We’re deep in 2018, and the video still didn’t kill the radio star. Not to disregard the current hype of digital audio files known as podcasts or any of the video sharing platforms, but radio is here to stay. A personality like the one of KISS FM’s presenter/DJ Tom Green is the reason for new entertainment shows drawing in younger audiences. As a 24-year-old Northerner living in London, Tom is holding down the evening show on KISS FM five nights a week. What makes an evening show the place to be in the radio world is interviewing people like Jennifer Lawrence and Denzel Washington. When it comes to Tom’s journey to where he is today, things like Miami Vice, University Of Leeds, preparation, building tents, donner kebabs and being painted by Liam Payne should probably cover it.
Simple parental discipline and many Miami Vice stunts got young Tom into radio what became his life passion. To get rid of any conspiracies and confusion, let’s give the floor to Tom who will explain: “Before school, every day I would have a shower, then sit in a towel watching TV refusing to move. This resulted, in more than once, my mum chasing the bus down in her car and performing a Miami Vice “pull over” to block it from leaving the stop so I could get on. I was banned from TV so I would actually get dressed; however this forced me to listen to the radio, and I loved it. At 12 listening to Radio 1 felt like I was listening in to an adults world that none of my friends were part of, which was cool”, Tom sets the record straight.
It is fair to say that since being 12-years-old, radio has never stopped following Tom around. His days started off by waking up and listening to Chris Moyles, getting home and spending all evening playing Grand Theft Auto with Scott Mills on. At night, it would be the company of Colin Murray and his music that Tom had never heard before. Little did he knew, that one day he and his evening show will be the new Colin Murray to people all over the UK bringing new music to their homes.
Later on, Tom was off to university, where he got to the point of hosting radio shows and going to lectures at the same time. When asked about the difficulty of juggling the two, Tom replies with ‘easy’: “Although it paid me it never felt like a job. I would get up at 6 am on weekends to do Capital Yorkshire, stay up for 24 hours straight so I could get lectures done before heading down to London. I was trying to make my passion a career for when I finished in Leeds. I’d been juggling radio and education my whole life, so it was just natural”.
The question of juggling two substantial parts of Tom’s life, it got him thinking about making his dreams happen: “I’m a strong believer that if you really try if you really want something, you can go out and make that happen. I’m still trying to do that today, and that mentality helped get me through uni and radio at the same time”, he spills some truthful wisdom for the day.
Thinking that ‘media is a fickle industry’ and the thought of doing something that he may not enjoy in the future scared Tom enough into choosing a degree that was completely different from his job. In the end, Tom went with the International Business course at the University of Leeds, the university that played a role in defining who he is as a person.
Tom shares more about his university experience: “It was a brilliant journey, but mostly because university makes you grow up FAST. I also really rate the experience of moving to a new city, completely alone, with a load of free time and asked, “who do you want to be?”I think that’s an incredibly healthy question to be asked… especially at an age where you can define the answer. Without Leeds I wouldn’t have my passion for house music, that scene taught me a lot and still gives me so much joy today. Weekends out out, I owe this to Leeds”, Tom showcases the extraordinary experience universities offer.
From Capital Yorkshire and university, Tom is now a host of KISS FM’s flagship evening show, where he keeps the conversations going. Quite literally. The art of an interview is all about the preparation according to Tom. He breaks it down for any aspiring journalists: “The key to a great interview is preparation. This is how you make an interview feel seamless and flowing; It is all about doing the groundwork beforehand. You need to found out everything there is to know about the artist, watch back old interviews, know the things they’re passionate about, know the projects they’re working on. Also, you need to know what everyone is trying to get out of the interview. For example, the artist, their manager, the label/film company, your producer, your audience and you, will all have slightly different aims”. Takes notes everyone.
He then follows by highlighting the beauty of hard work and hence not needing notes:
1.) You can keep eye contact, meaning you can engage and listen to what they’re saying.
2.) You don’t have to look down at the next question. If you already know a lot about the artist, it is much easier to keep the chat flowing and move it from topic to topic without it feeling like a string of unrelated questions.
As a host of an evening show, Tom is essentially giving artists a platform to push new albums, singles, and movies. Tom admits he likes to get through the questions about the particular thing being promoted as quickly as possible. Knowing that the interviewee has the answers rehearsed and has a full press day of the same thing, Tom aims to make the interview different and interesting.
Tom’s interviewees are in for a treat as he incorporates the Tom Green touch into their conversations. For example: “Recently, a lot of my interviews have revolved around something else, as opposed to a straight two people chatting dynamic. We’ve had me and Jax Jones building a tent! IN FACT, I should probably take this opportunity to apologize to Liam Payne who was on the show recently and had to paint me in a life drawing class. Sorry mate”, Tom sure does make the interviews entertaining for all parties involved.
For the past 12 months, Tom has done many exciting trips and events. They launched the new evening show on KISS in January that is going ‘all the way up’ in listening figures. Before Christmas, Tom got sent to LA with Disney to help promote Thor Ragnarok: “That was a surreal experience. I had to vlog the whole thing which was amazing! I ended up interviewing Chris Hemsworth, a chat which centered around donner kebabs and not the huge film he was there to sell. Sorry, Chris. Sorry, Disney”, he mentions another interview that was one for the books.
Another memorable night for Tom was “Backstage At The BRITs // 2018”: “This was such a privilege! It was simulcast on a load of different radio stations, alongside KISS, making it easily the biggest show I’d ever done! It’s such a big night for British Music, and being able to host that on the radio with a load of different guests was a massive buzz”, but the bigger buzz happened at the afterparty that Tom captured and still lives on his Instagram @thisistomgreen.
His favorite guest was ‘Jennifer Lawrence just because she is next level A-list and was a dreamboat to work with.’ The funniest one involved stripping Keith Lennon and Paddy McGuinness.
Radio is not only a place where Tom can get behind the mic and do his thing. He also picked up DJing back at university. Tom fell in love with house music, and since then he got to play all over the UK and held down a residency at WHYNOT in Edinburgh for few years. He also reveals: “I think it shocks a lot of people that I love the darker sounds of house music, as it is very different to what I do on my radio show! But it’s a huge passion of mine”.
Radio personalities become part of our daily routine, in the car, in the kitchen, when we’re getting ready in the morning. For Tom, it is one of his aims with the radio show, for everyone to feel like mates. “When I was 15, I felt like I was best mates with Chris Moyles… no-other medium does that really”. Tom Green is the voice you will become familiar with sooner or later. So you better tune in to KISS FM evening show on Sunday-Thursday from 7 to 11 pm.