We talk to Radar's Ollie Ashley about the station that's becoming an essential part of the London music community.
Ollie Ashley started Radar Radio with a simple but ambitious aim: to create the next generation of radio. He'd cut his teeth working at Rinse and NTS but, even in the crowded London radio market, he felt there was space for a station that put fresh talent and young people at its core. He also thought it was unnecessarily difficult for new DJs to get on the radio, and he wanted to tackle this head on. If you've listened to the station over the past couple of years, you'll probably already be aware of another of Radar's aims: to break the conventions of traditional radio. Hosts on the station are encouraged to speak freely and have fun on the air. Many of the shows have a loose, off-the-cuff feel; on Wake and Bake with Amy Becker and Three Shots the hosts do their thing under the influence.
Ashley likes to describe Radar as a youth club, which feels completely appropriate—almost 24/7 there are groups of people hanging out at the station, recording shows, practicing DJing and MCing. The question of how this upstart internet radio station affords its impressive facilities comes up often, so when Ashley stopped by RA's London studio he addressed this publicly for the first time, while explaining Radar's ongoing development as a hub for new UK music.