What drew you to Radio at university and how did you progress to Head of Online?
Signing up to Leeds Student Radio was one of the first things I did when I came to uni. I hadn't had much radio experience before, but I liked the idea of having my own show and picking the music. I immediately fell in love with pushing up the faders and shouting to my audience about my new favourite track on air, and I was soon dedicating more and more time to my weekly show, Dangerous Jag. I then started doing shows with other members and getting more involved before putting myself forward as Evening Editor on the committee in second year, and then went on to Head of Online. My role is to manage the station's social media, website and all things online - since I'm a bit of a Twitter queen, this role suits me nicely!
Why the name Dangerous Jag?
Dangerous Jag began as a bit of a joke - it was a nickname my friend used for me and has now become my DJ alias and the name of my weekly radio show on LSR (Leeds Student Radio - Fridays 7-8pm). I used to be obsessed with Jaguar Skills, who's a DJ I've probably seen live about 20 times and he never disappoints. There's a rap in his Twitter Mix with the lyrics 'To me DJ means Dangerous Jag', and so I adopted this as my tagline. Skills then followed me on Twitter and I asked him if I could keep the name. He was okay with it and now it's become its own brand, which is cool.
My other answer is that the name reflects the music I play: big, bad, bassy tracks from the underground electronic and urban scenes. But I thought I'd give you the long answer.
If you had to make a five-song playlist about you as a person, what would be in it?
I champion so many different genres on my show like Bass, Techno, House, Future Beats and Grime, so this is a hard one!
Here's a mixture of tunes that you'd expect to hear on my radio show:
5) Sweet Female Attitude - Flowers
4) Roman Flugel - Sliced Africa
3) Mura Masa - Lovesick Fuck
2) Novelist x Mumdance - 1 Sec (Skepsis Remix)
1) Riton - Rinse & Repeat
What has been your best and worst moment as a DJ?
One of my best moments was playing at MiNT Club in Leeds last year. It was one of my first Leeds gigs and I was supporting house duo Eli & Fur on an all female line up. The crowd were really receptive and this one girl kept asking me for the track names in between her intense shape-throwing. It's the best feeling to know that people enjoy the music I play!
My worst moment was probably presenting my first ever show on LSR. I remember being extremely nervous as I told all my friends that I was going on air that night, so the pressure was on. My first song (The Black Eyed Peas - 'Let's Get It Started') wasn't loading, and I was panicking so much! After a few painful seconds of dead silence (the first thing you're told to avoid at all costs in radio), I remember opening the show with a croaky, uncertain, 'Hey... welcome to Dangerous Jag.' The podcast is probably floating around online somewhere, but I cannot bring myself to listen back to it, 3 years on. It's too tragic.
The BBC Where it Begins scheme is obviously a very exclusive and amazing opportunity - what do you think it was that set you apart from the other applicants?
The Where It Begins scheme was fantastic. I owe everything to the BBC. It opened my eyes to my true passion and has sparked some incredible opportunities for me down the line. I spent 8 weeks interning at my favourite stations BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, working with people I've looked up to for a long time like Annie Mac, B.Traits and Sarah-Jane Crawford, it was crazy! A year and a half on, I'm DJing around Leeds, a member of the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Youth Council and about to start working for BBC Introducing in Sheffield, so lots to look forward to.
I'm not entirely sure what I did right to get the internship. I had only been doing radio for a few months, and I was the last person expecting to get it. I suppose my creativity and passion came across well in my application - those are the 2 main qualities the BBC looks for, so I guess they saw potential in me.
What did you learn from your time on the Where it Begins scheme?
Aside from it being the best crash-course in radio production, I learnt that passion and drive is the best motivation. I remember waking up every morning (sometimes as early as 3am to work on Gemma Cairney's early breakfast show) and being so happy and excited to go to work. It was then that I couldn't see myself working anywhere else. I learnt the value of networking and making lasting relationships - the radio industry is a very small place and it's crazy how you bump into people again and again.
I also became much more confident in myself and my ambitions. I remember on my first day, I was physically shaking with nervous excitement on the way to Radio 1 and 1Xtra and it took me at least 5 weeks for it all to sink in. I would get really starstruck by people at the start: on my first day I was so shocked to see Jess Glynne in the Ladies', toilets that I froze like a rabbit in headlights, stared at her, then ran out. She was probably so weirded out. But since then, I can assure you that I got used to it - they're just normal people doing their jobs, after all. We also got to interview some great artists like Ella Eyre and Lily Allen for our interns video project. This was a lot of fun! I'm still close to the other 3 interns and I'm sure we'll end up working together again in the near future.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I have my heart set on being a professional presenter for Radio 1 and 1Xtra and now I am concentrating on getting as much experience as possible and taking the necessary steps to get there. I see myself DJing, putting on nights and hopefully making an impact on the UK music scene as a recognised taste-maker.
What’s your number one advice for women looking to follow their own dreams?
If you're passionate about something, or ever think, 'Yeah, I'd like to do that', absolutely pursue it. You never know what might happen and if you really want to succeed you will. Be determined, be ambitious, be your authentic self and love what you do!
Jaguar Bingham, English Literature student and DJ, talks to us about life in radio, the BBC Where it Begins scheme and bumping into Jess Glynne in the ladies' toilets...
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Jaguar Bingham University of Leeds Student and DJ