Andrew Ackerman first discovered the wonders of soul music at 10
years old .. .. Bored with pop music being played on the BBC, he
tinkered with his Grandad’s old “wireless” and stumbled across the
American Forces Radio .. .. playing non-stop Motown, Stax and Atlantic
tunes .. .. it was instant attraction!!
Unable to play a note of music, but having school friends who were
gifted musicians, Andrew hung out with the Muzzos and through them
was introduced to Jazz. First album bought was George Benson’s
“Breezin” .. .. and then came Miles Davis, Coltrane, Herbie, Chick
Corea .. … sooo many!! Living in the West Country, not renowned for
Jazz, Andrews’ gang of muzzos decided to set up their own Jazz Club
in a local hotel. Hooking up with a music shop owner, with contacts,
they managed to book Morrissey Mullen at one of their early gigs!!
Moving to Milton Keynes in the late seventies, to study and become a
teacher, Andrew remained focused on soul and jazz and helped out as
a “roadie” for local bands. Later he assisted with the promotion of
independent artists and began to network on the soul scene, at gigs
around London and the South East. Offers of DJ spots soon followed.
In 2011 Andrew took his first step into radio, as a presenter on a newly
formed community station for Milton Keynes. In 2016 he left, to join
MKFM commercial radio, presenting a weekly show and hosting live
events. Andrew joined Solar Radio in March 2017, as part of the Solar
Andrew loves all genres of black music, but has a particular fondness
for jazz and slow jams .. .. so expect to hear at least a couple of these in
every show!! His live DJ sets can take any form – Funk, Soulful House,
Classic, Modern, Jazzy (probably NOT reggae though – LOL!). He is
delighted to play his part as one of the professional DJ team at Solar
and looks forward to sharing his music with fellow soulheads.
What first attracted you to Soul Music, is this relevant today?
I began listening to Soul Music, as a 10 year old. Bored with pop music being played ont he BBC, I searched around and discovered American Forces Radio .. .. Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and James Brown were early favourites …
What are your top 5 favourite soul tracks?
Its REALLY hard to choose my favourite 5 soul tracks, but these came straight into my head ..
MARVIN GAYE – Whats Goin On MAZE – Joy and Pain LALAH HATHAWAY – Sumthin
STEVIE WONDER – Ribbon in the Sky DONNY HATHAWAY – Love ,Love, Love
What are your favourite three record labels?
Philadelphia International, Stax, Tamla Motown
Who are your favourite five artists?
Frankie Beverley, Anita Baker, Marvin Gaye, George Benson, Gladys Knight
What are your top three soul clubs of all time?
Lacy Lady, Goldmine, Twisted Wheel
What radio experience did you have before you joined Solar?
I’ve worked as a Radio Presenter for 6 years. I began on Milton Keynes Community Radio, where I also produced shows. In 2016 I moved to MKFM Commercial Radioa and became part of the Solar family in March 2017.
What is/are your main criteria in choosing records for airplay?
Choosing music is simple – the tracks must fit the show format and be of EXCELLENT Quality. I particularly like to give airplay to independent artists, as, having worked alongside them, I understand how difficult it is for them to become established.
Why would you recommend Solar to a listener?
I always recommend Solar Radio because the DJs are passionate in their love of Soul, and often experts in their field. Solar Radio covers ALL areas of Soul (and a fair amount of Jazz and Reggae too) as well as priding itself in producing quality programming.
Which other DJs do you admire and why?
I’ve listened to many DJs but I particularly admire Tony Blackburn for his professionalism and enthusiasm, Robbie Vincent for introducing me to so many amazing artists, and our very own Tony Monson, whose dedication to, and knowledge of music is unparalleled.
How would you like to be remembered by a listener?
I’d like to be remembered as a guy who helped people relive memories through music, and put a smile on their faces.
What do you do to relax?
When I’m not in a radio studio, listening to music at home, or at a gig, I enjoy watching and playing Golf, watching movies and chilling with my friends.