Jericho Keys is the 26-year-old from Whitby who went from roofing in the rain to being the main man to cover for Huw Stephens on Radio 1.
It was a last minute decision to study journalism at Teesside University that set him on the track to his status today as champion of local music.
Leo James Conroy – a blues musician I heard from YouTube
King No-One – an indie/pop band
A Joker’s Rage – face-painted heavy metal band
…And the Hangnails – a two piece punk band
Scott Quinn – an electronic musician
As host of BBC Introducing on Radio York, Jericho showcases the best and most interesting artists of York’s buzzy music scene.
More recently he was asked to pick six artists to play on BBC Radio 1.
“I was blown away by the six I chose and knew that they needed this push for people to take notice of their incredible hard work they deserve,” Jericho said.
“Finally to have the chance for people to take notice of them. The feedback we got for all of them was fantastic, such positive feedback for them to push themselves that bit further.”
‘I was absolutely buzzing’
Jericho has filled in for Huw Stephens on the evening shift a few times now.
“My main job is here at Radio York. I just get calls and rush down to London to fill in. I’m their first call if they are ever stuck.”
He was also asked to be the presenter for Radio 1 at a world-wide radio convention in Switzerland.
It was a right good party and celebration of good music.
As an evening broadcaster Jericho is unencumbered by the daytime playlists. What does he think about ‘mainstream’ music in the charts?
I think music needs some sort of emotion and depth to it, and I’m not saying you should sit down and write an equation about it, but perhaps what I’m trying to say is all music has its place.
Some stuff is really good, but some stuff is just about who has the most money to throw at it.
The impression Jericho gives is that good things can happen to any musician, you just have to keep spreading music around.
Jericho’s top ten
We asked Jericho to give us a top ten of local bands and tracks that mean something to him. Here’s his chart, pop-pickers.
1. Hello Operator – Hallucination Lucifer
(The original version, not re-recording) “This was the first band that really excited me. Blown away. It was what I had been looking for and it was like being hit with a ton of bricks. I just knew that these would make it, and they have. They are great lads and a great band.”
2. Pip Mountjoy – The Killing Kind
“The 21 year old folk musician is Laura Marling-esque with this beautiful singing voice and subtle melody. What’s great though is that if you listen to her lyrics, it’s about working in a café and slagging off the people who come in. Such a juxtaposition. She played at Glastonbury last year and the last I heard Ryan Adams wanted to work with her.”
Leo James Conroy – Forbidden Fruit
“I heard this song on YouTube and knew it had to go for the BBC Introducing. I called him up and literally told him if he didn’t get that song recorded ASAP, I’d help him pay to do it. He is that good. Sinners By The Book EP is coming out soon too, something not to be missed.”
4. Skinner – Dangerous Game
“Another one from the BBC Introducing. I use the three S’s to describe her; sassy, sexy and soulful. That is literally what she is. She has an incredible voice and watching her live, she has this hip-hop, grime attitude on stage that is amazing. She is signed with a local label and has already performed at the Leeds and Reading festivals.”
5. The Buccaneers – Shake It Or Leave It
“I describe these as if they were dropped from the Sixties or Seventies. Dirty garage blues with r’n’b. They are always a band to play if the show feels like it is missing something.”
6. The Blueprints – Staring At The Sun
“These are lyrically incredible. These great melodies are upbeat and great to actually listen to. Drums, guitars and grooves make this four-piece band unbelievably awesome.”
7. Local F – Groove Kid
“This was BBC 1 Extra’s track of the week and you can see why. Play it at any nightclub and it will just take you to a different place. You just go for it big time. You can just stick it on whenever and it creates a buzz.”
8. Joe La Pop – You Ready
“This is again kinda electro/ dance music. I heard this one Sunday night as I was putting a playlist together for the following week, and literally stood and fistpumped at it. It is that good. It shows just how good dance music can really be.”
9. Nathan Luke – Honest Love
“This is a really emotion gut wrenching song. The video of this is actually him singing in Hull Trinity Church. I always say that this is a song for the first dance of your wedding. It’s just such filler for beauty.”
10. Liam Kritikal Powers – Rebellion
“I have a soft spot for this one. It is so evident that he’s had some major problems and bumps in his life. Yet he takes the entire negative and makes it into something positive in his songs as a way of dealing with this emotion. After an interview I did with him about his depression, his song was BBC Radio 1’s pick of the week as it’s an honest, gritty, open and real piece of music.”