The voice many of you loyal 6 Music fans out there wake up to throughout the week, BBC radio presenter, pundit and DJ, Chris Hawkins graciously agreed to spare a few moments of his valuable time to discuss his career thus far at what is now the UK's most listened to digital radio station, as well as how he became involved in the industry, and the artists that have given him the greatest interviews over the years.
We also questioned what attendees of this year's Highest Point Festival - Lancaster's number one outdoor music event - should expect from his live set this May, as well as finding out what three essentials the Shropshire-born DJ can't be without at a festival. Continue reading below to learn more...
An OG member of the BBC 6 Music team, having begun your journey at the station's launch back in 2002 - What have been your most memorable moments so far? What have been the stand out highlights of the past two decades?
"There are so many. It’s been amazing playing new acts and seeing them really fly. In the early days, bands like Coldplay and Keane and later, Amy Winehouse and Adele. In more recent times, I played Sam Fender a lot before he was famous and did first plays of The Lathums early singles so to see them score a number 1 album last year was fantastic."
"The 6 Music Festival is always incredible. I’ve got great memories of seeing The National, Future Islands, Haim, Sparks and Roni Size."
How did your career in radio first begin? And how did you end up at 6 Music?
"I started out at BBC Radio Shropshire and then worked to BBC Radio Nottingham while I was at Nottingham University. I really wanted to work at GLR (Greater London Radio) - the BBC Station for London where people like Chris Evans, Danny Baker, Chris Morris and Emma Freud did shows. I got given a big break by the boss at GLR (Greater London Radio) and got asked to join the 6 Music line up in 2002."
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A man who has conducted many interviews over the years, with some of the biggest names in the business - We obviously had to ask, who’s been your favourite interviewee and why?
"I’ve been so lucky to interview huge stars like Dave Grohl, Bjork, Jack White, Calvin Harris and The Killers. A weird one was trying to find somewhere quiet to interview Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai - we ended up doing it in a toilet at a venue in Glasgow."
You’re the voice many of us hear first thing in the morning, as we tune in whilst sipping our morning coffee. Being the presenter on the early morning slot, you must have a favourite selection of early morning tracks, right? The ones that put a spring in your step? Which records are your go-to early risers?
"I love playing great reggae and ska - it goes so well with the sun rising. I’m always surprised by how listener’s love big noisy stuff to wake up with. Nine Inch Nails and The Prodigy always go down a storm. Of course I also love playing brand new music - it’s a real privilege to play new acts for the first time and introduce listeners to what could be their new favourite band."
On the subject of track selections, what can fans at Highest Point 2022 expect to sing and dance along to in your live set?
"It’s gonna be a fun, indie party set with a mix of feel good classics and cute surprises!"
Considering the rather impressive lineup of this year’s festival, who are you most looking forward to watching live and why?
"It’s a brilliant line up - Richard Ashcroft will be amazing. Also Kaiser Chiefs and The Sherlocks - they’re great. And Basement Jaxx will be off the scale!"
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Apart from Highest Point 2022, obviously, are there any other events or artists, now that restrictions are a thing of the past, that you’re itching to attend or see live in the coming months?
"I’m doing a tonne of big outdoor events and venues this summer. Bestival Shropshire with Rob da Bank will be fantastic. I’m hosting a stage there. I’ll do my regular ‘Tim Peaks FM’ show with Tim Burgess at Kendal Calling and doing the Blue Dot Podcast, live at Jodrell Bank in July."
When performing live at Highest Point Festival and at other events this year, what three things can’t you be without?
"My wife and daughter love to come with me and it’s great having them along so, the two of them plus the essential for any UK festival - a standard steady flow of weak lager."
Tickets to see Chris Hawkins live at Highest Point Festival 2022 are now on sale and selling fast! To get yours, simply scroll to the bottom of the page.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.
Header image credit: Chris Hawkins / Facebook.com
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