About

 


Congratulations Music Cosmonauts! You have landed on the Unite & Inspire (U & I) Radio Network, who make it their mission to continuously stream thousands of celestial Unsigned and Emerging Artists of many a genre for your musical delectation! Providing a platform for some of Europe’s Best Undiscovered talent.

 

U & I Radio invites you to experience real-time ‘Live’ Gigs via our Live Broadcasts from independent music venues in Cardiff and beyond. Born of the grassroots Cardiff ‘Originals’, our DJ’s & Presenters endeavour to unearth and deliver new & rare tracks with a healthy mix of Reggae, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues and World Music.


 We stream all day, every day using an eclectic database



 A Brief Story about How U & I Radio Came About


It all started back in the mid 90’s when I was sat in my sodden flat and my worldly possessions were swimming around my front room, because someone decided to steal all the copper piping from the flat above me on the 14th floor!

As they say, this was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I needed a way out. But being an ex-offender, many doors were closed to me. So I had to think of other ways to get me out of the roughest neighbourhood in Leicester!

I wanted to create a way out not just for me but also for the lost and misguided souls I spoke to on a regular basis. So I decided I was going to create a pamphlet full of poetry and inspirational ways to get out of the rut we often find ourselves in!

From my window on the 13th floor I could see a local resource centre, so decided to go and have a chat and see if they could help me make a transition from hopeless criminal to someone with value and respect from the local community. I was advised that they had no funds but could offer me the use of their barrel printer and office to create the pamphlet.

I spent the next few weeks hand-designing artwork and an old typewriter to create the pamphlet. This was a slow and painful process, but at least it got me out of the house, while it dried out! After a few weeks, I had the final pages ready to print (I still have the originals too!)

Now all I needed was the money to pay for paper, ink, staples etc to create 1000 copies. So I spent another week thinking of possible sponsors and donators who could make this happen. One of the advertisers was a Pirate radio station called Fresh FM, who used to broadcast from the loft of a kickboxing gym. As I was collecting the money for the pamphlet, I asked the guy behind the counter who was responsible for booking people onto the airwaves, as that was something I think I could do! Unbeknownst to me, the Director of the whole operation was stood right next to me! He said “Oh you think you can do it can you Tiny! (My nickname at the time!) Well then, we have a slot on a Sunday evening you can have!” I replied, “what would you like it to be about?” He responded abruptly by saying “You just told me you can do it, so get on with it!” And that was it. I now had my own radio show as well as trying to finish the pamphlet too!

I collected all the money and spent 5 days barrel printing every page before collating the pages and stapling them individually by hand. The one thing going through my mind was “what the hell am I going to do on the radio show this coming Sunday?” Once the pamphlets were ready I spent the next day delivering to our sponsor sites and various outlets that looked after the lesser-off people like me. My last port of call was Fresh FM Radio.

As I walked into the shop I could hear some funky reggae tunes playing and saw the shop assistant sifting through new music coming in from all around the globe. He asked me how the prep for the show was going for this Sunday. He thumbed through the pamphlet as I struggled to tell him I had nothing in concrete! He interjected and said I should do some sort of talk show, as my pamphlet had a lot of useful information and great poems etc. He also gave me a handful of new records to play too!!

As I walked home with a bounce in my step all I could think was “I am going to be on the radio this Sunday night! I could become a celebrity and make millions!” But, I had nothing prepared and no one to give me a clue as to what a show should be like. I listened in to Fresh FM for the rest of the day and took a few notes as to how the Presenters were doing things. Which to be quite honest was not very good. They tended to ramble about nothing but did play some banging tunes, adding anecdotal stories here and there.

After several hours of ingesting this new world, I decided I was going to do a talk show and target key issues that affected me and the community I lived in and intermix it with the new tunes given to me. I cannot remember the first show and back then they didn’t record anything as it was incriminating evidence if we ever got caught broadcasting illegally!

The show went from strength to strength and my confidence grew immensely at the same time! I tackled serious issues each week and had regular callers to talk to me online too. I even had my kids call up and confront me when I chose to speak about Cannabis! That was a tricky situation as I didn’t want to encourage my kids to take up smoking Mother Nature’s Herb, but didn’t want to dissuade them either!! (I do have this recorded, as friends had recorded it for me!) Life was on the up! I just learned the power of radio!! Wow!!

