You may recognize Mixi as a DJ on one of the country’s biggest radio stations – 5FM. However, besides creating some incredible on-air content, Mixi is also the station’s music compiler. This means that she is responsible for the music that gets playlisted on the station. This week, Mixi gives us an inside look at the process and opens up about her love for radio.

How did you start your career in radio?

When I was 15 years old I applied to work at MFM 92.6 in Stellenbosch as part of their intake twice a year. I started with a weekend show while I was still finishing high school, and from there, I started DJing in clubs, MCing events and eventually hosted the afternoon drive show after varsity. After 9 years with MFM, I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to move into commercial radio at Good Hope FM, where I worked as a presenter for 6 years. Now, it’s been just over two years working at 5FM and it’s a dream come true.

Why do you love working in the radio industry?

I’ve tried a few other career paths over the years and radio seems to be the one that stuck. I’ve been in radio for around 16 years now, and am continuously learning and reminded what a powerful medium it is. It’s still the most consumed form of media in South Africa, and I believe part of the reason for that is how much one gets from it. The most incredible part is that radio is live and it’s free.

5FM is one of the biggest youth radio stations in the country. Why do you think so many young people around the country tune in?

5FM is for youthful people. Our mission is to bring youthful South Africans together through the power of music, and I think that’s what our listeners identify with. I haven’t come across another commercial radio station in South Africa that plays the diverse mix of music that 5FM does. Together with a line-up of presenters, who I believe are the most awesome on-air personalities in the country, we are in touch with our audience. We put out compelling, innovative content daily. I think so many people are tuning in because we really do do this for our listeners.

As the music compiler for the station, what are some of the do’s and dont’s for artists wanting to submit music?

DO send your bio or press pack along with music submissions. DON’T spam people on social media with links to your music. DO give the radio station a courtesy call before submitting to find out what the requirements are. DON’T badmouth organisations and people who, you feel, might not support your music.

How do you select which tracks make it onto the 5FM playlist?

Very simply: we have a playlist committee of music professionals that meets once a week to listen to submissions. Songs are listened to and voted upon, to be playlisted, a track can’t get more than one negative vote. 5FM strives to play hit music that fits our format (as per our broadcast licence), and serves our mission of bringing youthful South Africans together through the power of music.

Which artists do you think are the most exciting on the local front right now?

We receive a ton of amazing submissions on a daily basis so it’s hard to name them all. In terms of the whole package and having a clear strategy with what they’re doing, I’m a big fan of Easy Freak, Pop Art Live, Isle of Skye, Opposite the Other, and Early Hours. Solo acts that are already doing super well but are going to blow up when the world finds out about them include Aewon Wolf, Josh Kempen, Ryki, Kaien Cruz and Ziyon.

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