• Jo Armstrong

Introducing Jake Peach ... New BBC Essex Presenter Discovering Unsigned Talent

Updated: May 12, 2021

There’s nothing quite like the joy of discovering new music, especially when it hails from your own County. ‘BBC Music Introducing In Essex’ showcases the best unsigned and undiscovered artists in Essex every Saturday night . A new presenter has also been introduced in the past few weeks – Essex born & bred Jake Peach. Inspired by the show’s community of artists and music lovers built up by previous host Ollie Winiberg, Jake is passionate about developing this further and participating in the music industry’s post-Covid recovery.

Ed Sheeran, George Ezra and Southend’s own Nothing But Thieves are among a long list of household names whose careers were catapulted by ‘BBC Music Introducing’. Launched in 2007, a network of shows are broadcast on BBC local radio stations across the UK. Alongside local radio play, artists may be forwarded to BBC DJ’s on national stations or put forward to play festival stages.

Listening to Jake’s show brings you an hour (soon to be two!) of eclectic sounds including experimental fusions of genres and even DJs/ producers. Jake explains, “Introducing is for everyone. Essex is a diverse County and the music reflects that. The job of our show ... is to showcase as many different kinds of music that’s being made across the UK independently to demonstrate the talent around – if it sounds good and we think people will enjoy it, it’s going to get played. That’s what it’s all about”.

The expertise of the unsigned talent featured is remarkable and you could be mistaken for thinking you’d tuned into a national station. Jake remarks, “Essex has so many artists and the standard of music being made in this one part of the UK is phenomenal. People really understand their craft and especially during Covid people have taken the time to understand all the technology. A lot are now composing, arranging, producing and writing songs themselves. People underestimate how hard this is to do and people seem so good at it!”.

Jake describes his new role as “a dream that still hasn’t sunk in … music has always been in my life and (it feels) the best job in the world to recommend music to people and share an equal passion”. Within his short time at the helm, he has already received a major ‘reaction video’ from a featured artist – “It’s not about me,” he explains, “but this made me think this is my job and I’m making people feel 10 times better … I have a responsibility to improve someone’s day”.

The journey to radio presenter requires ambition, hard work and focused determination, which Jake has in abundance. A life-long music lover, he discovered radio after taking part in childrens’ hospital radio while a patient at 11 years old. Secondary school radio followed and by the time he entered 6th form, he knew it was his chosen career path.

Signing up to his University’s radio on his first day, he presented his first show that week and rose to Station Manager in his final year! “Student radio has long been a path for a lot of people, Greg James for example”, he states. “It’s a place to bring talent through at Universities … and is boosted by the Student Radio Association who hold an awards ceremony every year … It’s a chance to make mistakes, mess around and get a real feel for it. It’s fun but structured and built to emulate what a real studio would be like”.

Securing a production role afterwards at BBC Essex provided the opportunity to learn invaluable skills and absorb as much information as possible. “Radio is not as glamorous as the end product seems and a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes to learn how to produce a programme yourself". He readily admits he is still on a learning path but advises others to “get experience, do student (or community) radio, listen to lots of stations to learn how the industry is built and the particular type of station you’d want to work at. Be determined, positive, and don’t give up … I said yes to everything, volunteered and enjoyed it all – radio is cool!”

Extending the community feel and actively helping the music industry's recovery are part of Jake’s plans for the show - “We’re looking to get out there in the community again and that comes with live music. We want to be a part of the reopening after Covid and lead the way … building partnerships and relationships with the community and supporting venues too”.

Live music returning to the studio will also be important. Jake explains, “we’ll go all guns blazing with that … a big part of what we do is creating that moment for people who are listening and giving them a taste of live music. … the very fabric of radio is that excitement of hearing people performing for you right there over the air”.

Find out what's happening on the local music scene by tuning into the show on ‘BBC Essex’ every Saturday 8-10pm. Catch up on past episodes and find out how to upload your music here - and you can follow Jake on Instagram


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