The chance of broadcasting – and being listened – via internet or using apps, without investing any capital to purchase a radio frequency, has made radio broadcasting way more democratic, even if standing out among the crowd of web radios is not easy. However, being noticed is not a big deal for popular music stars: U2, a famous Irish rock band formed in 1976, 170 million records sold worldwide, are working to launch U2X Radio next year. The channel will feature music, interviews and selected live performances of the band; it will be managed by SiriusXM, an American broadcasting company that provides satellite and online radio services. The company, that broadcasts via satellite the signals of more than 140 radio stations (also listenable in cars), has acquired Pandora Media last year, becoming the world’s largest audio entertainment company.
Once you go online, you’ll never go back
Tomorrowland World Radio was created to celebrate the fifteenth-year anniversary of the homonymous electronic music festival held in Belgium annually since 2005, with an attendance of 200,000 people from all around the world. The radio, that technically should have been broadcasted only for six months, is now permanent thanks to its success. It is available both on the website and on the app. It features exclusive tracks and programmes, new releases and the most iconic live sets from the past years.
Italians in the game
In Italy there is a similar project on-going: Radio TRX, an online radio dedicated to hip hop music, promoted by six of the most famous Italian rappers. (Clementino, Ensi, Fabri Fibra, Gue Pequeno, Marracash and Salmo) The broadcasting of Radio TRX already started two years ago. However, on the 5th of December 2019, an event to relaunch this radio (only available on the official app) took place in the Radio Italia’s Auditorium in Cologno (near Milan).
The six rappers, together with the producer Paola Zukar explained that the main goal of the project is becoming a curator to promote rap music. Even if rap has become a mainstream genre in Italy, listening to it on the radio is not that common. This is a big difference compared to other European countries such as France or Germany, where there are many thematic radio stations, broadcasting rap 24/7.
Italian rap ambassadors
The event started with a short video, made of interviews where the rappers talked about Radio TRX and its future. The role of radio in a world dominated by social media was mentioned. ‘TRX is like a guiding light for rap music’s audience’, said Ensi. ‘A valid alternative to the algorithm that drives the public choice’, mentioned Salmo.
The slogan of the project is ‘Culture’ so, as the rapper Marracash said, leaving everything in the hands of the public leads to superficiality, that doesn’t help music.
For this reasons, Gue Pequeno added, having an editorial made by some of the most important personalities in the rap scene can give a chance to fill this void.
Thanks to TRX Radio, the rappers are able to be curators; they can explain the rap world from inside, and also promote new talents and organise live events.