PO, the Head of Imaging for Skyrock – Meet an…

When I was in France for Le Radio lately I had the luck to meet the legendary PO, the creative mastermind behind the most successful French Urban Radio Station – SKYROCK! PO is a veteran of the Imaging world, who started his career as a DJ in 1982. His station count and personal track record is impressive and I am more than happy to share his thoughts about Imaging, Composing and Voice Over Work with you.

Check his short bio and then into the nitty gritty!


1982 to 1987: DJ (but don’t tell his mum!!)
1984 to 1987: Animator on different local and regional radios
1987 to 1989: Reporter at RFI, Journalist & Animator at FM Adventure
1989 to 1990: Animator at Maxximum
1990 to 1992: Animator & Producer at Fun Radio
1992: Producer and Author at NRJ
1993 to 1996: Director of Production and Author at Fun Radio
1996 to present: Director of Production and Composer Author at Skyrock
1998 to today: Composer and Arranger

1. How is it to work for a legendary station like Skyrock?

Cool, motivating and exciting at the same time, because you have to constantly renew yourself and reinvent everything.
Becoming, being and staying the Number One cannot be improvised. It’s a daily competition and everything starts in your head!

2. What DAW do you use and why?
A sheet of paper and a pen for ideas.
My old Roland FP3 piano and my worn guitars to search for melodies and gimmicks.
Logic Pro X for music composition and sound search.
Pro Tools 10 for editing the mix and mastering.

3. Who is your favorite VO talent?
Emmanuel Garijo aka Manu (VO Skyrock since 1997)
Alain Dorval (VO Skyrock from 1986 to 1997)
Emmanuel Curtil (VO Fun Radio from 1993 to 1996, it continued after but I can’t remember the date)
Richard Darbois (VO NRJ since 1994)
Claude Giraud (French voice of Tommy Lee Jones)
Greg Germain (French voice of Will Smith)
Claude Bertrand (French voice among others by Roger Moore or O’Malley in the Aristocats)

4. What are your favorite PlugIns?
Waves, Sonnox, Focusrite, and Brainworx are great tools whose licenses are unfortunately exorbitant. Otherwise, I use native PlugIns and / or free DAWs that offer equivalent opportunities when you bother! It’s neither the size nor the ball that made the football player Pelé (see Wikipedia for you young people!). 

5. How do you get creative? What are your inspirations? Ressources?
I think that creativity is not acquired, it is probably innate, yet it feeds and maintains itself.
The FCC blocks the broadcast of US radio in Europe. So I rely on my friends to share my favorite stations KROQ, KPWR, KOME, WHTZ, WQHT… Europe and the rest of the world do not have this constraint and we can listen to everything without limit (England, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain & Japan).

6. What does a typical day at the station look like? 

A lot of sound, sound, and even more sound!

7. Who or what influenced you? What was the most important thing you learned from your mentors?
Radio, the great voices of radio, the beginning of the so-called private radio in France with the opening of the FM band in the 80s – The digital shift in the 90s – Total dematerialization in the 2000s – Radio on IP over the years 2010.
I wasn’t even 20 when Skyrock launched, but I remember being blown away by everything the station was revolutionizing. The station’s sound was deep, spatial and incredibly broad. We had never heard anything like it before. Our sound effectively made us the predecessor of today’s multi-band (big-up Vincent and Ritchie), spoken imaging that told a story and sounded like a movie trailer (total ovation for Pierre, Laurent, Alain, Smicky, Baudu and Dimitri) … I couldn’t imagine that one day I would join this incredible team and that they would, in addition, hand over the keys of production to me! I am today the most broadcasted artist on-air since my jingles can be heard every 4 minutes on average. I joined them on their 10th birthday and never left, it’s my professional fairy tale!
I basically learned from my predecessors and my peers, from their values, their professionalism, rigor, responsiveness and ethics: “MAKE YOUR LIFE A DREAM, AND A DREAM A REALITY” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

8. What’s the difference between Imaging in France and the US? Elsewhere?
The language above all else. The local, regional and /or national configuration of radios in France and of course the ressources that are recognized and attributed to our radios.

9. Any key advice for the youngsters out there?
Make yourself curious about everything, both form and substance, because every detail counts.
Working in a production unit is like working in a kitchen at a big restaurant. It is served at any time and everything that is served effects the reputation of the establishment, as well as the fame of the cooks!
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