Code Red Radio are the newest specialist DnB radio station on the block, their videos featuring their eye catching red & black chequered studio decor have probably grabbed your attention as you’ve scrolled through your social media.
LoveThatBass visited their studios in Gravesend, Kent, to chat with station owners Contagioussubstance & DJ Sega to find out more about their reasons for starting the Code Red Radio and their plans going forward…
Firstly this studio looks amazing! Was the style of the studio a happy accident or is one of you a closet interior designer?
Well, everything was an in house decision between all owners when it came to the interior design. We wanted to keep the same kind of style as our previous studio. Code Red Radio colours, with a fresh and chic new look, we hope that we have achieved this?
You seem to have hit the ground running & built a following quite fast, what do you put that down to?
We’re not 100% sure but it could well be down to Contagioussubstance’s beard! ?
All jokes aside, we got the best up and coming artists from the South East, surrounding counties, and from all over the UK passing through the studio to do shows. So it’s mainly down to the artists who bring the vibes, plus of course our friendly chatroom and general love and support for what we do
Do you think lockdown helped boost your audience?
No. definitely not. You may have seen the odd meme or live stream from home, BUT, due to covid19 and the UK lockdown we had to make the decision to close our doors to the public. This in effect stopped all income for the radio, leaving all overheads to be paid out our own pockets. So in conclusion Code Red Radio was touch and go if we could stay open, we almost had to close it down!
We were also half way through our new studio build with pretty much no funds to finish. Thankfully we managed to resolve our overhead issues, and with help from a few artists who kindly contributed to the cause, we were able to complete the new project. Massive big upz and respect, they know who they are, we can’t thank them enough. This brought us some motivation and the passion to finish the project in order to open safely and observe guidelines in relation to covid19.
Why start a radio station? Seems like of a lot expense & hassle when every one essentially can live stream from home using their phones these days
Basically love and passion for the music! We have loved the DNB scene since childhood; Raving, partying, generally loving the vibe it brings. We both DJ and use the studio frequently… Live streaming from home is an option, but having this space means you won’t piss off your family members or neighbours with constant streams (LOL).
In the Code Red Radio studio we can turn it up loud & get more of a vibe. It is a better environment all round. Along with our studio we also have a chill room and a welcoming management team who run the shows on a daily. Plus you get to meet new people, network and become part of a bigger family
Currently Code Red is mainly streaming via Facebook, have you had much of a problem with shows being cut mid stream for copyright issues?
Yes and No. Facebook is an ever changing platform. We’re not really sure if it was ever built for music, hence stream cuts, but this is currently the number one platform which all parties use. We are streaming to multiple platforms such as YouTube, Periscope and Twitch to name a few
How do you plan to get around this problem? I think muting tracks or cutting streams will become more of an issue going forward
This, we feel, comes down to the type of music played. Facebook have filters in place for copyright purposes, that is why streams can be cut or muted depending on tracks played. If Facebook obtained the music licence then there should not be any issues. I reckon they have the money, don’t you? Fix up Mark Zuckerburg! We are promoting their platform in essence.
Facebook is not the only platform we use to stream our shows. We are always trying to explore other avenues to build the platform, for example Mixcloud Live, which has a fully paid music streaming license so it never gets cut. This is currently in beta test mode but we are pretty sure this may be the future music live streams in general
You’re based in Gravesend, a lot of big names from the drum and bass scene reside in or around that general area, Mickey Finn, Majistrate, NuElementz, Harry Shotta, Ironlung, just to name a few (plus me of course!). What is it about that town that’s created such a hotbed of talent?
The legendary Mickey Finn had his very own record shop in Gravesend (Bitin Back Records), which of course you were involved in! We used to buy vinyl there. This obviously made Gravesend a hot spot for artists to travel from all over, plus of course own homegrown local artists to thrive. Records shops were the networking hub back in the day. This no doubt helped to bed drum & bass in the local area. Plus Gravesend has got RAVE in its name… C’mon!
What do you look for when selecting artists to play on the station?
Being involved and being friends with a lot of drum and bass artists we know most can perform live on air, but obviously if we did not know them as people we would ask for a recent short mix and ask if they are confident about performing live.
Finally what does the future have in store for Code Red Radio?
Who knows, that is a hard one and with the global pandemic still looming, it’s hard to predict the future for music culture in general. All we can keep doing is keep pushing the drum & bass that we all love, building a bigger network, one big unit to push our scene forward for bigger and better things for all involved!