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5 of London's best independent radio stations

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As far back as the sixties when stations like Radio Caroline broadcast from ships anchored in international waters, to the more recent memory of stations based out of London tower blocks pushing the new sounds of UKG, grime and dubstep, the UK underground has consistently been a thriving hotbed for new and exciting radio.

The platform has felt more crucial than ever over the course of the global pandemic, allowing us to continue to stay connected through discussion and music.

While each of the major cities in the UK have no doubt felt the comfort of their own independent community run local stations - here we focus on the airwaves buzzing closest to home.

Read on as we pick out 5 of London's best independent radio stations that we hope, like us, you're already locked into.

NTS Radio

Since its birth in 2010, NTS Radio has grown organically into one of the most respected and innovative online music platforms.

Regularly hosting icons like Thurston Moore, Jeff Mills and Theo Parrish, the station holds a space for almost every cornerstone of good music you could think of, spanning hundreds of genres; from hip hop to techno, jazz to afrobeats and disco to ambient.

While its home remains firmly in the streets of Hackney of East London, NTS has expanded its influence to the cities of Los Angeles, Shanghai and Manchester, and staying true to the spirit of independence - the platform fantastically continues to remain 100% free - with no advertisements to break up your listening pleasure.

By now not only one of the most influential platforms in the UK, NTS has become a global leader of visionary creative networks. It'll come as a no surprise for any avid music listener that the station gets the first mention in our list.

nts.live

Reprezent Radio

Broadcasting since 2011, South London's Reprezent Radio has fast become on the capital's most vital stations.

A prime outpost for championing young urban talent, Reprezent push the best underground sounds coming out the city while offering media training programmes to their crew and perhaps most importantly, a safe, positive space for the youth to to voice the everyday social issues that surround them.

Of course, becoming known as "the sound of young London" naturally attracts the big fish, with the likes of Skepta, Goldie, The XX and even the Royals having previously made the journey down to Brixton to check out the sounds inside Reprezent's containers. Do yourself a favour and tune your dial to 107.3FM!

reprezent.org.uk

Threads Radio

Based just above North London venue The Cause, Threads Radio, is one of the newer platforms on our list, having been in operation since the start of 2019.

Threads' DIY ethos and community feel has quickly led the station to go far beyond being just the "new kids on the block", with a vast array of shows that allow expression through music, discussion and art. Explore UK hiphop, left-field dance and afro jazz 'In session' sets, guest takeovers and plenty more.

threadsradio.com


Foundation FM

Launched in 2018, Foundation FM is the first female lead online radio station, fronted by a diverse group of women, LGTBQI+ persons, and talented creatives.

Based out of the multi-storey car park Peckham Levels, the station runs from 10am-10pm online throughout the working week, creating daily programmes around the schedules of those in creative jobs.

Having grown to become one of the UK's key platforms for fresh voices, the station continues to expand its influence with the launch of its own in-house label.

foundation.fm


Balamii Radio

Located in Peckham’s Holdrons Arcade next to the town's local dubplate cutting service, Balamii has become a beacon of independent activity since its launch in 2015, providing a platform for young producers, DJs and labels from South London and further afield to delve deep into their record bags.

Essential to the growth of many cult favourites like Andrew Ashong, Alex Rita, BBZ, Chaos in the CBD, Medlar and Shy One, the station remains a vital artefact of Peckham's ever flourishing creative community.

balamii.com

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