If you happen to switch your radio on early morning and catch DJs Ben Maxwell and Lana Nelson mid-chat, you’d be forgiven for thinking you have tuned in to one of Cayman’s many pop music stations.
Be warned though, once the chit-chatter stops you could end up blowing an ear drum – this is CAYROCK, Cayman’s first, and only, rock station.
On air for just over a month, CAYROCK has been serving up a bevy of rock for music lovers. It’s a station that Cayman’s rockers have been waiting a long time for, and judging by the enthusiastic response the DJs have received, it would seem it was worth the wait.
Ben and Lana are the co-hosts of the station’s topical weekday morning show, where the chit-chat covers just about everything.
Listen in and – between the rock – you’re just as likely to here about hard news stories of the day, as you are celebrity gossip or even what the hosts got up to the night before. It’s fun, lively banter.
Ben and Lana explain that the idea for the show is that it’s personality based – something which both DJs agree is new to Cayman.
Meeting the DJs face-to-face it’s clear they have achieved this goal. Both are exactly as they are on-air – fun, lively and extremely chatty. It’s easy to see how the duo keeps the show so effortlessly lively.
‘We don’t try and act, we try to make the show as real as possible. We’re not trying to be something we’re not. We’re very open,’ Ben explains.
‘We’re just two real people talking about what’s going on in the world. It’s random chat,’ Lana adds.
Although the show is designed to appeal to all, Ben says that the format will seem particularly familiar to Cayman’s expatriate community.
‘The show has a North American style. I’m from Philadelphia – it’s a format I’m used to and it gives it a familiar feel to expats.’
Turn the volume down when the music starts to blare out and you’ll be hard pushed to guess what type of station you’ve tuned into.
That’s because, Ben explains, the show has been designed to fit the music style of any radio station.
‘It’s a very different idea for a radio station to venture outside of its format,’ he said.
‘This morning we talked about Paris Hilton. What ever is topical we latch on to, regardless of format or genre. If people are talking about it locally we want to reflect that in our show,’ Ben explains.
So, don’t expect Ben and Lana to be chatting about all things rock – this is a show where almost anything goes and juicy celebrity gossip runs alongside hard news stories of the day.
‘I love [UK tabloid paper] The Sun,’ Ben says of one of his main sources for gossip.
‘It’s such a rag – such awesome juicy gossip.’
Despite an ample dose of banter, the show does includes regular segments – some more serious than others. Hourly snippets of news keep listeners up-to-date with current affairs. The Lana Sutra is a rather unusual segment which involves Lana describing a yoga position with Ben trying to mimic it.
‘It’s yoga with a twist,’ Ben explains.
I Smell BS is a fun segment where listeners get to guess which news stories are fake from around the globe – it’s harder than you think as even the real ones are ludicrously ridiculous.
‘We search for the news stories on the web. I normally read three out on-air and Lana guesses if they are real or not.’ Ben says.
The DJs encourage listeners to call in and both say the show has already had its fair share of quirky callers.
‘We have had a few bizarre calls,’ Lana says with a smile, ‘but it’s entertaining. We encourage people to use an alias name as some people are hesitant to call up because Cayman is such a close-knit community.’
The bubbly DJs are keen to inject a strong local community angle into the show. Local entrepreneur Luigi Moxam was recently invited to chat about his Cayman based clothing line One Tree Four Five Collection and, thanks to animal loving Ben, the Cayman Islands Humane Society has a regular Thursday slot – 911 Animal Emergency – to showcase an animal that needs a caring new home.
Although Ben is a relative newcomer to Cayman, he feels that he’s quickly tapping into island life.
‘There are things I’m still learning, but I bounce ideas off Lana. She’s not shy to tell me if I’m off target,’ Ben says. ‘There’s no shortage of things to talk about, but our take on it is what makes it unique,’ he adds. ‘That’s the magic of the radio show.’
Tune into 96.5 CAYROCK, weekdays 6am to 10am for the Ben Maxwell Show. Log onto www.cayrock.ky, for further details or call the show on 943-ROCK (7625).