Balamii Radio: Taking the Sound of Peckham to the Digital World

Nestled in an arcade off Peckham’s bustling Rye Lane is Balamii, an independent broadcast platform

Music 
328 Hypes 0 Comments

Nestled in an arcade off Peckham’s bustling Rye Lane is Balamii, an independent broadcast platform started by South London native James Browning. Kids run down the narrow walkway, dads play dominos and customers at YAM Records flick through obscure 7”s. It’s a precious gem of a place that has escaped the clutches of gentrification – housing independent businesses devoid of exposed brickwork, bulb filaments and bottles of beer that cost more than the minimum wage.

Inspired by the capitals broadcasting stalwarts NTS and Rinse, Balamii isn’t a radio station functioning in the traditional linear sense. The shows are broadcasted ‘on demand’ via a dedicated iPhone app and, extending its availability beyond the tech pale, the recently launched web platform. Every set is individually tracklisted with links to purchase tracks when available (and not some rare groove 13” only available in the outer limits of Space).

The Balamii content base is varied and organic with 80-90% of the shows coming straight from local heads and reflect the communal nature of Peckham’s music scene. As DJs pass through the studio to record the word is naturally spread onto friends, with further DJs being introduced into the fold. Although the station output mainly skirts along the edges of electronic music with past guests such as bass-bin rattlers Chaos In The CBD, grimes figurehead producer Spooky, disco don dada Ruf Dug and nearby Lewisham’s MC Novelist; Balamii doesn’t conform to any sort of rigid music policy, even resulting in the occasional wildcard such as Dimension Dizzle’s black metal show. Inspired by the unknown, founder James explains his open door policy perfectly, “when people come with a passion and humor for something we’re not sure about it makes it much easier to say yes.”

Balamii is the ‘DIY ethic’ personified. It’s honest, upfront and most importantly – open to all. Check out our conversation with James below and download Balamii via iTunes. To stay updated with Balamii’s latest mixes, head to its SoundCloud.

What inspired you to start Balamii? Were you trying to fill any sort of void in the radio world? 

Not necessarily trying to fill a void, it’s always been an ambition to start a radio station. However, with Rinse and NTS already doing great things I thought there’s no point in starting another radio station in the traditional linear sense. Therefore, we broadcast all our content on demand with every program tracklisted and links to purchase provided (if available) as standard. Listeners then know what they’re hearing at any point and we support the artists as much as we can.

Does the local area around the station influence or add to it in any way? Are your values reflected in the community etc?

Absolutely. Around 80-90% of our content is coming straight from the local area. People come on and they introduce us to friends and it carries on like that.

Are you trying to specifically target a particular crowd with Balamii? Who do you envisage the listeners to be?

Not at all, I wouldn’t say we’re trying to target any crowd in particular. Inadvertently, our sound attract the 18-30 crowd mostly.

Is there a chosen genre at the heart of it all or are you literally open to most? 

We’re open to everything, but having said that sometimes things don’t work/fit. I don’t want to pigeon hole Balamii by saying we do / don’t do certain genres of music though.

Dimension Dizzle does a death metal show with us, it’s not something i’d normally listen to but he loves it and the show is one of my favourites to record. When people come with a passion and humor for something we’re not sure about it makes it much easier to say yes.

What is the music community like in Peckham in general?

Communal. Everyone round here doing stuff goes out wearing the other guys T-shirts. It’s really nice to see everyone supporting each other.

Any great moments for Balamii so far? Moments you’ve really felt you were achieving what you set out to?

Just getting it up and running was a moment itself. Building the studio with friends from scratch was pretty special though. I think building something from zero and earning everything onwards is the reward in itself i guess. Moments wise, I’d of never of thought we’d record with some of the people we have done over the past couple of months, Novelist, Max Graef, Slugabed, P Money and more, that’s been really special.

What’s next?

The website is coming, finally. It’s taken ages. It’ll provide all our programs with artwork and track info to everyone rather than just iPhone users. I’m really looking forward to having that up and running.

Text by Natalie Davies

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Honor Fraser Dives Into the “Synthetic Wilderness” of the Digital World
Art

Honor Fraser Dives Into the “Synthetic Wilderness” of the Digital World

A new group exhibition on view until December 18.

Spider-Man Swings Into the World of Digital Collectables as Marvel’s First Official NFT
Entertainment

Spider-Man Swings Into the World of Digital Collectables as Marvel’s First Official NFT

Your friendly neighborhood web-swinger strikes five different poses for Marvel’s inaugural NFT collection.

One of the World's Greatest Watch Collections To Go On Display
Watches

One of the World's Greatest Watch Collections To Go On Display

The exhibition opens at London’s Design Museum in October.


A Swiss University Calculates Pi to World Record Breaking 62.8 Trillion Digits
Tech

A Swiss University Calculates Pi to World Record Breaking 62.8 Trillion Digits

3.141…

Essentials: T-Pain
Music 

Essentials: T-Pain

T-Pain has been hard at work as of late. On top of frequently releasing quality tracks and

adidas Originals Stan Smith Vulc Oxford/Gold
Footwear

adidas Originals Stan Smith Vulc Oxford/Gold

The “Drei Streifen” unveil a summer-ready iteration of its timeless Stan Smith.

Aston Martin Unveils the Most Powerful DB9 to Date
Automotive

Aston Martin Unveils the Most Powerful DB9 to Date

Could it be the last DB9 ever?

Jaden Smith Explains the Batman Costume He Wore at Kim and Kanye's Wedding
Music 

Jaden Smith Explains the Batman Costume He Wore at Kim and Kanye's Wedding

Known for his eccentric fashion affinities, the enigmatic Jaden Smith is regularly spotted sporting

Fetty Wap - Boomin
Music 

Fetty Wap - Boomin

New Jersey’s Fetty Wap has just unveiled a new track titled “Boomin” via his SoundCloud page.


Stream London O’Connor's New Album 'O∆'
Music 

Stream London O’Connor's New Album 'O∆'

When summing up the character of London O’Connor into a single word, adjectives such as eccentric

T.I.'s Stepdaughter Collaborates With Young Thug on "Nun For Free"
Music 

T.I.'s Stepdaughter Collaborates With Young Thug on "Nun For Free"

If you don’t know who Zonnique is, she is the daughter of T.I.’s wife Tameka Cottle and is also

Jordan Brand Renovates Michael Jordan's High School Gym for Its 30th Anniversary
Sports

Jordan Brand Renovates Michael Jordan's High School Gym for Its 30th Anniversary

A new gym and player’s lounge are installed at the school where it all started.

Lexus Creates a Real Hoverboard
Automotive

Lexus Creates a Real Hoverboard

The future is coming.

HANA - Clay
Music 

HANA - Clay

Having debuted the ethereal “Clay” last month, Los Angeles-based artist HANA has just released the

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Adblock Detected.

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.