Kiss92 FM DJ Maddy Barber leaving to focus on jewellery business

Radio station will mark her departure with $50,000 worth of bespoke jewellery to give away

Maddy Barber, who was one of Kiss92's initial slate of DJs when the station launched in 2012, will present her last show on July 16.
Maddy Barber, who was one of Kiss92's initial slate of DJs when the station launched in 2012, will present her last show on July 16.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

After close to a decade of co-helming the Kiss92 FM morning show, radio host Maddy Barber is leaving radio to focus on her bespoke jewellery business, Madly.

The bubbly DJ, who started her career in radio in the mid-1990s, will present her last show on the SPH Radio station on July 16.

To mark the departure, Kiss92 FM will be doing a giveaway of $50,000 worth of bespoke jewellery from Madly.

Barber, 47, who was one of Kiss92's initial slate of DJs when the station launched in 2012, says she is leaving radio on a high note.

"It's been a good run and I think I achieved so much at SPH Radio, more than I could ever dream of," says the co-host of the Maddy, Andre & Divian In The Morning show on weekdays from 6 to 10am.

"I do feel I've done the best show that I could ever do, I work with the best people, and I'm just never going to do a better show."

She credits the late Mr Jamie Meldrum for helping her find her own voice and identity as a DJ. The former senior programme director at Kiss92 FM and One FM 91.3 died of natural causes at the age of 50 last year.

"I wasn't that confident. I didn't have such a strong voice and a sense of identity, I didn't think I was good, just okay. But he saw a potential in me, gave me opportunities and he really brought out the best in me."

Her jewellery business, which is now in its seventh year, has grown a lot in recent years, she says.

The company has 13 employees, not including herself and her husband Wez Barber, 43, who is managing director. It has a retail store in Singapore and two gem-sourcing offices in Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

"Madly has definitely made big leaps in the last three years. I've given my best to radio and now it's time to at least try to give my best to Madly. It's also stable enough that I can quit radio, I don't need that as a safety net anymore, because it is the main thing in my life now."

Maddy Barber made her start in 1995 as a DJ on Mediacorp radio station Perfect 10, now known as 987. In 1998, she joined Heart 91.3, now called One FM 91.3.

She left Singapore in 2001 to work as a radio software consultant in India for a year before moving to Thailand, where she spent more than six years as a programme director for Virgin Radio, as well as in the real estate business.

She came back to Singapore in 2009 and rejoined One FM 91.3, moving to Kiss92 three years later.

In the late 1990s, she had a stint as an actress, starring in home-grown retro movie Forever Fever in 1998 and Spin, a teen drama on Channel 5, in 1999.

She and her husband have a 15-year-old daughter, Alicia. She also has a 25-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, from a previous marriage.

SPH Radio general manager Sim Hong Huat says: "It has been an amazing decade with Maddy and we're definitely sad to see her leave. But more so, we're happy that she is doing this for herself and her family, especially in these unprecedented times where emotional and mental well-being is so important."

He adds that Kiss92 will reveal plans for its new morning show in the coming weeks.

The radio station announced the details of the first of five Madly jewellery giveaways in the morning show yesterday. There will be five contests until July 16 and each winner will get custom-made jewellery worth $10,000 each.

The first contest is open to couples getting engaged. Contestants have to post their love story on social media with the hashtag #MadlyYes and the winners will get to customise an engagement ring at Madly.

The details of the other contests will be revealed on air on Kiss92 in the coming weeks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2021, with the headline 'Kiss92 FM DJ Maddy Barber leaving to focus on jewellery business'. Subscribe