Wexford-native Ava Somers has been revealed as the new presenter of Irishbeats on regional radio station Beat 102-103, replacing the longstanding bastion of Irish music, Rob O'Connor.
Ava, now in the closing months of her Master’s in Media Law at University College Cork (UCC), is a well-known figure in South East and Cork music circles thanks to the success of her alt-pop outfit, Glass Pants.
Picking up the surprise phone call live on Irishbeats last weekend, an “over the moon” Ava told Rob she was “delighted to carry on the amazing legacy that Rob has built over the years.”
After fifteen years at the helm of the station’s flagship homegrown music programme, Irishbeats, Rob O’Connor decided to step down from the IMRO award-winning radio show in February.
Commenting on his departure at the time, Rob said: “The breadth and depth of the quality of Irish music being created is astounding. That level of talent deserves more than the commitment I can make right now. It's been a privilege to have been part of Beat's journey over the years, but it's time for someone else to bring Irish Beats to the next level.”
Ava is perfectly positioned to build on the incredible work that Rob has done to nurture and showcase up-and-coming Irish artists. A long-time fan of the show, Ava began listening to Irishbeats in her early teens: “I had to go to bed early for school, but I wanted to stay up to listen to Na Cairteacha Oifiguil na hEireann, so when I turned on the radio, Rob was always on air. Through that I fell in love with new Irish artists such as Ham Sandwich, Dermot Kennedy and Little Green Cars – I was hooked.”
Music has been a constant in Ava’s life. Performing live in some shape or form since the tender age of three, Ava has honed her skills across a myriad of instruments including piano, guitar and bass. Ava also had the honour of being a ‘recalled artist’ with the Irish Youth Music Awards in 2020, having worked with them for two years prior.
The Wexford woman also boasts plenty of practical radio experience having hosted her own show on student station UCC 98.3FM over the last number of years. You can also read Ava’s live music circuit recommendations in Motely Magazine and Hotpress.
With a strong knowledge of the nuts and bolts of Irish music under her belt, Ava’s gameplan is to stay true to the spirit of Irishbeats all while providing a new voice to a new generation of Irish DJs, singers and bands: “My hope is to bring a fresh voice to a much-loved show”, she said. “I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground, bringing the best new Irish music as it emerges and showing off the talent that this little island churns out year after year.”
Ava’s first Irishbeats show can be heard on April 2nd from 8 pm