Kampot Radio - by Darryl Carter

On the first anniversary of independent alternative station Kampot Radio, Darryl ‘Corporal’ Carter composed some thoughts for Leng Pleng (all pics supplied):

Kampot Radio has now been broadcasting live for 1 year and it’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride. We started with just 2 DJ’s presenting on 14th May 2017, which has now grown to over 20 presenters over the last year.

We’ve also grown in terms of listenership. On day 1 we started with zero listeners, over the last 30 days we’ve had 21,494 unique listeners in over 150 countries with most in Cambodia.

Thinking back on what my favourite moment is of the last year, it’s a tough choice between: The delightful interview we recorded with enigmatic Channthy pre-gig, with a bag of beers sat on her hotel bed in Otres; Scoddy playing ‘Quiet Weekend in Kampot’ in the studio; The Kampot Playboys interview and performance; Live outside broadcasting at The Pond and the festivals; Field recording around the Kingdom’s music gigs and watching Julien Poulson getting electrocuted on stage at the FCC; Persuading News Presenter Bob Couttie into running a story on a kidnapped dog getting held for ransom; Late presenter Paul Trent walking into the studio to present his show and Bombalurina’s cover of “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny” playing at full volume in the studio – he went on a rampage, bigtime; Dave the Rave falling and cutting his leg open but still getting on the microphone 5 seconds later without letting on he was in agony; Texas Mike covering an indie show and fumbling well through it; Presenter Dick’s dark satirical links during The Lunchbox with guest presenters including Kampot Playboys Kev Selby and local musician Ant Collof; When the studio and the town was flooded, a full day of presenters chose to come in, running on a very basic setup and on battery power.

…oh and… you can add ‘staring at Laura Mam’s legs for half an hour on stage, less than two metres away from me.’

What is certainly a regular delight is seeing volunteers with dedication coming around to the station, regimented by time in this sleepy town to present live to air, with new ideas and having a bloody good laugh in the process, playing music they enjoy (that’s suitable for listeners). It takes a certain kind of person to get involved though, not necessarily with a radio background, but capable of sitting in a hot sweaty dark padded room speaking to yourself in an engaging manner, an appreciation of what community radio is all about and our station goal of promoting positivity.

Have we made any impact? Yes. I often hear in bars around town peoples opinions on the radio and regularly receive positive / critical feedback from listeners. Kampot Radio has also driven awareness on plastic pollution and recently noted an increase in western businesses switching to alternatives to styrofoam and single use plastic for take-aways.

So yeah, a fantastic year down and a fantastic one ahead, no doubt full of the ups and downs that fast-paced life in Cambodia delivers. We’re here to stay and plan on coming in your ears for a long time, with working projects on the go all the time and are constantly building bridges within the Kampot Community. This is only made possible by those who get involved or show support and the shared passion from those involved in the music scene in Cambodia, with a special shout out to The Pond Dick and Julien Poulson for their continued advice and contributions on station direction and content.

On our birthday, Monday 14th May we plan a full day and evening of live presenting, so if you prefer to listen to humans rather than a YouTube or Spotify algorithm, then get tuned in! Our content is in English and you can listen anywhere you have internet access on your weapon of choice. Just visit our website and click the button that says, ‘Listen Now’.

DARRYL CARTER, Station Chief, Kampot Radio.

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