Jaguar Bingham talks about her radio journey so far, from work experience at Radio 1 to hosting the BBC Introducing Dance show.
How did you get into radio?
“I did student radio at university because I thought it would be fun, but I didn’t know you could work in radio, I didn’t know about production or presenting. It was a genuine passion for music, maybe I showed potential. I was doing creative things on my shows and writing a lot, I had a blog. I got an internship at BBC Radio 1 at 19 and that felt like a real turning point. I was overcome with this driving ambition to work there, I just loved it so much. I was so wide-eyed and I’d take everything in my stride, my confidence grew massively.”
Did you have any role models?
“Annie Mac has been massively influential and I looked up to Clara Amfo and Sarah-Jane Crawford, I just really admired these women. Sometimes, you listened to the radio and it would just be a guy or someone you couldn’t really relate to. I hope I can be a role model. It’s important to have people who can open things up and be like, ‘You can do this too.’ I’m close to Danny Howard and Pete Tong has been really supportive too.”
I’m about educating people and breaking boundaries
What does it mean to have your own show on BBC Radio 1?
“It’s the best feeling in the world. It’s everything I’ve been doing since I discovered I wanted to do this, giving people an opportunity and supporting new artists. That’s the biggest buzz. I started a WhatsApp group to build a little community around Reprezent Radio, where I used to do a show. It’s grown into this massive group of over 200 people who are constantly posting tracks and thoughts about the industry. It’s become a community, people collaborate, they upload music and I’ll play it on the show. That really encompasses what I’m doing. To be able to do that on Radio 1 and BBC Introducing, which I’ve been part of for four years now, is the biggest pleasure.”
What impact do you want to make?
“I feel really in my stride now. I’ve got a purpose, and part of that is to talk about things, be vocal and change the world for the better. I want to make the world a more diverse and equal place. I’ve got a duty to educate people and represent people of colour, women and LGBTQ+ people. Industry professionals will approach me and talk to me about things that aren’t really in my world, but they assume because I’m mixed race that I do a certain thing. I guess that is racism. I’ve found it annoying. And when people don’t understand where electronic music comes from, that’s frustrating. I’m about educating people and breaking boundaries, that’s a great way to live.”
JAGUAR'S RECOMMENDED TRACK: