Interview With:

Jeff Leake

Director of Music Programming
SiriusXM Canada

With years of a storied radio broadcasting career under his belt, including countless artist interviews, awards show hosting gigs and any number of other accolades Jeff Leake also plays an important role for the NACC Community. He’s the host and executive producer of the weekly “NACC 200 Countdown” radio show and accompanying “Month in Review” Podcast. Airing twice weekly on SiriusXM The Verge (Channel 173), the show highlights artists that are making big moves on the chart in any given week, exposing numerous NACC artists to the SiriusXM Audience. The show airs every Tuesday at 9pm EST with a re-broadcast on Thursdays at 1pm EST. The accompanying “Month in Review” podcast is available HERE on iTunes with more outlets being added weekly.
Tell us a bit about the career path that led to where you are now.

Started like most people, I listened to radio growing up and thought it was awesome! I took a high school internship at a station and I couldn’t believe I was included in these backroom conversations with these absolute pro broadcasters. When the internship was done I was certain radio was of interest, so I went to radio college, then just applied for jobs everywhere. I think I even sent a demo tape to a radio stations repeater tower.

What makes satellite radio matter in today’s fragmented environment? And what makes The Verge unique in particular?

Satellite matters because it has feel. It’s not just robots spitting out “you may like this”, It has people who live and breath the format they program. Our staff are like encyclopedias in all genres.

The Verge is unique for 2 reasons 1. The channel is 92% Canadian, yet it doesn’t really wave that flag. Listeners reach out daily saying how surprised they were when they found out most of the bands were Canadian. 2. It’s not the Canadians you may already know (no Bieber, Drake, or The Weeknd) its Canadian indie/alternative sounds. Canada, has such a great creative spirit and it shows in the music and arts that are created here.


What is your favorite experience you’ve had in your career? Perhaps a musical idol you got to meet? A festival you were able to attend? A favorite band you were able to help break?

I had lunch with Dave Grohl and his family. We talked about our kids, then he paid.


What band/artist outside the realm of indie rock radio would people he surprised to hear you love?

I listen to sounds from all genres on SiriusXM but the one that surprises people is classical music. I find it to be the ultimate audio reset.


What job do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t a station programmer/DJ?

The job would be artist related, either booking, or managing talent.


Is there an up-and-coming Canadian band people might not be aware of that you can tip people off to?

There is this fantastic band who I met a few years back who blow me away every show called The Glorious Sons. Brett the lead singer from the band was going so crazy on stage one night the mic stand basically ripped his forehead open. Yep gross, and the band played on.


What is your dream travel destination?

I would really like a 1 way trip to space otherwise, I really want to drive across America I just haven’t figured out the route or just what it is I think I’m expecting to see.


What TV show are you obsessed with atm? Or are you one of ‘those people’ that doesn’t watch TV?

Wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with anything. I just finished watching the Wire again, and could easily start watching Walking Dead from the start 1 more time. (Yes I did cut the cable)


What is your favorite restaurant in town?

Do you mean my Toronto town? Oddly I don’t really go out to dinner in my own city. I’m just happy to be home for a few consecutive nights.


You’re stranded on a desert island. What five well known people (dead or alive) would you like to have there with you?

5 sounds like a way too many people. I would just hate to be the reason why we were on that island in the first place. I could however name a few people who I would like to see go to a desert island. DT, VP, KJ, and few of those other nutters.