Want my job? with radio presenter Paris Munro

Nonbinary LGBTQ+ broadcaster and musician Paris Munro talks about their career path, reflects on the industry, and offers advice to those who want to follow in their footsteps!

Want my job? with radio presenter Paris Munro

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader? 

Hi I’m Paris Munro, originally from Northampton but moved to Manchester for university and haven’t left since. I’m a Taurus, have golden retriever energy, and I love my two fur babies more than anything in the world (Jackawawa’s Tilly and Luna). Music has always been a constant throughout my life, and being in the music and entertainment industry gives me life. Pre-hormone replacement therapy, I used to sing under the artist name MNRO - https://sptfy.com/MNRO and aim to get back into songwriting again in the future. Until then I’m focused on seeking that deeper connection through my podcast series “Queer & The Beat”, where you really see the artist behind the music.

What does your job involve? What happens on a typical day?

Before every show, I gather content / news that’s trending, entertaining, and that the audience can relate to, and create a show plan for each hour. Music wise, I have to check that everything in the show is appropriate (swear / sensitive checked), and that the station idents between songs are flowing and tightly segued together. Then when it comes to 7am the show is live and that’s when the magic begins!

What’s great about what you do? 

Playing music everyday and catching up with the most incredible artists, finding out about their latest releases and all the fun things they do. I also love OBs (outside broadcasts) during Pride season, they’re so fun and I love being surrounded by the LGBTQ+ community and amazing allies! It’s not just a party, it’s a protest. Showing up for the community is important!

399d80aa5c56dffb67b44ac678d8cb1793576d58.jpgWhat are the toughest parts of your job?

Being AWAKE and working at that time of the morning. The show is literally fueled by coffee and lots of it. I know… I’m cutting down…slowly!

What are the highlights of your career to date? 

There are two moments. My very first red carpet moment was The Attitude Awards 2021 chatting to Steps (childhood dream come true) and Billy Porter about one of my favourite shows to date POSE! The second is by far the biggest highlight of my career, having the honour of being at The Brits 2023, and hanging out with the biggest names in music on the red carpet. So far, it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I’m forever grateful!

What's been the biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?

Being the happiest and most enthusiastic version of yourself when things are tough in your personal life. I think it’s really challenging to push through and keep going when things are rough. You have to pick yourself up and keep going.

What was your career path into this job? Have you also worked outside the arts?

Like every artist's dream, mine was to make it big and get signed as an artist, but I ended up taking a slightly different path in music, and fell in love with a radio studio from the first time I stepped foot in one. The atmosphere felt so fun and energetic, and that feeling of doing what you love and being in front of the microphone was so euphoric to me, it gave me the buzz and excitement just as performing on stage did. I wanted to really develop and learn all about it, so I applied for TV & Radio at the University of Salford, and now I’m here. 

Have you noticed any changes in the industry in recent times? If so, what?

The radio industry is small yet moves so fast. It’s a cut throat industry, and one person’s loss is another person’s opportunity unless someone leaves on their own terms, so it’s very important to be on your best game, as you’re only as good as your last link. The radio industry is growing and there are more stations playing sub-genres of music these days which is great, there’s always something for everyone. Example - Capital Chill is great to relax and do the dishes. The opportunities are getting smaller and smaller and it’s so competitive, so stand out and pour your personality into your work.

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?

My upbringing…. Well music was my safety blanket and helped me so much with growing up without my father around, and being so confused about my identity, it really helped me through some of the major times in my life, as a form of escape. I really wanted to explore beyond Northampton so travelled to the best university for TV & Radio, and haven’t looked back. Going to university gave me so many opportunities and networking is one of the best things you can do. Yes it’s about having talent, but it’s also who you know too, so get socialising and meet lots of people in the industry, and maintain that relationship. 

You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say? 

Heartbreak from a parent abandoning you, and losing the love of your life (your nan) is so painful, and even in your 30s you still reflect on it, but it gets easier. When you’re struggling, talk to someone, therapy will be good for you, and will help you so much with your mental health. On a positive note… You will not believe little Paris gets to hang out on the red carpet at The Brits and you have so much fun at your job that it doesn’t feel like work – that’s the dream. Later on, you have the courage to finally be the REAL YOU, the YOU you’ve always known, the YOU that you should have seen in the mirror. You did it finally, and it’s ok to be trans, you are so loved and supported, it’s going to be ok!f5c196aeb35217f4804eb5c939f074143ef812d2.jpg

Do you have any advice for young people interested in your field?

Yes! Put away at least a bare minimum 25% of each invoice / wage and pay your taxes. Don’t make the same mistake I did and blow all your money because you’re excited, it will bite you in the ass!

Volunteer as much as you can, keep that CV full of experience, and it will one day pay off and finally be a paid gig.

Keep your presenter demo fresh and update them every so often (which reminds me, I need to do mine), you always want to be fresh and on your best game! 

For someone who has anxiety and depression, and used to pep talk myself for an hour while travelling to work before a live radio show - whatever your mental health mantra is… do whatever helps you to be relaxed, comfortable and confident, and keep believing in yourself!

Where can people find you and your work online? 

If you’d like to check out my work including the latest episode of my podcast “Queer & The Beat” - www.itsparismunro.com

You can listen to Gaydio Breakfast online and DAB - www.gaydio.co.uk

And follow me if you like on instagram - @ itsparismunro / @ queerandthebeat

Header Image Credit: All images provided.

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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