Former DJ Lex Harding criticizes his young colleagues: “Verbal diarrhea, I don’t like it”

Former DJ Lex Harding criticizes his young colleagues: “Verbal diarrhea, I don’t like it”

According to Harding, he was “able to announce beautiful images”, but was “very surprised” when he heard he would receive the Golden Harp during the PUMA Awards. “If I were on the jury, I wouldn’t immediately think of myself,” the humble former DJ said. “There was no discussion about it,” says Frank Helmink, director of the Puma Cultural Foundation. “If you have invented the media all your life or played a major role in it and given a lot of space to Dutch music, you deserve it.”

One-way traffic

Harding says of his career: “I could tell what would be a big hit and what wouldn’t be a big hit. But what did I do for music? I basically hacked into music that other people made.” The former DJ presented the Netherlands’ Top 40. “As a programmer, you have to look very carefully at what the audience wants. In radio, especially in the ’80s and ’90s, traffic was pretty much one-way. You have to look at what the audience wants.”

Identify fads

For example, during his time as a DJ, Harding played hardcore and heel music because he recognized its “fad”. “It’s a gift to choose music,” Harding says. He learned this talent while working on a radio ship off the coast of England. One programmer has created a successful show based solely on his own taste. “Then it turned out I could do it too and it evolved that way. At a certain point you know what the audience wants.”

Government intervention

Harding eventually ended up at Radio Veronica, where he also became alienated from the government. “The government killed it for competition reasons. The public broadcaster faced tough competition, so it had to go,” the former DJ said. “The government denied any status to that radio. The judge finally corrected that.”

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“Verbal diarrhea”

How does Harding see the current radio landscape? “Most radio stations piss me off after a while,” he says. “Young colleagues are talking. In general, the music is nice, but connected words are something to criticize on most radio stations. They talk too much, irrelevant verbal diarrhea, and I don’t like it.”


Harding’s perseverance on Dutch radio has now earned him a Golden Harp award at the PUMA Awards. “Lex has been on my bucket list for a long time,” Helmink says. “The way a station like this is organised, with so much space for Dutch music, has ensured that bands like Keane, Gus Meiwes and D-Cast can achieve their successes.” Harding will receive an “applause” during tonight’s ceremony.

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