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10 December 2023

Popular radio presenter shares personal insights on struggles before success as he urges young people not to lose sight of goals

By E247

Popular radio presenter shares personal insights on struggles before success as he urges young people not to lose sight of goals

Radio host Kris Fade insists it is the “reality” of the medium that makes him want to do a radio show. A reality show star in his own right, he also weighed in on factors that help reality shows sell.

During a session titled ‘Reality TV: An Inside Look’, moderated by digital media specialist Ahmad Al Saidy, Fade shared experiences of his own from the time he signed up for the reality show ‘Dubai Bling’. “I was not sure I wanted to do it. I went in being from the region. Then, in LA, I noticed people were coming up to take photos with me. The show went on to be No. 1 in 79 countries. Here was an example of Middle East content being watched in other countries.”

He confessed he had never thought of coming to Dubai. Then, as the show caught on, he felt compelled to come down to the city, “capture its aesthetics”.

Asked why reality shows were so popular, Fade replied: “It is reality, even if it is other people’s reality. ‘The Kardashians’, for instance. People trash it, yet they watch it.”

Fade pinpointed reasons why he thought reality shows will continue to do well. “No one is writing the scripts. Making them is cheaper. Then again, more people are watching them; and there are still more in the making.”

Radio host Kris Fade of Dubai Bling fame captures allure of reality shows at Youth Media Forum
Fade also singled out social media as the big difference when it came to the nature of work on radio stations in recent times. Another
inevitable topic of discussion was Artificial Intelligence (AI). Asked if he imagined his voice being perpetuated into the future via AI, Fade said radio stations in America were already trying to claim rights to the voices of their top presenters but he did not see himself joining the bandwagon. “I have had discussions on my voice being replicated,” he said, adding that he had his doubts if such a voice could still be “spontaneous and funny”.

He also urged youngsters looking to follow in his footsteps to be ready to do the hard yards if they wished to come out successful. Looking back at his early struggles, he spoke of the time he used to do odd jobs at a radio station’s garage for well over a year, virtually for free, to learn the intricacies of the trade before ultimately getting to do the job he was so fascinated by.

Fade also recalled how Dubai was a foreign place for him when he took the plunge with radio. Virgin was starting a brand new station, he said and he decided to take a chance. His family voiced reservations but his decision was made. He knew this was his calling and that school could wait. He reflected on how he tried to be a “sponge” as he tried to absorb the goings-on at the radio station, having offered to run errands like “cleaning cars” just to be in the place. “I was a shame on the family,” he recounted, revealing the trade-off he had to make to follow his passion.

He had advice for the young and ambitious. “Gen Z don’t want to give time,” he noted, urging young people to “be prepared to work for free to gain the experience”.