Reckless Radio Blog

Lucy interviewed on BBC again – listen in full

Media interest in Lucy’s award of Best in Music at the Young Arias led to another media appearance, a visit to the BBC Essex studios in Chelmsford and talked all things Reckless and music with Matt Mackay.  You can listen to the whole interview here:

Lucy wins Best In Music at the Young Arias

We are so amazingly thrilled.  Lucy’s won the prize for best young music presenter at the Audio and Radio Industry Awards, the Young Arias held on 18 May 2019 at the BBC Radio Theatre at New Broadcasting House in London.

It hasn’t really sunk in yet.  Have a watch to the moment here: Lucy’s award

And we made the industry news website Radio Today:

Winners announced for the first ever Young ARIAS

Once again thank you again to everyone who has helped us set up the station.  You can hear Lucy’s WINNING entry here:

Lucy’s been nominated for a huge national radio award!

We’re planning big improvements to Reckless Radio in the summer, and this could help.  Lucy has been nominated for Best in Music presenter at the Young Arias, putting her in the top three young presenters in the country.

Our full press release will be sent to media shortly, but here it is for you to read first!

Young music fan in line for national radio award

A 17-year-old student from a village near Manningtree in Essex has been nominated for Best in Music presenter at the new “Sony Radio Awards” for children.

Lucy Hutton of Bradfield, who is a first year A Level Student at Suffolk One College in Ipswich, was frustrated with the music choice on mainstream radio so set up her own online station, Reckless Radio, which plays “music the others hardly bother with” such as All Time Low, Panic! At the Disco, Wolf Alice, Paramore, Two Door Cinema Club and Waterparks.

The Young Arias, which are run by the Radio Academy and supported by the BBC and Commercial Radio, search for the best in radio talent for under-18s.  Lucy entered a special Reckless Radio show she produced and presented, playing female alternative artists to mark International Women’s Day, and it has been shortlisted along with two other nominations for the prestigious prize.

“I was being put under an extreme amount of stress at my previous all-girls’ school in Colchester in the run-up to my GCSEs,” explains Lucy.  “I was urged to do something completely different from study to try to reduce my anxiety and so I thought playing music that I love which is under-represented on mainstream radio would be fun.

“Reckless Radio does play some songs you hear on Radio One, but they’re not heard there that often and they get played alongside many other genres I don’t like.  We started by broadcasting Reckless on Upload Radio and had some really positive feedback, and even picked up listeners in America and Argentina!”

The station now broadcasts online at recklessradio.net and Lucy has plans to go onto DAB in the future although she admits, “I’ll have to do a lot to edit out swear words in some of the songs before that happens!”  She’s hoping that the nomination will help her sell advertising and sponsorship on the station to pay for the expansion because, “Running a radio station is really quite expensive.”

The rules for entries are that they must showcase how the presenter has a passion for, and an in-depth knowledge of, music that is presented in a “style that sounds fresh and exciting”.  Lucy is grateful to professional voiceover Danny Cox, who used to run a radio station in Colchester, for making all the station imaging, which, she says, “really brings the station to life”.

The awards are on the 17th May at BBC’s New Broadcasting House.  “Win or lose, it’s been a real confidence boost for me,” concludes Lucy.  “At my old school we were even told that sometimes our best isn’t good enough.  I want anyone else who’s being pressured in their teenage years to believe in themselves and know they are valued.”

Lucy is now very happy at Suffolk One and is about to embark on her university applications, as well her hopes to grow Reckless Radio even further.

So what have we learned?

Well, we’ve been on air a month now with the songs playing out of an old Lenovo laptop in our spare room.

Yes, that’s how a radio station works these days – we don’t have DJs sitting playing the songs manually (as Paul used to do on radio stations from Nottingham to Cardiff, Guernsey to Dunstable) but it all plays out on a piece of software, which is what makes Reckless Radio possible on a minuscule budget.

We’ve learned that the songs are good, although we need to play with the rotation so that you don’t have the same band or artist playing within minutes of each other.  We’ve learned that we need more of the lesser-known songs to go with the “corkers” that are the anthems that define our station.  And we’ve discovered that the piece of software we bought to (legally) rip some songs to add to our playlist is rubbish and that we keep finding songs that end and then you get the start of the next song for a bit which then stops abruptly.  So we know that needs fixing.

