He brightens up our afternoons every weekday from 12pm to 3pm on 5FM but there’s more to Rob Forbes than meets the eye. Besides the fact that he is a clever, interesting radio personality, Rob is also a fantastic DJ and his Twitter profile is always lit. This week, we chat to the DJ about his popular radio show, his work wife Fix and making music himself.
We love hearing you on our radio every afternoon. But, what is your favourite thing about being a radio DJ?
It’s a creative job, and every day is different. You’re in charge of making the content and making it fun, so you can do literally anything you want. Not many other jobs give you that.
5FM is an incredible station. Why do you think it has been the number one youth radio station in the country for decades?
5FM has a special place in South Africa because it has always been a personality radio station. It relies on the presenters to be themselves, to be larger than life, to be relatable, and funny, and fun. Many other stations want less personality and more format. 5FM has never believed in that approach, and it shows.
You and Fix have a wonderful relationship. What is the best thing about your work wife?
Fixie is a wonderful person with a huge heart, and on top of that we’re both driven people with laid back personalities. That means we work very well together. We both like having fun, but we know what the goal for that fun is for the business of what we do.
While the music is great, the show has some incredibly interesting and entertaining conversations. What do you hope listeners take out of listening to the Forbes & Fix show?
We work hard on being a fun show. A light show. A show that laughs, sometimes it’s silly, sometimes it’s smart – it must be that feeling like you’re sitting around with a bunch of friends, and then also passing the aux cable around. That’s our feeling. I don’t ever want to sound like a “radio show”.
Besides radio, you’re a DJ as well. Where did your love of music begin?
Music has always been there. As early as I can remember. And I’ve always been curious about what other people like, and why they like it. As a result, I’ve always listened to a huge variety of music, and when I find something new or strange to me, I try and work out what it is about it that others like. That keeps listening fresh.
So many people want to be a DJ but few make it big. What, in your opinion, makes a great DJ?
A great DJ has timing. Yes you need to choose the right song, and know how to mix, but once you’ve got that, it’s knowing the exact WHEN of the mix. The moment where something needs to happen is what sets the goods apart from the greats.
Has listening to so much music throughout the day and at clubs helped you identify a hit faster?
Absolutely. In fact, I have about a dozen local artists who hit me up when they want feedback on a new song, or when they can’t decide between two tracks for the next single. Being a sound engineer means I can give them an extra layer of technical feedback too.
Besides music, what other passions do you have?
I’m a sound engineer, so I love the music making process. At the moment I’m also focused on learning personal finance and investing, to take control of my money and make it grow. And of course, football. Arsenal!
What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your professional career?
I’ve always wanted a bunch of years hosting a major breakfast show. It’s the pinnacle of commercial radio. Lots of people want to be in radio to be famous or popular or such. I love the art of radio, and I want to be remembered for being good at it. True broadcast legends are few and far between, and I want to be one day.
2018 has already started with a bang. What do you have up your sleeve this year?
This year I’m making music – I want to release some stuff myself. I’ve also got a lot lined up in the local esports scene during 2018 (competitive gaming). It’s going to be huge. Hopefully I might even get to do some esports work overseas this year as well. Watch this space!
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