Feature With Us

Coffee With A Female Rock DJ

business interviews lifestyle the workroom tricia scott Mar 01, 2023

Charlotte Simpkin is a rock radio DJ, blogger and journalism student who grew up on Armed Forces bases in a musical family. Moving around a lot meant she had to make friends wherever she went, so talking was a natural and necessary talent she developed over the years. With musical backgrounds and tastes spanning many genres, she has found her niche with HRH (Hard Rock Hell) Radio and Magazine, where she can indulge her love of adventure, hairspray, lipstick and, of course, music!


Describe what you do without using the name of your profession.

I chat nonsense between songs played by some of the most amazing bands in the world. At live events, I get the people dancing and singing along to their favourite tunes to forget about the world, even if it's just for 4 minutes.


How did you choose this career path?

I fell into it by accident. I have loved bands for a long time, I fell in love at 14 with Bon Jovi, and then my adoration for long-haired men wearing eyeliner and spandex grew.

I had worked in hospitality for 12 years when in 2019, HRH Radio was advertising for DJs, and my friends kept encouraging me to give it a go. I did a crappy recording on my HP laptop, sent it in and thought nothing of it. A few days later, I got a phone call, saying yes, we want you! But change the name. I decided against the request; I didn't want to compromise as it had a deeper meaning.

With much nurturing from musician friends and family, I've become the Glamorous Rat I am!


What attributes do you think you need to work as a Rock DJ?

TUNES! You are nothing without great songs. Whether it is Classic Rock or New Wave of Classic Rock, you must be in the know. Through DJing, I have found many great old and new bands.

You need to have a personality too. You don't have to be as bold as fellow DJ Steve Beastie or me, but create a mood or a vibe that listeners can relate to.

You also need to have thick skin. Only some of what you play will make people jive, and some tracks don't jive with you, but when people request them, you keep them happy. Also, refrain from following popular opinions to please people. Everyone will enjoy you more if you are just yourself.


What do you love most about your work/ What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?

I love being able to share my passion for bands with like-minded people. I grew up in an industrial town in the northeast, and contrary to belief, not many people like rock around here. I had to have two types of friends, 'normies' who like popular music and my kick-ass mates who love rock n roll and all it holds.

One thing that keeps me going is getting messages from listeners enjoying the show. I have listeners in America that get up at 5 or 7 am to listen to me chew their ears off and play some great rock n roll. I've even reached Australia, which is so cool.

I get out of bed to put a smile on people's faces and make them feel at home with a like-minded person.


Tell us something we may not know about DJing.

Just because it's a two-hour show doesn't mean it takes just two hours!

You trawl through your inbox, listen through the tracks, read the press releases, and then accumulate a playlist of 22 to 26 songs, depending on the length of the tracks and how long I talk. Then add on recording, editing, and tweaking, and that's before socials!

When in front of a live audience, it's the same thing, but you're constantly taking note of the vibe. What bands are working? Which tracks are not? How much are the crowd taking notice of what you're playing? I don't like to drink when I work, but I still enjoy it. Everyone thinks that you are on a constant bender because you're playing rock music. The aftermath isn't worth it! It's still a lot of fun, and the feeling of performing live is incredible!


Tell us a fun fact about you.

I learn Swedish for fun and adore Sweden even though I've never visited, but I have my whole bedroom from IKEA.

I have a blue dot on my knee from a fall when I was two years old. I had a little cut, and a bit of coal got in, and it's still there to this day.

I have a horrible habit of sucking my thumb when I'm tired. My dad used to do it and then became annoyed at me when he spotted me doing it the other week. "You're too old for that"... you were my age when I saw you were doing it, so no, I'm not!

I have two moles above my belly button, and it looks like a man screaming in surprise.




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