Getting to know the huge personality that is Carl Wastie
Host of the popular KFM 94.5 drive time show Flash Drive with Carl Wastie, broadcast weekdays from 15h00 to 19h00, Carl Wastie (32) has become much more than just a household name. The award-winning radio personality – who this year marks his tenth anniversary in the radio industry – also hosts The Coca Cola Top40 SA every Saturday from 10h00 to 14h00 on KFM 94.5, lends his voice and personality to television inserts, emceeing and voice-overs, is an avid amateur five-aside football player, and still finds time to be father to eight-year-old Zac.
Named as a Liberty Radio Awards Bright Star in April 2018, Wastie has always lived by a philosophy that incorporates hard work and fun by the bucket load topped by a seemingly boundless energy. After matriculating in 2003, he took a gap-year to work and assist his family. In that year, Wastie found the time to be a video store manager, a football and water-polo coach, a UPS salesman, a mall promo guy as well as an emcee. But it was whilst working at the video store that a customer – who recognised Wastie’s immense untapped potential – handed him a bursary application to study Psychology at the University of Cape Town (UCT)…
And the rest, as they say, is history.
In Wastie’s final year of studying, he was once again spotted but this time he was invited for a voice test at Good Hope FM. The successful test led him to his first stand-in on commercial radio, where he joined Ryan O’Connor on The Drive Show. Shortly thereafter, O’Connor left and Wastie took up the position of being the fulltime sports presenter on the weekday breakfast show The Drive Show featuring Paul Playdon and Tracey Lange. In 2009, Guy McDonald replaced Paul Playdon as the host of The Drive Show which Wastie still presented sports for. Together they took the show to greatness and won the MTN Radio Award in 2009 for The Best Afternoon Drive Show. In 2010, Wastie moved over to the breakfast show, and six short years later, in 2015, Wastie was given the opportunity to present the weekday daytime show Afternoon LIVE as well as the Good Hope FM Hot 30 every Saturday morning. The former being the station’s most-widely listened to show.
Wastie-ing no time, the video store manager come sports presenter come radio show host, joined the KFM 94.5 on-air team in 2016, hosting the weekday mid-afternoon show The Switch. Not long after that, he was given the drive time slot which so many now love and enjoy every weekday between 15h00 and 19h00. The Flash Drive with Carl Wastie, sees Wastie joined by sports presenter Barron Hufkie and traffic presenter Zoë Brown, who together help commuters battle the afternoon traffic with hilarious segments such as DansDag*, Wildcard, Wannelaas*, Weekend Starter Edition and Psy-Carl-ogy; the former being a segment which gives Wastie the opportunity to stretch his Psychology Major muscles as he encourages listeners to call in and vent or get some much-needed advice on a matter, which he tries to soothe away by playing a related song as ‘therapy’. Through the years, Wastie has worked with and emceed for brands such as Baskin Robbins, Coca-Cola, Huawei, Mercedes-Benz, MTN, Pizza Hut, Vodacom and Volkswagen; to name only a few. Having come from a family steeped in creativity, Wastie is not shy about getting his hands figuratively dirty and always looks to offer his clients innovative and engaging event concepts that complement the client’s needs and equally match his unique emcee style.
When not diligently building his radio prowess, Wastie can be found competing in a game or two of amateur fives-aside football, packing a punch in the boxing ring, playing FIFA 19 on his PlayStation or watching his favourite team, Real Madrid, beat every other team… A self-proclaimed braai master of note, Wastie can often be found in the kitchen with son Zac cooking up a storm or just making a mess!
With his upbeat personality, remarkable sense of style and flair for the good life, it’s safe to say that Wastie is fast becoming one of Cape Town’s most-loved radio personalities.
RUAN: Tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you got into radio?
CARL: I’m Carl Wastie, a radio and TV presenter who is a born and bred Capetonian. I am the host of The Flash Drive, weekdays 15h00 to 19h00 on KFM 94.5 as well as the Coke Top 40 CT on Saturdays from 10h00 to 14h00. I’m a middle child, a Gemini, a home chef, a gamer, a youth enthusiast and a creative.
RUAN: Is there anyone specific you looked up to who has motivated you in going into this field?
CARL: This field was never really part of my plan as I wanted to continue studying Psychology at UCT, so I didn’t look up to anyone specifically. I have always been a people’s person so my drive and motivation has always come from the people I serve.
RUAN: Is being a radio presenter as glamorous as it sounds?
CARL: If you’re into “glamour”, you can easily find it in radio but the reality of the industry is so crucial to share with those aspiring to be in it. Radio is often freelance work so you’re going to have to cover all the “adulting” stuff yourself, like medical aid etc. Tax is heavier on freelancers so that’s something to consider too. The pressure to perform is really high in this industry as radio is not a traditional trade but a skill set based on a personality, which means, who you are is your tool of the trade and that can get very uncomfortable for some. Overall, this job is super fun if you focus on the good stuff it has to offer.
RUAN: What are some of your highlights since you’ve been on radio?
CARL: I have so many but to mention a few, I sang to Ne-Yo during an interview once and more recently, Calum Scott. Radio has opened doors for me to emcee some incredible global events as well as the TV Avenue where I have been blessed with opportunities to get this face for radio on screen.
RUAN: What are some of your challenges you have experienced in the radio industry?
CARL: The challenges have come around as often as the positive moments but the industry is rather insecure in its nature because you’re never sure when your time is up so you have to work your butt off to make every show incredible so that you’re a little less expendable.
RUAN: Are there any exciting things we can look forward to from you in 2019?
CARL: Please look forward to more kickass radio and I am cooking up some TV concepts for 2019 so watch and listen to this space.
RUAN: Like most humans we are bound to make mistakes when we are live on radio. Do you have any embarrassing moments you could share with us?
CARL: As mentioned above, Singing to Ne-Yo was an embarrassing moment too as the song I sang to him was a spoof version of his song “So Sick” that I created for a colleague a few weeks prior to that chat. The most cringe-worthy half a minute of my radio life.
RUAN: If you could some up your life right now using a hashtag (#) what would it be and why?
This would work because throughout all the challenges I have faced in my life, I have always worked on the solutions quickly. We shouldn’t waste our time doubting ourselves or worrying about things that are out of our control. All we have is our response to the world to craft our destiny so let’s not ‘Wastie’ any time and make things happen.
RUAN: On which social media platforms can we continue to support and follow your on-going journey?
PHOTAGRAHPY CREDIT: EBEN PHOTOGRAPHY