Tales from the Echobox 004
Launching in 2021, Echobox has been forging a path for community radio by showcasing the diverse characters and concepts that surround them. In this feature, we will be looking into a few of the broadcasts that you can tune into so get locked in and don’t touch that dial.
Who are you and what do you do?
Malika: I’m busy directing documentaries and starting film school next year. Also, I do some panel-hosting and interviewing and during the weekend you can find me as a door host at Garage Noord. Aside from that, I try to do as much creative stuff as possible. Currently, I’m working on a project with Bonne Suits; this project actually came about through one of our UNTOLD episodes, so stay tuned for that one!
Tida: I’m currently a third-year fashion student, which is really fun, but I’m happy to say it’s almost over! Next to that, you can find me behind the decks on the weekends. Spinning anything between Afro, hip-hop or R&B. Next to that I help different brands with managing their social media game.
Can you tell us what inspired the concept of ‘UNTOLD’?
Tida & Malika: The concept of UNTOLD is basically looking for people’s stories that you and we haven’t heard before; this can vary from a very random story like the story of the stamp collector Willem van der Bijl to touching upon societal topics like the episode with Kanea, where they talked about their non-binary journey. During the process of making the show, we have discovered that everyone has an ‘untold’ story which constantly feeds our childlike curiosity. With some guests, we go in looking for a certain story and through conversations with them we end up finding another ‘untold’.
Malika: For me, I’m quite used to interviewing more familiar faces, with my other EB show C.R.E.A.M. and the documentaries I work on. So UNTOLD feels like a truly freeing experience, looking for the unknown. The process of telling stories that are hidden is a very satisfying and exciting experience in which we constantly (re)connect with our environment. When we were brainstorming about what we wanted to do, this was our goal. Connecting through breaking the silence of things being ‘untold’.
Tida & Malika: We started off as two best friends that wanted to satisfy our constant curiosity about the world around us. Now we are not only best friends, but with every episode, we grow on each other as interviewers and co-hosts. This learning curve is a very interesting one for us, learning more about and from each other. We think the total comfortable relationship we have radiates toward our guests which creates a safe space in which our guests are really comfortable speaking freely.
What is the process of finding your guests?
Tida & Malika: In short we would say it really varies. We came to discover that the most important part is to really keep our eyes and ears open: that way we are able to pick up an ‘untold’ everywhere we go. There are three main ‘incomes’ of resources, haha. The first one being stories we bump into, for example, we could be standing in a bar, getting into a random convo with a stranger and end up asking for their contacts because we think they have a story to tell. Because we are naturally in interview-mode a lot of the time, this happens quite a lot. The second way we get to know about new stories is through vague directions of our friends. For example, Malika’s best friend told her about this stamp collector that was locked up in North Korea, then we just went in research mode and bam: another story was born. The third way is through conversations we have with each other, whenever we sit down to brainstorm for a next episode we both always have topics we are curious about. Then we just start talking about the topics, mainly asking questions out loud and philosophising until one of us says “Oh shit, I might know somebody that can talk to us about…” The fun thing about the process is that we always end up with a lot of ideas, every time we brainstorm we get a bit more excited about the world we live in, knowing there is so much to discover.
Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do when not at Echobox?
Hi, my name is Tienson. I am almost 30 now and lived all these years in Amsterdam. My favourite days when not at Echobox are filled with doing sports in the morning before going into work mode. After this, I meet my band members from Jungle by Night. I start off with making a big pot of coffee for everyone and then we have two hours of office work together and create new ideas for the future, making sure everything around and in the band is functioning in the best way. After that we go straight into the creative process, working on our live set and creating new songs for the newest record coming up.
Then I bike to the Nieuw Markt, have an affogato at Tofani and easily forget the time while watching everyone passing by. Time-wise I am halfway my day now and often go for a siesta after having a warm lunch (I love to cook myself a dish). After this, I go outside, meet my friends, hop by record stores and go for a swim. I love to forget the time. This also always happens to me when I start playing around with my ENS and my two record players dancing on my own while going through my record collection. Besides playing in a band I love to DJ in clubs and festivals.
