Vibe 103: Collie Buddz Radio Hearing

May 19, 2010

The hearing for reggae star Collie Buddz’s proposed new radio station was held this evening. The proposed station, Vibe 103.1, was applied for the in the name of Harper Digital. Collie [real name Colin Harper] is listed as owning 49%, with his brother Matthew Harper listed as owning the other 51%. The station would operate 24/7 out of his already established Southampton studio.

Arguably Bermuda’s most successful reggae artist in history, Collie Buddz released an album through Sony Records, performed in over 30 nations worldwide, and sold out entire concerts. With a strong social media presence, his Youtube videos have been viewed over 10 million times, and he has in excess of 60,000 Facebook fans, significantly exceeding all other Bermudian entities combined. His next scheduled tour is a 20 city tour this summer alongside reggae veterans Steel Pulse and rappers Cypress Hill.

The hearing started off with the chairman reading off the regulations, then the Harper Brothers made their presentation, which began with a slideshow. They stressed Vibe 103 would be a “party station”, with “less talk”. Saying there is tons of Bermudian talent waiting to be discovered, they pledged to play a minimum of 10% local content.

Colin Harper on left, Matthew Harper on right

Colin Harper on left, Matthew Harper on right

At 5:55pm, the questions from the Commissioners began. The first question was to their qualifications to run a radio station, something they said had been brought up in a written submission.

The Harper Brothers responded to this question by explaining their background; Collie has a degree in engineering from Full Sail in Florida, while Matthew has a Diploma in the same. Matthew previously interned within the industry in Toronto, Canada and they explained they have a number of years experience in the industry, with Collie Buddz saying “It’s all we do”

The next question asked was about advertising potential, to which the brothers said they felt it had room for growth and further explained that although they know it will be a tough road to climb, they already have a small handful of advertisers lined up.

The next question was about staffing, to which the brothers explained they intended to do the bulk of the work themselves initially, using approximately 4 part time employees as well as a sales rep. They have a plan to have guest DJ’s appear on station as well.

Next question was why the brothers didn’t try to broker air time on an existing station or purchase an unused licence. They explained that they had tried to do that, unsuccessfully, but that since the hearing was publicized the person had contacted them, with Collie Buddz saying “It’s too late as far as I am concerned.”

Next question came from a Commissioner who stated that talk shows appeared to be a part of Bermuda culture, and questioned the lack of them within Vibe 103′s makeup. The brothers explained that they would have community orientated items, such as possibly broadcast football shows, short news briefs – but that “more music, less talk” was an integral part of their business theme.

oColin Harper [Collie Buddz] on left, Matthew Harper on right

Colin Harper (Collie Buddz) on left, Matthew Harper on right

The next segment discussed technical aspects relating to frequency, and potential interference. When questioned over who he felt was the weakest radio station, Collie somewhat tried to refrain from naming one, but when pushed replied 98.1, and said the “quality was not good at all”. When he moved on to ask the Commissioners “Have you listened to it?’, it was met with some laughter.

After the questions, the public was offered the opportunity to speak, with the only person to do being R Scott Pearman, Chief Operating Officer of Inter-Island, the parent company of HOTT 107.5 and Magic 102 – who expressed his “concerns”. You can read about that here.

We spoke with both brothers afterwards, and we asked Collie would he be featuring his new music on the station, and he said he would “here and there”, but the station would be far from being saturated with his own music. They stressed their enthusiasm for any, and all, local artists with talent of any genre.

Explaining further, Collie Buddz said that should they come across artists with the raw talent, but perhaps the song as it exists lacks technical fine tuning, they would use their experience and training to assist the artist in improving the song and show them some “tricks of the trade”. Collie, who has always mentioned Bermuda in much of his music, spoke of his desire to assist other individuals in having some of the opportunities he has had. This sentiment was echoed by fellow artist ‘RoacheKilla’, who sat in through the entire meeting.

Both brothers expressed their concept of having a music orientated station, with the top hits of all genres combined in a high energy form, with a special emphasis on highlighting and assisting in the development of Bermudian talent. As older brother Matthew put it; “We aim to be financially successful, but it’s more about the passion”.

The decision whether to grant the licence or not, is expected to be made in the upcoming weeks.

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Comments (4)

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  1. T. Jones says:

    I am quite proud that young people want to engage themselves in a large playing field. Its a large task that needs to be accomplished but let them get on with it. Why does Scott Pearman have a problem. Its the same problem Power 95 had 5 years ago when Hott 107.5 came into the industry. I really want to know, besides the advertising problem, what is his real motive for not engaging in competition. Its all about compeition. Sometimes Number one has to be Number 2 or stop competing at all.

  2. Gary swearingen says:

    I went to high school and was friends with these talented brothers. They ate,sleep, and dreamed about music . These boys are living their dream and I am proud to see what they have become. Great job harpers. Keep it real