The NME has always been at the forefront of new music – whether you agrre with its editorial opinions or not – so moving it’s trend-spotting and new music reporting to the airwaves always seemed like logical progression.
NME Radio was born in June 2008 and the digital station has grown in popularity ever since, especially since it joined Mixcloud and became one of the most regularly listened stations on the site. We talked to a couple of the leading presenters who have reaped the rewards of Mixcloud membership; Saturday showmen James Theaker and Firas.
James sees the site as fitting in perfectly with the new listening patterns of the digital/online age, “I think the idea of people tuning in religiously at a set time each week for any radio show is slightly outdated, so where Mixcloud comes into it’s own is that it offers fans of NME Radio the chance to listen again at their leisure”.
Firas meanwhile, loves the social media aspects of the site, “I think the ability to tweet once you have uploaded a new show is fantastic, plus people seem to be stumbling upon the show randomly. It’s also really useful to be able to embed the content on blogs and such like”.
So what about their show’s that have been topping the popular charts on such a regular basis?
Well James host NME Modified from 8-10 on Saturdays, which is “meant to reflect the mood people are in before they go out at night, so loosely speaking the music is up tempo, exciting and energetic. Within this I’ll touch on bands that have new releases the following Monday or perhaps tracks that are featuring in the club charts”. He also has a new Friday mix show called NME Presents… where he hands over the controls to an upcoming DJ/band/producer for an hour; “which is great because the listener gets an insight into styles of music and a selection of tunes they may not otherwise have been exposed to”.
Firas’ All Mixed Up follows James on a Saturday night, and as he says himself, “I’m quite partial to a bit of everything really, from dubstep to drum ‘n’ bass, house to indie – but All Mixed Up being what it is – it’s a full on, high octane soundtrack to your house party. Forget booking a DJ to come play for you. Bang the radio on!”
He is also quick to defend the NME brand against those who see the station’s success as yet another death knell for the print publication. “There’s no denying that people seem to want to bash established media outlets nowadays. With the development of the NME brand into a more multi-platform operation it holds even more clout than it did before. It’s both exciting and encouraging that shows such as mine are being given the chance to develop and build on NME Radio”.