We also know that doing the stuff for Reckless is tough when you’re starting a new college or crazy busy at work (as Lucy and Paul are at the moment) but some half term time off will allow us a few days to really work on it.

We’ve also learned that people listen!  Despite the fact we’re only a tiny way we’re through what we want to do with the station (which includes the application we’ve put in to be on DAB multiplexes broadcasting alongside all other UK radio stations in our area as well as online), it sounds OK and we can see that people from across the UK and beyond, including South America and Australia as well as Europe and the USA, are llistening.  As Lucy put it, it’s like a Spotify playlist where your favourite songs come round more often but with some other stuff you don’t necessarily know or don’t hear as often.

Because they’re test transmissions, bear with us for things that aren’t right and do keep sending back your feedback.  Listen out for a few changes in a few weeks time, hopefully you’ll agree for the better.

Thanks as always to our wide range of friends and experts who’ve helped us get this far and are continuing to assist in making it better.

ON AIR!

Yes, it’s far from perfect.  Yes, we’re spotting the mistakes with music and the odd gap.  Yes, it’s possible, just possible All Time Low come rounds a little too often in the rotation.

But we’re on air.

A project that seemed like a silly idea a year ago is suddenly reality.  OK so at the moment it’s a studio built in our spare room with our software playing off an old PC, but we’re on our way.  It might go nowhere.  We might end up being huge and having the Reckless Festival on Wimbledon Common.  Who knows?

But we said it’d be fun and so far it has been.  Keep with us, keep your comments coming to onair@recklessradio.net and join the fun.

Coming together

You may or may not remember when we launched with a couple of pilot shows back at the beginning of the year, we said one day we’d like to be 24 hours a day.  Well, we have some news…

Firstly, the reason we weren’t on all the time the moment we came up with the idea was because it’s expensive to run a radio station – you have to pay the licences for the music, streaming costs, hardware, software… well, the list goes on.  So we used Upload Radio which had already covered all those so all we had to do was cover the cost of our time (and actually they were really nice and did it for us at a great rate to get going).

Then, sadly, Upload Radio closed down and that way of broadcasting disappeared.  So we were “off air.”

We then had a choice, give up or bite the bullet, raid our piggy banks and launch anyway.  We’ve gone for the launch option.

So over the summer we’ve been working hard.  We’ve got a great little computer to run our station, bought the radio playout software which lets us format and then broadcast the music, found a streaming supplier and started putting it together.

It’s not quick – because the software is so flexible, it’s not completely intuitive and therefore making changes involves quite a lot of googling and advice.  Each song needs us to do all sorts of tweaks – adding in extra data to make it play properly.  I could go on, but you get the idea.

Getting us to the point when we can broadcast to the standard we’d love will take us ages, but in the meantime the playout system is churning out great song after great song which we’re listening to every time we go into our little studio.  But we’re not sharing it with you yet.

And we thought – why not?  It’s not great yet, but as business people will tell us “great is the enemy of good”… ie if you wait forever to be great, you’ll never do anything, but if you settle at the start for “good”, you get there much quicker and its usually better than you think.

So what we’re saying is WE’RE ABOUT TO LAUNCH.  We’re going to have an online radio station 24/7 streaming around the world playing great music that the other stations hardly bother with.  It’s a work in progress… we’ll constantly be tweaking the format, the mix of songs, features etc.  But it’ll be on air and it’ll give you a chance to give your feedback, suggest songs and help make Reckless Radio what we want it to be.

Oh, and you’ll get to hear great music playing at you whenever you want it.

In the next few days we’ll give you more details about when we’re on air, how you can help us fund the station so we can not only launch but keep it on air, and why the way we choose music will likely be different from most other stations.