Can you tell us a bit more about your show ‘Donnie’s Dream Show’?
My show is all about creating my favourite dream situations. Meeting people you can not choose beforehand and sharing a space wherein stuff can happen. At Echobox we share the studio and I invite two guests to improvise with their instruments. So these two people sometimes don’t know each other, which brings an interesting fresh vibe to the show. I like it when they meet each other during the show connecting mostly without having spoken a lot. The music does the talking and that’s a great way to start the day.
What does community radio mean to you?
Having a platform to work on my radio show and share this station with hundreds of other radio makers. And most importantly having the freedom to experiment with a concept for a show. Listening to radio shows can be my fuel for the rest of the day. I love it when people talk during their show, giving the listener more context about what they are hearing.
If studio limitations were not an issue, who would be your ideal guest?
Hard to choose but I recently saw Patti Smith in Paris and she blew my mind. I would invite Patti Smith to freestyle her poetry on a bed of a big 10 piece children's orchestra improvising together.
What was the last dream you had?
I was training along with the 1st team of Ajax at the “Toekomst” and had a lot of fun. Really weird - because I am a really bad football player. Probably dreamed this because of me watching too much youtube related football stuff.
As well as a radio maker at Echobox you are also a member of the Echobox team. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and how you got involved with EB?
Abel, 25, born and raised in Amsterdam - actually the city centre. A busy, hectic environment! I worked with the agency and creative platform Bureau Punt for four years then moved to Appelsap Festival and met a lot of people in the industry including Mo of Mo Manager. I’m now in my final year of studying Art & Economics at Utrecht and as part of my study I had to pick an internship so joined Mo Management as he was starting Echobox along with Chalice, Rachella and Lorenzo. So I’m still part of the EB team!
Can you tell us a bit about where your love of hip hop came from?
My Dad used to play a lot of Warren G and old school West Coast music - Snoop Dog, Tupac - I never really listened to it when I was young but then in high school, my Dad asked me to put a playlist together of a party he was throwing. So he gave me 250 rap songs and I had to curate them for this birthday party. So I listened through to these 250 rap songs and I feel like maybe he set me up in a way - like he knew I was going to like it and just gave me the push that I needed to fall in love with it.
How has online radio affected you and your relationship with music?
I started going out at a very young age and that’s where I fell in love with club nights and hip hop music; I started working for hip hop parties when I was 18 and one of them had a radio show - BBQ Radio on Red Light. So that’s when I first saw internet radio first hand and the joy that comes with making those shows. It was really through discovering Red Light Radio that a whole new world of music and hip hop shows opened up to me: BBQ Radio, Appelsap Radio, Patta Soundsystem and Dijkies Classic Hip Hop show.
Where does the name Genesis come from?
The name comes from the first track of Nas’s classic Illmatic album. But I also like that it’s an old-world from an older time - just like a lot of hip hop samples older tracks and gives them fresh life, I’m giving it a new feel.
So what can we expect to hear on Genesis and how do you select your tracks?
So it’s classic hip hop but not only golden era 90s rap; also new releases but every song fits the classic hip hop style. My crate digging is a little funny… normally I start by watching skate videos with rap songs underneath them. From there I’m like ‘Ah this is nice…’ or ‘Ah I forgot about that one!’. I really like this process. Hearing music in another setting like a skate video you’re like ‘Oh that’s where it belongs!’. Hopefully, the way I select the songs for radio also gives another dimension to the songs in a similar way… like where are you listening? What’s your environment? That gives another element to the music.
What would be the ideal environment for listening to your show?
In my head skateboarding, or in the car with friends on the way to a football match because it’s Saturday mornings. Or waking up, maybe hungover - because I start every show a little easy and then build up so hopefully, it will soothe the hangover in the beginning and then leave you feeling energetic!