Waking us up with a Kiss
Welcome to DMCWORLD Towers Miss Hedges. 4 million people tune into your morning breakfast show on Kiss 100, a great tale of how persistence and hard work can get you to the top. You applied for a journalist ad when you were 13 at the urban Naked Tongue magazine. Was broadcasting/journalism always the aim for you, where did the DJing start?
"I always wanted to be a radio presenter and a club DJ from a really young age and I always listened to Kiss, I studied for a BA in journalism at Harlow college as I always had a passion to write, which is why I applied for the magazine job when I was 13 but I've kind of always thought journalism would run alongside radio and DJing as a back up plan. The DJing aspect in clubs I've always wanted, when I secured a job on the breakfast show that's when I began focusing on Djing, I got one of the djs to teach me how to literally turn the decks on at the time and the rest I taught myself and practiced every day."
Born and bred in Dagenham, what were the clubs and DJs that you were into back in the day…
"Haha oh nooooo!! Well I used to go to college in Hornchurch Essex and so we'd go out there quite a bit there was a pub there called Lloyds, but mainly time and envy in Romford on week nights and a bar called 131 pretty much 4 days a week. Weekends I'd do Ministry and anywhere that was suggested that was a bit different."
Were you a Radio 1 Friday night or Kiss 100 girl growing up - be honest!
"Nope I've always been Kiss, my mum and dad always had Kiss on when I was a kid, they listened to Steve Jackson in the morning on the breakfast show at the time and that's how I started listening to it. Radio 1 is a really cool station though but I've always been brought up on Kiss."
Tell us about your involvement with the Princes Trust of which you are an Ambassador…
"I was asked to become an Ambassador a few years ago, this involves attending events and sometimes workshops and days with the students sand teenagers/adults and anyone involved n the princes trust. Its an amazing trust to be involved in and since being a part of them I've realised how much it has changed so many people's lives."
A busy Summer coming up for you, we hear you'll be spinning some big gigs down at Pukka Up...
"Yes I am sooooo excited it's unbelievable, I don't want to wish the year away but I am secretly holding out for summer as I guess we all are. I have some gigs at Space in Ibiza booked in as well as some other clubs which I'll be able to tell you guys about soon. I also have some cool gigs in London, March 31st at proud2 for Pukka Up and I'm playing alongside Carl Cox on April 6th at Electric Brixton."
We also hear there's a big Summer album up and coming, what's the story there?
"Yeah, it’s the new Pukka Up album, 3CDs and I’m mixing one of them. I'm mixing the Club CD! I'm part of a massive poster campaign for them too. It’s out end of June."
Your day job has seen you interview some mighty stars, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Just Timberlake to name but a few. Do you ever get starstruck?
"I am fortunate that we do get a lot of people pass through the studio so to be honest I've never looked at them any other way than people that have done well but are just in the public eye and are well know for their success, so no, never star struck. However when I met Justin Timberlake the interview went really well but when I came out I was like bloody heck, I used to have posters of him up on my wall haha...alongside Peter Andre....six pack time era....probably should have kept that a secret ha!"
So come on, let us in an interview secret that went on off air with one of these bad boys…
"As much as I'd love to give you an amazing story, the people that come in aren't silly, they come with their a-game on so they never speak out of term or context. One thing I can say which did make it to air though is I had 50 Cent in the studio who is a lovely guy. There was a story going around at the time that he never went anywhere without carrying about 15,000 pounds in cash....me being nosey asked if this was true, he then went into his jacket pocket and took out the biggest wad of cash I have ever seen!! All I was thinking is I could run with this lot haha!"
Have you ever been disgusted by any celeb's arrogance?
"Samuel Jackson did once say I asked him a really ridiculous question. It was around the time of The Spirit I think the film was called, and I asked him if he could come back as anything what would it be...a valid question we thought at the time, but he weren’t having it that day. He wasn't arrogant, just maybe not up for it I guess."
