IWD Interview with Antonia Odunlami

Parris Walters

By Parris Walters

Parris Walters

8 Mar 2019

Antonia Odunlami is a presenter, producer, DJ, writer, founding member of the magazine Gal-dem and overall, a great example of a woman in the industry.

P: Describe a typical day for you

A: Some days I’m editing audio, other days I spend consuming new music and sometimes I’m planning a big session for live radio.

P: What is the most difficult part about job?

A: Knowing when to switch off! Most of the things I do for fun contribute to my working life so it’s about having a degree of separation.

P: What is your favourite part about your job?

A: The freedom to just get on with things.

P: The best interview you’ve done.

A: An interview with author Jeffrey Boakye on his book, Hold Tight. Go and read the book if you haven’t already!

P: What are some common misconceptions that people have about your job?

A: That it’s easy work because you enjoy it. It’s not exactly brain surgery but sometimes the work you care about the most can be the hardest work to detach yourself from!

P: What are some current projects that you’re working?

A: Currently working across two shows on BBC Radio 1Xtra (DJ Edu’s Destination Africa and Jamz Supernova’s Specialist Tuesday night show) as well as my own show Diaspora Distins on Worldwide FM!

P: Some upcoming projects or things you would like to do in future?

A: I’d like to travel more with the concepts I’ve created with my show and see how far I can take it across the globe!

P: When did you decide/know that you wanted to work in broadcasting?

A: Not too long after graduating and completing a internship where I was creating content.

P: How did you get your start?

A: I happened to be in the right places at the right time and the opportunity presented itself.

P: What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives, people who want to work in radio etc?

A: Believe in the power of speaking things into existence and be open with people about what you want to do – they can help give you advice or, like me, you may get told about an opening you didn’t know was available!

P: Who are some women that inspire you?

A: My mum and my big sisters.

P: Do you think it is especially difficult for woman to work in this industry?

A: It can be – it is getting better but there’s still a way to go. Sometimes you can still find yourself in a room full of men and nobody bats an eyelid. I’ve been lucky enough for that to only have happened a handful of times.

P: Do you feel that there is enough female representation in the industry? In what ways do you feel that women are underrepresented?

A: I feel like in my circles – definitely but it’s easy to forget it’s not like that for everyone. Parts of the industry where big changes are needed are production and sound engineering.

P: In what ways do you feel women are treated differently when working in this type of environment?

A: In my experience, it’s often when it comes to the technical side of things. It’s often assumed that I can’t set up for myself before a DJ set, or when asking for help from engineers, they can be very impatient.

P: Some of your favourite female artists right now?

A: Bluesforthehorn – emerging singer-songwriter (UK), Yazmin Lacey – emerging singer-songwriter (UK), Sho Madjozi – emerging singer-songwriter (South Africa), Teni – emerging singer-songwriter (Nigeria)

Follow Antonia on IG on @toney_baloney and catch her show Diaspora Distins on Worldwide FM