Media Monday #3 – Muslim Alim

Muslim and Vic monkeying around

MUSLIM ALIM/Producer for Vic Galloway’s BBC…Introducing Radio 1 show

You’re a producer at BBC Radio Scotland and for Vic Galloway’s BBC…Introducing show. Care to explain your job and what it all entails?

Producers have to fulfill the remit of the show they’re producing with the main regard being target audience – eg Vic’s BBC Radio 1 show has a much younger audience in comparison to his BBC Radio Scotland show so the music content reflects this.

Weekly I’m responsible for sourcing/programming music for the BBC Introducing show in Scotland (in consultation with Vic). We receive tons of demos/new releases physically, as MP3s/downloads and also via the BBC Introducing Uploader that need to be listened to. I’m also scouring MySpace/Soundcloud/Bandcamp/blogs etc for new Scottish music.

Getting a balance of genres on the show is the biggest challenge as traditionally, indie/rock bands are quite adept at sending you their latest recordings whereas electronic artists need a lot more encouragement. This could be a historical legacy of new music shows on radio tending to be guitar heavy.

I choose the bands for live sessions and I’m also responsible for what is transmitted (published) when we’re on air (speech and music). Any guests who Vic speaks to on air have to be debriefed in what the BBC classifies as “offensive” by me and all music has to be checked by me to be suitable for broadcast.I also decide which features to furnish the show with and when/how to do specials eg festival coverage.

Outside the weekly tasks we’re encouraged to come up with programme ideas for other strands – I’ve made a documentary for BBC Radio 1Xtra, done features on SXSW for BBC Radio 1 and lead the No Music Day event for BBC Radio Scotland.

Do you feel a bit jealous that Vic gets all the glory?

Ha ha! Not at all, that would be like the manager of a football team being jealous of his lead striker. We both have our own role and a shared goal.

Is there a filter on submissions for the BBC…Introducing show or is it anything goes really?

With the volume of new music sent to us, we have a pretty remarkable overview of contemporary music being made in Scotland from the isles to the Highlands to the central belt to the borders. Quality varies from being very poor to exceptionally high. The poor stuff most definitely doesn’t make it but sometimes we won’t play tracks which although high in quality don’t suit the remit of our show. And quality doesn’t always refer to the technical recording, a band who look/sound like a carbon copy of their favourite band with cliché-ridden lyrics would also get tarred with the ‘poor’ brush.

What’s been your career path – how did you get to where you are just now?

It goes a lil’ something like this: Studied Media Production & Analysis at college > Voluntary Traineeship at BBC (2002) > Runner for BBC4 (2002) > Researcher for BBC Radio Scotland (Speech Programmes) (2003) > Broadcast Assistant for BBC Radio Scotland (Music) (2004) > Producer for Celtic Connections (BBC Radio Scotland’s world music show) (2004) > Producer for Jazz House (BBC Radio Scotland’s jazz show) (2006) > producer for Vic Galloway on BBC Radio 1 (2006 til present……dream job!!!)

What Scottish bands have particularly impressed you in recent months?

I could give you a list as long as the Clyde but here’s a snapshot of 20:

Simon Doherty

Kobi Onyame

Haight Ashbury


French Wives



The Seventeenth Century






Tango In The Attic





Fiction Faction


Have their been many bands trying to get on Vic’s show whose conduct has been less than pleasant and have been banned from appearing on it – or is every one nice-nice?

No-one’s been banned so far, the vast majority of bands/artists are lovely people……but there was……na, only joking!

Vic was away for a couple of weeks recently and you had Detour’s Ally McCrae at the helm, speaking to the nation. Was that a bit of a gamble?

Not at all. We regularly try different people as stand-ins whilst Vic’s off in the spirit of BBC Introducing… – bringing new voices to air as well as music. I’ve known Ally for a few years now and met him when I started the ‘Student Radio Takeover’ feature on the show. He’d already presented on Air3 (Stirling Uni student radio), has a huge passion for new Scottish music and has further developed as a host with his Detour project.

And finally, people can have a face for the radio – but do you have a face for being behind the scenes of the radio?

Apparently I have a face only a mother could love = perfect for radio production!

You can listen to BBC Introducing In Scotland With Vic Galloway on BBC Radio 1 every Wednesday midnight on 97.7 – 99.7FM or listen again:


2 Responses to Media Monday #3 – Muslim Alim

  1. […] The Daily Dose – Interview with Muslim Alim (Producer for Introducing Radio 1 in Scotland) Shutter picked as one of his top Scottish acts of the past few months. […]

  2. […] spoke to producer Muslim Alim a few months back and he said having you in as a stand-in for a couple of shows last year […]

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