Do you have any say with the Kiss playlist, getting on that early every day must be made even worse if you are playing records you hate?
"Nope the playlist is done by our in-house music programmer so our show is preset with music before we start."
What song can't you get out of your head at the moment?
"Chase & Status 'Time', only because I heard it on the way home and I'm still signing it whilst replying to your questions..."
You have played at some mighty clubs, The Ministry, Pacha and O2 plus sets at the likes of V Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival. What was your biggest buzz?
"All of the above because they all represent gigs where people have had a wicked time, If the crowd is up for it it doesn't matter which area or country or club you play in it's just the best feeling in the world. Space Ibiza last year was pretty crazy too, I got a bit choked up as it's been a massive goal I've been aiming for to play there so when I did I was in the best place at the time."
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
Set You Slip Free
You seem to juggle the corporate radio station / cool clubs / celeb world well - how difficult have you found it getting those great club sets?
"I think it's important for me to be professional and be myself on radio which I always do, supporting the tracks we plaan had enjoying that side of my work as this is my dream job, but it's also important for me to push the DJing side and work hard so that people across the board will know and recognise that I play house music and not the stuff we play on kiss, it's quite nice that I have 2 sides to my work though. I do a monthly mix now on sound cloud www.soundcloud.com/charlie-hedges which is helping even more so to push my DJing career which is reflecting on the venues and gigs I'm playing this summer."
Biggest disaster whilst on air?
"There was a competition running on the station which literally took weeks of station planning, I launched the competition on the breakfast show with Robin Banks who was there at the time and they wanted to use me as a kind of practice run, you had to guess this code combination. I honestly had no idea what the code was, nobody did apart from our boss and I guessed the combination correct on air. There was like a one in a thousand chance and I got it haha! The whole competition had to be reset!!"
Strangest place you have ever been recognised?
"In Miami on holiday with my brother."
What is the big career ambition here now in?
"DJing and making it massive, hopefully continuing to play all over London, Essex, outskirts and the country and also abroad - even more so around the world. Obviously my radio show too I'd love that to get even bigger and I am also in talks with TV production companies to present my own documentaries and shows so I'll keep you updated with the TV presenting stuff."
Away from the house music, if we came back to yours after the club, what would be the eclectic Charlie Hedges Back To Mine 10 you spin us?
Chase & Status- Hitz featuring Tinie Tempah
Razorlight - Golden Touch
Michael Jackson - Pyt
Florence And The Machine - You've Got The Love
INXS - Strangest Party
Usher - You Don't Have To Call
Chilli Peppers - Californication
Toddla T - Bad Man Flu
Beyonce - End Of Time
Chase & Status- Midnight Caller
Who are your DJ heroes out there at the moment?
"I think Swedish House Mafia have their target audience in the palm of their hands, musically and even visually with regards to their music videos, Greyhound' is an example of this its an amazing video. Also Carl Cox as he continues to smash clubs around the world and is a true inspiration."
Pukka Up aside, what else has the summer in store for us?
"Loads of gigs including one in Australia, Space Ibiza, festivals including HD festival, I'm a judge on a massive talent search called Live And Unsigned in the O2 in July, I'm working on some TV shows too."
What advice can you give to aspiring radio presenters wanting to follow in your footsteps?
"Work hard, stay focused and totally go for it, you'll make it if you are persistent but most of all have fun getting there!"
And finally, everyone wants to know - what time do you go to bed and get up during the week?
"Haha! I get up 3:45am. If I'm not working in the evening I fall asleep about 9 but If I have a DJing gig then often I don't sleep and go right through...I am what you'd call a nightmare to live with. Thank you for having me guys
Pukka Up 9th Birthday
Satrring Starkillers, Kryoman and Charlie Hedges.
Saturday 31st March 2012
Thames Boat Party & Proud 2 At The O2
Thames Boat Party Departs . Tower Pier . 7pm-10pm
9th Birthday . Proud 2 . 10pm-6am