Gus talks radio: Earl Sweatshirt's Stay Inside show with Knxwledge

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Well known and respected radio maker Gus stands side by side with Lefto for almost 2 decades. No better person to talk us through Knxwledge and Earl Sweatshirt’s radioshow Stay Inside. 

Hi Gus, let’s talk about Stay Inside: slept-on rap classics, exclusive remixes and jams from all over the world. That’s the same as what you guys are doing right?

What we’re doing is taking people on a musical journey around the world. It can start off with gospel, go to UK grime and end with house. In that way it is comparable to Stay Inside. It’s a great concept actually, you could do literally anything in your house while playing this in the background. They record from Earl’s home studio and you can almost hear that familiar setting. 

What are the most profound differences?

They seem to care less. For example, Knxwledge and Earl talk about stuff like weed and throws in curse words here and there. It’s way less censored, but that makes it great to listen to.

Do they have less restrictions than you guys?

People tried to push us in directions sometimes, but Studio Brussel started as an alternative radio station funded by the government, which means they needed to represent all genres. So of course you can’t talk about everything, but musically there are no restrictions. The program is a 120min Lefto ego trip, he has great ears and really developed that Lefto trademark sound. In 1999 they wanted to make a hiphop show and chose him for that. I joined him 2 years later and it’s been like that ever since. 

What do you think about their tracklist?

They like to work around a specific theme, but sometimes they would just do random stuff and be funny. They’re definitely not too strict. Selection wise it’s interesting because they play these obscure hiphop tracks that normally never would’ve seen daylight. Or they slip these jazz classics in their show, it’s a rollercoaster, just like Lefto. They’re a nice duo. 

From where comes your interest in radio and how did you end up kicking it with Lefto?

It still sends shivers down my spine if I think about back in the day, when we used to go to Amsterdam and see the Dutch Masters ON VILLA 65, making radio for VPRO. Their humor and chemistry really opened a whole new world for us. I was always fascinated by music, and started making radio for Urgent. Around that time you also had Swart, DJ Grazzhoppa, TLP and Krewcial making radioshows in Belgium. I already knew Lefto for a while, he sold records in Music Mania Brussels. He hung with my friends and when he lived in Gent, we used to see him a lot more frequently.  

What makes a great radioshow, according to you?

Depends on what you’re looking for. Lefto wants to share his musical knowledge and play exclusive music, but on the other side I can also appreciate podcasts about culture or so. You can go all the way with someone who knows what he’s talking about and who can surprise you. 

What’s radio going to be like in the future?

I always said that radio was outdated, but the medium knew a revival due to the internet. I think it’s necessary because it has place for all kinds of music. Everything on daytime radio is pretty much the same, it should be more diverse. There will always be something like Earl Sweatshirt and Knxwledge. Good music will always find a way to music lovers and young people.  

Listen to Earl Sweatshirt's Stay Inside with Knxwledge on the Red Bull Radio website. 

Interested in Lefto & Gus' radioshow on Studio Brussel? Listen on Mixcloud!

Gus talks radio