Saturday 15 August, 2020

Paula Jackman keeps radio interesting with her creative twists

Paula Jackman keeps it interesting at Y 103

Paula Jackman keeps it interesting at Y 103

At just 34 years old, Paula Anne Jackman has a voice that many may recognise from radio, yet they may not know much about the lady behind the mic.

Loop sought to clear this up.

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Loop Lifestyle sat and chatted with Paula who is a past student of The Combermere School and who confessed that she is now back at the Barbados Community College (BCC), this time reading for a BA in Arts & Entertainment Management. This interview was moments of laughter and truth. 

Loop Lifestyle: How did you end up a radio announcer? 

Paula: I started in 2001 at Radio GED, the on-campus station for Mass Communications Associate Degree students of the at BCC. In the following years I’d shoot my shot without success and was happy as a lark in Marketing/Advertising anyway. However, an amazing woman named Gaynelle Marshall started working with me at an Ad Agency and last year she opened a door for me in Broadcasting - the rest is history.

Loop Lifestyle: When did you start believing people who were saying “you have a good voice for radio”? If that’s what was happening, of course.

Paula: I started the show in January and ten months later I’m just starting to believe it. I guess the Marketing professors are right – repetition works!

Loop Lifestyle: How do you stay fresh with ideas? 

Paula: I stay open to suggestions. As many ideas as I have I know that two heads are better than one is not just a cliché; it’s a fact. I run most things by friends, family and colleagues to get their honest reactions and then make tweaks.

Loop Lifestyle: Do you feel as though because you’re younger you have to dig deeper to keep the wide age range of Y103’s audience interested? 

Paula: I definitely dig deep to try to keep my content interesting. It’s like a romantic relationship and I’m trying to keep the magic. If they’re tuning into Y FM it’s usually because they’re a little eclectic and want more than just today’s top 40 tunes, so I tend to let the music do most of the talking.

Loop Lifestyle: Being on radio and having to think quickly, do you ever wish you can take back something you said or keep going over something wishing you had responded differently? 

Paula: You bet! There is a band called “INXS” and I spelled it out live on air once and someone wrote in to let me know it’s pronounced “In Excess” and I was so embarrassed! I have to keep from repeating my mistakes over and over in my head but I’m getting better at that the more I listen to other broadcasters and realise not one of us is perfect.

Loop Lifestyle: What’s your favourite part of your job? 

Paula: I love to meet someone in person and they tell me about something interesting I said ON AIR. Sometimes you sit there and wonder, “Is anyone even listening today? There’s Gold Cup! Not a soul is by the radio!” But then the more I walk around, the more I meet persons who say something to let me know they’ve been tuned in and I feel sweeter than a sugar cake.

Loop Lifestyle: To young girls, who still are only thinking of the traditional careers, what advice would you give them? 

Paula: I’d say there’s nothing wrong with a traditional 9-5 if that’s what you truly want, but I challenge you to ask yourself in any given situation – “Is this what I really want? Or am I in an emotional sinkhole longing for my passions to yank me out?” If the answer is 'yes', then take small steps every day in the direction of the things that bring you joy.

Loop Lifestyle: What mark do you want to leave on radio?

Paula: Someone messaged in once and said they love that I sound good and “speak well” but sound Barbadian. I want to leave a legacy of a woman that was uncompromisingly Bajan – in Broadcasting, Marketing and the Arts.

Loop Lifestyle: Sitting and chatting with Paula it was easy to see why this down-to-Earth woman is going to be remembered for more than her voice when her story is told.

It was fun chatting with her. She is bubbly and she is truly "sweeter than a snocone with milk", or whatever she said!

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