Jack Saunders is a presenter for Radio 1 and MTV. He is energetic, cartoon character like, puppy-esque, want-him-to-be-your-best-mate type energetic. From the minute he walked into Metropolis Studios where we sat down with him he was ‘On’.
If you have ever listened to Jack on air, you will understand what we mean when we say his energy is infectious. That kind of enthusiasm for a job is hard to fake, but that is not something he has to worry about. “I walk into the show jumping up and down, bouncing off the walls. As soon as I step into that studio, no matter how bad my day has been I just forget about everything else. Especially in this period of time, being able to step into the studio is like going home at night and relaxing.”
(Not usually how people feel when stepping into the office.)
“I’ve been at Radio 1 for just over two years, and when I first went in there I felt like I didn't have the qualifications, or the respect to be a ‘tastemaker’. As time has gone on, and I just approach the show with honesty and raw energy. I just show my love for the type of music I play and speak about why I love it so much. People have just been drawn to that honesty.”
Jack has an incredibly visceral way of talking about music. He has an emotional and intellectual connection to what he plays. “I love talking about it. When I was asked recently about how I describe music, I realised that I describe it as I see it. I am a very visual person and I just describe the picture music brings up in my brain. I think this appeals to our generation because we are so visual. And with Radio not being that, it's my job to paint that picture for them.”
The same goes for his interviewing technique: painting a picture of the person he’s talking to. “The way I approach interviews is first and foremost you have to be someone's mate, that's what it is for me. You’ve got to feel your way through a person. Meeting someone for the first time, live on air with a huge audience listening I’ve got to work out how to connect with this person very very quickly. That is one of the massive challenges for me, but I relish it. I enjoy it.”
Talking to Jack, you can tell he cares about his listeners. He wants them to feel part of the show. Social media is something that Jack has harnessed as a force for good in that respect. “It’s a deeper way of connecting. It has allowed me to understand the audience better than I ever had before.”
He talks passionately about removing the unhealthy competitive elements from music. “We've occasionally had bands come on who slate other bands and that for me is like, no. I would like to see people coming together as more of a community. I want people to thrive off each other. We've had the Blur and Oasis fall outs, and that was entertaining, but it's done now. Now is the time to come together and make some really fuck-off exciting music, that changes the game and kickstart a new generation. I think it's happening, and I would like to keep pushing that.”
Unity over division. Power to you, Jack.