Leaving a mark across the airwaves
Good songs are often a marker of time. They're the lasting footprint that preserves a moment. Essentially, good songs are greater memories.
For Holmesglen graduate Lauren Saylor radio is a positive beacon in the morning. Breakfast Producer for smoothfm's More Music Breakfast Show, Lauren believes good radio is about two things "mood" and "heart."
"It's all about making people feel good when they wake up," she says. "Every song has a story, and it starts off with a story from the artist. Songs have those special places."
It's this enthusiasm that has seen Lauren, along with her smoothfm colleagues, nominated for an ACRA award, which recognises the positive contributions made to commercial radio. Lauren was a significant part of the team that received a listing in the 'Best Music Special' category for the station's 'Top 500 Smooth Favourites Countdown'.
Each weekday morning, from 5:30am to 9am, Lauren works alongside on-air presenters Mike Perso and Jennifer Hansen to provide "more music with less talk."
"It's lovely to be working in a team where you trust and rely on each other," she affirms.
Having started with a previous version of smoothfm nine years ago, Lauren has worked in a variety of roles through the various incarnations of the station. From promotions to reception and sales, she is reflective of what hard work and ambition can produce.
Since its inception in 2012, smoothfm's breakfast slot has risen from a 2.8 to a current 5.8 share, besting the likes of Gold 104.3 and KIIS 101.1. The effort put in daily is the same energy that was put into organising the nominated music special.
"It's an amazing process. Having a top 500 [countdown] play on air may take a week, but there is probably one or two months of planning beforehand," Lauren explains.
Lauren's involvement included organising and tracking what songs listeners had voted for, and then getting the audience to share their favourite songs. "It was really getting people to share their passion for the music," she says.
Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline' was awarded first place in the countdown. Other top 10 entries included Michael Bublé, Bee Gees and The Beach Boys.
While Lauren's current work is receiving the fitting success and recognition, she is equally retrospective, understanding that the Holmesglen classroom was a pivotal part of her journey.
"In an industry like radio, you have to multi-task and be multi-skilled. For me, as a producer, if I need to jump in and record someone or edit a piece of content, I have the skills to do it. They were skills I learned at Holmesglen," Lauren says.
Additionally, Lauren's relationship with Holmesglen has now extended to a teaching role while she also works as a Screen and Media (Radio and TV) lecturer with the institute.
"I love being able to show and teach students what happens at a commercial radio station. The ideas and catalysts in their minds are extraordinary."
Now in a position to return the important lessons once received, Lauren cites community radio as a perfect starting point, with volunteer opportunities an ideal way to build experience while you study.
"I say to my students now, the more time you can spend in the studio, the better it is for you. Because if you have four hours on air versus 100 hours, the likelihood is you're going to better after 100 hours."