A couple of years ago, I had this idea to host my own radio show overseas promoting Aussie music. It didn’t exactly work out (or maybe not just yet), but I made valuable connections with some broadcasters.
One of the journos I spoke to redirected me to a show called ‘The Seventh Continent’. He said, “If you’re an Aussie music fanatic, I reckon you should meet the guy who runs it.” But then, the pandemic hit. And then, I moved to a different place.
To my surprise, the show’s host reached out to me recently. He invited me to curate a playlist for one of the episodes and talk about it on air. I (obviously) accepted. And it was awesome to chat with a fellow Aussie music fan from my home country.
PART 125 OF “AM I EVER GONNA SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN?” A RANDOM COLLECTION OF UNKNOWINGLY OBVIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SCENE
Poland is not exactly Australia’s target market for exporting music.
As is often dictated by geopolitics, Poles are not necessarily focused so much on distant continents. Hence, the knowledge of the Indigenous culture or general interest in modern Australian history is not overwhelming. That is somehow reflected in the music preferences in Poland as well.
The central European country is more oriented towards the UK and American markets, historically speaking. From time to time, you’ll come across Aussies performing at Polish events (i.e. RÜFÜS DU SOL and Masked Wolf appeared at FEST Festival this summer). But except for globally-known acts, like Tame Impala, Gotye or Kylie Minogue, not many people can name artists from Down Under off the top of their heads.
So I was stoked to find out there’s a show called ‘Siódmy Kontynent (The Seventh Continent)’ on a student broadcaster, Radio Luz, playing exclusively Aussie (and Kiwi) music. It’s aired on Sundays – the seventh day of the week, at 7 PM. And, as far as I know, it’s the only one of its type in the country of over 38 million inhabitants.
Kuba – the host of the show – is a creative professional who has worked mostly in cultural and communications-related initiatives encompassing music, film and art. ‘The Seventh Continent’ is one of his many radio projects that he’s put together over the years, aiming to broaden his listeners’ horizons.
He’s been running this particular segment for the past 10 (!!!) years, familiarising young audiences with the still somehow “exotic” Australian (and Kiwi) music scene. Like me, he reckons it’s much underestimated and unexplored in the world.
“When people hear that I host a show about Australia, they automatically think of the didgeridoo and traditional Aboriginal music”, he says. “While it is an important part of the Australian heritage, there’s so much more happening in that scene these days. Take the Indigenous hip hop artists, like The Kid LAROI, or other rock/electronic/pop acts, like Amy Shark, taking the global scene by storm today.”
When the idea was born a decade ago, it was all a mystery to him, though.
After having served as Music Director for Radio Luz for some time, Kuba felt like he’d hit the creative wall and reached everything he’d planned for. He wanted to do something original and unearth a totally different musical world. He didn’t know whether there’d be any interest in it at all or how long the venture would last. But he set himself a challenge “to see if there would be enough content for a weekly show“, he admits playfully. Last Sunday, he hosted me on episode no. 375 (!!!).
Kuba organises his radio segment around different themes. He often presents new releases from both the Aussie and Kiwi music scenes. Sometimes, he also discusses the news from the local industry, i.e. analysing the chances of ARIA Awards nominees to score the trophy. And he occasionally dedicates entire episodes to iconic artists, like the Aboriginal troubadour Archie Roach, who passed away recently.
He openly admits it’s been a massive learning curve since starting the show. “In the beginning, I didn’t know how to approach certain topics and didn’t feel comfortable talking about them on air. For instance, there’s no way you can stay away from politics when introducing Indigenous Australian rappers”, he states. “But I see value in educating people about controversial and difficult topics as well.” I couldn’t agree more.
Additionally, due to the scarcity of resources about the Australian and New Zealand music scenes in Poland and not having too many business contacts at first, he needed to put in a lot of hours into the research to become the expert he is today.
Thankfully, he’s also met supportive people on the way. It turns out there are a few Aussies living in Poland. And some local people dig the scene. So he’s hosted some of them on ‘The Seventh Continent’, too.
One of the best things about the show for Kuba is seeing the incredible progress Australian artists have made over the last few years. “I remember interviewing Flume when he was in Poland at the beginning of his career and high-fiving Chet Faker after a show a few years back. And look where they are now”, he points out. “When I began working on the show, I had a feeling the Australian music scene would take off globally soon. And it’s kinda happening now.”
Kuba invited me to talk about some Aussie artists I wanted to introduce his listeners to (I wouldn’t dare touch the Kiwi ones – he’s the go-to specialist in that field). We also chatted about our respective roads to discovering the music from “the Land Down Under”. And I threw in a few fun facts about Oz.
Before leaving the studio, I asked Kuba whether he’d ever been to the Antipodes. “Not yet”, he replied, smiling. “But it’s high on my list of priorities. It would be rad to experience first-hand everything I lecture people on theoretically every Sunday.”
In that case, see you at a gig Down Under one day, Kuba! Or maybe on the radio again soon 😉
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