Make way for Remel London!
At the age of 26, Remel London has successfully carved a name for herself as a renowned radio and TV presenter and live events host within the UK entertainment industry as well as producing her own distinctive live events and productions. She’s the perfect example of why youth media is so important and powerful. Now that the second season of her amazing talk show, The Show Room, has just finished it’s second season so we caught up with her to discuss role models, women in media, where mainstream media gets it wrong and her future plans
What made you want to become a presenter? Was it something you’ve always seen yourself doing?
Growing up, I always wanted to do things within the media, performance-wise and entertainment-wise. I loved things like dance and musical theatre, and always wanted to be a part of it and find out more. My general interest in all things creative attracted me to it but I guess the main thing that drove me to become a presenter was wanting to know more about production.
Previously, you’ve hosted on so many shows, including the popular networking and showcase event RateMePlz in 2012 and more recently, The Show Room. Tell me a bit about how Rate Me Plz and The Show Room came about.
I’ve always wanted to go to networking events because I feel like they’re really beneficial. It got to a point where people always used to send me music and ask for feedback because they know I’m associated with events, like ILUVLIVE and Link Up TV. I’ve only been in this industry a few years, I wanted to create a platform where you can meet people that are more established than me and get genuine advice, while everyone is having a good time.
Again, The Show Room was another platform for people that have talent. I wanted it to inspire others that any little talent that you have, you can come and show it off no matter what it is. It’s filmed in front of a live studio audience so anything can happen and it’s always going to fun!
You describe yourself as ‘self-made’ and you’re a firm believer in the DIY approach when it comes to media. Why do you feel it’s so important for young people to create their own media platforms and content?
There’s a lot going on out there, it’s over saturated and it’s very hard to break through. Waiting for an opportunity is, in my opinion, a waste of time. If you’ve got a talent or a skill, make the most of it and at the same time you’re practising anyway. Then when that amazing, big dream job does come you can say, “Look, I’ve done all of this by myself. Imagine what I can do with you and for you.” Doing it yourself is a lot more fulfilling, it’s also a good way to develop and grow.
When it comes to representation, groups like women and ethnic minorities are generally underrepresented and misrepresented in the media. What has this journey been like for you, as a young black woman, trying to make a name for yourself in the entertainment and media industries?
I think I’ve had a lot of support. A lot of people have noticed that I’m very self-motivated and although I do everything by myself, it’s great to know that loads of young women encourage me and cheer me on. I think when women see other women doing well, it’s always good to carry on encouraging and motivating them. I feel like the network has gotten stronger and we’ve helped each other out.
Don’t let any little comments or negative feedback get you down because there’s always room to grow and there’s a lot of support out there. There’s a lot of women’s networks, women’s award shows, women’s meetings… There’s loads of stuff going on. I feel like we’re at a great time for women to feel empowered and it should carry on.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you in your career so far?
I guess, breaking into the mainstream. Once you’re associated with the urban world, they [mainstream media] do feel like you can’t do anything else. I’m not really a fan of the word “urban” but it’s what I’m usually associated with. This is going to sound weird but, it’s almost like, they think you can only talk to black people because you’re black
It’s the same with music artists, they think that a rapper isn’t likely to be popular in the mainstream world, but yeah they will be because if a song is good, then it will do well regardless of who’s singing or rapping.
I feel like we need to see that in the presenters as well. Presenters are a key part of a show being good. If you enjoy the show and you enjoy the presenter, why not allow that presenter to do a lot more? Young talent needs to be given the opportunity to do new things. We need to see more young talent come through and host some of the big shows because it’s time to see new faces.
The second season of The Show Room finished last week (sadly). What’s next for you?
Well, everyone wants another season so we’re going to work on season 3! I want to work on loads more productions and plan on doing a lot more of my own now that I’ve done The Show Room. We’re looking for more people to work with. I’m also hosting loads of shows over the summer, going abroad and filming stuff. I’m going to be all over so if you’ve got an idea, get in touch and we can work together ’cause there will be loads more happening!
Words by Tenelle Ottley-Matthew