How to be an RMF FM disc jockey

With it’s position as the “most popular radio station” in Poland,  RMF FM can be found playing in most establishments and shops where a radio is playing. I would guess that it presumably plays in many Polish homes as well. RMF celebrates it’s 20th year of existence this year, giving the people of Poland “Radio, Muzyka, Fakty” as they go about their day to day lives.With its extended offerings of RMFMaxxx and RMF Classic, they have cornered a large section of the Polish radio listenership market.


It used to be called Radio Małopolska Fun, you know

One day, I spent a few hours listening to the regular RMF station (as opposed to RMF Maxxx or RMF Classic). I happened to notice a pattern emerging in the music being played. Most songs could be categorised into one of the following groupings (with some exceptions, of course).

A ‘recent’ chart hit: In this situation, recent means in the past 12-18 months. A song in this category tends to be a big hit, usually worldwide and usually sung in English. The best recent example I’ve heard for this category has been “Pokerface” by Lady Gaga. This has gotten a lot of air-time in the past year.

An 80’s classic: Everyone loves an 80’s classic, whether it be the power-ballad, or the one with the video where the lead singer had the huge hair. RMF tends to go for songs such as “Take On Me” by Aha, or Europe’s “The Final Countdown”. These will give listeners an instant flash-back 25 years or so.

A Polish group or artist: There is a rule on French radio where at least 40% of music played should be sung in French. I am not aware of such a rule on Polish radio, but Polish groups and artists do tend to get a look in. Artists such as Piasek (Andrzej Piaseczny), Natalia Kukulska, Myslovitz and Wilki featuring quite often.

A Queen song: Queen have such a presence on RMF that I don’t think I have experienced an hour of music on RMF without one Queen song being played. The Queen songs that seem to feature highest in the playlists are “The Show Must Go On” and “I Want To Break Free”.

A ‘Eurodance’ song: This would be a song with a strong dance beat with a slight techno mix thrown in. In short, it’s a perfect song to be dancing (and singing along) to for Polish listeners. The big hit in this category at the moment seems to be “Ayo Technology” by Milow.

A ‘forgotten’ 90’s hit: When it was released, such a song as this would to be one that you could not get out of your head. However, as time has passed it has slipped from memory, but yet a single playing on RMF can jog your memory as to how good it was. The best examples I have heard recently would be “Zombie” by The Cranberries or “Just A Little Crush” by Jennifer Paige. It must have been 10 or more years since I last heard them before they popped up on RMF.

A Celine Dion song in French: With almost all songs on RMF sung in either Polish or English, it is a nice surprise to hear a song in another language from time to time. However, the usual choice seems to be Celine Dion singing a song such as “Pour que tu m’aimes encore”. While it is probably a fine song, it seems to be over-played.

A re-mixed older song: An easy way to have a new hit song seems to be for a dance musician to re-mix an older song into the new ‘dance’ version. RMF have followed suit, playing songs such as “Roxanne” by The Police or “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan. However the songs have been given a new backing track and slightly faster dance beat to make them radio-friendly for modern times.

With the above knowledge, I’m going to see if I can apply to work as a DJ with RMF. One of the perks could be the possibility to work in their ‘space bubble’ buildings (pictured below). They can be seen from the A4 autostrada when travelling between Kraków and Katowice.

RMF - A4

The perfect hideout for an evil villain in a James Bond film?

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12 thoughts on “How to be an RMF FM disc jockey

  1. maqh says:

    So true! Plus it’s been that way for years now. I’ve moved out of Poland 4 years ago, been back 3 times only and every time I’m back I feel like I’ve never left. Unfortunately other national stations aren’t much better.

  2. Grze$ko says:

    Obviously the “Repeat” button got stuck in many a year ago and no one could be bothered to pry it loose.
    We call it “tradition” and soon the 80’s DOS box, containing the sacred playlist, will be placed at Wawel for future generations to revere.

  3. Michał says:

    “There is a rule on French radio where at least 40% of music played should be sung in French. I am not aware of such a rule on Polish radio”

    Yes, there is a similar rule in Poland, but our mainstream radio stations use a trick – they play Polish music mostly at night (when almost nobody listens), and during the day mostly foreign music is broadcasted.

  4. 4 OJ 4,5 says:

    What are the best stations to listen to for Polish rock music that are available streaming online? URLs?

  5. John says:

    Ah, now I finally know what this building is for!! I’ve passed this building god know how many times, and I’ve never been able to figure out what it is! It’s actually quite disappointing that it’s something as mundane as the RMF FM headquarter… I was actually hoping it would be a research facility for extraterrestrial life, or a bio-dome experiment (flashback to horrible movie with Pauly Shore and Kylie Minogue).

  6. scatts says:

    Their bubble HQ is an awfully large complex to simply run a machine that repeats the same 25 songs for ever and ever. I would have thought an iPod could be programmed to do much the same thing.

  7. island1 says:

    Interesting. What does the rule say exactly?

  8. daa says:

    the best thing one of any music taste can do is to avoid mainstream Polish radio stations + stick to his or her own Ipod. any radio receiver starts begging for mercy when forced to play “life is life” around 157 times a day. the saddest thing is that hardly anybody in Poland seems to mind this over-played, as we call it, “muzyka do kotleta” whatsoever.

  9. Mateusz says:

    Open FM

    Channel – Polski Rock

  10. Dinolaure says:

    Answer to Island’s question about the French regulation : (and btw wikipedia is not up to date in this respect)

    – broadcasted radios (meaning non web radios), as far as pop music is concerned, shall include at least 40% of songs in French (or in one of the local languages in use … britton, elsasser deutsch, eusakdian, catalan, etc…), out of which 50% shall be reasonnably recent and the 40% rule applies in particular when audience is significant (meaning if one is an English rock fan the best is to be an insomniac as well…)
    – radios dedicated to valorization of French song heritage shall broadcast at least 60% of songs in French, out of which 10% at least reasonably recent and reasonably fresh programs shall be boradcasted once an hour on average;
    – radios dedicated to new music : 35% of music shall be in French, out of which a quarter shall be recent.

    Recent meaning performed by artists newly being broadcasted.

    Unfortunately, I’m not able to put APAP online with the summary of the law…

  11. Dinolaure says:

    Would be interested in having a view of the Polish regulation !

  12. Name says:

    Legal act: Ustawa z dnia 29 grudnia 1992 r.
    o radiofonii i telewizji.
    Dz.U. 1993 nr 7 poz. 34

    Rule is expressed in art. 15 ust. 2, and says:
    Broadcasters of radio and tv productions assign at least 33% of quarterly broadcast time in a schedule of verbal-musical (sing-song?) works for works that are performed in the polish language.
    Maybe polish ver. will be more approachable ;) :
    Nadawcy programów radiowych i telewizyjnych przeznaczają co najmniej 33%
    kwartalnego czasu nadawania w programie utworów słowno-muzycznych na
    utwory, które są wykonywane w języku polskim.

    Quarterly – due to frequency of controlsów/Kontrolanadawcówkoncesjonowanych/tabid/270/Default.aspx

    Latest news: ‘Poland’s Culture Ministry has drafted a bill which will force radio stations to play more Polish music.’

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