Rinse FM's founder explains the thrills and spills behind 20 years of broadcasting.
The story of Rinse FM is the story of London club music. From jungle, to garage, to grime, to dubstep, to funky and beyond, for the last 22 years Rinse has been at the vanguard of every major development in the capital's scene. The station's longevity goes from "impressive" to "mind-blowing" when you consider what it's gone through to reach where it is today. For 16 years, Rinse was operating as a pirate station. In this 90-minute conversation, Geeneus, who set up the station with some friends as a 16-year-old, makes it clear that most days during that time came with enormous challenges. He tells stories of constant battles—with rival stations, with the radio regulatory authorities, with controlling a sprawling roster of DJs and MCs. Geeneus was the guy being dangled over the side of a tower block or crawling down a rubbish chute to set up a transmitter. Or the one being held at knifepoint by competing East London pirates. It's worth bearing in mind that, at its core, all of this effort was so Geeneus and Rinse's DJs could share the music they loved through London's airwaves. Things looks very different at Rinse these days, but its scrappy, streetwise spirit remains. Rinse has an FM license, a record label, studios, offices and one of the most influential rosters of DJs in the world, but it remains deeply ingrained in the community it came from.
Geeneus and co. will be heading to Haggerston Park in London on June 4th and 5th for the Rinse I Born & Bred festival.