Bonus Post: An Interview with Cian Drake

When you want to listen to an Irish radio documentary the mind tends to gravitate to the likes of RTÉ or Newstalk. What we can sometimes forget however are the people just below the surface looking to make their break into the radio industry.

Today we want to introduce you to a young documentary maker from cork who independently published his first radio documentary this morning. We’re sure this lad will be making waves in the not too distant future so with that said , meet Cian Drake

So Cian, let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start they say. How exactly did you start on this road into media?

Well I had done journalism in CSN previously which I felt wasn’t fully for me. I then worked a couple of jobs and found myself wanting more for the future. I found myself at a crossroads, so I asked myself what I wanted to do with myself and radio broadcasting seemed perfect for me so I took a chance and here I am just about to hopefully embark on a career in media.

How did you find the journalism and radio courses? Was there anything in particular that made you decide to pivot into radio over other mediums like newspapers or TV?

I found that I preferred Radio more, although journalism taught me a lot too I just felt the personality of radio mirrored me better. Although I picked radio now I would be open to any medium to be honest. I would love in the future to have a show like The Tommy Tiernan show but I would say I think my personality is suited to radio at this stage more than the other mediums mentioned.

Do you think news and journalistic works in general are heard enough on Irish radio?

I would say just from being a general listener that there isn’t. It’s all extremely commercial and I think it would be refreshing to hear more of the works mentioned in a mainstream space, I know those works are there when you look for them but it would be good that in the future they were more evident and readily available on the airwaves.

So that brings us on nicely to this new documentary your publishing, how did the idea come about?

Well I had a project to do for college and I wanted to document a sub culture in Cork City. As I use vinyl and would generally know some of the record shop owners I felt that would be a great place to start. So that’s how the idea came about and it blossomed over time.

How did you find it making the documentary through Covid?

I actually didn’t mind making it during Covid at all, the work is the same it still has to get done. I looked at the positives, I had more time to myself, I could go for a jog or do whatever I wanted right after the interview as opposed to travel back from town to home. I would say though that I am a people person, I would’ve love to have been able to meet everyone I interviewed for a coffee but it wasn’t to be. I enjoyed it overall but I know when I do my next project the interview process may be very different. It was also so refreshing to speak to such passionate and genuine people after being locked down for so long.

After making this documentary do you think you will be making more?

After making this documentary I most certainly have an urge to jump right into another one. I have a couple of ideas in the pipeline but vinyl addiction is one that is interesting to me. I just noticed through the way people speak about it that it almost becomes this unstoppable habit. It’s not something I have readily seen talked about under the topic of addiction so it is enticing to explore that world and see if there are people out there who could share that mind set – I will of course be doing things that aren’t vinyl related but I think immediately that is something of which is sticking out.

So all going well your planning to be off to a radio course in Sunderland this September, You looking forward to it?

Yes I’m most certainly looking forward to moving out and experiencing something new. Both in terms of furthering my studies and just being completely independent of home for a change. I am extremely excited in terms of who will I meet, the connections that are to be made and just making the most of my time there.

When you think about the world five years from now, where do you see both yourself and the radio industry?

Five years from now? I can’t even imagine what I’m wearing tomorrow. But I would hope that Irish radio has moved with the rest of Europe and joined in with DAB, not just dip a toe in but fully submerge ourselves in that world. That’s what I would hope, I think tho that radio may see an uptake with more talk shows in the main stream. I find people may grow more tired of the generic commercial radio prototype and may move towards some kind of podcast/radio hybrid. Who knows tho. Not that the style of commercial stations will disappear but there will be more talk shows I think. In terms of myself, not a clue. Alive (hopefully) and happy doing things I likes to do. I definitely see myself staying in the documentary lane I know that much. Ideally I will be able to make a living from making documentaries but there is a lot of work to be done between now and then if that is to happen.

And finally, the killer question. What’s your favourite radio station and why?

In the interest of not jeopardising future Cían I should stay impartial. I have fond memories of Today FM when Ray Foley was on as I used to work with my dad at the same time. I will say that I like different aspects of different stations.

On The Record is out now

You can listen to Cian’s new documentary now. Be sure to follow Cian on social media too so you can keep up with his future work.

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