Gemma Cairney: 'I'm really loud in public; I'm always bellowing something out '

 

I'm a total musical tart My playlist goes from Sam Cooke and Emeli Sandé to Maverick Sabre; it's a real pick and mix. But because I work in radio I now dedicate time each month to listen to an album from start to finish; I like the lyrical stories some tell, such as with Emeli Sandé's album [Our Version of Events], which I sing my heart out to on the [London] Underground.

There is something wonderful about physically owning music While I love accessing music videos instantly online, there's something to be said for the physical experience of records. I was clearing out my spare room recently and found all my old vinyls. It was awe-inspiring to just touch them and look at the beautiful artwork, the stylisation of the fonts. But I think we're starting to lose that experience.

Brit School taught me to be open-minded I loved rubbing shoulders with complete kooks. I was in the theatre strand and we did stuff such as pretend to live out Elvis's life to the theme tune of the Velvet Underground, eating burgers and then collapsing to the ground. It's easy to roll your eyes at people expressing themselves, but when you're 16 to 18, there's something special about being experimental without worrying about being seen as pretentious.

The 1970s is my favourite decade I have a real thing for a wide leg [flares], platforms and an Afro, along with that Studio 54 vibe. I must get it from my father, who used to be in a disco band called the High Flames. They used to jam with UB40 but never quite made it big. Everything about my father has the air of 1970s glam: big watches, big hair...so I call him Daddy Cool.

I'm really loud in public When I'm with my boyfriend I'm always bellowing something out, and he says, "Erm, Gemma, everyone's looking at you because you're wearing rainbow clown trousers and you're being loud; you do a high-profile job so people might recognise you," and I'm like, "Whatever!"

The fashion world can feel like a parallel universe I was once working on a huge global campaign, full of stars, as the assistant of the assistant. And over two days I worked like a maniac, I was screamed at and sent to buy all sorts of things. One afternoon I had £200 stuffed into my hands to get this ghastly-looking doll for the goddaughter of someone on the shoot. I was laughing hysterically. It reminded me that high-end fashion events are like theatre.

My neighbours drive me mad One genuinely looks down on me because I forget to water our windowbox; they scowl at me as I pass and make snide comments. And I'm like, "Well, I'm really sorry but I've got a lot more important things to feel guilty about."

Gemma Cairney, 27, is a Radio 1 DJ. She presents the weekend breakfast show on Saturdays and Sundays from 7am. Cairney will also be presenting coverage from Radio 1's Hackney Weekend on BBC Three, 23-24 June, from 7pm (bbc.co.uk/radio1)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn