Since I arrived in London, my curiosity for music have been fed by listening to independent online radios. The scene is so rich, so diverse and so exciting that I would not be able to know where to start. Well… NTS was the front door to it.

It is the most renowned online radio at the moment – offering diverse content and show to various artists and DJs. NTS does not promote a genre but always go above and beyond the boundaries we know – awakening our curiosity and feeding our thirst for more.

I don’t want to create an extensive list of online radios because there are plethora-  Radar Radio, Hoxton FM, Balamii, Soho Radio, Netil Radio, Worldwide FM to name few… 

Piggy-backing on London’s pirate radio heritage

Can you see the aerial?

London has a strong heritage of pirate radios. Rinse has released a serie about the pirate radios in London (Episode 1, Episode 2). Also, Vice few years ago have also showcased its importance – watch here.

Although the borough, in which the radios operate, remains a very important attribute to the radio (NTS in Hackney, Balamii in Peckham etc…); online radio aren’t perceived as pirate radios. But, one cannot deny that there’s a feel for it. Usually very quiet with the press, subtle marketing, they offer 100% music content nearly 24/7 without advertising. The radios very carefully select partners – owning stages in festivals (previously Radar Radio x Bloc Festival), partner with art institutions (NTS x ICA), use renowned public figures (Gilles Peterson x Worldwide FM). The promotion and partnerships curate exciting novelties.

Tune in online to access curated and nurtured music shows

Balamii Radio’s Studio in Peckham

Even though DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) simplified the industry, but most radios are now accessed online – BBC 6 Music, for example, is accessed majoritarily from their website. Online radios have tapped into the right medium.

The shows are completely designed by the DJs/musicians themselves without restriction. The content becomes completely personalised and unique. They can be big names such as Floating points on NTS or smaller such as our Haiju and Patella on Hoxton FM.

The shows are streamed not only on the radio’s website, but also on their social media’s platform. It creates a disruptive interaction between the listeners and the content being broadcasted. The immediate and live interaction happens via social medias – likes, shares and comments. A posteriori, the full set is shared on streaming platform (soundcloud or mixcloud) with the tracklist. That’s where you can find the gems!

You’ll find other brilliant radios in other cities in the UK and Europe:

So… tune in to one of them and may you be filled by those amazing musical golden nugget that make our life super sweet.