Based in Hackney, the station was founded in April 2011 by Femi Adeyemi who hoped to create an alternative to commercial radio. Femi felt that the vast number of genres and sub-genres that many people liked to listen to weren’t being covered by traditional radio stations. NTS bucks this trend, providing it’s listeners with a diverse range of live radio shows, digital media and live music based events. As the station enters its 8th year online, it continues to grow as a global entity, with live stations in London, Manchester, Los Angeles and Shanghai, whilst also broadcasting live from an additional 30 cities every month.
With streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music dominating how many of us listen to our music, NTS injects some well needed soul and character back into modern music culture. The station is driven by a sense of discovery, with over 70 percent of music played not readily available on Spotify or Apple Music.
Every niche is covered, with shows ranging from the new age, ambient feels of the “Sounds Of The Dawn”, to call in relationship advice and R&B love songs on “Advice From Paradise”, hosted by Nedelle Torrisi straight out of LA. One of the more well renowned shows is “The Do!! You!!! Breakfast Show” hosted direct from London every weekday morning by the charismatic Charlie Bones.
NTS represents what music culture is really about – “built by music lovers, for music lovers”. Every guest on the station is given full license to explore their musical tastes and passion, however niche or different they may be. This approach is reminiscent of the pirate radio stations which were once amplifiers for British underground culture in the ’80s and ’90s. The kind of loyalty and passion that came with pirate radio is now lost for many younger listeners, with commercial radio listenership in a constant decline.
NTS provides an outlet that addresses much of the apathy towards the current state of commercial radio and music streaming services, creating a distinct position for itself within contemporary broadcasting. NTS pairs the diversity of its music with hyper-connectivity whilst also retaining a DIY spirit. This approach resonates with music lovers and NTS is definitely proving that radio is not dead yet.
One of the overarching aims for NTS is supporting exciting new talent. Amongst consistently inviting new talent to play on the station, they also run their NTS WIP scheme, which supports eight exciting new musicians or bands every year. This support includes mentoring, access to free audio equipment, paid live performances, recording studio time, an NTS guest radio show, an NTS produced music video, and press photos.
The scheme supports artists from all backgrounds and genres globally, with applications opening to aspiring musicians towards the end of summer each year. NTS also works very closely with its creative counterparts and they regularly collaborate to “create innovative music experiences, both online and IRL”. They have worked alongside the likes of Carhartt, Tate, Adidas, Nike, MOMA, Uniqlo and many more.
Be sure to go check out the station if you haven’t already, and long may NTS continue to thrive and change the face of music. Happy (belated) Birthday, NTS!