Hi Dan! We are delighted to have this opportunity to chat with you today!
You are one of the founding members of Hoxton FM and the station has just turned one year old!
Have you had a good year and what have been the highlights so far?
It’s been an amazing and very busy year with lots of achievements. The highlights have to be streaming our live DJ sets from the beaches of Ibiza, filming the red carpet at a movie première at Ministry of Sound and interviewing the likes of Irvine Welsh, Danny Rampling and Tony Andrews (Funktion 1).
What is the story behind the creation of Hoxton FM?
Myself and the two other founders had met through our involvement in a community radio project. We shared common creative interests and had wider ambitions than the remit of that particular station. I wanted to reinvigorate the format of radio via the internet and mobile by involving the crowd in live broadcasts from venues. Now Hoxton Forward Movement has evolved into an exciting community that is pushing far more boundaries thanks to Quintin Christian and Rakhee Sudra’s passion and enthusiasm.
What is the meaning of Hoxton Forward movement? How is it different from other radio stations? What do you feel is the role of a radio station in our day and age?
We are a network covering music, art, fashion and culture. Our focus is not on money, but instead on creative growth through shared inspiration. We find and help break new talent. Quality and diversity are very much part of our ethos. We are passionate about live broadcasts and involving our listeners. For us it’s not about appearing cool or looking down on anyone. Everybody involved helps each other achieve individual goals with a “givers gain” mentality. There is a tremendous sense of fun about the station. We have new shows and volunteers joining in the effort every few weeks. I don’t think we are like any other radio station. We are already growing beyond that categorisation. We consciously didn’t use the word radio (choosing instead to play with people’s FM perceptions) as we see audio streaming as just one medium. We are dedicated to bringing more and more video pieces and live feeds when the quality of content is high enough. The beauty of radio is it can engage a listener whilst they are doing something else e.g. working or driving. TV cannot do this. Radio also engages the imagination as a listener pictures the scene they are listening to. It can also foster a tremendous feeling of community in an area. We learnt quickly that our best work is often off mic. From unrepeatable quotes to invaluable contacts to enlightening learning experiences, radio is not just about what is broadcast. It’s about what it brings together.
What is the music and content policy for Hoxton FM?
We are open to all styles. Diversity is very important to us. Every show has the freedom to feature whatever content they want as long as they are passionate about it and they remain positive.
Tell us more about the team behind the station, how do you guys know each other and what does each one of you bring to the show?
Everyone has met through past involvement in other stations and chance meetings at events. Rakhee is the producer. She nurtures the presenters and helps them to grow and get better with every show. Quintin is our sound director. He helps us maintain an exceptional quality and professionalism in our broadcasts. I am the glue. I hold everything together, build relationships and generally try to make things happen. I also take a hands on approach to shows often engineering, producing and training up presenters and volunteers. I also host two shows. Deep City Sounds is every Friday at 2pm live from Basing House. At 10pm on Sundays my Prelude show is streamed live from Aquarium before the club opens and leads into my residency for Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (streamed through until 2am). So you could say I start and end people’s weekends.
We also have a number of other contributors who dedicate their time to assisting with broadcasts and raising awareness about the station online and in person. There are too many to mention but Muzzy, Sara and Jack have been vital to our continued success.
The DJs and presenters at Hoxton FM don’t just have great music tastes but also personalities to match-what does it take to become a part of Hoxton FM?
You just have to have a passion for something and want to share it. There are so many creative people in this area, but far fewer who can dedicate time to a weekly show. It takes a certain courage to speak on air. But I believe everyone has it in them. You have to be ready to step out of your comfort zone as we encourage all shows to get out of the studio and into venues. This can mean talking on a mic in front of people, not just to listeners. We have seen vast improvements in many of our presenters with encouragement and guidance. We prefer people who have not been in radio before as they have not developed the stereotypical tone of voice that comes from trying to make boring stuff sound exciting.
Hoxton FM shows always feature some great guests- how do you choose them?
We have many fantastic contacts who help us. Our patron Normski seems to know everyone and his Get Tronic show (Fridays at 4pm live from Basing house) is a bit of a who’s who of dance music. His example has inspired our other presenters to approach their idols and invite them to share their passions. You’d be surprised who you can get if you just ask. More recently we have been even more surprised who has approached us about guest shows.
You run your weekly show now from Basing house- how does it differ from being in a studio and what should we expect to see in the upcoming months?
I’ve never been a huge fan of studio based radio. I find studios quite sterile and venues such as Basing house have great soundsystems and space to invite guests and an audience down which helps you really feel the music and build some energy which makes shows much more listenable and enjoyable. It also allows us to forge stronger partnerships with venues for future events. I am very excited to be having some very special guests from the line-up of the BPitch Control showcase at Cafe’ 1001 at the end of October. I’m not going to give away any more but it’s all about showcasing fresh talent from the realms of house and techno.
You are also a DJ and producer- did working on Hoxton FM influence your own style and perception?
It has to. I am always looking to develop my techniques and style. Simply being exposed to new music and people has opened my eyes in a number of areas. I think I had become obsessed with the perfect flawless production and mixing style. I have learnt that if you don’t take risks you cannot progress and the greatest beauty is found when experimenting.
What are your future plans for Hoxton FM and your own musical career?
We have a second audio stream opening up soon to dedicate solely to live venue broadcasts. Some shows will be streamed via webcam. I am also being booked to DJ and broadcast in major cities around the world by some very exciting collectives who are keen to share what inspires them on Hoxton FM. Everywhere I go I am looking for new recruits who can run shows and broadcasts in their cities and spread our positive ethos worldwide. With all of the contacts I have made in this last year I am planning a lot of collaborations on the production front. I did sacrifice a lot of hours I would have spent on music production for Hoxton FM (only releasing one collaboration, a remix and an e.p. in 2012) but in 2013 i will be making up for lost time.
It has been great chatting to you Dan, we will sure be catching up with you soon again at one of your upcoming shows each Friday, 2-4 pm @ Basing House!!!