OCCASION: The ABN team gathers to honour the station’s first birthday with a special cake
JUST OVER a year ago, ABN Radio burst onto the airwaves as the UK’s newest offering in radio broadcasting, promising to give their listeners a new perspective on what It means to be a ‘black’ radio station. With the tag line ‘London’s Afropolitan radio station’, it’s billed as the HQ for those who see themselves as African even though they may live outside the continent.
In one year, the station, supported by its big sister ABN TV, has made huge strides in the market, gaining more listeners month on month and firmly cementing their name as one of the go-to stations for African singers, stars and celebrities.
ABN Radio has fast become the must-listen to station for great music and important conversations on news and issues affecting out community. They have cemented their place in the market place that is notoriously hard to break into and stay afloat in. But this only proves that there is room for more black media houses to make their mark on the scene.
Black radio stations in the UK have a habit of coming and going. Throughout the mid-1980s, early ’90s and 2000s, there were a number of black music pirate radio stations n London, including Lightening FM, Roots FM, RJR FM, Millennium Supreme FM, Blues FM, Galaxy FM, Unique FM, Genesis FM and Station FM who established a relatively stable presence on the airwaves.
Alongside ABN Radio, there is the Beat 106 FM, Colourful Radio, Pulse 88 to name but a few, who are the real market leaders. Since the takeover of the iconic Choice FM by Global, renaming it Capital Xtra, many Choice FM regulars have retuned their dials to the alternatives on offer – ABN Radio included because it offers that authentic sound they feel they can longer get from Choice FM.
The word ‘urban’ is long gone, and it’s the sounds and the conversations from Africa and the Caribbean as well as cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester that listeners crave. But it takes whole load of money to set up and maintain a functioning radio station, staffed with everyone from management to presenters. It’s no easy feat and one that’s intimidating to investors.
At the time of going to press ABN Radio are a few days deep in to year two with plans in place for their first ever live broadcast day on 24th June in Croydon Centrale shopping centre, a perfect chance for the public to meet their favourite presenters, bump into come celeb friends of the station and pick up some exclusive ABN merchandise.
They will also be present at the now legendary Ghana Party in the Park, the family fun day open to everyone where you can expect to see the hottest Ghanaian stars on stage and sample some tasty food too.
To catch the vibes that have got the Afropolitans talking tune in on DAB or listen online at abnradiouk.com or using the Tune In app.
Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.