Internet radio remains a vital forum for the sharing of music and cultural exchange that bridges gaps between the world’s disparate communities. From NTS and dublab to Headstream and Playground Radio, the internet has proliferated musical perspectives seldom heard on mainstream airwaves, making them accessible with just a few clicks. In this varied environment, Run Dem Radio moves with purpose.
Founded by DJ and broadcaster Charlie Dark, the London-based station focuses on programming that uplifts unheard voices, functioning as a community radio platform, podcast studio and record store. Jumping off from Charlie’s well-known creative collective, Run Dem Crew – which has combined music and running to build a loyal audience – Run Dem Radio broadcasts live video and audio every weekend on Mixcloud Live, streamlining its programming in earnest. “[Mixcloud Live] has added a visual element to the broadcasts,” Charlie tells us. “It’s a great way to keep connected with our followers and viewers across the world and it’s easy to get started without the fuss and paperwork that comes from a traditional internet station.”
From their experiences, running online radio has become second nature to Run Dem. We checked in with Charlie and fellow member DJ Nav to share their biggest nuggets of wisdom.
Prioritize the visual element
Charlie Dark: “Make the space you stream from as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Playing great music is not enough to keep people engaged, remember it’s a visual and audio representation of your station. Check out a great YouTube site called My Analogue Journal for some pointers or Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy’s Mixcloud channel.”
Make your presence felt
CD: “Radio is not the same as playing music in the club. Don’t be afraid to inject your personality and knowledge in your set. Be informative and take people on a journey.”
Find your niche
CD: “Listen to your favorite radio shows and try to identify what makes them unique and special. Take these lessons and apply them to your own show. Most importantly, ask yourself what makes your show different from the rest and place your show on a station or platform that makes sense.”
Invest in reliable technology
DJ Nav: “Make sure you have a good internet connection otherwise it just doesn’t work! A good interface and camera setup also goes a long way to making sure that the viewer experience is great.”
Take your viewers on an adventure
Nav: “My best advice would be to plan your shows and play music that YOU love – tell a story, map a journey with the set and help people to understand how the music makes you feel, how you experienced it and why you want to share it with others.”
Remember what your purpose is
Nav: “Community radio is something that connects the dots between all backgrounds, areas and ages. Bridging the gaps through the love of sharing and listening to music. The biggest advice will always be to just go and give it your best – what’s the worst that can happen?”
Catch Run Dem Radio spinning weekly on Mixcloud.