"Sometimes people think that Radio Haver must have a studio somewhere in the city like Clyde 1 or Capital Fm Scotland but the truth is its basically what used to be my dining room."
~ Drew Carson
Radio Haver Founder
The Origins Of Radio Haver
The story of how Radio Haver came about has been told a few different ways depending on the mood Drew is in on any given day. He sometimes jokes it was out of spite after bad experiences on other online radio stations and him having a 'I could do that better' attitude. The truth is a little less self -indulgent that that however as you will soon find out.
How did Radio Haver come into being?
Like a puff of smoke in a seedy pee-stained dark alley, no it was the natural progression on the road I was going down with podcasting and various other creative ventures I had sunk my teeth into over the last few years.
Such as your documentary?
Exactly yeah. Mind Garden is a perfect example of progression. I think everyone and their aunty knows my podcasting origin story by now but a quick recap; I was in therapy for social anxiety, PTSD and depression and my therapist suggested, as I was quite shut off to the world outside, that I should take the time to call a family member for 30 minutes each week with the recommendation being my mother. I jokingly said "I have never known my mum to be on the phone for only 30 minutes I'd have two-months supply of calls done in week one!" So instead of a family member I interviewed celebrities instead. Jump ahead 125 episodes of that first show and around 75 episodes of my follow up later I decided to create Mind Garden as a way to try and take the stigma out of mental health by openly chatting about the subject with other sufferers.
That documentary is available on Amazon Prime isn't it?
Yes it is, it's been used at a few lectures and mental health convention things also and was entered into a bunch of film festivals. I made it with no money and that is very clear if you watch it but if you look past the many, many flaws you find honest people telling honest accounts of their struggles.
So was Radio Haver the next step in the journey with mental health and talking about it?
Erm not exactly. I did have bad experiences as a podcast host on other stations and that made me want to create a more inclusive platform for artists. I wanted to showcase a station with Scottish ideas and voices like you don't really hear much anymore on commercial radio.
I did want to broach the subject of mental health along with many others but I chose to do that on my own show on the station.
What is the rule-book of Radio Haver what is the mandate for what makes a Radio Haver show or musician?
I will play any unsigned artist on the station as far is music is concerned. We champion independent artists first and foremost in regards to that. If its my cup of tea or not is not important. Some songs might not get as much airplay as others as we go forward from the day of it initial debuts but that is because the listeners have not taken to it. Every independent artist will be given a try though and we have had musicians from 13 to 78 played on the station. Everyone deserves their chance at glory.
With shows there are three categories they have to fall into.
1: Entertain the audience
2: Educate the audience
3: Inform the audience.
If they fall into any of those they are a good fit for the station. I like to think of Haver as being a smaller version of the BBC or NPR but with a Scottish accent. I have dropped the ball on the third criteria though so more news and local information shows are on my list for the new year
A lot of the shows are from the States though aren't they?
Yes they are. I knew a lot more US based podcasters when I started the station than homegrown ones so it was easier to twist their arms to hop on board. We don't pay to play the shows so all a host really gets out of being a part of the station is promotion and access to a possible new audience. I hope to change that in the future with sponsors, advertisers or other financial assistance so I can license the shows. I will also bring in more and more local shows as we grow as well as in house productions. We only started in January so we are still a baby at this point but we have a loyal audience and they are loving the shows so far.
What are your plans for the future with regard to Radio Haver?
As I said I see the station as being a smaller version of the BBC or NPR. I want to gain public service broadcaster status eventually. I want to use the station to help great causes, to train people that may not think they could be a broadcaster because of their background, health or level of education. I want to give them their first break in the business and I want to continue to promote Glasgow to the world just hopefully from a room bigger than my old dining room some day.
Interview conducted by
Rosemary Clarke .