In the meantime, just a quick thanks to a load of people who have helped us with ideas, software recommendations, streaming, the website, music formatting and everything else.  We’ll do a full roll call in due course but whatever you’ve done to help us – you know who you are and we are more grateful than you could ever know.

where have we been? what’s going on? – an update

if I had it my way, reckless radio would be a 24/7 station playing across the world; alternative music fans could listen, enjoying their favourite songs knowing that people in another continent might be singing along at the same time. if we’re really pushing the boat out, the reckless radio festival happens every summer, spending one weekend in various cities across the globe. we have exclusive interviews with the artists I love, and some bands even choose to premiere their newest music on our show.
sadly, I don’t live in that world. I’m not going to quit the dream, but right now, a few things are holding me back.
first of all: I’m still in school. I have some pretty important exams in a few weeks time, and I’ll probably still be studying for the next five years after those. however, there is a positive side to this – after my exams I get ten weeks of glorious summer holidays to spend going to concerts, travelling with my friends, and (most importantly!) bringing reckless a few steps closer to my goal. and, after these exams, the subjects I take narrow to only the ones I truly care about, meaning that studying will be more fun and therefore take up less of my time – so I can devote a few more hours to reckless each week.
so that’s looking up, but there’s a second issue: money. playing out on upload radio isn’t free, and although we’re beginning to research ways to become 24 hours this summer, that costs even more money. there are three ways I can think of for us to legitimately produce revenue (not for profit, but for us to be able to spend on equipment and broadcasting etc), which are merchandise, advertising, and donations. I am looking into ways for us to sell merchandise soon, so stick with us, but one way you could help out is just letting us know via email, comments or any social media platform what kinds of products you would be interested in and the rough pricing you would see as fair. again, I’m working on finding advertisers, but felt it was important to stress that we will only ever advertise brands or companies we believe in and genuinely want to share with you – I want all the products to be in some way related to music or the alternative scene, for example concert ticket websites, hair dye, or clothing brands. and finally, donations! I am, once again, looking into which sites would suit us best, as I’m not too knowledgable on how kickstarter and patreon work. please don’t feel obligated or pressured to donate if we do set one up, however – the idea is just that if you want to, or have money to spare, it would help us a lot to be able to continue to create content.

we have a lot of exciting ideas at the moment on what kinds of features we might introduce when we’re back up and running – somebody suggested an agony aunt section, which I love the sound of, but I’m also planning quizzes and competitions. listener interactivity and participation is important to me as I want to make sure reckless radio is reflective of all aspects of alternative music, not just the bits I like. please feel free to message me with any ideas if you have them!

the other issue I wanted to address was the fact that our shows are currenly unavailable to listen back to. this is because they expire on radioplayer after 30 days, but we’re looking to re-upload them very soon so you can all enjoy them again 🙂

I know that this post is a bit all over the place, and contained a lot of “soon”s and “maybe”s, but it lets you all know that we’re still working away behind the scenes. regardless of whether we can sort everything out, I wanted to say thank you for the support and feedback we’ve recieved over the past few months. please continue to share us with your friends and listen to new shows as they come out, and I can’t wait to share music again with you all soon 🙂

International Women’s Day Show

Women’s Day is coming – tune in for an hour of nothing but female voices (well, apart from Danny) and celebrate the amazing women in alternative music with us! 8pm on 8th March; on recklessradio.net, on Upload Radio, and on the UK RadioPlayer.

We’re listening together and even we think it sounds great….

Paul and Lucy write… you know that you’re always your own biggest critic… well thanks to TheVoice Danny and the brilliant music we are loving listening to our first show on Reckless Radio. If you missed us, have a listen on listen again! You won’t be sorry….

Launching Friday…

Well our first show is almost produced… and we’re ready to go.  Friday at 8pm on Upload Radio.  This means if you live in Surrey/Southwest London, Yorkshire or Deeside/North Wales you should be able to hear us on DAB Digital Radio.  Elsewhere, look for Upload Radio on UK Radioplayer.  It’s that easy.

If you can’t hear us live on Friday night, then we’ll be available through Radioplayer’s listen again and will post the link on the homepage of our site.

We’ve worked out the playlist… the first five songs are by All Time Low, Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Catfish & The Bottlemen and Wolf Alice, plus there’s a three-from-one by The 1975 and Now and Then from Fall Out Boy.

We’ve started tweeting on @RecklessRadioGB… and Kate Nash, who’s also featuring on the show with Birds, liked our tweet!