Community [SELECT]

Get Closer to Soho Radio

Since 2014, Soho Radio has been broadcasting its eclectic roster live from the heart of London. Taking inspiration from the vibrant and diverse culture that surrounds it, this “street-side” radio station has grown an impressive following of listeners, who can hear everything from Japanese grime to the psychedelic.

👉Get closer to Soho Radio 👈

Creators are the beating heart of our global community. DJs, radio hosts, selectors, storytellers, tastemakers and curators… you, the creators, are the ones crafting the shows that inspire us to keep listening and connecting through shared passions in culture and sound.

This is why we’re launching Mixcloud Select, a new way for creators and fans to get closer. With Select, listeners can subscribe directly to a creator’s channel to join their inner circle of fans, directly supporting all of the music played.

This is our big step toward building a more fair and sustainable ecosystem for audio culture – and it’s just the beginning. We’re collaborating with 40+ creators to introduce Select to the world. Here, we chat with some of those creators to get closer to the music, the scenes, the culture. They tell us what goes into creating their shows, and how they’ve leveraged Mixcloud to get heard.

Welcome to the first wave.

Since 2014, Soho Radio has been broadcasting its eclectic roster live from the heart of London. Taking inspiration from the vibrant and diverse culture that surrounds it, this “street-side” radio station has grown an impressive following of listeners, who can hear everything from Japanese grime to the psychedelic.

Who are the creators behind Soho Radio?

Soho Radio is made up from a team of passionate music lovers, founded by musician and producer Adrian Meehan, musician Finlay Morton and artist manager Dan Gray. We have a team of amazing producers who look after individual shows, running live from 8am till midnight every day.

Tell us your coming-of-age story.

Adrian and Dan sparked the idea after an offer from our eccentric Maltese landlord. Adrian had a studio based below the radio for three years, and the upstairs became available after the questionable previous internet café closed. We jumped at the chance and began laying the floor on Christmas Day 2013, with our first broadcast going live in May 2014.

Why is the studio’s location so significant?

We are an established part of Soho, being a global-yet-community radio station, based in one of the most creative square miles in the world. Being street-side allows us to interact with our listeners more, connecting with both the online and physical world, and allows us to help the community we belong to.

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What’s the most exciting part about managing a radio show?

With over 150 shows and presenters, you have no idea who will walk through the door next. It could be a live to vinyl session with Paul Weller or Ndaba Mandela recording a podcast.

Every show is different, covering a huge array of genres and topics, and you cannot predict how each day will go. It’s so exciting creating fresh content every day that’s fast and reactive.

Let’s talk about radio in the digital age. Why is it still exciting?

Radio is still a huge part of everyday life, despite the shift in listening habits. The best presenters make you feel like they are talking to you and you only, as you sit in your living room or commute to work. The power of radio has not lost its edge – online radio keeps up with the digital age and adapts, with over 1 billion hours of radio consumed every week.

What can first time listeners expect to hear from your shows?

Soho Radio broadcasts every genre, from soul to Japanese grime, rockabilly to psychedelic, along with comedy, chat, food and satirical shows. There is something for every taste, programmed to blend together throughout the day. We broadcast on two streams, Music & Culture, allowing you to pick and choose what you fancy listening to.

How do you keep your shows fresh?

Even though we cover a plethora of genres and styles, we programme the shows to run into each other seamlessly, with the evening shows catering for the more specialist genres. You can listen to the station all day, hearing something different every two hours, while still recognizing the sound of Soho Radio.

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Tell us about your listeners. Who are they and why do they keep coming back?

Our listeners range from 16 to 70 year olds. Our most senior presenter is 92 year old Leslie Hardcastle OBE who was the Controller of the British Film Institute. Our mixed genres allow for a massive audience, which means we can get experimental with our output.

Listeners don’t want to be tied to a strict listening schedule – they want to listen when they desire. Online radio stations champion in this degree as we aren’t tied to the traditional commercial scheduling. The joy of being able to host the radio shows on platforms such as Mixcloud means we reach a higher number of listeners, who can dip in and out.

What advice would you give to creators looking to start a radio show?

Do it! There is an audience out there for every genre. You’d be surprised where in the world people listen from. Just make sure you always try to produce the shows to the highest quality.

What has been your secret to success on Mixcloud?

We upload around eight shows a day, about every two hours. We then embed the shows on our website and on our social media platforms, engaging our audience to listen to shows they may not have given a chance to before.

What are your top tips for getting more people to tune in?

Social media is extremely important. It allows us to tell our listeners about what shows are on, what events we’re doing and that they can catch up with the Mixcloud playbacks. We also love doing broadcasts outside the studio, at festivals and events, to get new listeners to discover us.  Also, a high quality of music selection and presenting always helps! 

What’s been the most noteworthy show Soho Radio has ever broadcasted?

Norman Jay MBE hosted a two-hour special on Windrush to mark the 70th anniversary, playing music that his parents from the Windrush generation, played to him as a child:

Pete Paphides also hosted a Windrush themed show, shining a light on the vast musical contribution made to this country by the Windrush generation and their offspring and their offspring’s offspring:

Last but not least, what’s the strangest encounter you’ve had while a Soho Radio show’s been on air?

We are in Soho so there’s a lot of strange encounters! We had a producer helping a dominatrix with their PVC catsuit before they guested on a show, applying the talcum powder liberally. We had Public Enemy drop by as guests, whilst we had the children from the Soho Parish Primary School next door wrap up their radio show. The combinations of guests crossing paths is never dull.

👉 Subscribe to Soho Radio on Mixcloud Select 👈

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