After a couple of weeks of doing the show, I was speaking to the head of the resource centre, where I now did preparation for my weekly shows. He suggested I should think about doing journalism. After a bit of research, we found a course in London but it was going to cost me around £3,000 which I did not have. After a bit more digging we found out I could get a Career Development Loan, which I would only need to pay back when I got a full-time job after the course! Result!!

I spent 12 months in London learning the ways of the media world and making my first real contacts in the industry. As part of the course, I had to find my own work experience slots and managed to get my foot into the doors of Greater London Radio and Planet 24, who were responsible for the very famous TV show ‘The Big Breakfast”! This gave me a real insight and taste of how friendly and exciting the creative industry can be. It felt like I had found my creative home!

Exam time came and I failed the exam on ethics!! I was told that good news never sells! I was too much of a daydreamer and not cut-throat enough to be part of the mainstream media melee! Basically, I couldn’t sell my granny for the sake of a good story! I soon ran out of money and headed back to the Midlands, with my tail between my legs and feeling lost once again!

I ended up renting a 3 bedroom house with 2 other people and set up a little studio in the old coal shed to have a go at doing voice-over etc. This also failed but I always kept going. One day while I was looking through ‘The Stage’ newspaper I saw an opportunity to move to Wales and get a recognised qualification in Radio, Theatre, Film & TV, plus they would pay me to move and get educated! That was it!! I was off! Goodbye 20th Century, welcome to the 21st!

From 1999 I spent 2 wonderful and eye-opening years in Harlech, Mid Wales. We were the last class of the millennium! I learned all aspects of the industry, as well as take on the role of Entertainments Manager for the Student Union, the role of Theatre Technician and resident DJ in the Student Bar. I seemed to be the guy that could make things happen! To unite the community through music and creativity!

I was trained how to create professional radio shows by the wonderful Jenny Zobel, who was BBC World Service Presenter for 12 years! I was her top student and she extracted my passion for talking and discovering music from all around the world! I was finding my voice and presenting style! I was coming back to life!

Since leaving Mid Wales I have been on many a community radio station but never picked up by the mainstream broadcasters because as far as they are concerned Pirate Radio is not a real entity and my radio skills were inferior! I also worked for many a theatre company and rock & roll venue to make ends meet! Picking up many a good anecdotal story along the way!

Life changed in 2007 when I found out I was to be a dad again for the 5th time, at the age of 40! So I moved to Cardiff to be closer to my little one. After me and the mother split, I ended up sharing a house with a local music promoter, who was only in the game for free beer and notability! One day he said he wanted to have a radio show. I said it was a piece of cake to get a show!

Within a week we had managed to secure him a slot on the local community radio and I would be his Producer. This show lasted for about 2 months before he decided it was too much work! So the station offered his slot to me! Yet again I was given free reign to create whatever show I wanted, as long as it fitted the basic remit of the Ofcom license!

I spent nearly 5 years at this station learning and teaching myself the way things had changed from my barrel printing days. Everything was done on computers now! I was Producer for several other shows and when I was unfairly dismissed I had 2 shows of my own and conducted independent live broadcasts! I did win an award while I was there though for ‘Best Male Radio Presenter 2011’!!

It took me a few months to claw myself back from this latest kick in the teeth! I saw a software provider who offered a radio station in one package! So I said “F**k it! If nobody will take me on and appreciate what I have to offer, I will create my own radio station, based on my own ethos!”

Yet again I was all alone and no guidance to make this happen. I spent 12 months learning how to build a website, create a brand and label & upload a database of 30gb (and counting) of original music and classic albums I had gathered on my life journey.

On March 3rd, 2016 I soft-launched the U & I Radio network to the world, to gauge the response and see if it would appeal to anyone! Since then we have amassed over 20 DJ’s to the station and have many more waiting in my inbox! We have been listened to at least once in 160 countries and conduct 2 live broadcasts a month. We have just been asked to be the official radio station for 2 festivals and counting!

2017 is looking really positive and the enthusiasm in my team is wonderful and friendly. It gives me a great sense of pride when one of your team comes up to you and says they were on the verge of giving up on music, but thanks to U & I Radio they have a sense of inclusion and direction!

It has been a long and hard journey but it has all been necessary in order for me to have created the dream and network the world now knows about. Although, I am not yet done! I aim to have at least 10 satellite radio stations that feed us original and inspiring music from around the globe 24hrs a day! Who says good news doesn’t sell!! 🙂 x


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