in on her broadcasting idol’s show. “I remember Trevor Nelson let me press play on a song, the nerves that I had, I kept asking, what now yeah, now? Rebecca fondly ponders on that moment “that’s when I knew that this is what I want to be doing.”
Following on from her stint at the BBC she secured a show at community radio station The Break London, in East London. However, it was when station management at the iconic Westside FM approached Rebecca to do a demo that ‘it really became popping’. Working her way up from doing cover shows Rebecca secured the much coveted drivetime slot on Westside FM, a role that she kept for four years until being approached by the voice of Apple Music UK Julie Adenuga in 2018.
However, no opportunity worth having doesn’t come without its setbacks. “I would say the biggest struggle was balancing life and my dream.” Rebecca’s dilemma of juggling her full time retail job alongside her drive time show is ever so familiar to us millennials. Hustle Culture is the term to describe the perpetual state of working that many under 35’s find themselves in, balancing a full time job and running multiple side hustles. Rebecca credits her family for always believing in her dream “when times were low and when money was low.”
Unfortunately, the conversation surrounding successful women in the music industry is always dominated with questions regarding gender wage gaps, discrimination and a general lack of representation. Rebecca prefers to take a much more positive perspective on the broadcasting industry “there are so many amazing women doing sick things. Big up Julie Adenuga who is my idol. Big up Tiffany Calver the first woman to host the Rap show on BBC Radio 1xtra. Annie Mac, Clara Amfo. There are so many women inspiring the next generation. Hopefully, in ten years time this won’t even be a question anymore.”
In fact, it was Rebecca’s idol, broadcasting personality, and the voice of Beats 1 Julie Adenuga who she credits for kickstarting her journey at Apple Music. Julie recognised the potential in Rebecca and asked her to co-host the Friday show. Rebecca’s infectious energy, relatability and passion for championing British music led to more doors opening for her at Apple, such as presenting The New London show, and then The Beats 1 List. In January 2020 her eponymous show was launched. Rebecca dreamily reminicises on her childhood, and her family’s intrinsic relationship with music. “Music was such a major priority in our lives, now I’m happy that I can just play it for a living.”
Listen to The Rebecca Judd Show Monday to Thursday from 2–4pm on Apple Music live for free at apple.co/B1_Rebecca or on-demand with an Apple Music subscription.
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