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Radio personality shares his journey in the industry

Andrew Johnson has been in the radio industry for 13 years. He first started as a board operator and is now the Station Manager of Elemnt FM Toronto.

The radio station is owned by APTN, where Johnson first started working as a production manager and then helped launch the project and watched it grow.

“Being a minority myself, knowing the pain and not being able to hear my own music on the radio – I jumped right in for the opportunity,” he said.

The station will complete three years of being on-air in October, but Johnson said he’s already learned a lot about the Indigenous culture and community. The goal was to bring something new to the table, with 25% of the content being Indigenous, so that listeners could access that experience.

“Our goal was to see Indigenous music side by side with any other genre of music,” said Johnson.

Johnson also talked about how the industry has changed in the past years, with social media and how it connects the announcer to the listener on a different level. His interest in radio started because he used to be a rapper and wanted to make connections and figure out a way to put his music onto the stations.

“Learning production tricks, music scheduling and the other behind the scene jobs that really are the bones and the brain of the operation that is radio – I just fell in love with it,” he said.

Johnson was featured in an American radio magazine as one of the Black African American leaders in radio. He said the past couple of years have been really good professionally, but the pandemic has made it a lot more difficult, regardless of the virtual content.

“There are ways to get around it, but that human contact, that getting out in your community and actually being involved, is something that you can’t replace.”

His advice to people who are just starting is never to stop learning and never stop growing.

– Juliana Vannucci, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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