Curating and Co-Hosting Spring into Spring on Heart of Indie Radio

Happy Spring! Wow, I can’t believe it’s already spring. I’m not complaining, though. Give me the sunshine and warm weather. I’m ready for the flowers and butterflies. Yes, butterflies.

Of course, I wouldn’t let the spring equinox come and go without some fun. To celebrate spring’s arrival, I curated and co-hosted Spring into Spring on Heart of Indie Radio. Over the past year or so, I’ve co-hosted quite a few shows, but this was my first time creating a show from scratch myself. After recording, my amazing Heart of Indie team worked their magic to bring the show to life and share it with all the butterflies and other magical spring creatures in the world. Bumble bees? Tweeting birds? Okay, I’ll stop now.

Spring into Spring is available on MixCloud, so you know what to do. Once you finish reading, totally listen. I promise it’s a fabulous show.

Since I loved this opportunity, I wanted to share all I did behind the scenes to get Spring into Spring ready for the rest of the team. A ton goes into radio shows, so I hope you find the process fascinating.

Selecting the Songs

First, I selected the songs I wanted in the show. I put a ton of thought into the tracklist because my focus was on bringing spring to life musically while doing so in a diverse and creative way. I wanted a mix of classics and contemporary songs and a variety of genres. So, thoughtful decisions needed to be made.

My goal was to pick songs that have titles related to spring. I scrolled through my personal playlists and googled for spring-themed songs online. At this point, I only focused on compiling a list of possible songs, not on an order. Once I listed my options, it came time to choose which songs would be in the show.

While looking at the song options, I saw various themes that grouped some together. My mind began mapping out a logical flow for the show. I envision a show as having a beginning, middle, and end, like a story. There has to be an arc from track one to the final song, especially with shows centered around a theme or concept like this one. So, I ended up with a list of songs that fell into groups, with additional ones as transition tracks. With my final list organized, I arranged the tracks in an order that captures a natural spring story.

Creating the Tracklist

You may be wondering what the songs are in the show. Well, you’ll have to listen to find out. Still, here’s a little sneak peek into what you can expect, tying back to my vision for the songs to unfold in a logical way.

I wanted the show to begin with a classic everyone knows. Which classic? Go listen! And if you don’t know the song… Where have you been? Hiding out in your cocoon? Break out and spread your wings already!

Next, I chose a spring-themed song to transition into the first main pairing of tracks. This transition song is a gem. It may or may not have something to do with gardens, and it may or may not be country.

My first themed pairing has to do with rain. Spring is the season when it rains a lot, so obviously, having rain-themed songs makes total sense. Both songs have rain in their titles. One is a throwback I was obsessed with in middle school, and the other is by a talented indie artist.

What happens after it rains sometimes? A rainbow comes! The next two tracks take you into the sky. The first is about a rainbow, and you most definitely should be able to guess which song. The second track has a bird title with a color in it. Rainbow, colors, colored bird. Yep, I know I’m clever. 

April showers bring May flowers, right? Yep, so naturally, next are some flower-themed songs. There are four. There’s a mix of genres and vibes, and one of the songs is mine. Which one, you ask? Listen to the show instead of deep-diving into my discography. All the flower songs are golden.

So, it rained. A rainbow shimmered in the sky. The flowers bloomed. What next? Butterflies! That’s what’s next. I wouldn’t have survived a spring show that didn’t include butterflies. There are three butterfly-themed songs, and they’re all perfect. I mean, they’re in the butterfly section. I wouldn’t have settled for anything less.

Finally, I wrapped up the show with a fun, feel-good spring song, which is a classic. Framing the show with classics was a conscious decision. I wanted to start and end the show with songs, and definitely artists, listeners would most likely know.

So, that’s the tea on the tracklist. Much more came after picking the songs, so now, let’s talk about station breaks.

Choosing Topics for the Station Breaks

If you’re not familiar with the radio terminology, station breaks are the parts of the show where there is some kind of talk or commentary between songs. This means I got to choose what Eddie and I would chat about during the show. Can you believe he gave me such power? Me, neither.

