With a broadcast career spanning many years, George Kay has been synonymous with urban music, artists and music in general for most of that time.
George started his career at the BBC working at Radio London, Radio Bedfordshire and GLR, and honestly believes he received the best training available for radio.
He decided to leave college and pursue what he really wanted to do. He knocked on the door of BBC Radio London, asked for a job, and he found himself working on the Dave Pearce show and subsequently working on the Robbie Vincent talk show and the Tony Williams reggae show and then moving onto producing Gary Crowley and Gilles Peterson on Radio London’s Nite FM service. Within one year of doing this George was offered his own show on a Friday Night.
In the short period of time whilst at Radio London, George found himself working with various Hip Hop Legends including Public Enemy, LL Cool J, KRS 1, Big Daddy Kane, and many more. He would regularly record sessions and interviews with them, and also co- host sell out concerts featuring many breakout American acts on stage.
It was the above experience and achievements that led to the management of the newly formed Choice FM to contact him and offer him the Drivetime show. Without hesitation George accepted the offer and helped launch the brand new urban station for London.
Whilst at Choice FM, George also hosted the Saturday Morning Zoo show with co-presenter Daddy Ernie. Incidentally, the Morning Zoo show consistently achieved the highest listening figures on Choice FM to date.
George has regularly presented shows from the UK and around the world, including: Live from The 2007 Carling Cup final in Cardiff, The 2006 Champions League Final in Paris, The 2003 MTV EMA’s in Edinburgh, The 2006 World music awards in London, The 2003 Grammy awards in Los Angeles, The 2000 MOBO Awards launch in Las Vegas, The New Music seminar in New York, The 1994 Caribbean Music festival in the Bahamas, The 2004 ST Lucia Jazz Festival, The 2003 Barbados Jazz Festival, The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and many more including shows from Portugal and the 2003 and 2004 National snowboarding championships in Andorra.
Over the years at Choice, It would be fair and factual to say that George was influential in breaking many acts in the UK and helping to stage live events and concerts for many of the RnB and Hip Hop acts around today, including Boys to Men, Jodeci, Usher, Aaliyah, Mary J Blige, R.Kelly, Guy, Blackstreet and more recently Mario, Ciara, Trey Songz, Neyo, Ray J, Chris Brown, Bow Wow, Omarion, Chingy……the list is endless.
In fact, the above is an achievement he never boasts about.
Whilst hosting Drivetime and more recently the weekday Morning show and the Sunday Morning show on the Choice FM network, George regularly interviewed some of the biggest names in music and entertainment, such as Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Halle Berry, Eva Mendez, Vin Diesel, Terrance Howard Usher, Neyo, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, again the list is endless.
As well as hosting his daily show on Choice, he also sat on the stations music panel as joint head of music, using his vast knowledge of music to help shape the station sound. George was also part of the team in the mid 90’s which launched Choice FM Birmingham, later to be sold and re-branded Galaxy Birmingham.
Again, it is fair and factual to say that George has not only helped to introduce and break many acts to the UK, but has also been responsible, together with others, in guiding Choice FM throughout the years. It was George who persuaded the Choice management to have a Hip Hop show, and found its presenter DJ 279, who continues to host the show today. He also persuaded the management to have a co-hosted weekday breakfast show, which in no time became very popular amongst the stations listeners.
It was George who introduced the ‘Continuous jams’ format to Choice in the 1990’s, using thirty minute music sweeps with presenter led personality in each hour throughout the day and night. This format soon gave the station its highest listening hour’s, which still haven’t been matched to this day.
In 2008 and 2009, George hosted a 2 hour weekly entertainment/gossip show on Friday’s 11am -1pm on Ram FM based in Ramallah, which at the time would broadcast to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the coastal areas of Israel. Throughout the late 90’s, for eight years, George presented a weekly show on J-Wave 81.3 in Tokyo, where he built up a vast cult following of locals who loved listening to ‘UK radio’, and in 1996 to 1997, hosted a regular show on Kiss FM in the Algarve Portugal, helping the station to reach its potential with holiday makers and ex pats from the UK. George has also used his skills at New York’s 107.5 WBLS, where he worked with the legendary Frankie Crocker, and was an entertainment reporter for the Lilal radio network in Los Angeles. In 2001 through to 2002 George regularly presented weekend shows on Brighton’s Juice FM.
His popularity has led him to being a five time nominee at the UK MOBO awards in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, won Best Radio presenter at the Channel Five Urban music awards in 2000, given the Contribution to music award at the 2000 Garage Music awards, and was part of the Choice FM team to win a Sony Bronze Award for the stations Peace on the streets initiative.
