The band first met Damon at the Golden Horse Casino last year. I’ve bumped into him on a number of occasions before that through media work. We’ve found Damon to be one of the most approachable guys in show business, and he’s been very accommodating of the RCB and our ideas. His show on East Coast Radio broadcasts from 3 to 6pm every weekday and you can check out his blog here. We asked him a few questions about the radio and music business.
Name: Damon Beard
Family: Dad, Tony and two sisters, Adrienne and Leanne
How did you end up being a DJ?
I was talking at a school function when I was asked to audition for East Coast (It was called Radio Port Natal then). I turned down the offer because radio wasn’t something I wanted to do but my parents convinced me to give it a go, so I did. I got through all the auditions and I’ve never looked back.
The South African Music Industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. How do you see the state of South African music and where do you think it’s heading?
I believe we have some of the most incredible talent in the world, right here in South Africa. Things are definitely becoming more lucrative for local musicians, and I think South African’s are starting to support our music more and more.
How do aspiring bands get themselves heard on radio? (Can you narrow it down to three essentials?)
Material needs to be licensed with SAMRO and a mastered copy should be dropped off with our Music Department. They would then listen to the material and see that it fits in to the sound of the station.
How do you use the online sphere in your capacity as a DJ?
We do a ton of our work and interaction with our audience on line. Listeners interact with us via SMS, Facebook, Twitter and via the East Coast Radio website.
Three words that describe Durban for you?
Fun, Sun, Sea
What does a typical working week consist of for Damon Beard?
It depends on my commitments for the week – but it’s usually pretty hectic. I get up early and normally go to Virgin to train at about 6.30 or 7. We receive a lot of e-mails so most of my morning is taken up replying and booking functions with my agent. I normally head to East Coast Radio at about 12, sit with Jason my producer and run through the days show and then go on air at 3. Most weeks I have 2 to 3 events on so it’s normally a bit of a rush after work as I only get off air at 6.
How would you like to be remembered?
Just to be remembered is enough for me.
Who or what is the most important thing to you?
My family and friends are the most important people in my life.
Describe your ideal weekend.
I spend a lot of time outdoors so I usually spend my weekends surfing. If I’m not working, weekends are chill time for me where I can just completely switch off.