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Who’s Who at CKDU? Trevor Murphy Sets Halifax Ablaze, Weekly

Gazette: Who are you? How old are you? Where are you from?

Trevor Muphy: My name is Trevor Murphy, I’m 30 years old (feels weird to say that) and I grew up in a small village outside of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia called Surette’s Island.

G: How long have you been hosting Halifax is Burning? What got you started in radio?

TM: This fall, Halifax Is Burning will celebrate its six-year anniversary. My start at CKDU was kind of random and spur of the moment. On some level, I’ve always been interested in the radio. I recorded fake radio shows on blank cassettes when I was a kid. In 2009, I was living in an apartment close to the Dal campus and would pick up the CKDU signals whenever I would record home demos (I’m also a musician). I’d be listening back to guitar tracks or vocal takes, and could hear broadcasts in the background. Soon after, I walked up the block, attended the training sessions, and applied for a permanent radio slot. Subliminal.

G: What do you mean Halifax Is Burning? Should we take cover?

TM: “Halifax Is Burning” is the name of a Myles Deck & The Fuzz song from their debut album Beware! The Fuzz. I knew going in that I wanted my show to be focused on local music so it was only natural that the name of the program was derived from a local band/song.

G: Why do you have this predilection towards the local artistic community?

TM: I moved to Halifax over ten years ago due largely in part to the city’s music community. Coming from Yarmouth, I was extremely inspired by Dependent Music (a record label/collective that originated in my hometown) and some of their acts such as Wintersleep, Brian Borcherdt, Contrived, etc. I’ve always loved music, but I realized the music I love the most is often created right here in our own back yard. It was easy to translate that passion to a radio show.

The joy of community radio is that it provides a voice for the voiceless. That’s typically the whole M.O. for my show – to highlight and expose exceptional bands/artists that you won’t hear on commercial radio. We have an amazing talent pool here in Halifax and music scene that is steeped in decades of rich musical history. Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate that?

G: What makes for a good radio show?

TM: Two elements I personally try to focus on when going to air are curation and preparation. Only having sixty minutes a week to talk about what’s happening around the city means I have to actively curate which shows/ bands/artists to highlight. I not only do my best to ensure what makes it on the show reflects the community’s diversity, but I also arrange the show in such as way so as to maintain a good flow in the programming.

G: Why do you do what you do?

TM: Short and simple: because I love it. Being on the radio is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I am a firm believer in the power and importance of community radio so a station like CKDU is the perfect home for Halifax Is Burning. I get to play what I want, I get to make my own decisions with regards to my show, and I’m not beholden to a computer telling me I have to cut to commercial in 30 seconds. The show gives me an hour each week to talk about local music – something I’m extremely passionate about (can you tell?) – and allows me to be an advocate for this community in a variety of ways. Halifax Is Burning also allows me to stay connected to the scene as it continues to develop.

Since the show has garnered a certain reputation and has won the Music Nova Scotia Award for Radio Program of the Year for the last two years, I frequently have young, new bands approaching me for airplay. It keeps me on my toes. Discovering new local stuff is one of the best parts about this gig.

The Important Stuff:

Halifax Is Burning airs on Tuesday nights from 6:30pm- 7:30pm on CKDU 88.1FM. Podcasted episodes are available online at

Mat Wilush
Mat Wilush
Mat Wilush once went to see Agent Orange on the outskirts of Toronto, where the beer was salty and drunken teenagers took turns sitting in a prop electric chair. The music had aged poorly. A mohawk’d middle-ager danced through the first couple songs, but quickly tired out. There just isn’t much room for surf rock in the world anymore. What next? Mat Wilush wants to know. Mat is the Gazette's Arts Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @wilushwho and email him at

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