To be honest, the station break topics came naturally. The first one is simply kicking off the show and talking about it finally being spring. Then, the ones that follow match the song groupings I mentioned above. There are station breaks surrounding rain, rainbows, flowers, and butterflies. In the middle of those is the PSA that’s in every Heart of Indie show. Finally, the last station break is Eddie and me talking about the spring edition of Heart of Indie Magazine coming soon and thanking everyone for listening to the show.

Since Spring into Spring already had a solid structure with the tracklist, I felt confident choosing the station break topics. When I finished, I had a pretty outline for the show and was feeling too proud for my own good. But was this Butterfly Queen done? No, she was not.

Back to Math Class

You read that right. Your girl had to do math. Who knew?

Long story short, every show has to be between 58 minutes and 59 minutes and 30 seconds for market share purposes. This means I had to list all the song durations and give target times for the station breaks. Easy, right? Not as easy as you think.

When I first chose songs, I had twelve, which is one of the standard amounts for a show. After adding up the times, I realized I was way below the target. Since the station breaks weren’t extremely detailed and more focus should be placed on the music, I went back to my list of songs and did more searching to find two more tracks, making it forteen. Once I did this, I adjusted station break times to hit in the target range.

I swear, I haven’t done this much math since school. I loved this part of the process though, since it forced me to tweak the show until I reached certain requirements. Finally, with my pretty script, now with time stamps, I emailed it to Jesse, who’s the wizard behind programming and radio production.

Titling the Show

After Jesse and I ironed out some things that needed tweaking, it came time to pick a title. This may or may not have turned into the biggest debate of the year between Eddie and me. Did we throw paws? Possibly. In the end, I won and we called it Spring into Spring. Super cute, right? I think so!

Spring into Spring was all ready to go in its fancy radio script spreadsheet, which means it was recording time.

Recording Spring into Spring

I had a total blast recording Spring into Spring with Eddie. I’ve co-hosted shows before, but it was surreal co-hosting a show I curated. Hearing it come to life was such a memorable experience, and I enjoyed seeing how the station break topics unfolded.

Recording the show was a breeze, and I loved every second of it. Does this mean the Butterfly Queen was done? For the most part, but lots more needed finished before the show dropped.

Getting the Show Ready

I can’t thank Eddie, Jesse, and the whole Heart of Indie team enough for working so hard to get Spring into Spring ready for March 20. From creating graphics for promotion to mixing and mastering the show and more, they all worked their tails off behind the scenes.

The team really took the time during every step of this whole process to explain to me what they do and why they do it so I could better understand. Since this was my first time curating a show, I had lots to learn. I’m grateful for this whole experience and appreciate the team’s patience while we brought this show to life.

Also, special thank you to Eddie for trusting me to do this in the first place. From the beginning, I understood the show would reflect back on Heart of Indie as a whole. Being sure to create a show that meets listener expectations and the station’s standards required a lot of thought, time, and dedication. So, I’m grateful I was given a chance to show my eagerness to be a radio personality, and more than that, my love for this station and gratitude for being part of such a special team.

Spring into Spring is Here

On the evening of March 20, Spring into Spring dropped. Or rain-dropped? I know, I’m funny. Seriously, I loved listening to the show so much. Jesse did a flawless job with the production, mixing, and mastering, and I’m so proud of how it turned out. After spending so much time doing my best to make Spring into Spring shine while curating the show, it was rewarding hearing what the team and I created together. This show is officially the best spring kickoff ever.

So, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into how Spring into Spring came to life and the radio show production process in general. As a listener, it’s easy to forget how much work goes on behind the scenes because shows sound so effortless. That’s the point. While you’re listening, everything should sound smooth and engaging. That level of professionalism is a mark of the amount of time and energy it requires to deliver quality content. Spring into Spring happened thanks to a dedicated team effort. Yes, I curated the show, choosing the songs and station break topics, but I didn’t create this show alone, not even close. Working on this show proved, once again, Heart of Indie Radio is a team-oriented station. Everyone has responsibilities, and we all do our jobs well. I’m so blessed I get to work with such lovely people, practically on a daily-basis with all we do at Heart of Indie, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We sprung into spring together. Now, I’m going to dream of butterflies and flowers blooming under a blue sky.

I’ve blogged about many moments to celebrate, like curating and co-hosting Spring into Spring. You can read about more of my favorite memories here. I hope you have the best spring!