Gravity Podcast #4 – NCOL

Author: Jonáš Verešpej

As a devoted radio host as she is, NCOL has approached her Gravity podcast contribution as a single episode radio show, guiding the listeners through her stimulating selection of slow electronica, pop ballads, disco and soft trance. After the recording was done we caught up with the artist for a brief talk about her broadcasting and climate oriented efforts.

You are a well-versed radio DJ with two shows on two different radio stations. Can you tell us a bit more about your radio practice and how do you make it work for you? How do you keep it interesting and doable for yourself?

I wish I could say there is some excellent planning behind it, but it all developed very naturally. I started off by broadcasting a vast range of music on Radio 1, then when I got into djing, a club-oriented show Mixtales was born out of this context. Later, when I was approached by the community Radio Punctum, I thought that it could be a perfect outlet for all the soft stuff I still wanted to play, and that resulted in Devotions.

Hosting two such different shows has always felt interesting, mainly because I totally reversed the expectations. You would assume to hear one thing on national FM radio which has 30 years of history and another thing on local community radio: I flipped these two, and that alone keeps me on my toes. Also, I love to invite guests, especially to Mixtales. Now more than ever, I wanna provide a platform to the abundance of talent I see everywhere around me. When you have the means to amplify other voices, why wouldn’t you do it? It’s a no-brainer!

And as for how I keep it all doable – I'm a Capricorn sun and Saggitarius rising 🔨🔨🔨 hehe!

Which are your favourite radios in the world and what kind of show do you listen to regularly yourself?

Well, I listen to radio much less now than I used to, as there were points where it filled my days. For example when I was writing my master dissertation on community radios a few years back, I was obviously obsessed with all of it.

Now I have just a bunch of go-tos. When it comes to stations I have a soft spot for Netil radio in London which is run by the friendliest and most interesting Slovak guy, Miro, and also Foundation FM which is very much a women-at-the-forefront kind of a radio and I am a huge fan of that.

As for shows, I really dig Focus on NTS because that’s exactly what I love to do myself - pick a well-known artist and go deep into their work and dig out songs I’d never dream of finding. Then there is Bianca Lexis’ show on NTS which I am a dedicated listener of. Also, I often go back to Trigger on Radio Punctum which is hosted by a Synth Library Prague affiliated collective of women, nonbinary and trans* people.

And my latest discovery is HydeFM which I found out about through Mishka who recorded a guest mix for my show Devotions. She hosts a show called Cruel Summer there.


You are working with the educational Instagram channel Klimatist*ka. What is the idea of the project and what is your involvement there?

I work in a climate-oriented expert NGO in Prague. Klimatist*ka is a part of an extensive European Commission project I participate in as a national project leader. The Instagram account itself is very much in diapers. However, the idea is to create a middle-ground edutainment platform in Czech language, helping to break down complex data and tangled information. We aim to show how much climate justice, gender equality and development are interconnected (spoiler alert, VERY). The majority of young people care deeply about climate and our future on this planet, and there is tons of research supporting that. Still, complicated graphs, far-reaching research results, or even certain types of activism can be a massive turn-off. It is easy to feel disconnected from it, overwhelmed and like there is not much we can do, right? That's when Klimatist*ka steps in.

How is it going then? What are people's responses to the channel so far?

So far so good, but some topics can still be quite polarizing, so I am awaiting some heated discussions as we move forward with a proper kick-off campaign! There will be an IPCC report release and COP26 this year, which are quite exposed events so there is always a lot happening around them. We might need to secure enough CBD oil for our community manager as it certainly has the potential to be a nerve-wracking experience.

I’ve seen many memes and jokes making fun of the fact that we sometimes feel guilty as individuals for throwing a plastic bottle into the mixed trash bin, or for not taking our own tote bag for grocery shopping. At the same time a single company like Amazon can in 11 minutes produce the same amount of carbon as 276 cars would produce in a year.

What’s your stance on this? Should we compare ourselves to corporations? Should we feel guilty?

I have no clear-cut answer to this one. We live in a severely disbalanced society, and I can’t stand the redistribution of blame from the corporations to the individuals. This has been the strategy for the past 30 years. Unfortunately, it suits the people who hold power, so now a lot of advice is focused on individual actions and not the bigger picture. But if we want to change the status quo, it requires rewiring the way we think about living, which also comes down to individual choices. And then we come full-circle because the current system makes it hard to implement any change and keeps people hostage, which can be very demotivating. So hey! Like everything important in life, it is difficult difficult lemon difficult.