Broadcasting online from 5-11pm GMT every night, we have been impressed by 10 Twenty since their launch last September so we decided to head to their studios in central Bristol to have a chat with founders Joelie and Sean during their Thursday night broadcast with DJ Stolen for Super Kitchen, followed by Dissident.
How did 10 Twenty Radio start?
Sean: I have always listened to radio from a young age and worked in various areas of music before starting the station. One thing I thought that was missing from Bristols amazing music scene was a radio station that had an output representing the sound of what happens in the city and all the talent that the city has to offer. The station is something I had the desire to do for a long time so it all naturally started falling into place once I began sharing the ideas with others and taking the steps to launch it. Since launching in September 2015 we have had a very positive response
Joelie: Sean came to me with the idea whilst we were working at Glastonbury and I was instantly excited about it. Ideas began to be put together straight away, logo designs sketched out and all the plans quickly came together and the idea actually got off the ground. I’ve always had an interest in music from playing various instruments from a young age to now learning to DJ and studying Events Management at Uni. It’s good to have a creative outlet to for all of these interests.
Online you describe yourself as a "Worldwide music platform", was the idea to eventually be supporting artists across the globe and not just those coming out of Bristol?
Joelie: The beauty of it being internet based is that listeners from all over the world can delve into the Bristol and UK music scenes, as well as giving the DJ’s a chance to showcase their talent to a global audience.
Sean: We also have DJ’s on the station that play music from all over the world not just music coming out of Bristol. This is something we have spent a lot of time on when building the schedule for the station. We are always discovering new talented people some of which, only focus on playing music from outside of the UK. I would recommend checking out the Saudeo show.
How much does your music taste influence which labels and artists you have on 10 Twenty?
Sean: I have grown up listening to stations like Rinse FM, and my main focus around that time was always the early Dubstep and Grime music, which then moved on to me learning to DJ. Nowadays I have broadened my knowledge off all genres of music which definitely plays a part in what the station outputs. but I have no limitations on what DJ’s can or can’t play on the station. I want people to be able to showcase what they love playing. It also gives DJ’s the opportunity to play music they are interested in but may not normally play at the clubs.
Joelie: I have a quite a varied taste in music and am always up for discovering new music which is the joy of running a radio station. I get introduced to so many new artists and music on a daily basis through working in the studio, so my musical taste is constantly being expanded. When creating our schedule we want to showcase a variety of different genres and give our DJ’s that freedom.
Has it been difficult committing to broadcasting every evening, do you have to fit it around other jobs?
Sean: Yeah it is something that is sometimes very difficult having to balance it around personal life and work and as the station continues to grow we have tend to be spending more and more time outside of the broadcasting hours working on other aspects of the station. This of course was something that I expected to happen as we progressed.
Joelie: It can be difficult balancing it with Uni and fitting part time jobs around it. It fills up most of our spare time as we are continually working on growing and developing, but it’s worth it to be pushing something that we both enjoy and want to be doing.
Have there been any particular radio stations that inspired you to start 10 Twenty?
Sean: For me there are a number of stations that have inspired me to start 10 Twenty. When I was younger I listened to Rinse FM as much as I could. I then went on to discover NTS Radio, as a station it continues to impress me with their exciting and interesting programming that represents music from all over the world. I am also a keen listener of Radar Radio that has had an incredible first year since launching.
Joelie: Rinse FM is a big inspiration for me as well, it was the first station that I started listening to and quickly became my go to station to listen to and discover new music and artists. NTS has become a big inspiration for me, even more so since launching 10 Twenty. They push such a diverse range of musical talent from across the UK and now globally with their international station. It’s progressed very naturally as a station, gradually building momentum over the 5 years it’s been running.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own station?
Our advice to anyone would be to really think about the brand you are trying to create and the direction that you want the station to go as there is a lot of competition out there. And always push what you love so your passion can drive the business forward. Always try to build good relationships, you never know who you’re going to meet and how you could help each other.
What can we expect from you guys in the future?
We’re constantly working on the station and getting lots of exciting ideas into motion. But we are currently unable to reveal any of these. But we are always working to create new and exciting content for the station.
Photography and interview by Beth Sheldrick
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You can find out more about 10 Twenty and listen live by visiting their website.
See our new event launching 9th June: Coconut & New Movement Presents