A NEW community radio station focusing on a wide array of dance music has been set up in North Wales, and is appealing for more volunteers to get involved.

‘Drift Radio’ has been broadcasting since going live at 11.30pm on New Year’s Eve, with a team of roughly 25 currently working at the station, which is operating as a non-profit organisation.

The station was set up by Lee Openshaw, a commercial DJ in the 1990s who has worked in radio since 2018, ‘Pure Cold’, a music producer and tour manager of American rapper Fatman Scoop, and Kevin Allen, who has a long history in dance and house music and a prominent background in IT.

Lee said the station was set up both to diversify residents’ listening options and for both volunteers and listeners to hopefully feel the mental benefits that he believes music can offer.

Lee, from Colwyn Bay, said: “We’re conscious that there’s quite a broad range of dance music, and there was nothing locally catering for those genres.

“We’d also been motivated by music being something recognised to help with mental health.

“It’s quite recognised that a lot of people in the music community do struggle with mental health issues. That was part of the reason I got involved in radio from 2018 onwards; it was something to look forward to.

“We were looking to start this niche, if you like, of dance music community radio, to offer outlets for people with an interest in music who want to showcase what they can do.

“It deals with ‘commercial dance music’, but also delves into house, techno, trance; we’re in the process of trying to draw as many people from the community on to the project.

“We’ve had ppl approach us who, for example, could do drum and bass (shows). As people get involved, we might have that further down the road.”

Rhyl Journal: The current performance desk for Drift Radio. Photo: Lee OpenshawThe current performance desk for Drift Radio. Photo: Lee Openshaw

Though it’s based in Betws-yn-Rhos currently, with most shows either pre-recorded or made remotely, Lee hopes to have a “physical studio location” for Drift Radio soon, to make it even more accessible for more participants.

The station is part of community interest group Water Abode, which specialises in dance events and radio production in North Wales, and is currently run through a virtual cloud server, which is looked after by Kevin.

Lee, meanwhile, oversees much of the station’s content, and has his own ‘Dance Classics’ show on Tuesdays, while Pure Cold is primarily responsible for the marketing aspects of Drift Radio.

Lee added his delight at how well the first two weeks on the airwaves have gone for the station, and hoped that, with a growth in popularity, would come a greater number of volunteers, too.

He said: “Our base at the moment is Betws-yn-Rhos, but we’re in the process of trying to secure a physical studio location so we can be more accessible to members of the public who want to get involved.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s ppl who want to be involved in playing music, or marketing, or social media; and we’ll be looking at providing opportunities for local businesses to sponsor the station, or shows.

“At the moment, you can find us on a number of different digital outlets including Radio Garden, TuneIn, Alexa, Google smart speakers, or online.

“We’ve had a lot of encouraging feedback and well-wishes from some of our neighbouring stations, like Bayside Radio (in Colwyn Bay), which was really appreciated. So far, it’s been really positive.

“There are a lot of people engaging with what we’re doing and there’s certainly a lot of appetite for the content, some of which you won’t hear anywhere else, with it being so niche in its presentation.”

For more on Drift Radio, go to: www.drift.radio.