In 2000, 2001 and 2002, he was voted MVP (most valuable presenter) at Choice FM, in an on-line listener poll.
After many years at Choice FM, George felt he had achieved all that he wanted. From launching the UK’s first urban radio station to broadcasting his shows from various locations around the world, and working with some of the biggest names in RnB and Hip Hop it was time for him to take on a new challenge.
In April 2011 George left Choice FM to pursue some TV opportunities with Evo arts and also join the UKRD group which is the UK’s fourth largest radio group to host the weekend Breakfast show on Mix 96 in Aylesbury. He has presented for Tindle Radio’s Kestrel FM across Hampshire and Surrey, as well as hosting the Saturday drive show across Celador radio’s Breeze network and has also hosted Drivetime on Celador radio’s Andover and Newbury sound.
George is now presenting and involved with new radio station Mi-Soul. The station will be launching on DAB digital radio very soon. He’ll be working with Gordon Mac the former founder of Kiss FM.
George has also presented for TV music channel MTV Base, hosting one of their shows DJ Takeover, he has presented a paranormal investigative show The Realm Memoires, was featured on the ITV 1 show Poor little rich girls coaching one of the girls on the show to be a DJ. As well as this, George has been a regular contributor for BBC 1, MTV 1, MTV Base, TWI, SKY 1 and SKY News, as well as BET and ESPN in the USA and JVC TV in Japan. Together with Evo arts, George is currently developing various TV programmes including two documentaries about music and radio.
George Kay has been actively involved in the promotion of many acts from the USA. He was the first person to fly Usher into the UK, he was responsible for Boys To Men’s first performance in the UK, and was also instrumental in breaking US super group Jodeci to a UK audience. Not to mention the input he has had with acts such as Mary J Blige, Aaliyah, Brownstone, Guy, Blackstreet, CE CE Peniston and R.Kelly. In 1994 George was the official tour mc for Jodeci, visiting Paris, Rotterdam, Berlin, Birmingham, Leeds and London. He has also been the official tour mc for R.Kelly, Sounds of Blackness, Boys to Men, Usher and many more.
Whilst at Choice FM, George was solely responsible for securing performances from US R&B and Hip Hop acts Ciara, Houston, Bow Wow, Chingy, Bobby Valentino, Frankie J, Neyo, Rupee, Joe, Cassidy, Mario, Chris Brown and Ray J.
In 1995 through to 2005, George ran and promoted Yum Yum, a weekly Tuesday night event in central London which was regularly broadcast live on Choice FM. Here he hosted celebrity parties for the likes of: P.Diddy, Usher, Dr Dre, R.Kelly, Biggie, Blackstreet, Horace Brown, Jodeci, Dru Hill, Zhane and many more. George has also hosted many celebrity and record company parties including, club nights in New York, Portugal and Dubai.
During his career George has also worked in the recording studio, re-mixing tracks for US acts R.Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Heavy D and Lakiesha Berry, and also UK act Benz.
George has also presented and produced many special shows for radio at the request of artists, including one on one in depth interviews with Mariah Carey, Jill Scott, Mary J Blige, Alicia Keys, P.Diddy, R.Kelly in Washington DC, Jodeci in New York, and TLC in Atlanta. He has also recorded specials with Brandy in Jamaica, Ashanti, Babyface and Joe in St Lucia.
When not broadcasting, George can take on many production rolls including, station event management, the making of station promo’s and imaging, script writing and recording of commercials and is fluent in Adobe Audition (cool edit pro.)
George Kay’s abilities extend to finding and nurturing new talent. Whether it be new radio talent, or new recording talent, George can spot something worth having and working with. In the mid 90’s George opened and launched an in house radio station at Feltham young offenders’ institute, helping teenagers focus their attention on radio and media and away from crime, he was also part of the team instrumental in launching a North London RSL (restricted service license) which eventually became Choice 107.1FM, and is now part of the Choice Network.
As well as presenting various outside broadcasts, he has also engineered many. Setting up broadcast lines in the USA, Europe and the Caribbean, setting up broadcast equipment, including mixers, play out systems and audio codec’s, as well as producing and driving outside broadcasts at the stations studio’s in central London.
In 2004, George was a judge for a UK wide talent search competition ‘Live the dream’. George toured the UK with former dance artist and A&R man Danny D, former head of urban music at MCA/Universal Adrian Sykes, and one of the UK’s top producers Tim Blacksmith, whose production credits include: Joe, Neyo, Lionel Ritchie, Beyonce Knowles, Rihanna, Paula Deanda, Craig David and Mario.