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Partnerships cuts through the noise with its debut compilation, ‘Bodies’

The current media landscape is far from a perfect symphony. As we scroll through it all, noise competes for attention. Podcast. Refix. Reel. And yet has emerged as a harmonious oasis, amplifying voices that were once hushed, talked over, or not invited to speak.

A conversation with Becky Tong, the maestro behind Records, and Alice Vyvyan-Jones, the orchestrator of the airwaves as Station Manager, opens up the vibrant composition that is Born out of necessity, this radio station is not merely a broadcaster but a built-up platform for underrepresented, non-binary, queer, and female talent in music.

Rooted in Peckham and now flourishing in the revered Young Space in Haggerston, has become a testament to the power of community – the real kind, not the buzzword. The sense of belonging is encapsulated in the unofficial motto, “When people leave, they never truly leave.”


Words by Greg Stanley

The heartbeat of resonates in its evolution—from a response to the void in the female DJ scene to an ecosystem encompassing socially motivated projects and a record label – Records – that has just released its first full-length score. Curated with finesse and care, Bodies is a compilation tape featuring international artists that are predominantly women, queer, and non-binary, supported by BUILDHOLLYWOOD billboards across London.

As our conversation delves into the intricacies of the compilation tape, it becomes a mirror reflecting the ethos of With Side A pulsating with club sounds and Side B drifting into dreamier, post-dancefloor realms, Bodies embodies the station and its people. People cutting through the noise.

First off, can you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do at

Becky Tong: I’m Becky, I came on board with about a year and a half ago to run their record label – Records.

Alice Vyvyan-Jones: I’m Alice, I’m the Station Manager and I’ve worked at for two years now.

And how would you introduce to someone who’s not familiar with it? Give us a brief history of how and why it started…

A: is a platform – not just a radio station – for under-represented talent. It’s focused specifically on non-binary, queer and female talent, and the aim to create space for them to show that talent.

Foundation started in 2018 and it was born at a time when the female DJ scene was pretty much non-existent. In black-and-white terms, they wanted to create a space for DJs who were women. They worked on their roster and trained people up, and a lot of those are now really big DJs; Saint Ludo just did their first Boiler Room, Hélena Star is another great example. These people were the foundation, as it were, and then it’s just grown from there.

I wouldn’t say we’re political, but we’re very engaged in issues going on in and outside the creative sector and trying to change things. For example, we’ve got our series Planet in Progress which revolves around shows that focus on issues affecting women, non-binary and queer people across the globe. Concepts like that are the crux of the – we’re not only trying to change the music scene but we’re trying to engage with issues going on around the world and make that a part of the platform, too.

The landscape has now changed a lot. Previously there was a lack of representation of women in DJing, on the radio, and on line-ups. Some people basically thought that women couldn’t DJ. That was never the case it just needed a space to be carved out and I think that’s why has been so successful.

Another reason why has continued to grow is down to a genuine community that’s been created. At times, ‘community’ can be something of a buzzword, but how does the platform foster that community feel in an authentic way?

A: When people leave Foundation, they never truly leave. That’s kind of like our motto. Whether it’s Assistant Producers, or volunteers coming in to get experience, we want to make people feel super comfortable and we want them to grow. If people want to grow beyond, we’re happy to be a part of that and support that.

We don’t expect exclusivity from residents over other stations or line-ups. I know our schedule inside out, I know every single one of our DJs and their shows – which I feel is quite rare at a radio station, especially when there are so many shows. And even when people move on or take a break, we stay in touch. You never leave

Having been set up in Peckham, is now based at the revered Young Space in Haggerston. How important has having its own space been for building the platform?

B: Oh my gosh, so important. I had a show on the station back in 2018 and going to Peckham Levels where we were then, and seeing girls set that station up, it felt very inspiring. You felt like you were part of something. Doing a show but also being with friends was an amazing feeling.

And now being in the Young Space, it’s kind of elevated that even more. For one, we’re more central now so it’s easier to get to. Plus, people are taking us a little more seriously now. Across from us today is Sampha and Kwes, and it feels like when you’re here you’re just engulfed in creativity.

A: When people come in it’s not just a case of dumping them on the decks. It’s a chat, it’s a conversation. A lot of our DJs who are trans, who are non-binary, who are queer, they have had experiences in other stations where they felt uncomfortable, not invited, or welcome. But we work hard to foster our space to be different. We only let people come in here who share the same values as us. If anyone causes any grief in here, they’re blacklisted.

B: Yeah, they ain’t coming back.

Whilst Foundation uses more than radio to platform creatives, it’s clearly integral to everything that happens. So, what role do you think radio plays in this current media landscape where there’s so much competition?

A: I think there is an authenticity to radio that you can’t replicate with other streaming platforms. When you were younger it was in your house or in the car, and now you can listen to it online, it’s such a transferable medium so it’s been able to be with us at various times in our lives.

I think there was a point where I thought, ‘Is it gonna die?’ But if anything, it’s done the exact opposite. I think it’s come back, and people are revisiting it and it creates such organic conversation that’s important and not contrived.

B: We’ve had to get smarter in promoting it. Like getting video clips from the Breakfast Show and putting it on socials. We need to show people the amazing content they missed because we’re competing with everything else that’s going on in the world.

It’s also a really important way to grow the DJs. They want a platform to practice, and Foundation is a place to grow their craft and that’s a reason why we keep the station going.

