Gwangju Blog

People You Should Know…in Gwangju: Travis Groves

Photo Courtesy of Travis Groves

Photo Courtesy of Travis Groves

If you like listening to music, you’re going to love getting to know this week’s person.  Another host of GFN, he’s spinning the records you love…even the ones you didn’t know you loved!  Yeah, he’s that good.  Here, in his own words, is Travis Groves…a person you should know in Gwangju.


How long have you been in Gwangju? 

I’ve been living in Gwangju since the beginning of 2012, so, three and a half years.


What do you do here in Gwangju?

I’m a Radio Producer / Writer / Host on ‘In the Mix’ (music program) at GFN 98.7 in Gwangju and 93.7FM in Yeosu.

Monday to Sunday
Listen online: GFN 98.7 FM  (if that doesn’t work, try here)

Tune-in for a taste of home, as my guests and I chat about the latest music news, music (rock, pop, indie, classic), festivals, and concerts in Korea. The only show FULLY produced by a foreigner in the country!

What did you do before you took up your current job?

I was a Reporter for Mnet Amercia, which is like the Korean version of MTV. I also worked in radio for TBS Efm in Seoul on several programs as a regular guest.

What has been your most rewarding achievement?

Photo Courtesy of Travis Groves

Photo Courtesy of Travis Groves

Getting a job in the Marketing Department of Harrods Knightsbridge in London was exciting. Meeting a lot of celebrities including Georgio Armani, Kate Bosworth, Liam Ghallagher, amongst many others. But probably my most rewarding achievement was interviewing K-Pop group Girls Generation (Style Icon Awards, Seoul), Brad Pitt (during is Moneyball premier, Seoul) and Kenny G (Gwangju). Total name drop I know, but I get star struck I must admit.

What do you do for fun? 

Well, I recently got engaged, so I enjoy going for drives with my fiancé. Things like camping, BBQ, listening to tunes, watching shows (True Detective is back!), the movies, and when I have time DJ’ing and graphic design.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?

I went to the Middle East in 2010 to visit a good friend who I met in Seoul, 2008. We met up in Jordan, and went to the city of Petra (where Indiana Jones was filmed), slept under the stars in a Bedouin camp, played the Rababa, then crossed the Red Sea to Egypt, staying on the Sinai, before heading up to Israel. There, we visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and made our way into Palestine’s West Bank. It was such a cultural experience as it was Ramadan. I also love art, and got to see Banksy’s controversial street art throughout Palestine, in the flesh.

Photo Courtesy of Travis Groves

Photo Courtesy of Travis Groves

Any family? Pets? 

My immediate family includes my mum, dad, two brothers, and of course now my fiancé . Plus, my nana & pop, many cousins, aunties & uncles. Love em’ all heaps! Had a dog growing up who past many years ago (always sad), definitively want another, but not while I’m living in an apartment.

What is something you wish you could do?

I have always wanted my own business, being your own boss would be the life!

Any embarrassing tales for public consumption?

Hmmmm….”public consumption”. Hehe. Ummm, yeah, I mentioned earlier about interviewing Brad Pitt. The writer of the show made me the WORST sign ever, saying “ATTENTION PLEASE” in pink, yellow, and blue. I had to hold that to get his attention on the red carpet, and the Producer wanted me to ask him what he thought about Korean food, not about the actual movie he was promoting! LOL. You only get one chance to interview someone like that. Let’s just say, I won’t be using that on my show reel, sadly.

Is there any person you admire?

My parents, for putting up with me as a kid! But seriously, if it weren’t for our parents, most of us expats couldn’t have had the platform we’ve been given to be educated and live abroad. So, I admire my parents hard work.

Any personal code you live by?

It’s often hard to stick by a code, but I would say make mistakes, it’s the only way us humans learn. Also, you only live once, so chase your dreams, but be wise about it.

What’s your “perfect” day in Gwangju?

In Australia, you can’t drink in public. So, honestly, sitting out front of a convenient store on a hot summer’s afternoon with a coupla’ coldies, and good company. 4 for 10. Expats know what I’m talkin’ about!

Is there any place in Gwangju you recommend?

Photo Courtesy of Travis Groves

Photo Courtesy of Travis Groves

Mudeung Mountain is the obvious one. Been up there several times, and it’s beautiful. Otherwise, I live in Sangmu, and this end of the river is quite nice also.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their life?

Travel anywhere, by yourself, off the beaten path, at least once. It put’s you in a vulnerable state, and that’s when the best stuff happens. I went to 4 cities in Japan by myself, met new people, and had a great time!

Any advice you want to give the people of Gwangju?

It’s a small community, so, be careful! <Wink>.