Unsigned musicians star on new UK radio station

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A new DAB digital radio station goes live on Thursday with a unique playlist of music from unsigned artists.

An undated handout picture shows musician Paul Campbell, founder of Amazing Radio, a new DAB digital radio station that plays music from unsigned artists. REUTERS/Handout

Amazing Radio is available online and on national radio and will feature indie, urban, rock, jazz and pop music during a six-month pilot project.

It replaces a popular 24-hour loop of birds singing on the airwaves which has been running for the past year to keep the transmitters operative.

On June 1, the birds were silenced in favor of a temporary loop of music by unsigned musicians. From Thursday, listeners will also be able to see the names of songs and performers on their radio display screen.

“It’s interactive and user-generated radio,” founder Paul Campbell, a musician and former BBC producer, told Reuters.

The musical selection is sourced by algorithms drawing from MP3 uploads on Amazing Radio’s sister platform -- the Amazing Tunes website., launched in 2006, contains about 15,000 tracks uploaded by musicians who get 70 percent of sales revenues. The site has 35 million users, according to Campbell.

The idea behind Newcastle-based Amazing Radio is to create an original, innovative and ethical forum for musicians and listeners, he says.

“You decide what gets on the air, not some geezer in a suit,” proclaims the Amazing Radio website.

There is always human intervention before material hits the airwaves to ensure taste, decency and adherence to broadcast laws, Campbell said.

“What musicians need is a mechanism to be discovered,” he added.

“Many of the things a record label used to do for musicians, they can now do for themselves.”

Reporting by Julie Mollins; Editing by Steve Addison