Wellesley High School student Chris Ulian loves all kinds of music and he’s getting a chance to share his favorite tunes with 20,000 listeners a month around the world by hosting an Internet radio show that plays on U.K. stations Off The Chart Radio and Galaxy 24/7 (see those websites for schedules).
Ulian, who goes by the handle Chris Herlihy online, has been hosting an Internet radio show since February. He says via email that he records the shows then zips them off to his boss (he does the shows as a labor of love, he doesn’t get paid).
Ulian says some classmates listen to his shows, though they’re more prone to listen to music via DJ-free online sites such as Pandora and Jango. The Internet radio sites he contributes to spotlight their DJs, or presenters as they’re called across the pond. Ulian has a pretty low-key style (he started the show I listened to with “Yup, it’s Chris Herlihy…”), though does tell you when he really likes an artist, such as The Cataracs and Architecture in Helsinki, and ad-libs some, such as by changing his voice to do little promos. “In the UK the listening experience is much more about the radio DJ and his voice/talking. I don’t know why, but it is one of those cultural differences,” says Ulian, who promotes his show and interacts with listeners through a Facebook page.
Where does the 15-year-old find the music he plays? “Online blogs and Facebook, as well as using a service called Music Xray through which artists can send me their stuff for consideration for airplay.” He generally listens to music via his satellite radio or on the computer. Herlihy, who also plays lacrosse and runs in addition to his studies, tries to avoid playing “overly produced, mainstream radio hits (e.g. Katy Perry or Rihanna) because you can hear that music everywhere — no need to listen online to hear that sort of music.”