It was only my second day working on Fearne’s Radio 1 show but already I was destined to meet one of the biggest names in music. Yes, that’s right, Hannah Montana herself, a.k.a Miley Cyrus was about to come for her first live lounge experience.
I knew the day was a bit special as soon as I touched down at New Broadcasting House. There were a good 200 ‘smilers’ (that’s the term for Miley’s fans… no I don’t get the name either!) waiting outside for the ‘wrecking ball’ singer; apparently some were waiting from as early as 5:30am. Now that is taking dedication to whole new levels.
As I walked into the studio to meet Fearne and her production team it was a monumental struggle trying not to trip over any electrical wiring placed by the 200+ crew member setting up the live lounge area. Okay, 200+ is an exaggeration but there were people and objects everywhere! Everyone was going Miley mad!
I have seen the crew set up a few live lounges these past 5 weeks but nothing came close to the amount of work put into Miley’s performance. There were more instruments on show than I could possibly name and trust me, I tried!
To my surprise Fearne’s production team were very relaxed. They have seen loads, and I mean LOADS, of artists come through those doors to do a live lounge, so they are very experienced. Fearne was at a desk prepping notes for the interview before saying Hi to Grimmy and the nation at 9:50 am. Producer James and Assistant producer Anna were going through the music scheduling, informing the world via social media about the show and setting up the studio.
The first two hours of the show went smoothly and everyone was getting more excited. We even had Annie Mac and Grimmy join us in the studio to discuss the live lounge as well as a general catch-up with Fearne. As news was gathering that Miley had entered the building it was time to get everything in order. Camera positions were set, Mics were adjusted, notes were prepped.
As it is my first week with Fearne’s team I was mainly shadowing Chris and Anna, helping them with any little tasks along the way. However, this also means knowing when to make as little fuss as possible and letting them do their jobs.
12pm came and so did Miley to do an interview with Fearne. I must say, whatever people think about the 20 year old, she came across as very sweet, humorous and intelligent in the interview. Credit to Fearne and the team for making Miley feel so comfortable and relaxed. She felt so comfortable that she even danced to a 2 chainz record that played after the interview whilst telling us stories about the U.S rapper.
During the live lounge Miley gave a heartfelt rendition of ‘wrecking Ball’ as well as covering the Lana Del Ray hit ‘Summertime Madness’. The ‘Summertime Madness’ cover has surpassed 1 million views on Youtube and it has only been one day since the performance!
After all the chaos Miley went to do some interviews with Newsbeat and spoke to a half naked Greg James on a wrecking ball, I’m sure Miley will be remembering that interview for a long time.
There are several things I learnt about live lounges and from this experience. The crew dedicated to setting up the live lounge area deserve A LOT of credit, it is not an easy job and with different demands from different artists every-week their role cannot be taken for granted.
Fearne and her production team demonstrated a masterclass in how to react and prepare for such big artists. They were very relaxed and handled any potential difficulties head on without any fuss. Knowing how to cope with changing circumstances is also vital for the role of a producer. Some producers may have told Annie and Grimmy to stay outside and not interfere with the live broadcast; however, James used them to hype up the live lounge and added interaction with Fearne, which made for great radio.
On a final note, it was very interesting seeing how an artist deals with the pressure’s of performing and giving interviews. Contrary to public opinion, Miley was very helpful, had time for anyone who wanted something from her, very interactive with Fearne (and Grimmy!) and most importantly, gave two fantastic live performances.
Next week I will be updating you on my daily tasks as well as info on the next two live lounge performances!
Bye for now,