A: A lot of DJs might have a club residency, but they love radio because they feel like they can play stuff they wouldn’t play on a dancefloor. They can experiment, have more expression, and have less pressure. You’re not having to play to a certain crowd, you’re playing exactly what you want. That’s the point of radio.

And how does a radio station like this – one that’s community-focused and available exclusively online – differ from the more traditional radio stations?

A: To listen to us, you have to go to our website, so you have to physically engage with us. There’s already a relationship you’ve created, it’s not just mindlessly on because you flicked through channels. That’s why the team who do our graphics are so incredible and so important. We work really hard on our website.

B: We can take more risks. Way more risks. We can be more provocative. The independent nature of it means there are more tastemakers here than at traditional radio stations too.

One of the newest ways that expresses itself is via the record label and International Women’s Day-released compilation, Bodies. It’s 12 tracks from international artists who are predominantly women, queer and non-binary, spanning genres and moods like a full day of radio programming. How did this project come to be?

B: The name Bodies came about because there was a theme with the track names as they came in – everyone seemed to have a reference to water or some kind of natural flow. We weren’t just going all-female on this, we wanted to flip the stat on its head and go with 90% women, non-binary and queer with 10% men.

Releasing on International Women’s Day is an interesting one because people could be like ‘Well it’s not all female artists, that doesn’t make sense.’ But we feel like there are men out there – especially those part of the compilation – who champion women and can celebrate International Women’s Day.

We wanted to bring a more curated piece from us. Having the label there and having released singles from artists, it’s more about the artists, their art and what they are about. But the compilation is a way of shouting about the artist but also putting a bit more of a shine on our curation.

The project is split into a Side A and Side B, what is the distinction between them?

B: Side A is very much club sounds and even within that, it’s quite varied. Karen Nyame KG and Ikonika’s track All On Me is very much Afrobeat-leaning with some amapiano vibes. Then you’ve got DJ Lycox who’s from Portugal with some amapiano-meets-electronic sounds, before it goes more techno and harder with LUXE and Ariel Zetina.

We’ve also got Pesh which is a new duo. That’s Kučka, an amazing producer from Australia who has worked a lot with Flume, they wanted to release under a new alias with their wife Dylan. It’s the first time they have made and released music together as a couple, so we feel so honoured to have that.

And side B?

B: Side B is more dreamy. It’s a slower tempo with another variation of sounds. It’s predominantly tracks from female producers, but there’s also a guitar-led track at the end from HALINA which is quite grungy. I didn’t want to take it off just because it’s so different. Our Artist Hours on the radio tend to be very eclectic and HALINA represents that.

It was a challenge to curate in terms of the order and the boundaries. Every song we listened to as its own entity and as a body of work with the others. Every track we listened to, we asked the question, ‘Does it excite us?’ And the end track listing is the result of the answer to each being yes.

How do you think the compilation sums up the ethos of as a whole?

B: Honestly, the reaction to releasing each single and to when we announced it has been amazing. It feels like our birthday.

A: Oh my god, it does. Bodies is the right name, too. It embodies Everyone and everything that Foundation is. It’s inclusivity, it’s sounds.

As people who spot the billboards will see, the visual identity of the project ties it all together as well, right?

B: Absolutely. So, we wanted to work with Elise Rose for ages. We had been nagging her for a while, but she does so much other great work with Pxssy Palace and Nike and others. For whatever reason, this timing was perfect to work with her. We gave her a bit of a description, sent the audio and the tracklist and said ‘Do your thing!’ And she went and smashed it.

A: The fact we gave such a loose brief, and she smashed it says a lot about the project. It shows that it has a certain energy to it.

B: And then Dean and Ben, our creative directors, have taken Elise’s vision and turned it into the artwork for the singles and for the billboards that we’re excited to have worked on with DIABOLICAL, part of BUILDHOLLYWOOD. Having people see our work in real life is not something that we’ve done often. We’ve previously had a flyposting campaign which was sharing our ‘Are you bored of all-male line-ups?’ design. That did super well. So, it made sense to do something a little bigger for Bodies.

What’s the best thing about working at

B: The thing that I’ve gained most is community and friends. Off the back of the pandemic, especially working in music, it can be really difficult to feel connected to something. So, for me, when I started working here, that was the thing I realised I had gained.

A: Above getting experience and getting ingrained into the music world, it’s the people you meet here and the family that you make. I get inspired by the people that I work with. It’s the best place to work… I’m jealous of myself.

To flip the wholesomeness of its head a bit, what’s the biggest challenge?

B: Being heard. We are competing with so much noise and so many other platforms.

A: We want people to know us and to talk about us, but we don’t want to push ourselves down people’s throats. We’ve got followers, but naturally, you always want more followers and more followers. So, understanding that it’s a process, we’re only five or six years young, and it’s only going to get bigger. Being at peace with slow growth, that’s a challenge.

To finish, and as a tribute to the city where your artwork will be pasted all over, what’s a club night you’re excited about at the moment in London?

B: I’m more of a live music person, and I like a label called Scenic Route. They do showcase events with their artists as well as club nights, I love going to their things.

A: In London, the queer community is amazing with Pussy Palace being the number one for me. Also, Horsegirl has just started Hayfever – a brand new club night. It’s very conceptual that’s what I like about it. It’s quite silly, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love characters and that’s what Horsegirl does so well, taking influence from the drag scene and the queer scene. I prefer the queer scenes because people are unafraid to be themselves.

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