Rinse FM, NTS, Red Light Radio, The Lot Radio, Operator Radio, etc. The rise of the internet-based radio stations that cater to an international audience of alternative music lovers has been a steady one in the last few years. While the UK and the Netherlands have this game on lock these days, Belgium now finally has its counterweight. Enter Kiosk Radio, a brand new initiative by a dream team consisting of Mickaël Bursztein (aka DJ Mickey), Nicolas Bucci (creative director at Bonnefooi), Jim Becker (aka DJ Bim Jecker), Thomas Kok and Thanh Lam (former manager at Mr Wong). These guys felt like the music scene in Brussels – and Belgium in general – was in dire need of something new. Located a beautifully restored kiosk in the middle of Parc Royal, which in itself is located in the heart of the capital, Kiosk Radio will us provide music enthusiasts with a steady stream of live music from November 11 onwards. There’s a lot more to say about this impressive initiative, so we figured it’s best to let them do the talking.
So, tell us: what is Kiosk Radio gonna be like?
"We’re setting up the first independent internet radio station of Belgium in a wooden kiosk in the middle of Parc Royal in Brussels. Yes, it will be an internet-based radio station, but our attention remains at the physical location; we want to attract people to the park to hang out, share music and be part of a community (which will be a lot easier if the sun is shining of course). The offline part is as important as the online part."
What music will be played? And which DJs will have a slot?
"The selection of DJs is going to be very eclectic: house, soul, funk, afro, techno, ambient, jazz, etc. - we will keep it alternative and open-minded without limitations. Most of the DJs we contacted will have a regular show, but above all we want to keep things spontaneous and open, which means we don’t plan all that much. For now, we’re not going to tell who will have regular slots, as we prefer to announce everything last minute. That’s the beautiful thing about internet radio, we’re free to program as we please – and we’d like to keep it that way. Most of our guests will be from Brussels - or Belgium - and we’ll invite international guests from time to time if they happen to be in the country. Additionally, we would like to spare our roster from all the ‘obvious’ choices; not too many big names, just like-minded selectors who we believe in."
Are you going to stream music around the clock?
"Not really. In the first month after opening, we’ll stream for only four hours a day. We just don’t want to contribute to the overflow of online mixes and radio shows on the internet. By keeping it a tinier bit exclusive, we hope to deliver fewer, but more qualitative sets worth checking out – at least in the beginning, we’ll see where it goes later on. Sets will be played from 14:00 until 18:00 as we found this to be the ideal timeframe for social interaction, both online and in the park itself. Like we said already, we encourage people to come over and spend some 'in real life' quality time with like-minded music enthusiasts."
How did you get that amazing location in the first place?
"The city of Brussels is trying to revitalize the Parc Royal, so they held a public competition. Any organization that had a cool idea for the creative use of these kiosks could submit a proposal. So we did – and they loved the idea from the start. We were already toying with this idea of a radio and this is just the perfect place for a project like that, as our friend François Vaxelaire pointed out initially. It’s an ode to Brussels, right in the heart of the city."
Were you guys inspired by what other excellent internet radio stations like Red Light Radio, Rinse or NTS are doing?
"For sure we were. That same friend of ours, François actually started The Lot Radio in New York City. But we don’t want to do the same thing. In terms of quality content, we would like to be able to reach the level of these stations one day, but our ‘community first’ approach is unique in that sense. We believe that the Belgian audience will make a difference too. There’s such a high potential in this city, so we want to make the most of that!"
Kiosk Radio starts its first livestream on the afternoon of November 11. You are free to join them in the Parc Royal – or watch online via their Facebook page. More information on the roster will follow soon.
More links to keep an eye on this jolly bunch:www.instagram.com/kiosk.radio