It has been difficult to avoid zealous political followers voicing their opinions about the Elections this month, the air filled with intensity and anticipation as the future of the UK has loomed over our heads. Undoubtedly, such feelings of anxiety have been amplified in recent weeks for the community of passionate young presenters, producers and tastemakers at Reprezent Radio (107.3FM), as a lack of funding threatened to shut them down.
For those that aren’t familiar with the station, south London-based Reprezent prides itself as the Sound Of Young London, providing a home for aspiring creatives to build their experience, skills and confidence in music, media and youth culture. Their strong ethos and admirable purpose vibrates through their frequency on a day-to-day basis. Listeners can enjoy the dynamic energy on shows from the likes of Cheyenne Davide (who also presents for VEVO), Shahlaa Tahira (supporting brand new talent with her “Shahlaa Discovers” feature) and the banterful Man Like P (who gives upcoming hip-hop artists a platform to freestyle on his “Art Of Rap Show”).
In spite of Reprezent’s significance as one of the few supporters of the urban scene in the capital, the station has been facing threats of closure due to a cut in public funding - on which they rely to carry out their legacy. In an attempt to increase awareness about these cuts, Reprezent has been raising funds – with a target for £25k - to save the station from losing their air waves. During their campaign #DontMuteRep, Reprezent have been successful in spreading the word, with Time Out London and The Guardian expressing the urgency to help sustain the station’s existence
Thursday 7th May did not just mark D-Day surrounding the General Elections; it also marked the last day of Reprezent’s crowd-funding campaign. With a huge sigh of relief, the £25k target was finally reached – and all while many young people across the country were casting their electoral votes. The funding will go towards training, journalist kits, licence fees and studio maintenance.
Reprezent make it abundantly clear how necessary their growth is for giving a voice to an arguably underrepresented population of young people under the age of 25 in London. ‘We amplify what the mainstream media doesn’t, and can’t. We talk peer to peer, about topics that directly affect young people, but in a language that is understood, and sound tracked by the best new music. If Reprezent closes, another door gets slammed in the face of young urban talent.’
What with winning the Health Services Journal national award for ‘Innovation in Mental Health’ last year, as well as the ‘Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneer’ award, it is a great relief to know that the door has been opened wide once more for a purposeful and creative haven like Reprezent Radio to continue achieving greatness, in favour of young London.
You can still donate to the cause by clicking here.
Words by Katerina (@Kat_ANASA)