87.5 available online, transmission still on the way
It's a brand new world upstairs from Paddles in Matautu. Overlooking the water through soundproof glass is a brand new radio studio, and behind the desk is DJ KP, mixing and lining up programs for Samoa's newest radio station: Island Base FM.
Island Base went live yesterday, through its online streaming platform at islandbasefm.com. The radio transmitters are making their way slowly but surely from faraway Latvia, managing director Jasmin Ziedan said.
In the studio to kick off the programming is 'KP', or Francis Popham Kruse, from Sunshine Sound System. He is one of several Pacific artists in Samoa this month to launch Island Base FM, and will be a partner to the station going forward.
"The biggest thing I am really keen to engage in once this is all running is definitely getting to know some of the young artists, and encouraging new artists," KP said.
"The next step is to create workshops, create programs, up-skill local artists and be that platform to give them a shot, and if they’re doing good work, help them take it places."
For those young musicians, KP said embrace the internet to explore a massive world of music.
"Use the internet for good purposes and go exploring, find new music and challenge yourself, find things you like and things you think will go together well. The great thing about this place is we want it to be a platform for young artists to come through," he said.
KP is "from a village of showoffs" called Whakarewarewa in Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand. He said growing up in a tourist village has influenced his performing and musicianship.
His group, Sunshine Sound System, try to bring the old and new together to play music people will enjoy.
"We play everything," he said. "Soul, funk, hip hop, reggae, dance hall, dub-step, drum and bass, we pan right across the board and it depends who we’re playing for and where we are."
Over the past week, he has been instrumental in building Island Base's new studio and has even begun recording programs for the station to play in its first few months.
MC KP will perform at the official launch party at the studio on Friday 22nd March, alongside award-winning artists Poetik, Israel Starr, Lion Rezz and Lucky Lance.
Managing director Jasmine Ziedan said the venue, replete with a bar, concert stage and outdoor deck should be a hub for local artists young and old, experienced and brand new, to showcase their talents.